5 important ways to make your brand stand out no matter what your budget
1. Use the Internet: Today everything is at your fingertips! You need to have quality first and foremost but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need massive funding to achieve this. Use sites like Fiverr or Gumtree to connect with students or new freelancers to provide you with low priced or often even free services. Find photographers, writers, designers, illustrators, producers… you name it. These platforms are user friendly and you can easily check people’s ratings and ensure you are getting bang for your buck. There are tons of people looking to gain experience so it’s really a case of finding them!
2. Personality: be personable and human. From the first interaction with your customer through to the last, you want them to feel exclusive and important, like you have gone above and beyond to keep them satisfied. Get creative with how you leave a lasting impression, for example, sending a personal note of thanks or a welcome gift to a new client. Build your network and let people like you! People favour working with and supporting a business that is imaginative, personalised and that they believe in. Build trust and understanding with everyone you work with- this is key.
3. Story & Vision: No matter what your industry, a good story is what powers your business to stand out from the rest. Highlight key moments in your lead up to and/or within your startup journey to identify your story. What hurdles did you face? What triggered your idea for the business in the first place? What problem are you solving? Through answering these questions form a compelling statement that communicates your goal and where you are coming from. Do remember though that in any copy, the customer is number one so use the word “you” frequently to highlight what the customer is gaining.
4. Consistency: Be fluid with your message on all platforms and in person. Use a social media management platform like Hootsuite or Later to set up regular posts. Pin point your peak times that your target market are online to maximise the effectiveness of your posts. Don’t be all about the hard sell, create a community, be engaging. Post inspirational quotes that resonate with you, share others relevant success stories, post insights into your life. The 80/20 rule is important. 80% quality content, 20% promotional. This is a big part of what will effectively build up your long-term and dedicated following. Social media is your best friend, use it wisely!
5. Purpose: Think of ways to make your goal altruistic and for the greater good. Connect your business to something important that you are passionate about supporting, whether for the environment, for the homeless or for victims of a tragic event. Whatever it may be, for example, 2% of your sales to refugees, follow it through and demonstrate that you have. This is a win-win as you are benefiting a deserving cause and you are giving people good reason to choose you and fight by your side.
Also remember to have tenacity and to be resilient. Don’t be easily deterred from your goals, realise that it’s not always going to be a walk in the park and starting a business is challenging and that you will have to overcome many obstacles. Such is life- but use these struggles to make you stronger and remember what you started it all for. Do it to inspire and show people “YOU can do it!”
By Carmen Milton