Creating your brand requires lots of hard work, focus and consistency. Branding is all about what you can do for people and not what you stand to gain. It’s all about providing value. You need to know what you want to do before jumping on the train. I have created a detailed list of 5 fundamental things to know before creating your brand. Read on and become well-informed.
Know who you are
This is the first and foremost thing you should know before creating your brand. What makes you YOU? You need to define yourself. You need to know who you are, your strengths, your weaknesses, your skills, your opportunities and your threats. Knowing your strengths helps you determine the kind of content you will create and knowing your weaknesses helps you avoid drawbacks. Knowing who you are helps you know the opportunities you should take and the ones you shouldn’t, the people you should connect with and the ones you shouldn’t. In addition, know the areas you need more focus and the possible next steps, before moving forward.
Know your target audience
What type of people do you want your content to have an impact on? Who will form the larger part of your target audience? What are their likes? Where are they based? What are their interests? What are their turn-offs? Know the answer to all these questions before rushing to create your brand. Not everyone is your target audience. You must be able to relate with your target audience and they should be able to relate with you too. Your target audience are those people who need what you have to give or offer. They are the ones who want to see whatever content you generate. You must have a defined target audience, the exact people you want to reach because it is never about you, it’s about them.
Know your objectives
What do you want your brand to be identified with? What do you want your content to do? Is it to create awareness or to increase engagement? Do you want to inform or to evoke sales? Is it to inspire or to educate? Or Is it to be helpful or to be entertaining? Setting target objectives guides you and makes you know what will work and what won’t. This will also let you know what to centre your brand’s content on. Note that everything pertaining to your brand should be centred on creating value.
Know your niche
Do you want your brand to be helpful, motivational, educative or entertaining? All these depend on your niche. A niche is simply your specialty or the particular market/industry that is just right for you and your brand. Before creating your brand, you need to know the niche that is well suited for your brand. Having a particular niche helps in structuring your brand and without one, your contents would seem unorganized and may be lacking direction. Keep up with people that are in the same niche you choose; it will put you on your toes. Also, regularly viewing their profiles will remind you of why you chose that specialty.
Know and have a plan
Everything we do or partake in needs a plan. Creating your brand requires planning. Your plan must show what you will be putting out, when you will be putting it out and where you will be putting it out. A plan helps you focus on other things because it has been programmed. All your thoughts and publishing process are guided by plans. With a carefully constructed plan, you won’t have to worry about not keeping up with publishing of posts as all your branded content will be taken care of.
Your personal brand must equal your personal identity. It must be clearly defined or anything and nothing will be attached to you. Just as your personal identity should measure up to your personal brand, your offline personal brand should also measure up to your online personal brand. Putting as much work to your offline branding gives credibility to your online brand. And remember, consistency is key!
Starting A New Brand On Social Media? 5 things You Should Know
Starting a new brand requires continual search for fresh and original ways to ensure its relevance. With the evolution of marketing, social media has become the broadest platform to display your brand as far as you can master the way it works. There are numerous ways by which you can represent your new brand on social media but in this article, I’ve highlighted the simplest of them all. Read on!
Post distinctively on every social media channel
Posting the same content on all your social media channels is not actually a bad idea but posting with the same structure is a terrible idea. All social media channels have different ways of presenting content that is exclusive to each of them. Facebook, for example, is all about information and entertainment; so you have to restructure your content to be relatable. Instagram on the other hand is known for displaying content that feeds the eyes. Structure your branded content for Instagram to be visually pleasing and of high quality. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that adds value to people’s lives. But don’t be too serious when creating content for this platform, rather be a combination of education and entertainment. Using the above channels as examples, study every social media channel and structure your content to relate with them as you are starting a new brand.
You need CTAs for all your posts as you are starting a new brand. When publishing posts for your brand, always include a “call to action”. Call to action is that link or button that gets the audience to take required action. It tells the audience the step to take and what to do in relation with the post. For example; Enjoy 40% off all size 10 blouses this month when you shop with Innove. Visit www.innovecollections.co.uk to explore our fashionably unique wears. The link is the CTA; it will take the reader directly to the online shop.
Make your posts humorous
When creating content to publicize your brand, don’t be too stuck up and overly serious. Give people a way to share a laugh with you. Like Jonah Berger says “Funny content is shared because amusement is a high arousal emotion”. Humour is a great way to portray your branded content as not being too pigeon-holed.
Use the right hashtags
Stop bombarding your brand’s posts with irrelevant hashtags. Use industry-related hashtags only and hashtags that are relevant to your business. This is a great way to promote your posts. Making use of hashtags that are exact to locations such as #Lagos, #HardrockCafe, #Ibadan, etc., are also good for promotion. This is because they serve as a way to let your customers know locations where your brand is known and also for potential customers to discover you when they search for such location-specific hashtags.
Know your competitors
Checking out whatever your competitors are up to is not a crime, but no stalking please. Both in the country and out of the country, check the contents performing the most in terms of likes and comments. By checking them out, you are keeping up with the competition and you will also be able to generate better ideas. Observe your competitors in order to discover what you have been doing wrong and where you need improvements.
Adopt the use of influencer marketing
Branded contents are on the up and up. Instead of creating your business’s content like you usually do, why not reach out to influencers. Not just any influencers, but the ones that your audience or customers trust. After reaching out, present to them your product or service that needs marketing, then get them to create content around the product or service. Make sure you fit their content into your platforms. Making use of influencers gives you access to their followers. Majority of renowned brands dig through social media especially Instagram, to find creators and influencers that can add value to their business. So why shouldn’t you do so too? Besides you have nothing to lose and your business stands to gain massive publicity.
Why Canva Is The Best Alternative To Photoshop For Small Businesses
Best alternative to Photoshop for anything related to instant designs? Canva is the ultimate. Both Canva and Photoshop are great graphic design tools for start-ups and small businesses, but one is more convenient to use than the other. This article compares Canva to Photoshop and elaborates on how Canva is the best alternative to Photoshop for small businesses.
Canva was created in 2012 by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams, in Sydney, Australia. The platform has over 10 million monthly active users who are eager to explore their creativity.
As a small business owner, Canva is the best alternative to Photoshop for your brand. Create simple visuals, marketing materials, posters, restaurant menus, business cards, brochures, event invitations, and lots more; with Canva. You can easily share your designs directly to other social media platforms. In addition, your clients can collaborate with you on projects and designs.
Canva has numerous features that are just great for small businesses. They include:
- Varieties of pre-made professional templates to choose from, though you can create your own template/layout from scratch. All you have to do is sign up, either via Google accounts or your email address. The templates and layouts are categorized according to their use.
- Collaboration and teamwork features. With Canva, you can work with teammates and clients to achieve and complete any project.
- Free and paid plans. The free plan has limited templates and you are able to collaborate with a maximum of 10 members. Free plans don’t give you access to any image, rather you pay $1 for an image or you can simply upload your own photo for editing. The paid plan has unlimited templates and you can collaborate with up to 30 members. Plus, you have access to hundreds of thousands images. Payment is $9.95 per month for a user.
- Photo filters and editing tools as well as free icons, shapes and fonts.
- It’s simple and easy to use. This partly makes it the best alternative to Photoshop.
- Canva has a free plan.
- You don’t need any design skills or a degree before you can use the platform.
- Features a massive library of free graphics.
- Does not consume resources like Photoshop.
- Printing on Canva costs higher.
Canva vs. Photoshop
Highlighted below are the 3 major points that show how Canva is the best alternative to Photoshop in 2021.
Firstly, Canva is a web-based design tool that is supported on not just the web but also on android systems and IOS. This makes it easier for users including owners of small businesses to design anywhere and at any time. Photoshop is a software that can’t be used on a smartphone unlike Canva, which can be used on any device. Thus making it easier to stay connected and updated on all your designs.
Secondly, Photoshop is quite complex and it requires prior knowledge relating to the software before usage. Canva is not like that at all. You can customize your designs yourself with ease on Canva as you don’t need any special design skills for that. All you have to do is just create! This makes it suitable for small businesses because you as a CEO become more efficient. In the sense that, the amount of time you would use to study and master Photoshop, you can use that time to do something more productive. Where Canva takes only 23 seconds to master, Photoshop takes days, if not weeks.
Lastly, Canva has both a free plan and a paid plan. As a small business owner who can’t afford to spend on graphics, you can easily choose the free plan. With the free plan, you still have access to numerous templates that can be used for your brand. Photoshop on the other hand is quite expensive and does not have a free plan like Canva.