If you’re an entrepreneur or visionary, I’m sure by now you know that without a brand, your business or vision will not go very far. A brand is the lifeline to your business. It’s the consistent line of communication that connects you with customers, clients, and consumers. Without a strong and relatable brand, you will not generate long-term success. Which is why we all start businesses, nonprofit organizations, and ministries. Yep, even ministries need a brand.
At any rate, the truth is: building a brand is HARD! It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s a step-by-step, day-by-day type of project and most entrepreneurs and visionaries give up before they see the success they’re hoping for. See, the truth about building a brand is that you have to put in a LOT of work, time, energy, and money.
Yes, you will have to spend money, to make money.
In the Christian community, we say, you have to sew a seed to reap a harvest. That means if you want to have access to large sums of money, you have to invest smaller sums of money to see a return.
And the truth is many entrepreneurs and visionaries don’t want to invest in their own business or organization. They want it to come to them easily and free.
Now be honest and ask yourself: does that make any sense? Why should you get something for nothing? Don’t you WANT to be one of the sources that helps your business or organization thrive?
I know first-hand that it’s frustrating and a little overwhelming building a brand from scratch. You have other things in your life that seems to take precedence over your vision, and it appears that there’s nothing you can do to get started.
But that’s not true.
Please know that you will have to spend money on building your brand. There’s no way around that unless you’re a super creative person who has patience to develop your tools, grow your audience, etc. If not, be prepared to spend a few of your coins. You don’t have to spend too much, but just enough to present a polished and impactful brand. Here are three ways that you can build your brand without breaking the bank.
Hire a freelance consultant to develop your branding tools. Now, there are two aspects of branding: your message and your look. You’ll need to create a visual vibe that your clients, customers, and consumers can connect to. So that means you’ll need a website, logo, and a media kit. There are others you’ll need, but these three are a strong start. As you can see, I mentioned a freelance consultant. This type of person usually is self-employed and works alone, so, therefore, they won’t charge you an arm and a leg because they’re not passing the work off to someone else. When you hire a firm, the cost will be higher because the company will need to pay the designer and take a cut for themselves.
Utilize Social Media to the fullest. Social Media is by far one of the most cost-efficient ways to build your brand. There are over 2 billion people who use Social Media. I’m pretty sure your tribe is in there SOMEWHERE. There are tons of platforms you can use. Do your research and find out where YOUR tribe of people is hanging, and make yourself known.
Host local events in your community. While digital marketing is completing taking over, don’t rule out face-to-face strategies, such as events. People love to mix and mingle, network and meet new people. So to connect with people who may not be in your sphere on Social Media, host events in your community so you can rub elbows with your tribe offline. Now, you don’t have to be over-the-top. You can host something low-key and cost-friendly to your pockets. Make sure that the event aligns with your brand.
There are SO many ways that you can build your brand without breaking the bank. The truth is, you’ll have to be creative. One of my favorite phrases that a successful entrepreneur once said is, “Success leaves clues” and it’s true! This phrase means that you should follow other successful entrepreneurs and visionaries and learn what steps they took to level up in their business or organization and you do the same. No, you don’t have to copy them, but you can be inspired to create your version of success by learning what they did.
So here’s the truth, building your brand isn’t a one-stop-shop deal. It’s not something you can invest in only one time. It’s not something that you start in December and be done in January. It’s an on-going, never-ending project that you should fall in love with because it’s the heartbeat of your business or organization. Read books on branding, follow strong brands and watch how they communicate with their tribe. Ask your tribe what they want from you. Trust me, they’ll tell you!
If you learn nothing else from this blog post, know this: without a brand, you won’t be in business for long. So make sure that it’s something you're passionate about and willing to invest your time, energy, and yes, even your money.