How to Growth Hack Your Brand in 5 Easy Steps

growth-hack

The most common question I get in my business is, “How do I grow my brand?” The second most common is, “How do I stand out (and get heard/seen/noticed) from the crowd?

While many entrepreneurs have the desire to reach and help their target audience, too many of them are spinning their wheels and getting side-tracked by every bright shiny marketing object that promises more fans, followers and likes.

I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way.

It’s time to shift your thinking and growth hack your brand.

Here’s a little (read: BIG) secret when it comes to your brand: it’s not about you, it’s about THEM. In fact, your brand only exists in the mind of your consumer. It’s the thoughts, feelings and images that come to mind when they interact with you in some way – whether it’s in person or online. You’re just taking up real estate in someone’s head.

So if you’re constantly doing back flips trying to get your audience to love you, it’s time to change your approach and first find out EXACTLY what your target audience needs and wants (using polls, interviews, surveys etc – more on that later) – and then create THAT.

In order to speak to them, market to them and create effective products and services for them, you first have to understand them better than you understand yourself.

In his best-selling book, Growth Hacker Marketing, author Ryan Holiday writes, “The best marketing decision you can make is to have a product or a business that fulfills a real and compelling need for a real and defined group of people – no matter how much tweaking and refining this takes.”

Ultimately, in order to growth hack your brand, you must be able to effectively connect your target market with your must-have solution in a clear and simple manner.

So let’s get started.

  1. Do your research. Before you even consider a new product or service for your business, do whatever it takes to find out what your potential clients are struggling with. Poll, interview, survey – ask pointed questions and request feedback. Use tools like www.surveymonkey.com, www.surveygizmo.com or Google Forms and Docs. You can’t become the “must-have” brand if you haven’t created something worth coveting. Find out as much as you can about your target audience and create an ideal client avatar based on this data. As Holiday writes, “A growth hacker is someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, trackable and scalable.”
  2. Use analytics. Whether it’s a tool like Google Analytics for your website, one of the analytics programs within a social sharing program (like Hootsuite or Buffer), or even Facebook Insights, it’s imperative to use these tools to understand your audience, measure their engagement and track where they’re coming from. It’s the only accurate way to focus on the “who” and “where” more scientifically.
  3. Create your brand filter. Identify three words – or adjectives – that best describe your brand. These will become the guidepost for everything you do – or don’t do. They’ll help you make decisions about your brand – from what you include on your website to what speaking engagements you accept. Once you identify your unique attributes, you can use them as a way to distinguish yourself and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
  4. Determine your command message. What is the most simple statement that clearly describes what you do and how you are the solution to your audience’s most pressing problem? What is the most important idea you want to communicate about your brand? The PR industry calls this single most important idea your “command message.” This message needs to be on repeat everywhere – your website, biz cards, at speaking engagements and in media interviews.A simple equation might look like this:{Brand} helps {ideal client avatar/audience} who are struggling with {biggest pain point} by {solution}
  5. Create visual + verbal consistency across all mediums. A big part of being remembered in the minds of your potential clients is consistent visual and verbal representation. So what does this look like? It means your logo, colors, fonts and messages are consistent across all of your platforms – both online and off. Your business card and website should be aligned with your Facebook page, Twitter profile and Google+ account. When I meet you at a conference and then look up your website later that evening, there should be no disconnect.

To grow your brand and build your fan base, you have to get to know your target audience intimately. What are their greatest challenges and biggest aspirations? Where do they spend their time and what do they really want?

Once you have the tangible answers and metrics, then and only then can you market to your potential clients in a clear and compelling way.

What are some other ways you might growth hack your brand? Please share them in the comments below.

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