how-to-rock-your-brand-in-2015-part-2 In Part One of this series, we talked about five foundational steps you must take to build a solid, compelling brand. Before you design your business cards, build your website or create a logo, you’ve got to be clear about who you are, what value you offer and who you work with best.

Once you know yourself and what you stand for and have an intimate understanding of your clients, then you’re ready to take your brand to the next level.

These are five additional steps you can take to position yourself as an authority in your industry and build a successful brand:

1. Create valuable, branded content – The two important words here are “valuable” and “branded.” Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them – your community. What will be valuable and useful to them? The best content educates, entertains and inspires. And your content becomes branded when everything you share stands for something. A financial planner who works with women and practices yoga every day might share content about financial planning, abundance, women’s empowerment, yoga, meditation and wellness. This becomes content that is specifically branded around the things she stands for and embodies. Ask yourself two questions, “What do I want to be known for?” and “What type of content will be most valuable and helpful to my ideal clients?” Your content categories lie at the intersection of these questions.

2. Share your content consistently – One of the best ways to position yourself as an authority today is to share great content that your target audience finds valuable. One of the great things about social media is that it allows you to engage and share your content across multiple platforms, while directing people back to the only real estate you actually own online -> your website. When you share content consistently and spark conversations, you generate interest and build trust with those that are following you.

3. Do a visual assessment of your brand – Are the fonts and colors you’re using the same on your business card, website, advertising and other marketing materials? Does your logo and tagline desperately need an update? If I meet you at an event, then check out your website the next day, only to find that it’s stale and outdated and your last blog post was August 2012, it’s a poor representation of your brand. Your visuals – biz card, website, social media platforms, how you dress for a speaking gig – should all best represent what you stand for as a brand.

4. Optimize your social media platforms – along the same lines as your visual assessment, you want to make sure that your social media platforms best represent you. Your avatar should be clear, preferably high resolution and the same for every platform (remember visual consistency creates memory triggers). Use consistent colors, fonts and images and use the description section as an opportunity to share your message in a compelling manner and include a call to action – such as a link to your website – to draw people to your online home.

5. Connect in person + focus on relationships – Brands are built by people – by their thoughts, feelings and musings about a particular person or business. If you aren’t connecting with others in person, on a regular basis, you’re missing out on opportunities. There’s a saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and there’s definitely some truth to this in terms of making things happen in the world. If you want to grow your business and your brand, then connecting with other people with the intention of building mutually generous relationships is key.

Ultimately, the people who connect with others and build valuable relationships both online and off, are the ones who will develop a community around their brand and experience ongoing success – both personally and professionally.


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