Branding is about much more than your logo and website color scheme. Branding is the 12” reinforced concrete base to your business. Without your blogging base, your operations will fail.
You can throw up a quick blog site in an hour, add a few stock pictures of pretty women at computers and an order form. However, that is the equivalent of letting cowboy builders lay down 2” of concrete on bare earth and expecting your office building to still be there in six months’ time.
Selling is dead. People *choose* to buy. Your blog’s purpose is to persuade prospects to buy from you. How do you do that? By making sure everything is perfectly aligned and becoming your customer’s hero.
Your Customer Avatar
Who are you selling to? Have an artist draw a poster-sized picture of your customer avatar and pin it to the wall where you work. That person must be front and center in all your thinking, all your marketing, and all your product development.
You will attract others who don’t look like your ‘perfect customer,’ but the people you attract will often have some of the same characteristics.
You can never succeed by trying to be all things to all people unless you are a behemoth like Amazon. Instead, aim to be the perfect solution for one group of customers who have specific needs you can solve.
Your URL is a massive part of your brand – It will take many searches before you find the perfect combination of letters that is brandable, pronounceable and visual.
Did you ever search for and find the perfect domain name and come back the next day to buy it, only to see someone else had bought it? This happens because many domain resellers sell your search data. Hopeful entrepreneurs then buy domains people have searched for in the hope of selling them on for 1,000% profit.
Trustworthy domain name resellers are few and far between, so when you find one that claims to keep your searches private, you should always test that claim by searching for a domain you have no plans to buy. Check back a few days after your initial search. If the URL is no longer available to purchase, it’s because the reseller sold your search details.
Buy a .com domain that is short, without hyphens, underscores or numbers. Make sure people in your target market can pronounce it, and ideally, it should be as brandable as ‘Bing’ or ‘Facebook.’
Your website is the front door to your business. It should reflect every aspect of your branding and be as simple as falling off a surfboard to navigate. Ask contacts to visit your site while you watch over their shoulder. Ask for a running commentary and note any pauses because each one denotes a hurdle that visitors must overcome. Visitors won’t work to overcome hurdles; they will just go somewhere else.
Make site modern and attractive to your customer avatar. Cut the clutter, cut the auto-start videos, cut the unnecessary images and use text that is large enough to read and that contrasts well with the background. Avoid the modern trend of using tiny pale grey type against a white background because nobody can scan it.
Your Business Name
Your business name and URL should be identical. This helps avoid confusion and helps customers feel safer when buying from you.
Register your business name to prevent others from using it in your locality: This doesn’t offer total protection but is a tiny fraction of the cost of trademarking your name in every country in the world.
Your Social Media
URL, business name, and social media channels should be the same.
Achieving this perfect marketing solution is only possible if you can make up a word nobody else has thought of; ladders, video, and paper are the type of words you can use as your brand, and which will probably have an available .com URL and social media profile names.
Social media posting can work alongside your blogging to amplify your brand’s reach. If you share humorous and useful posts, your followers are likely to share them with their friends and get your brand in front of more possible customers. Use an automation service such as HootSuite to reduce the time sink that social media is to most businesses.
The Short Version
Branding is so much more than your business name. It’s about persuading people that they WANT to do business with you.
That only happens if your values resonate with visitors and they feel a bond with you. People only buy from people, never from businesses. Success means letting your personality shine.
Narrow your marketing to focus on your customer avatar and become that person’s hero.