When it comes to branding, mistakes can delay your success by months and even years. I will address 4 of the common mistakes that I made (just like many solopreneurs or someone running a home business with branding their products or service). I will also share my solutions to overcome these challenges.
Mistake 1: Not Investing in Branding.
I wanted to begin with this first because defining your brand from day one is the most important thing you need to do when creating any new business or brand. In 2013, I co-founded a brand called the Scimeta Project. My first big lesson in doing things the wrong way was naming my podcast-based radio show with a different name to my brand (not my choice, I wanted the Scimeta Project show, but I listened to the radio show manager and gave in!). By not defining my brand and not aligning my message in the show to my core brand, I noticed that my audience was confused about my message!
When I researched success stories of entrepreneurs in my field, the one thing they all had in common was how they used consistent guidelines that defined their brand and made them stand out from the crowd. The benefit sticking to these guidelines was that it allowed them to have a signature style and drew the right kind of audience to their business. This is the power of branding.
The 4 basic Branding aspects in their guidelines were:
- Primary Colours
- Content Style
Understanding your style, purpose, target audience, combining your unique signature in everything you say and the content you create is very important while creating your brand.
SOLUTION: Start investing from day one. Invest both your time and money into defining your unique brand that can be identified in your products, content, purpose and message.
Mistake 2: Not Being Unique and Finding Your Voice
Mimicking others is not going to be beneficial for your long-term brand. You cannot be someone else just like someone else cannot be you. You must be UNIQUE. Most solopreneurs will just clone other people's style, content and even visual elements and put it on their page and social media. This is the wrong choice because you can be a lesser clone of another or the best version of yourself. You want your audience to be attracted to you and build trust over a period of time in which you're providing value to your audience.
The Benefits of Using Your Unique Voice Are:
- Build trust with the audience
- Engaging your audience
- Attracting likeminded people
- Convert more readers or viewers into customers
From my experience , what you should focus on is to connect with the right kind of audience and your brand should allow you to do that.
SOLUTION: Stop believing that if you be yourself, then you're going to turn others off. There will be people searching for your unique style and it is going to resonate with them. Your job is to provide VALUABLE content for those who are actively searching for you.
Mistake 3: Trying to Build Presence On More Than One Social Media Platform First
Like many of the bloggers and solopreneurs out there, I made the huge mistake of thinking that I can be active on all the social media platforms, all at once to start growing my presence. This is way too time consuming and overwhelming to engage on multiple platforms. It's better to focus your attention to one or two channels and grow your brand there before moving to other channels.
To succeed in reaching people on social media you have to be social and just showing up to post is not enough. You have to be consistent and this will take time, but believe me, it will be worth it. Many successful entrepreneurs made a name for themselves on one social media platform first. Later, they branched out on other platforms to increase their reach and strengthen their brand.
SOLUTION: Social media mastery will come from being consistent with your content and connecting with those who are engaging with you. Pick ONE social media platform that you enjoy the most and put in the time to successfully grow your audience, not focus on building all platforms at once. The people will hunt you down on the other platforms organically and want to connect with you anyway!
Mistake 4: Not Having A Strong Self Belief.
I learnt the hard way that having a strong belief in your potential to succeed is your key to success. Once you loose what makes you unique and start wanting to please everyone, not only will you be miserable but your brand will suffer.
You need to have a “bounce don't break” mindset and it is about getting back up no matter how many times you get knocked down on your path to success. It can only happen when you have a strong belief about who you are, where you want to go, and your own ability to get you there.
Be clear about your mission, vision, purpose and stay true to your message you want to share with the world. It determines how you interact with your audience and engage with them and that in turn defines your success and that of your brand.
SOLUTION: Build strong self confidence, work on yourself but also use this energy and your belief into taking massive action daily. This will get you the best results. If you must fail, fail fast, fail forward as they say and inspire others with your knowledge so they don't waste the time in the areas that you have (that's great value that you can provide). If you can give others the blueprint to overcome their challenges, you will get a client for life.
So, there you have it. There are my 4 branding mistakes that taught me some important lessons in branding my personal brand as well as my coaching programs. Hope these mistakes and solutions will benefit you and help you create a strong brand for your startup business.
Daniel Nilon is the founder and CEO of the “Scimeta Project”. The founder and director of “A Simple Path Pte. Ltd. He is a blogger, success coach, entrepreneur and scientist. Along with Ahana Lara, he has taken hundreds of clients through personal development, life coaching and business coaching. Daniel offers FREE Online Coaching here.
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