There is quite a difference in the process of brand building for large companies and small online businesses (that’s what we are doing). Brand building for large companies involves a lot of market research, pinning down your demographics, crafting and using everywhere the exact message to which your market segment responds best…
In other words, you artificially fabricate a persona, a theme, a logo, a presence… to which your market segment responds best in order to dominate your specific niche. You can be cool, top quality, upper class, best service, lowest price… whatever may convert best with your audience.
That’s what Coca Cola, Apple, Mercedes… are doing. I also used this approach of building an artificial persona for various of my niche blogs and I have to tell you it didn’t work that well and I don’t recommend this strategy for small online business owners.
I know, there are still lots of marketers out there who recommend more or less the following strategy:
- Do your niche and market research
- Pick a niche where lots of money is made – dating, weight loss, make money online…
- Chose a specific segment and learn about your market – what do they need and want, what are their problems, what’s their jargon…
- Craft a persona and a theme that perfectly fits your target audience
I agree, this strategy worked quite well in the past. You could create simple niche sites that promote various affiliate products and it was very easy to get those sites ranked in Google (in the old days when building thousands of backlinks with automation tools still worked).
I had many of those sites and I know people who had hundreds of niche and micro niche sites that made good money.
However, the times have changed and those sorts of strategies no longer work. I say it again and again:
The “future of success” is all about PROVIDING VALUE. And value is not only about the information you provide (the words you write and speak in your articles and videos…) . It is even more about the energy you put into your blog posts, videos, products…
With energy I mean the love and passion for what you are doing, your integrity, your desire to help others… People feel this underlying energy and they and they prefer to do business with those who are capable of providing this energy.
Again, this will become more and more important in the future and businesses who won’t follow this trend will go out of business.
The best and easiest way to put all your love, passion and excitement in your business and products is by being absolutely YOURSELF!
YOU – your unique personality is your ideal brand. Absolutely no one in this world is exactly like you, you are unique and you are perfectly ok the way you are. So, don’t try to mimic others, don’t behave and do the things the masses are doing – it doesn’t feel great, it’s not fun and usually it doesn’t produce stunning results.
Be your own, true SELF and let it shine through in everything you are doing. Just give it a try and you will see it is a lot of fun, things become so much easier, hard work turns into play and excitement, you easily get into the flow others will sense this energy in everything you are doing and you will quickly build up a huge group of fans and buyers.
Of course, there will always be people who won’t like what you do, who may even be laughing about what you are doing and who may ridicule you…
But you know what? It doesn’t matter at all. You are doing what you are doing primarily for your own joy and for all those people who love what you are doing – and if you are truly authentic, there will ALWAYS be people who love what you do.
You are already perfect the way you are and contrary to the beliefs others may have, there is no need to change your unique, true YOU in order to find success and happiness.
All you need to do is to connect to your true YOU and to find the courage to express it in everything you are doing. Believe me, there is a large group of people in this world who is already waiting for your true, unique self to shine through.
And yes, of course there are also lots of others who won’t be interested at all in what you have to offer. But, as I already mentioned, we don’t really care about them.
The future of business is all about honesty, integrity, authenticity… and not about faking, pretending, scamming…
Yes, niche research, selecting profitable markets, crafting an artificial persona to get more people buying from you is all great – but only in theory! Actually, most businesses who follow this strategy fail miserably and this is especially true for small online businesses with very limited marketing funds.
On the other hand, there are people who make a very, very comfortable living from niches where logical reasoning and common sense would expect that there is absolutely no way to make money out of this.
Here are some more tips for your “You” – Brand:
- Instead of picking a niche you are not really interested in, but that’s supposed to make a lot of money, chose something you absolutely love and you are passionate about.
- Take some time and find out who you really are. This may sound a bit stupid, but it’s not at all. From early childhood on, we integrated belief systems, habits, behaviors, opinions… in order to be more accepted by our parents, friends and society in general – but many of those things don’t necessarily belong to your true YOU.
And maybe it’s time to start getting rid of those things. This “house cleaning” is an ongoing process and of course it won’t be done in a weekend.
- Of course, you are not some sort of “static something”. You are constantly evolving and it’s also up to you to create the person you want to be. But, it’s not so much about creating it, it is much more about letting it out from within you. What excites you in life? That’s an indication of what’s already part of you – let it out. Who or what would you like to be, truly from your heart? Again, let it out…
- BE more and more yourself. Do and say what you think and feel. Let the true YOU shine through in everything you do. I know, this takes some courage, but, once you get going it’s a lot of fun, very liberating and I’m sure you will love it.
- When you take away all the layers that don’t belong to you, life becomes so much easier. A very special energy starts flowing into everything you do. People sense this energy and they will follow your recommendations and buy your products.
- Take some time and write down who you are. How do you interact with people? What kinds of products, services, things… do you like to talk about? What truly excites you? Are you funny, serious, exact, laid back, dedicated… – what feels best for you? Your joy and excitement is always an indicator of who you really are – use it to learn more about yourself.
- All of this information provides you with a much clearer picture of who you really are and all of this will become part of your brand. You let it flow into your articles, into your products and services, in your marketing, in your networking with other people… in everything!
- Do this with passion and excitement, don’t hold anything back and success will become inevitable for you.
YOU are your best online business brand – make use of it, no one else has what you have!
Building a business isn’t something you do in 3 months – yes, this may have worked to some extent in the past – but no longer! You will probably have fun with your online business for several years and maybe even for the rest of your life if you want. So, it is important that you do something you love and you are passionate about.
If you have to fake everything and act like you are someone else you will quickly lose your fire and motivation and success becomes almost impossible.
And something else, you don’t build a business just to have a large number on your bank account after 2, 5 or 10 years. That’s thinking of the past and for most people this doesn’t work anyway.
You build a business with the intention to have fun every day and when you do that, the money comes all by itself. Don’t live for what you maybe could have in 10 years – enjoy and live your life right now, you never what may be tomorrow.
I agree, all of this is a pretty unconventional view on business branding, but I’m convinced it’s the future of successful branding – and not only for small businesses.
Try to look at this information with an open mind, let it sink in and I hope it will help you to have more fun online and to build a highly successful online business.