Companies put a lot of money and expertise into building their brand — finding the perfect advertisement, designing that logo that will make you thirsty, hungry, tired, awake, sweaty, funny etc. It is a rich man’s game, and the more money you have, the bigger brand you can build. Or at least that used to be the case. But not anymore. Now building a brand is a game anyone with time, drive, and perseverance can play.
Thanks to the world of social media, building a brand is currently as much about sweat equity as it is about money. Does money help? Sure. However, putting in your blood, sweat, and tears also helps. The old way of paying money for newspaper ads and yellow page listing is gone. Social media gives small businesses the ability to distribute messages to the masses with a blog and Twitter account. You no longer need to run a marketing campaign using a checkbook and pen. Now you can orchestrate marketing mastery from your home office with a click of your mouse. If you put enough time and effort into getting your name out there, you will see your brand grow and be recognized. It didn’t always used to be like this, but the arrival of social media has brought the action of building a brand from a monarchy to a democracy. Now everyone has a say.
Assuming you are willing to put the sweat equity into building your brand, here is a five-step plan that if repeated daily, will lead you to more customers, more recognition, and more money in a couple of months, if not sooner.
1.) Post a blog post 3-5 times a week
Putting out a post 3-5 times a week shows your potential customers that you are dedicated. You are willing to take the time to think up a topic, write it up, think about it, edit it, and share it. That is devotion and enthusiasm. If you are trying to get people to buy from you, follow you, or love you unconditionally, then prove to them why they should. Put in that time and effort. Put out great content. Watch them flock. Think of this as the new version of the Sunday paper advertisement.
2.) Engage on Twitter everyday
Follow people on Twitter who provide some value to you. Sweat equity is about building yourself a community, and Twitter is a great place to do this. Once you’ve built up your following a bit, if you pose a question, people will answer. If you share some really interesting content, people will take notice. It’s not always easy to find something worth sharing, but when you come across that article that you immediately want to tell someone about, you’ll have hundreds of people to share it with instead of just your mom your dog.
3.) Engage on Facebook everyday
Start “liking” businesses that you actually like. Find out how they are using Facebook, and what works for you. Start doing the same. Announce sales, offer a special for those who “like” you, remind them you exist. Build yourself a business page. A personal profile is not going to do the trick here.
4.) Comment on other bloggers’ posts everyday
This can be one of the most time consuming parts aside from actually writing your blog posts. It takes a lot of time and effort to find people who are worth following and are also in your industry. Once you find them, read what they wrote, and compose a thoughtful comment back. It will pay back in spades. Think of how excited you are when someone leaves a comment on something you wrote. This is an amazing way to connect with people who are using social media and in your business. Perhaps you can learn form each other and make a real life social media friendship.
5.) Keep up with the news in your industry
You want to be able to converse with ease when people ask you questions. And also, by keeping up with your industry, you’ll have more information to write about, Tweet about, post on Facebook etc. This is really where it all begins. An informed blogger/small business owner is a successful one.
What do you think? Are you willing to put in the sweat equity in order to get your brand name out there? The name of the game is getting people to want to follow you and to respect your opinions and brand. You don’t need to hire Don Draper to make that happen anymore. You can be your own marketer.