TERRIBLE DIGITAL BRANDING MISTAKES YOU SHOULD AVOID.

TERRIBLE DIGITAL BRANDING MISTAKES YOU SHOULD AVOID.

How would you like to know what not to do when you start a brand?

Believe me, there are many mistakes to be made when creating, launching and running your brand. All of them are important learning curves, although I’m going to help you skip over some troublesome branding mistakes, I’m also going to encourage you to tell a strong brand story from the start. So without further ado, let’s jump in my list of top four branding mistakes to avoid.

1. Not focusing on your story.

A brand is so much more than a logo or color scheme. It’s important to realize at the start that you want your audience to form an emotional connection. Focus your efforts on developing values as well as a brand story. This will eventually cause something I like to call “the aftertaste effect” once people start relating with your brand.

Ask yourself “what do I want people to feel or associate with my brand once they’ve experienced it? What do they say about it?” more importantly, what do you want them to feel or remember? and that’s the message you focus on.

Keep cosmetics simple and easy to maintain, rather spend your energy on building a strong and memorable experience.

2. Not using a professional.

I get it, we all like to think we can do something if we watch a few education Youtube video’s (Although, there’s some quality content Youtube). Things like graphic design and brand identity can be extremely tricky and I would strongly recommend spending a bit of money once off to hire a professional.

There’s a reason designers and developers spend a lot of money on their education. They know what they’re doing and have the experience to back up all their methods and reasoning. Making use of a professional here will put you far ahead of your competitors and make it so much easier to grow your story from a strong brand image.

3. Don’t just dump all your content on social media.

We all know that in today’s age, only having a website isn’t nearly enough. People crave interaction, real human interaction.

You need to support your website with a strong social media standing. A lot of entrepreneurs do this, but they literally spam their social media with all the content they can produce. Remember, its quality over quantity and every social platform has a purpose, this requires specific types of content being published on the right platforms to maximize interest.

The other key faction about social media (any platform), is that it allows you to interact with your audience on a one on one level. I encourage you to take advantage of this because it builds character, relationships and heavily reinforces your brand story we spoke about in point 1.

4. Do not over-brand.

More does not mean better, especially not for your bottom line. Kepp things simple and easy to manage. Your brand is most effective when subtle and carries a strong message.

The biggest problem with going overboard with your branding and exposure is that it becomes impossible to manage. Hey let’s do Linkedin, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, run a blog, ooooh have E-commerce, maybe put together some drop shipping, run Google Addsense, let’s not forget about e-mail campaign and weekly website updates. You see what I mean…

Apart from the troubles of managing all of this, you’re creating so many opportunities for brand inconsistencies, this is dangerous because it’s going to impact the brand story you’re trying to tell.

Rather focus on a very short list of social media or other platforms that will give your brand the strongest support. This will also free up a lot of time that you can spend on creating really high-quality content to post on those platforms.

And there you have it, a summary of my top four branding mistakes to avoid. I believe these tips will help you tremendously when starting your brand. I would really like to hear in our comment section if there are any other major challenges you feel other readers should pay attention to. Possibly even some struggles you’ve faced before and how you overcame them. Remember to check out our awesome article on ways to stand out when you pitch a new client.

Have fun branding warriors, go and get’em!

5 BUSINESS TIPS TO STAND OUT ABOVE THE REST, WHEN YOU PITCH NEW CLIENTS.

5 BUSINESS TIPS TO STAND OUT ABOVE THE REST, WHEN YOU PITCH NEW CLIENTS.

Have you ever been put on the spot by a client in a new business meeting?

I have and I’ve learned the hard way, there isn’t really textbook rules on what to expect when you pitch a client for new business. Each meeting and client is different and most likely your going to get curveball questions in each new meeting. In the next 5 points, I’m going to share with you exactly what I pay attention to before going into any new business pitch.

1. Know your product.

You may be thinking “Well that’s obvious”. Do you really know your product & business? So you truly know the ins and outs? Not only sales and marketing collateral knowledge, but the technical side too. All too often you will be in a meeting with more than 1 person. I guarantee you, the likelihood of one of them being in a position where they head up a portion if not all the company’s technology, will be high.

If you are really stumped by the complexity of the line of questions, for heaven’s sake don’t fake it till you make it. Be honest and Be direct. “That’s a question for one of our more senior technical guys to answer, but what is your concern over (insert technical question here)”

This shows that you are not able to answer their question but you are still trying to find out more, in an attempt to ensure the information, you give to your team is true and correct. There’s nothing more embarrassing than bringing a technical resource into the conversation at a later stage and you’ve misinformed your team. Wasting the clients time and most likely put your resource in and “red-faced” position.

2. Know your Client.

Yet another glaringly obvious point you say? All too often a deal is killed early by not knowing your potential client. Do some research beforehand. LinkedIn, Blog entries, company news, Google the company name and I assure you the results will astound you. Make sure you know the names of everyone in that meeting.

The cliched saying “Cold calling is dead” well it is. It’s been dead for a while, why? I’ll tell you why – It’s a top 10 irritation trigger when a cold call comes through, the person on the other side has no idea who or what you are. You’re just a name on a screen, with no personal touch. Without the personal touch, there is no person to do business with.

Ask the right questions before thinking about the sale. Take a genuine look at the client’s current issues, needs or challenges. Discuss how it is affecting their day to day or annual strategic goals. This gives you more ammunition when presenting a solution to overcome objections and questions.

2. Know your Client.

Yet another glaringly obvious point you say? All too often a deal is killed early by not knowing your potential client. Do some research beforehand. LinkedIn, Blog entries, company news, Google the company name and I assure you the results will astound you. Make sure you know the names of everyone in that meeting.

The cliched saying “Cold calling is dead” well it is. It’s been dead for a while, why? I’ll tell you why – It’s a top 10 irritation trigger when a cold call comes through, the person on the other side has no idea who or what you are. You’re just a name on a screen, with no personal touch. Without the personal touch, there is no person to do business with.

Ask the right questions before thinking about the sale. Take a genuine look at the client’s current issues, needs or challenges. Discuss how it is affecting their day to day or annual strategic goals. This gives you more ammunition when presenting a solution to overcome objections and questions.

3. Know your market.

“So how do you compare to (insert unknown competitor here)?”

“I honestly have never heard of them” – This could be the worst answer you could give. Not only does it show a lack of industry knowledge, but could also make you look uninterested in your own product and its competitors.

If you’re selling decorative plates, you better know who the industry leaders are, specific events during those company’s histories and the knock on it had globally/locally. If you’re asked about “Sally’s Pretty Plates from Pensacola” you can be sure that it’s a one-woman company with no real impact on your product and the other industry leaders.

4. Know your capabilities.

Winging it, Blagging it, faking it till you make it, pretending, lying… these words might as well be in the same category when it comes to your abilities. You need to be careful with this. Sometimes winging it comes naturally and can be very effective when faced with a tough line of questions. often you can be wrapping up an hour-long meeting in 20 mins if your audience has caught you out while trying to wing it. This will result in losing the business and the client forever.

Be honest, set clear and defined boundaries of the product’s and your own capabilities.

4. Know your capabilities.

Winging it, Blagging it, faking it till you make it, pretending, lying… these words might as well be in the same category when it comes to your abilities. You need to be careful with this. Sometimes winging it comes naturally and can be very effective when faced with a tough line of questions. often you can be wrapping up an hour-long meeting in 20 mins if your audience has caught you out while trying to wing it. This will result in losing the business and the client forever.

Be honest, set clear and defined boundaries of the product’s and your own capabilities.

5. Know when to say no.

If your product can’t do what the client needs, the client is demanding a ridiculous discount or the client isn’t grasping what you are explaining. you have the right to say No. Be nice about it, don’t just blurt out “No…” and then not back it up with evidence. If you’re ever in the position where you need to say No, do it with tact and explain why. Perhaps mention that the request is on the cards but not available yet. (Take that idea back to your team as an improvement and you’ll be a hero with your product teams, but maybe not the developers who will ultimately need to do the work.)

Saying No doesn’t mean losing a sale, it means you understand the client and by backing it up with facts. It will show even more integrity as you have been able to be strong enough to push back. But again, use caution here. Don’t be negative, saying no can be a positive.

These are the business points I pay most attention to when I go into a meeting with a new client. They will work for you too, give it a try and let me know how it goes. If you have any other tips or point you would like to add, please drop a few lines in the comment section below. Also check out our awesome article to get you in the right mindset when starting a new Business “10 MINDSET CHANGES WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS FROM SCRATCH

10 MINDSET CHANGES TO BUILD A BUSINESS, STARTING FROM SCRATCH.

10 MINDSET CHANGES TO BUILD A BUSINESS, STARTING FROM SCRATCH.

Why the hell is my online business not making me money?!!!

“I am qualified, I’ve got an awesome logo and website which I got for a bargain, the money should start flowing in right?”

I would like to think so, but unfortunately not. It’s not that simple, there’s a lot more we need to pay attention to. In this post, I’ll dive into all the changes I had to make when I started my online business. These are things you should pay attention to from the start.

 

There’s a growing trend to own and run your own online business.

To generate extra income or even replace your full-time job. This is a nice thought and many new entrepreneurs want to achieve this and yes in time it’s as easy as people make it sound. However, It’s a lot of hard work in the beginning, “burning the midnight oil” and up-skilling in various fields. Fields you might not be thinking of or even know about. I’ve been through this and I’ve learned the hard way, thus I’d like to help you learn from my “experiences” and take the easy way. Besides, in my opinion, there’s nothing as awesome as building something that works from the word “Go”. Just wait till you get that first payment and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

1. You need to niche it down.

You’re going to need to niche down. It’s much better to specialize in one or two things that you’re really passionate about and can deliver exceptional work on vs. being a “jack of all trade, master of none”.

So you’re going to have to sit down and think about your strengths and which ones you want to turn profitable through your online business.

“Bet on your strengths”

2. You gotta work.

This is your business, your success, your freedom. It’s personal and you want it to be something great right? Well, you’re shit out of luck if you think you’re going to work on it for an hour or two every night after your 9-5 and believe it’s enough time to make it work. Wait, it might work, but not very well at all and eventually become more of a hobby than an online business or brand.

It takes time and a LOT of hard work. you need to realize that you’re going to take on a whole obsticle course here. Keeping a steady income, maintaining your social life, slip in some ‘me time’, running your daily chores and who knows what else… And then burning that midnight oil, working on your online business.

It’s not easy juggling all of these things but keep in mind that EVERYTHING you’re doing is worth it when you receive your first payment and realize Holy shit! I’m doing it!

2. You gotta work.

This is your business, your success, your freedom. It’s personal and you want it to be something great right? Well, you’re shit out of luck if you think you’re going to work on it for an hour or two every night after your 9-5 and believe it’s enough time to make it work. Wait, it might work, but not very well at all and eventually die a quiet death in the background.

It takes time and a LOT of hard work. you need to realize that you’re going to take on a whole football team here. Keeping a steady income, maintaining your social life, slip in some ‘me time’, running your daily chores and who knows what else… And then burning that midnight oil, working on your online business.

It’s not easy juggling all of these things but keep in mind that EVERYTHING you’re doing is worth it when you receive your first payment and realize Holy shit! I’m doing it!

3. It’s just business.

Regardless of how many hours you’re going to put into your business, keep in mind that you’re still human. You still have other responsibilities. Face it, a person performs best when their environment and mindset is relaxed and calm. No Distractions.

Plan, Prioritise, Execute. Make some space on your wall, get a makeshift whiteboard, Write up a schedule. Set time aside for the other important things and people in your life. Only focus on the people who support you. Surround yourself with people who understand and uplift you and your goals. Don’t waste time on people that don’t.

“Put Business in perspective” – don’t neglect things that make you ‘you’.

4. Execute your ideas.

This one is simple. If you come up with an idea for your business, a new product, service or even the way you interact with your client’s… Execute that idea!

 Make it happen. Start small. Baby steps. BUT take that all important first step.

Don’t sit around and wait. You’re going to overthink it, or someone else is going to beat you to it. When you have that light bulb moment and you’re excited about how awesome this ‘new/better’ thing could be,  you need to remember that there are many other people (paying client’s) out there who will feel the same way about this idea. So don’t waste time, just do it.

4. Execute your ideas.

This one is simple. If you come up with an idea for your business, a new product, service or even the way you interact with your client’s… Execute that idea!

 Make it happen. Start small. Baby steps. BUT take that all important first step.

Don’t sit around and wait. You’re going to overthink it, or someone else is going to beat you to it. When you have that light bulb moment and you’re excited about how awesome this ‘new/better’ thing could be,  you need to remember that there are many other people (paying client’s) out there who will feel the same way about this idea. So don’t waste time, just do it.

5. Tell a story.

The day’s of simply just putting your product list out there with a logo and hoping for some clients are gone. People crave interaction, they want to know they are dealing with another human. Trust me, they want to know your story.

So give them something to relate to. Build an active social media presence where you can tell your story using up to date and relevant information. Share meaningful content. Don’t you dare use click bait. Ever. Don’t share for the sake of sharing. Targeted campaigns work, blanket approaches don’t. Encourage people to respond to your posts. Let them express their feelings and experiences. Don’t forget to DISCUSS with them. Remember, people LOVE to talk about their experiences.

“Don’t overlook storytelling”

6. Care about your audience.

Once you start to build a following or a client base the real work starts. You most likely hooked your members and client’s because you showed them you’re a real human being. Perhaps you shared one of your more positive experiences, they related to it or parts of it and now they want more. So what do you do?

Don’t generalize, don’t send out broadcast messages when you’re communicating with your audience. 
Show your followers that you care, talk to them individually. Tag multiple members in a post to get some engagement and collaboration, perhaps an argument or two. But ultimately you will get to know them and more importantly, let them get to know you. It takes time but it’s invaluable.

Yes I know it feels like you’re mowing the lawn with a pair of blunt scissors. The relationships and network you build is a cornerstone of growing your brand and business.

6. Care about your audience.

Once you start to build a following or a client base the real work starts. You most likely hooked your members and client’s because you showed them you’re a real human being. Perhaps you shared one of your more positive experiences, they related to it or parts of it and now they want more. So what do you do?

Don’t generalize, don’t send out broadcast messages when you’re communicating with your audience. 
Show your followers that you care, talk to them individually. Tag multiple members in a post to get some engagement and collaboration, perhaps an argument or two. But ultimately you will get to know them and more importantly, let them get to know you. It takes time but it’s invaluable.

Yes I know it feels like you’re mowing the lawn with a pair of blunt scissors. The relationships and network you build is a cornerstone of growing your brand and business.

7. Do what you’re good at.

Don’t waste any time on things you’re mediocre at. “but my site needs SEO so I better learn how to SEO the shit out of it”. “I want to offer Maintenance as a service, I should spend time learning how to maintain a website”.

Nope wrong, if your not good at something don’t waste time on it. There are thousands of resources out there in the world to easily and cost-effectively get your task done, it’s called “outsourcing”. Focus your time on what you’re already great at and become a real master of it. This will allow you to specialize in a niche and charge much more for your expertise.

“Stick to your DNA”

8. Do the things that matter.

What do you do when you have 100 clients but 1 has a problem and is VERY vocal about their concerns. The next steps you take are the most important ones. Do you Ignore them, send them a manual or talk them through it on the phone?
 This is really up to you and the policies you set up for your business. I recommend you do the things that matter to your clients.

If you’re able to get in your car and drive 2 hours to the client’s house to meet with them and solve their problem, in person, or get on a video call and spend time with your client, then DO IT. This kind of interaction is a very strong personal message that will show your community your passion for all clients, products, services, and brand.

8. Do the things that matter.

What do you do when you have 100 clients but 1 has a problem and is VERY vocal about their concerns. The next steps you take are the most important ones. Do you Ignore them, send them a manual or talk them through it on the phone?
 This is really up to you and the policies you set up for your business. I recommend you do the things that matter to your clients.

If you’re able to get in your car and drive 2 hours to the client’s house to meet with them and solve their problem, in person, or get on a video call and spend time with your client, then DO IT. This kind of interaction is a very strong personal message that will show your community your passion for all clients, products, services, and brand.

9. But, but, but “this n that” – STOP.

Probably one of the most important and mature changes you need to make is “cutting out your own bullshit”. As an entrepreneur, business person, freelancer you need to start thinking like a problem solver. BE a problem solver. Stop stopping yourself, stop making excuses why you can’t execute. Look, I’m not saying there won’t be roadblocks in your way, of course, there will. Your response and actions will ensure you get through unscathed. Although you need to attack these roadblock with a mindset of “I’m going to solve this, this isn’t going to stop me”.

If you pause for every excuse or problem you run into you’re never going to get anywhere. Stop making excuses and start providing solutions.

“Excuses kill more successes than doubt does”.

10. The journey takes time
.

This adventure you’ve decided to undertake really is a fun one but know from the start, it’s not a get rich quick scheme. Many times I’ve said to myself “it takes time”. Well, guess what? It really does. Set realistic goals, especially financial ones. The last thing you want is to end up disappointing yourself and probably abandoning your dreams of owning a business, Again.

Yes, your business holds great potential and most likely is the answer to your financial freedom. Stick it out and put in the hard work it needs. You cant expect to put in the minimal half-assed effort and become successful. Put in the quality of work proportional to what you want to get out of it.
 It’s like growing grapes in bad soil, watering some days when you feel like it and expect to make some of the world’s best wine. You need to do everything you can to give it the best chance possible. Oh yes, let it GROW.

“There is no overnight success.”

10. The journey takes time.

This adventure you’ve decided to undertake really is a fun one but know from the start, it’s not a get rich quick scheme. Many times I’ve said to myself “it takes time”. Well, guess what? It really does. Set realistic goals, especially financial ones. The last thing you want is to end up disappointing yourself and probably abandoning your dreams of owning a business, Again.

Yes, your business holds great potential and most likely is the answer to your financial freedom. Stick it out and put in the hard work it needs. You cant expect to put in the minimal half-assed effort and become successful. Put in the quality of work proportional to what you want to get out of it.
 It’s like growing grapes in bad soil, watering some days when you feel like it and expect to make some of the world’s best wine. You need to do everything you can to give it the best chance possible. Oh yes, let it GROW.

“There is no overnight success.”

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful or if you had some problems with it, please drop us a comment below. We want to create the very best, value added content for you. If you would like to get in touch with us directly please join us on our Social groups linked below, or just send us a mail. Thanks for reading and being apart of our growing branding warriors community.

 

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