Before you talk about the tools for any task, you have to first understand the job at hand. So to grow your brand, you have to know what the b-word is all about.
At Hinge, we sum it up thusly:
Brand = Reputation x Visibility
Simple enough, right? It’s how your firm is thought of and how much you’re thought of in your industry. Ideally, then, brand development means increasing both your reputation and your visibility in order to grow your brand.
Why does brand matter? Recent research shows that 71% of the time, buyers turn to colleagues/friends when seeking a service provider.
Good reputation and high visibility will go a long way in your effort to differentiate your firm, increasing the likelihood you will be recommended.
To showcase your authority and educate your audience through your brand, you’ll need three kinds of tools:
One – Visual Branding Tools
This is an important category. We often mistake a brand as a whole for the visual representation of the brand. A particular style or logo evokes brand instantly. The essential tools in this category are:
If you’re thinking “these are no-brainers,” you’re not wrong. Of course you need a website. But there’s a difference between a “brochure” website with company history and contact information, versus having a site that functions as a lead-generating engine.
Your website should be the meeting place for all of your other branding tools—videos, products, announcements, blogs, and more.
This is your best foot forward and a means of interacting with visitors in search of information (and possible your services). Your visual branding tools should grab your audience and point them towards the second category of brand development tools:
Two – Content Marketing Branding Tools
Content is king. Your tools in this arena might include:
When potential customers hit the digital pavement looking for leads, supply them with information that will inform their buying.
Your content—whether presented at a conference, published in a book, or presented in informational blogs—will be a trail of breadcrumbs to many of them, leading them right to your services.
Three – Visible Experts in Your Firm
Having a high-profile industry leader at your firm will draw an audience of industry admirers and potential clients as well. In the same way that universities showcase Nobel laureates, your firm can put a spotlight on staff superstars. And if there’s no one at your firm that fits this bill, get grooming!
A combination of savvy social media use, speaking engagements, and publishing content can launch quality candidates into industry superstardom. And your firm will bask in the limelight as well.
Your content marketing will direct seekers towards your rising star, and your expert will drive clients to your content and your services.
You Know What You Need. Now Commit.
These are not one-time-use tools. These are commitments. If you’ve kept some of these out of your brand development toolbox because you just don’t know how to approach them, don’t despair.
There’s plenty of educational content and outside talent available to help build your brand. Focus your time and efforts on visual branding tools, content marketing, and cultivating internal experts to ensure that you are well on your way to building a powerful brand.