We have now made it into the New Year! A fresh start for many and just another day for many who are knee deep in building their brand. Regardless of where you fall, the beginning of the New Year is a great time to roll out a new plan, re-brand, and make power moves. Ride the New Year’s wave of newness. To leverage the momentum of the New Year, try these 10 proven steps to better position your brand in 2017.
1. Seek out Expert Advice– You’re at the top of the year. Last year is behind you, can’t go back if you wanted to. This year take your brand up a notch with expert advice. Growing a brand is no easy task, especially if you are like most woman-owned businesses—a sole proprietor playing every role from Brand Strategist to Plumber. Since there are so many tasks to juggle as you build your brand, make it a point to invest in expert advice. For women just starting out, you may not be able to afford expert level advice. Still, it’s important to seek out an advisory board of individuals who can provide you with expert advice at no cost. Make your 2017 about working smarter not harder. Working smart starts with hiring or finding smart people.
2. Video Plan Strategy– If you haven’t noticed, video is rapidly becoming the #1 tool in marketing and promoting a product or service. Nearly every social media platform has evolved to incorporate a video element. Keep up with the curve by incorporating a video strategy into your brand’s plan. Whether it be 15-second video snippets for social media or longer videos for your website or YouTube channel, it’s imperative that your brand begins to use video as a tool to reach a broader audience of potential clients.
3. Collaborate– There’s undeniable power when women come together to co-create and collaborate. The start of the New Year is prime time to seek out partnerships and similar brands to collaborate with. Often our “competitors” are the best brands to collaborate with. Similar brands attract similar interest, making it easy to find synergy and ways to mutually benefit each other’s brand. Let your 2017 be about expansion. Consider teaming up with another woman to help expand each other’s brands.
4. Celebrate Your Wins– An often overlooked part of building a brand, which actually helps to grow your brand, is the act of celebrating your wins. Take a look at your favorite brand and chances are they publicly celebrate their wins. Whether it’s reaching a goal of 1k Instagram followers, or celebrating signing on a new client, it’s important that in 2017 you publicly celebrate your own brand. This is not only self-rewarding, but it also generates interest in your brand. Consider sharing publicly about the next new client you receive or the next big achievements you accomplish. Celebrate it!
5. Do Your Homework– Find out what similar brands are doing, shift gears and find ways to become more unique. We live in a creative economy where new products and services are launching every day. Innovate, innovate, innovate! Do your homework and find out how to make your brand as distinctive as possible.
6. Professional Anti-Headshot Pictures– Show some personality, be willing to step from behind the brand and show your best self. A selfie doesn’t quite cut it, though. Professional headshots have their place, but do little for brand-building. Invest in a few high quality personality pictures. Most people buying your products are buying into you. You are your brand’s best representation.
7. Be Open– Be flexible; be ready to experience new changes in all aspects of branding, and life for that matter. If the past 2 years is any indication of how fast innovation is taking place, then strap on your seat belts. Be sure to remain open to new branding techniques.
8. Be Responsive– There’s nothing worse than a brand that’s not built to interact with customers and potential customers. Hire someone or make it your duty to respond to emails and social media mentions, regardless of how trivial it may be, you never know what opportunity is behind that email you ignored or the social media mention you brushed off.
9. Be Swift– Haste does indeed make waste. However when building a brand you want to avoid lulls in your messaging, online presence or client outreach. Go into 2017 with a plan of systems and automations that you can use to keep your brand relevant and timely.
10. Self-Love– Above all else never neglect yourself for your brand. I see woman do it all the time. The majority of my clients are recovering workaholics or burnout-queens. By the time they get their brand up and running they are maxed out and have no fuel left to get their brand across the finish line. In 2017 make self-love and self-care your priority.