Are you staying up late at night working out ways to grow your new firm?
It’s the same for everyone—entrepreneurs, designers, small-business owners. How to build your brand is about working smart as well as hard, especially when first starting out. With a bit of planning and foresight, these three simple tips can help you jump-start your efforts to take your firm to the next level.
1. Stand Out in a Niche. One of the largest concerns of any business—be it an architecture, interior-design, or civil-engineering firm—is to capture enough work to be sustainable. Very often, the answer is to try and appeal to as large a scope of potential clients as possible. The problem with that logic is by appealing to the largest possible audience, a nascent business can be easily dwarfed by the incumbents.
Rather than striving for the eventuality of being a big fish in a big pond, start your business as a small fish in the smallest-possible pond. By focusing your marketing and branding efforts in an isolated niche of your industry’s larger market, your firm stands a much better chance of becoming a standout star. Excelling in a given niche can only serve to bolster your success at later efforts to expand into additional market niches, with greater chances of winning larger percentages of available projects.
2. Vary Your Message to Sustain Your Mission. So once you have decided on your firm’s niche of the industry—your specialty—the more traditional branding efforts can begin.
Instead of trotting out the company line at the drop of hat, try changing it up. Take on the challenge of not explaining your firm’s services, ideals, or mission statement the same way two times in a row. This may seem contrary to the notion of developing and adhering to mission statements and elevator pitches, but in reality, it is just the opposite.
Possessing an understanding of your firm’s goals, ideas, and services to such a complete degree enables you to discuss them in a conversational tone at any given moment. This level of familiarity brings a more intimate level of understanding than memorizing a tagline ever could.
3. Properly Address the Importance of Social Media. Once you have a complete understanding of your firm, you are going to need some venue to show off your new conversational level of knowledge. Some place other than the elevator, that is.
The web’s hottest zones for branding success (and challenges) are social networks.
The difficulties arise when businesses with limited resources try to take on too much of the social networking world at once. Joining too many social networks without the resources to sustain those efforts can be worse than not participating in the social-network world at all.
Instead, carefully choosing a limited number of networks—or even a single network—can often be a wiser strategy. This limited scope could give your firm the best possible chance to allocate the necessary resources to make the most of your chosen network. But starting out small does not mean there isn’t room for expansion later, once your firm has proven success in its initial efforts.
There is no doubt that today’s consumers are savvier than ever before. This creates challenges for today’s businesses that could never have even been imagined in decades past. Still, that same situation that creates challenges also creates opportunities.
By taking advantage of any or all of these simple tips, your business has a better chance to stand out and make the connections you need to succeed.