Whether your just starting out with a new business or have been around a while, and you’re just breaking even, now is the time to look at your business branding and how you are marketing to gain new clients and if there are areas you might tweak or change.
Is your branding appealing to your target market? Are you reaching your dream client?
It’s important to figure out exactly what you want to sell more of, and who that dream client/customer is, so you are pitching to the right audience.
Make a list of the characteristics your dream client has along with the demographics. This way you can start to visualize who they are and where to find them.
Case Study of an Upscale Florist
Let’s say you own an upscale flower shop and your target assignment is weddings. To date, your branding is perhaps better recognized in the corporate market than the wedding market.
Your ideal client is going to be couples getting married, of course, but there are lots of other ways to find new clients.
- Find collaborators. Look for photographers who shoot weddings, bakeries who create amazing wedding cakes or stationery stores who print wedding invitation packages. Why? Because you can partner up, or they might love your work and then recommend you, or they may even need you themselves for their own photo shoots or events.
- Advertise strategically. You’re going to want to buy and study wedding magazines and perhaps place an ad or see about writing a guest piece one of the magazines might find useful. Find ways to tie your branding to a hot topic.
- Get Shameless. Direct potential branding partners to your online portfolio (you do have one, right?) with a targeted email. If you haven’t been using an email marketing program like aweber.com or constantcontact.com, now may be the time. Each blast you email could have one striking image, a short message about it and of course link back to your website/portfolio.
- Get Innovative. You can connect with other wedding suppliers who had advertised in those magazines and think about offering packages together. A sample new package could be your floral arrangements and a custom printed wedding set, program, menu, etc… You could build a sales page on line to feature this new joint venture. Find partners who complement your branding.
- Swap space. Look for shops in your surrounding area where you might be able to feature your business by displaying business cards, postcards or brochures. You can offer an exchange and have their promotional materials in your shop also.
- Be social! You should find the suppliers, writers, editors from the magazines and the magazines themselves on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare) and connect with them. Once connected, introduce yourself and your services to them and their audience! Be sure to write something about them and why you are connecting, not just about yourself. People love hearing why you like them or their work.
- Streamline your branding. You’re certainly going to want to look at your own brand footprint and be sure your website, blog, social media and print materials are all branded likewise so their first impression is in awe of your expertise and your brand looks as professional as your creations.
- Work the plan! Many people build their online presence and then walk away, thinking it’ll do the job for you. With new websites and blogs popping up everyday, if you do not update your site often, you continue to slip backward on Google as others move in front of you. Be sure to add new images, change or add keywords, edit copy or add new pages. If you’re into it, become a blogger also and write about your creations. Blogging is a great branding tool – your “voice” is your brand, too! Telling others about what you’re doing on a regular basis will draw people to you. Everybody has a story and tons of stored information, so share what you know with others.
Being actively visible is what will allow others to find you. Use these examples, modify them for your own industry and watch what happens!
Susan Newman Design Inc is a brand identity design and marketing studio with expertise in Web. Building sites, blogs, implementing SEO and Social Media. Her brand interview series promotes others freely and she creates video tutorials to help businesses build their platforms right.