Small Business Branding Mistakes to Avoid

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Photo credit: @sugarcanehawaii

When starting your own business, it is easy to fall into certain traps and make a few mistakes here and there. It always pays to do your research beforehand and establish a few guidelines for your business before diving in. Most importantly, you want to make sure you set up a quality online presence, understand your target market, and have a clear sense of your company’s branding.

Here are a few common business mistakes, and how to avoid them.

A poor online presence

It’s true what they say: “First impressions matter.” Put your best foot forward by investing in a quality logo, a functional and inviting website, and a solid social media plan. These days, many people searching for products and services start that search online. Your web presence may be a customer’s first introduction to your business.

When it comes to your social media channels, start small. Don’t stress about setting up an account on every single channel. Do your research, and begin with the social media sites you feel will work best for you. Down the road when you feel more comfortable managing your social media, you can look into expanding your presence. Remember, people refer quality businesses and products, and having an online reputation for quality both on your website and on your social media channels will help you get noticed.

Lack of knowledge about your market

To be successful, you’ll need to know who your ideal customers are. This means having knowledge of the things that would interest the clients you’re looking for, where you can look to find them, and how you can engage them. To form a meaningful relationship with your prospects, you’ll also need to know your own brand inside and out. What is the voice of your brand? If your brand were a person, would it be male or female? Are you very formal in your communication with customers, or more laid back? What type of interests does your brand have? Once you know this, you’ll be in a better place to connect with clients who will be the right fit.

No understanding of your competitors

Just like you need to know your market, you also need to know your competitors. This means having knowledge of what type of services and/or products they offer, where they advertize, and how they communicate with customers. Once you know who your competitors are, you’ll be able to stay two steps in front of them by channeling your efforts into what you can do to make your business different. Stand out and be unique!

It’s worth spending time on these three elements before putting together a marketing plan for your business. Once you know who you are, who your clients are, and who your competitors are, communicating the value of doing business with you gets a lot easier!

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Follow Katie Wagner:

Katie is the President of KWSM. Before opening the agency, she spent more than 15 years as a journalist, working for CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN and National Public Radio. Katie works with clients across the country and is a popular public speaker.

0 Responses

  1. […] For two more tips for avoiding rookie mistakes, check out Small Business Branding Mistakes to Avoid. […]

  2. Debbie Bridges
    |

    how do you learn to brand and How do you research who your client could be?

    • Monique Mansour
      |

      Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for your comment! What are you trying to brand – a business, a person, or a product?

      Warmly,
      Monique

  3. Gwen Biro
    |

    This is a good question! I’m interested in branding a product line. Do you have any tips?

    • Monique Mansour
      |

      Hi Gwen,

      Thank you for your question! In order to effectively brand a product line, you’ll need to know your brand inside and out. Try brainstorming the answers to these questions: What audience are you trying to target? What makes you different from other similar products? What is your brand’s ‘voice?’ The more you can get inside the ‘mind’ of your brand, the easier it will be for you to target your prospects. Once you have the answers to those questions, remember to consistently brand yourself in the same way across all marketing mediums – whether it be online, in print, or on Radio/TV.

      I hope this helps!
      -Monique

  4. […] Katie Wagner Social Media. “Remember, people prefer quality businesses and products, and having an online reputation for quality both on your website and on your social media channels will help you get […]

  5. […] Katie Wagner Social Media. “Remember, people prefer quality businesses and products, and having an online reputation for quality both on your website and on your social media channels will help you get noticed.” <READ […]

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