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If you are starting out, or have been running a business for awhile, you may be struggling to bring your brand to the next level.

 Here are some essential steps towards a winning brand.

Develop a Marketing Strategy

This is the best thing you could do for your business and something I always recommend before getting started on a branding project.

Items that should be covered in a marketing strategy include:

  1. Mission, values, goals.
  2. Marketing tactics and tools.
  3. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis).
  4. Competitor/influencer scan.
  5. Target audiences.

That sounds like some good stuff, right?

Invest in a Quality Brand Identity

Leave the designing up to a designer. It may be tempting to take advantage of a five-minute logo platform, but you may end up with a logo that looks cheap and doesn't appeal to your audience. Having a quality brand identity could be your edge up against your competitor and may help you attract higher income clientele.

If you find that your current brand identity is outdated, it may be time for a rebrand. There's nothing wrong with improving brand elements or updating the colour scheme. 

Do Not DIY Your Website

There are lots of platforms out there that make it easy for people to tackle a web project on their own. However, one thing I hear all the time is that websites are much more work than what it seems at first. From learning new software on the website-building platform to figuring out content, and connecting your domain once all the work is done, can be super overwhelming – especially for a first-timer.

Here's a glance at what's involved in a typical website build:

Discovery
    • Platform selection – Shopify, WordPress, Squarespace
    • Website navigation
    • Theme exploration
    Design
    • Site build
    • Page layouts
    Content
    • Draft text for each page (including SEO and meta data)
    • Gather images
    Review
    • Show site to client
    • Apply feedback

    Launch

    • Test links, buttons and forms
    • Domain connection
    • Publish site

    Websites tend to be on the expensive side since there is so much involved in the process but if you hire an expert, it's worth every penny.

    Apply Consistency in Your Online Efforts

    This includes all the things, such as frequency on social media, brand identity usage and messaging.

    A quick tip in terms of social media (and one thing that I see all the time) is to avoid logging on to Instagram once every two weeks and apologize for being MIA. If you are unable to post regularly, that's not ideal but it definitely does happen from time to time. When you do get back into the social game, it's best to post powerful content rather than focusing on being inactive.

    For your brand identity, it's important to follow guidelines and logo formats provided by your designer. If you are unsure about how to use your logo for various applications, it's best to connect with your designer for helpful some tips.

    Lastly, effective messaging aligns with the tone of your brand. If you demonstrate a girly, feminine vibe, all of your content should be reflective of that. If copywriting isn't your thing and you struggle to come up with fresh content, developing a marketing strategy would be a good starting place for shaping content. Hiring an awesome copywriter to help with blogging and other items may be a wise investment as well.

    Ready for a winning brand? Get started!

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