If you are a creative or entrepreneur trying to find your audience in the world, then this post is for you! Building a brand is an essential element to any business, whether it’s online or not. Scrolling through your Instagram feed, it may look like something that’s easy and can happen over night, but in reality it’s something that takes time, dedication, and awareness. Personally, it took me a while to find my “why” and to build up my brand to represent me and my business, but in today’s post I am spilling all the tea on what worked and what didn’t. These are the tips I wish I knew when starting my own online business that have helped my brand grow in just a couple months!
FIND YOUR "WHY"
This step is probably the most important when it comes to starting your business and figuring out what you want to put into the world. To be completely honest, this is something I procrastinated on and I paid for it in the long run. I ended up going back and forth and was feeling lost with myself and my brand for a while. However, I finally set aside time for myself, jotted down what I was passionate about, what I wanted to put into the world, and WHY I wanted to pursue this path, and just like that… I found my “why” (the purpose for my brand).
For some people, it isn’t as simple to find their why, so here are a few tips that may help if you find this step a little bit more difficult:
What are you good at? Write down all of the things you have skills for, what you enjoy doing, and what you feel like you have “mastered” and have knowledge on.
Ask your family and friends what pops in their head when they think of you. The people who spend the most time with you will be able to help guide you to where you need to be!
Write out your short term and long term goals for yourself. Where do you see yourself in a week from now vs. a year from now? Allow these to help you figure out HOW to get there.
Once you find your purpose, mission statement, your “why”... then you’ll have more clarity of where you are going and what you want to provide for your audience. Not only will this help you guide your business, but it will also help you find your audience and your community will start to grow!
To help you out, I am linking a checklist I use to help myself stay on track with my brand, it's purpose, and my goals whenever I need to recenter or if I'm feeling lost. This is a great exercise to do if you're just starting out as well to help you with brand awareness or if you need to get back on track (it's a part of the process for everyone)! You can download your own PDF HERE!
LISTEN TO ANALYTICS
Look, i’m not much of a numbers person either. That’s why I decided to go down a creative path career wise… but the reality of it is there are answers in the numbers. Your analytics will tell you what your audience enjoys and what they don’t like so much.
If you have a website or blog, google analytics is the way to go and will be able to tell you what pages your audience stays on the longest and what post received the most clicks! This is golden information if you’re wanting to grow your business and expand your community.
When it comes to Instagram, having a business or creator account is the best choice for you! You’ll have access to information such as when your audience is online the most, what posts were received the best, and even the top locations that your audience is located!
No matter what platform you're on, make sure you are listening to what content works best for you and your brand. Not only will this be good for your current audience, but it will also be beneficial to growing your community as well.
ASK YOUR AUDIENCE
There is no shame in asking your audience what they would like to see more or less of from you. In fact, I think this is something that every brand and business SHOULD be doing. Yes, we want to grow our audience, but we also need to make sure we are paying attention to the audience we have NOW, nurturing those connections, and being a resource for them! These will more than likely be long term followers of yours so you want to make sure you’re providing information and content that THEY want to see! This will usually result in them trusting you and your brand and will more than likely purchase your future products or services.
It’s all about connections and providing content your audience WANTS to see, so the best way to achieve this is by simply asking them.
CREATE RELEVANT CONTENT
This connects with the last point I just made… you need to be creating content that your audience wants to see, but you also need to keep it relevant! If you are a food blogger and post a blog post about your top 5 makeup must-haves, this is going to throw off your current audience and it will also confuse potential followers. Make sure to stay relevant and stick to what your brand stands for!
Another point I'd like to make for this is to post content that is in relation to certain trends in order to stay relevant as well! For example, if you are a fashion blogger and there's a certain trend that people are drawn to, it would help your brand to create content that is focused on or surrounds that trend.
With everything going on in life, consistency can be hard to maintain. However, I have learned that if you truly want to build up your brand, create a successful business, and achieve your dreams… you have to stick to a schedule and work hard at it! You have to put in the work if you want to see results.
Personally, I have found that if I stick to a schedule, the end result is almost always growth and me being one step closer to my goals! The more consistent you are, the more likely your audience will keep coming back (and might even bring a few friends with them to join your community).
GIVE BACK TO YOUR AUDIENCE
This is a point that I can’t stress enough. More people are likely to follow you and your business if you PROVIDE something for them. Remember the step about finding your “why” a few points back? Allow that to help guide you in a direction that will help you create content that will serve as a resource for others! Anything filled with information, tips, or that serves as an educational experience is pure GOLD when it comes to building your brand and building up your community! Sure, it’s fun talking about what you did this past weekend, but in the long run that isn’t going to help support your brand.
Here are some ideas of resourceful content you can provide:
-Free Printables (calendars, to-do list, checklists, etc.)
-Infographics/Blog posts (tips +tricks, how-to’s, ultimate guide to ____, etc.)
-Instagram post→ provide tips on a certain topic in the captions, add a helpful graphic in a carousel post, share a how-to in instagram stories
BE AUTHENTICALLY YOU!
In the end, people are going to want to follow you for YOU! If you are able to provide helpful and resourceful content, but aren’t able to connect to your audience and allow them to get to know the real YOU, then building your brand is going to be a lot harder than you think. Allow your personality to shine, share behind the scenes, do a Q+A, open up about something you’ve gone through... whatever it may be, give yourself the time to be able to connect to your audience! People want to know and see YOU!
When it comes to building your brand online, some people like to make it seem difficult when in reality it’s quite simple. Hone in on your “why,” be a resource, and be YOU! Remember, your online audience are humans on their side of the screen, so human connection is the way to go! I have all the faith in you that you can do this… now go out there and chase those dreams of yours!
Talk to you soon,
In the mean time, you can also find me here:
Pinterest: Becca Isdale