We can get so trapped in the mental pressures that we put on ourselves, when all we need is a short break and probably an increased heart rate. I know the feeling of putting exercise aside because “there is just no time”, but that is a load of crap and you and I both know it. Take 20 minutes to get some blood pumping and you’ll be amazed with the results. I especially like to get this over with in the morning and feel its effects throughout the entire day, but a mid-day walk or run is a great way to break up the work day as well. No more mental blocks – don’t waste that time beating yourself up, walk or run it out and fuel your creative juices!
Oprah always coming through with the inspiration I need!
Seriously though, money is a great motivator but make sure you are passionate about what you are doing! Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you should be doing it. Do what you love! Even if it isn’t traditional or a known money maker— that’s even better! Be 100% you and let that guide you where you need to be. This world is full of people just trying to make money, be one the one that is just trying to do what they live every day and make a living from it.
“THE FIRST STEP IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS IS TO WAKE UP”
Keep going. Don’t be discouraged because there isn’t instant gratification. You must work hard and then work harder. You have dreams, which is better than most. Keep pressing to further them. You have the time in the day tO work on your passions, carve out at least 30 minutes per day! Perhaps right in the morning while drinking coffee before you start the work that actually makes you money. This way, you can wake up feeling motivated and excited! (and earlier). You’ve got this. You are smart, creative, clever, unique and passionate. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Tackle it head first and do it for yourself. Make yourself proud.
You have to represent your brand every single day; don’t try to make it something that you are not! Be proud of who you are and let that shine through your brand! Being you all the time is easy, but trying to be perceived as something else all the time will not only be difficult, it will get boring. You have to have a passion for what you are doing, and if you love yourself, you’ll love your brand. (If you don’t love yourself, maybe work on that before starting a company–it will help).
#2 Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!
I can’t emphasize this enough! Branding is all about the look, feel, and voice of your company, and it absolutely needs to translate across channels, both digital, print, and through your speech. Is your social cover photo the same on every platform? does your website reflect your social media accounts? Pick your colors, fonts, visual style, verbiage/language and stick to it! Best practice is to have a Brand Guidebook made that will lay it all out and it becomes your company’s bible!
#3. Don’t Be Shy!
Your brand is your baby, yet Facebook is only blowing up with pictures of your actual child. Be proud of your brand and flaunt it! Tell people about it both digitally and IRL. Don’t be passive about it “oh yeah, I kind of do some freelance on the side”, no, “Actually I have my own company! I do this and this and this and it is really exciting!” If you speak about your company with passion and excitement, it will show and others will get excited with you! That is also how word of mouth will begin to spread.
#4. Content Is Still King (and always will be)!
Never stop creating content! Whatever your company may be, you should have an endless amount of resources on hand to post on social media and on your website. If it is solo, I get it (I am too) Just do it whenever possible and keep it up. Update your social media whenever possible with GOOD content, not just something on a whim. Plan it, create templates, be consistent! Blog whenever possible and create free resources for your audience. That will lure people in and some will just take the free stuff but others will realize they need more help. Whenever you have a spare moment, be writing or designing and throw everything into a bucket that you can access on both your phone and computer so you can post from either. Not the best at copywriting or graphic design? Hire someone! (ME)
#5 Network (different than don’t be shy)
To grow your brand, and gain clients, you must put yourself out there. As much as creating content and being active on social media will do, it is nothing compared to referrals and word of mouth clients. look for events in your area within your industry or just for entrepreneurs and go to them! Even if you are shy, do it, push your boundaries. Reach out to people that inspire you via email, just putting that out in the universe, may bring something good back. Additionally, you can host an event! Talk to your chamber of commerce to set something up for small businesses, start one on meet-up.com, or just publicize through social and word of mouth. Growing your book of contacts will never be a bad thing, and hey, perhaps you can refer people to those new friends you made, they may want to return the favor…
#6. Be Active on Social Media
Yes, you must be posting often on all channels, but being active on social also means engaging with your audience! If someone comments on your post, comment back, or at least like it. Follow like-minded individuals and connect with them through DM’s and comments on their posts. Follow your potential clients or your dream clients and interact with them. Interested in paid social posts? Do it! You can target and reach those you desire. Comment, share, follow, like, DM a lot, and be genuine.
#7. ABU (Always Be Updating)
Update your website, update your posts, update your SEO, update your bio if it changes, update your social media cover photos (not profile photos – unless you update your logo), update your offerings, etc. Always be updating everything to make sure you are relevant and actually align with what your brand represents. Having something outdated on your website looks unprofessional, and your potential clients could rule you out of their options because of it. I know it can be difficult to be working, creating content, have a life, and be updating your channels, but you’re expected to stay up to date with the news, so you better stay up to date with your company’s presence. Truly don’t have the time? You know what to do.
#8. DON’T try to appeal to everyone
Your goal should not be to attract everyone to your brand. If your brand is being true to you, then you will attract the right clients, and repel the wrong ones. You don’t necessarily want to work for everyone right? and you are not right for everyone in return. You must stay true to you and your brand and know what you offer and what you don’t. If you keeping doing you, your customers will come.
#9. Contribute Elsewhere
Of course, it is most important to keep your website and social presence updated and fresh, but it is also a great idea to be present on other websites! Maybe you follow a really great blog that gives you a ton of your business inspiration. Reach out and see if you could guest write an article! In the same regard, reach out to a podcast that you listen to and see if they would be interested in having you as a guest. Additionally, head to forums or discussions of common questions in your industry that you can answer. Comment in a respectful and professional manner and sign with your name, title, and company (and probably a link to your website). It’s a great idea to get your name and company out there, especially in places other than your own website.
#10. Allow Room For Growth
You know how some actors and actresses get typecast into movies and shows and always play the same role? Don’t do that to your company. You are who you are and you have a set of skills that can help many others, but always be taking on projects that diversify your portfolio and show how versatile those skills are. Additionally, you never want to stop learning, so leaving the door open for growth will be very helpful. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into something super specific, soar like an eagle and take on the projects that scare you, they will only help.
Once you have your company strategy designed, whether you’re already in business or not, it is time to put the pieces together and create a uniform brand. Every type of company will be different, of course, but there are certain guidelines to follow that run across the board.
Here is your brand guideline checklist:
choose your colors (2-3 primary, and 4 secondary that follow a similar theme)
best to choose one color, then a variation, either lighter or darker of it, and additionally a shade, white, grey, brown or black.
choose you colors and stick to them; they will be your basis to everything.
along with your colors, identify a few textures you will use and stick to that will give an overall feel to your brand (distressed wood, brick, galvanized metal, etc)
Your Logo Means everything!
Find a symbol that relates to your brand and displays what you want to convey to your audience.
this doesn’t mean finding a mascot, though that does work for some companies, but rather something that conveys a feeling.
color scheme needs to stay consistent
create a few variations of your logo that can accommodate size restrictions online, overlay on images, work for social media profile photos, and overall be a recognizable icon.
Choose some stock photography or hire a photographer and gather images that convey that same feeling across all channels.
You’ll want your website and social media to be filled with imagery that directs back to the brand.
in everything you do, you need to be consistent to build a loyal audience
think of any huge brand: Apple, Starbucks, Nike, McDonalds, Pottery Barn, etc…. They all have a consistent model whether you are online or in any physical space across the world! They know that to keep an audience you need to deliver what the audience wants and knows, and that is consistency. Someone is in an area they don’t know and they want a cup of coffee, they go to a Starbucks because they know it will be clean, have the drinks they want, wifi, outlets, parking etc.
Find out what your audience will love you for and stick to it!