One thing I am very familiar with is working with a small budget to get things done in my business. Even though they say African American women are now the largest growing group of entrepreneurs, the capital that is need to fund a business is usually limited to savings accounts, bootstrapping and family/friend loans compared to our counterparts. One of the main things small business need to leverage when they are on a limited budget is building their brand awareness. This is something in the last two years I have become very focused and strategic about.
Who Are You
This is the one thing you really want to note when building brand awareness for you and your business. There are so many business similar to yours you must know what separates you from the pack. When it comes to sharing how ICB Consults is different than other women led consulting companies I point out that
- I have owned a boutique before
- Started my company from scratch
- Know how to leverage limited funds
- Build a loyal customer based that fueled high sales
- High value on relationship verse making money off clients
There are other things I mention when people reach out to me regarding consulting. In addition, to that I always share with people to do their research on me. Don’t just give me your money make sure my words I share on social media, newsletter, blog or conference all align. My goal is to help a million women through entrepreneur by providing them right tools, resources and information they need at free to low cost.
Cohesive Of Brand
The other day, I was going through my emails and noticed maybe 5 or so small business owners had sent out email campaigns. One of the huge differences between the ones who got click thru’s from me and those who end up in the trash was simply the design. Those who just through a newsletter campaign together that did not look similar to their brand did not get click throughs. They did not spend the time to make sure that their brand was cohesive across the board. The ones who I did end up clicking through and shopping even made sure that it felt the same as if I was on their social media, blog or website. No matter the platform you are on your customers or future customers should be able to identify you. Here are a couple things to note when making your company cohesive to build brand awareness:
- Color Scheme
- Langauge (how you talk)
- Imagery + Visuals
- Graphic Design
If people cannot tell your brand apart from the next one you are not building brand awareness that helps you stand out in an over-saturated market. When working with one of my clients she wanted her product line to be more luxurious and also wanted people to stop thinking she was selling honey. So, when she redid her brand imagery she made sure it had a luxurious natural body line feel that her audience could differentiate her in the market place.
Sponsoring of Events
One of the best things that happen to my business when it was an online boutique was Twitter Tuesday. This was an event that happened every Tuesday at a local restaurant/bar downtown Dallas. The first couple times I went I just networked with other people who attended. Then I started following others on Twitter and then really engaging them. Then one day I approached the event planner asking to host a Twitter Tuesday. This helped me get some low cost promotion and marketing for my business. Getting your company out in the local community is a great way to build brand awareness. Especially if you live in a relativity small town. Even if you live in a larger town its about finding the right events to sponsor. I have advise clients not to do certain pop up shops or vending opportunities because I felt their ideal client was not going to be there. That is what you have to remember, an event planner can boast that 5,000 people were in attendance last year doesn’t mean they are your customer.
If you’re wanting to establish brand awareness for your business I highly suggest starting small making sure that you know who your business is and what is not. Then secondly really taking the time to make sure no matter how someone finds you your company is the same across the board. Those are small things with huge impacts.