Business
February 17, 2021

The branding guide for entrepreneurs

Giving you a head start

By Leo Schwarz

Ashtrey

Your brand is more than colors and design templates for your business—it’s how your customers perceive your value in the world. When developing a personal brand, you need to think creatively and strategically, finding the balance between who you are and what your customers want.

In other words, branding is a complex process that leaves a lot of entrepreneurs lagging. Here are some essential branding tips to help you get on track as an entrepreneur.

Clarify Your Brand

Set aside time to sit down without distractions and clarify your brand. You can work through this exercise by asking yourself a series of questions about your business and your role as an entrepreneur. The questions should include things like:

  • Who are you as an entrepreneur?
  • What is your company’s role in the world?
  • What value do you bring to the table?
  • How are you different from the competition?
  • Why should your customers choose you?
  • What does your business value?
  • What is your mission?

Writing out answers to these questions can help you clarify what you hope to accomplish and create your brand’s foundation. You can also work with a top branding company to better understand the goals for your brand.

Know Your Niche

Once you’ve taken some time to explore your business at a deeper level, it’s time to get clarity on your niche. Even broad, diverse companies like Coca-Cola have a niche or ideal customer that they target with their marketing—if people outside that niche become customers, it’s a bonus.

Identify your ideal customer. What’s their demographic? What do they value? Create a customer avatar that you “consult” before releasing any marketing materials or product offerings. Every effort you make in your brand strategy should circle back to them.



Create a Consistent Brand Identity

Once you’ve created the intangible aspects of your brand, it’s time to get to the fun part: the visuals. Your brand identity is the collection of typography, logos, color schemes, etc. that become synonymous with your business. These are the features that spark a connection with your audience, creating recognition, and eventually, loyalty.

Be specific on your color codes and designs, creating a set of brand standards that outline how these features will translate to marketing materials. These are the standards and details you’ll use with services like Catdi Printing to create flyers, business cards, and stationery that are all in alignment with your brand.

Develop Your Bio and Pitch

For entrepreneurs, personal branding goes hand-in-hand with business branding. Creating a bio and pitch is essential for connecting your experience to your business and clearly identifying what you have to offer.

Your bio shouldn’t just be a recap of what you’ve learned over the years — it should spark a connection. Use this blurb to talk about your experience, but focus on how you bring value to the people you meet. Use personal anecdotes to humanize your bio and create commonalities with the reader.

Your pitch should be a brief snapshot of who you are and what your business offers. It’s meant to be a conversation starter, generating intrigue that encourages the listener to say, “tell me more.”

Clarify Your Goals

Now that you have all the pieces of your brand in place, it’s time to put them to work. Set clear, actionable, attainable goals for your business to start building your brand awareness. These intentions could be anything from revenue goals to gaining social media followers— whatever your business needs to start moving forward.

Develop a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan takes your brand and your goals to make a strategy for accomplishing them. Consider how you’ll reach your customers and what steps you’ll take to create an effective sales funnel for your business.

With these simple steps, you can build your brand and create a connection with your audience.