When we first started our business, we thought we had to hide behind some fancy agency name and persona. We kept our website uber professional, always signed our emails with “Cheers” and “Best”, and would never ever share our personal lives on our social media or blog.
We were under the impression that in order to have “real” business, it had to be more than just about us. What we quickly learned was that the opposite is true - people weren’t hiring us because of how professional our logo looked or how fancy our invoices were, they were hiring us because of us. Discovering that we were at the heart of our business has completely transformed the way we have grown our brand.
At the end of the day for many of us small business owners and entrepreneurs, WE are our business. People aren’t hiring our businesses, they’re hiring us - which is why it’s incredibly important to make sure every aspect of your business best reflects your own authentic brand.
Today, we want to encourage you to marry your business with your personality and authenticity. It’s time we stop hiding behind fancy logos and start building businesses that represent the heart of what we love, what we do or create, and who we serve.
Here are our top 5 ways to infuse authentic branding into every aspect of your marketing plan:
Keep your brand consistent across all channels
Once you determine what your brand represents, you’ll want to make sure your branding is consistent across all of your marketing and digital channels. For example, if you build a brand that shares your love of adventure and the outdoors (like we do), you’d want people to see that same messaging, images, and theme on your website, your social media profiles, your email responses, etc.
One helpful way to keep content consistent on your social media feeds specifically is to come up with “categories” that represent your brand. So if you want to post on Instagram 5x a week, you could write a post that relates to each of your 5 categories. That way, your followers are falling in love and connecting with all aspects of your brand.
Craft a personalized email signature
Let’s be real: the inbox struggle is real. We write tons of emails and responses every single day. It’s one of the most frequent ways we communicate with our inquiries and clients, so why not infuse our personality and brand into each and every one?
Of course, you’ll want to write in a way that best represents your brand (are you super formal? Or casual with lots of exclamation points and emojis?). Another easy way to do this is to craft a branded email signature.
Here’s an example of ours:
Just by receiving my email you can now put a face to the name, learn 3 key things about our brand (digital marketers, full-time RVers, believers), and even opt in to a 5-Day Challenge!
For our wedding vendor friends, your email signature would be a great place to highlight any recent publications you were featured in!
Here’s a super easy tutorial that we used to build ours.
Create a relevant, valuable opt in
Thinking of an opt in for your business can be a little daunting at first, but fear not! It’s a lot easier to create once you answer a few questions:
- What problems do your ideal clients or customers have?
- How can you provide a solution to that problem?
- How can you infuse your branding into the solution to set your business apart?
Let’s take a wedding photographer as an example. Most likely, the problem is that your ideal brides need someone to photograph their wedding right? But let’s dive a little deeper. What fears and hopes do they have? Are they worried about finding someone who will make them feel comfortable? That will make posing feel natural? That will capture all of the little moments in between?
This is where knowing your brand AND knowing your ideal client is super important. The solution you provide will be totally catered to it. Using the example above, let’s say your solution is to provide a checklist of “10 Things to Know Before Booking Your Wedding Photographer.” This guide could not only answer their questions, but it can highlight your unique brand as the solution.
Your answers and the solution you provide should ooze with your brand and personality! This is your chance to not only build your list with the right kinds of leads but also introduce them to your brand, highlight your expertise, and ideally convert them into inquiries and clients.
Send a branded welcome email
This is such a simple change to make, but it can have a huge impact on how you infuse your branding into your business (and how you connect your audience!).
Many times, when someone joins our email lists, we send a very basic “thanks for joining” email or simply just a confirmation email including whichever resource they opted in for. If we leave it at that, we’re leaving a lot on the table.
No matter how someone joins your email list (you are building an email list, right?), you want to send a welcome email that goes beyond the norm. This is your chance to introduce yourself further, share some of your personality, set expectations for the content you create and share, and even ask them to engage or reply back to you.
At the end of our welcome email, we ask two questions: one fun one about a bucket list travel item (aligns with our brand of travel and adventure) and one business-related one about a marketing struggle (aligns with our brand of digital marketing experts).
Build funnels that serve and sell
And now, the best tip for last! This is a big one - building smart funnels that align with your business, brand, and marketing strategy is one of the best ways to scale your business and streamline your inquiry process.
We’re going to assume that if you’re building a business, you want to sell something. You also want to do it in YOUR own way. Which means you need to infuse your brand into EVERY piece of your sales funnel. From your ads, to your landing page experience, to your email sequence and sales pages - everything should reflect a cohesive brand. It should also be uniquely yours.
Our first sales funnel started with a free 5-Day Challenge. It wasn’t fancy, but it was valuable and it was totally “us.” We were dressed in our workout clothes (aka our everyday uniform), we used a gorilla tripod to secure our camera to a tree, and we filmed our entire video sequence in the middle of the woods.
And people LOVED it.
All of the emails we received in response to those videos were that people felt like they actually knew who we were and like they were friends with us - and that built up a ton of trust and authority in their eyes. Infusing your brand and personality into every step of your funnel will help you build the like, know, and trust factors with your audience.
Think back to your opt in from tip #3. What’s the next step in the funnel, and how can you make it your own? Does your email series scream your brand - so much so that someone would know it’s from you without ever seeing the “from” line in the email? Do you share content and value that provides solutions to YOUR specific audience’s problems? Do you build those like, know, and trust factors? And ultimately, do you invite them into a sale in an authentic way?
If sales funnels overwhelm you, we highly recommend grabbing a good old pen and paper and starting from the end, moving backwards. What ultimate goal do you have for someone who joins your list? Then work backwards. What value and information do you want to and need to share to lead them there? And most importantly: how can you do it in a way that reflects your business’ brand in the most authentic way possible?
Guest Blog by: Jordan Jones
Jordan Jones is a digital marketer, full-timer RVer, and soon-to-be mama! She runs her company, Pete + Jordan, with her husband as they travel the country full-time with their two german shepherds. Jordan helps wedding professionals grow their business, generate new leads, and book more of their dream brides through Facebook ads + smart marketing funnels.