Contrary to popular belief, creating a brand means more than a pretty Instagram page or a cute mobile optimized website. It’s having (or developing) a unique value proposition for your business, personality, product offering or service. In simpler terms… it’s your ability to stand out (amongst the crowd) and communicate your brand message effectively.

When building a strong brand identity there are keys to developing visibility, having influence, and converting followers into customers! It doesn’t matter what industry or niche market you appeal to, there will always be competition and sometimes even market saturation – Neither of which means that you can’t make your mark through effective branding… as long as you’re prepared to think outside the box.

I’m sure you’re thinking that it sounds easier said than done. I understand. I was exactly where you are right now, trying everything to build an engaged audience and brand awareness. And while it’s not rocket science, there are a few things that you need to know. Which is why I’m sharing my top 6 strategies building your brand!

{You’re going to want to print this one!}

1 – Safe is Brand Death

Treading in the tried and true lane, is not going to get you where you want to be.

If you want to see me uncomfortable, utter this sentence: “This is the way we’ve always done it”. Whenever I hear that statement, I immediately want to say “So, tell me, how’s that been working for you?”. Here’s why: When you’re vying for attention in a highly competitive market, you will have to take some risks.  There is no way around it. Treading in the tried and true lane is not going to get you where you want to be. It’s time to get outside your comfort zone, develop a solid strategy and go hard!

2 – Reinvent the Wheel

You’ve been following tips that you got from an un-vetted blog post you found online, but you’re not really connecting with your target audience or seeing the results you expected… right? Maybe it’s time to switch it up… maybe it’s even time to change the game. Always remember that industry standards generally follow the original model – meaning that they don’t usually adapt or change fast enough to keep up with the times. They’re authored by others that did it right WHEN they did it.

Branding is time sensitive. It doesn’t mean that the standard is wrong or ineffective, but it doesn’t mean that their creators are any smarter or more creative than you. Your ‘different’ way of thinking may be the catalyst to putting your brand front and center. So, it may be time to buck the system, and reinvent the whole damn wheel!

3 – Know Your Strengths

You can’t out-Oprah Oprah….

Meaning, you’ll need to have a laser focus on what differentiates your brand; and then, stay in your lane. Deliver only your very best; whether that’s your product offering, digital content or your personality. When you are the BEST at HOW you do what you do, you garner attention and praise for your strengths; instead of focusing on what you lack!

When you are the BEST at HOW you do what you do, you garner attention and praise for your strengths; instead of focusing on what you lack! Click To Tweet

tips for building a personal brand

4 – Get Clear on What Your Audience Wants

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…” – Theodore Roosevelt

This quote is music to the entrepreneur’s ear.

While feedback is important, it’s whose feedback you’re concerned with that matters. Internet trolls and anonymous comments don’t count. To get to the heart of your customer utilize tools such as surveys, polls, and feedback solicitations to gauge how you are performing with your target audience.

5 – Forget Evergreen Be Brand New

Ask yourself: When was the last time that I did something for the first time – to make my brand stand out?!?!

Don’t make the mistake of getting stuck doing the same ole same ole. Have you mastered FaceBook ads?… then, it’s time to try your hand at InstaStory’s. Do you have Twitter driving crazy traffic to your site?… then, it’s a great time to implement a Pinterest strategy.

When you’re just getting started and have a limited budget or the reputation of your budding business is on the line, new can be scary. Do your research, before trying something that may not have originally been a part of the plan. Be prepared to do it right, but don’t shy away from being the first to do something – it could lead to major market domination or an additional untapped audience – before the competition even knew it was an option.

Be prepared to do it right, but don’t shy away from being the first to do something Click To Tweet

6 – Stay Away from Your Comfort-zone

We are a sports family and football is our game of choice (Go Falcons!). Being unpredictable is just as impactful to your branding as it is on the field. Think about it this way, the most acclaimed players are creative, they’re problem solvers that can switch it up in a matter of seconds.

They keep their competition guessing.

Predictability is like a comfort-zone for your brand. Click To Tweet

Predictability is like a comfort-zone for your brand. That may work well for the medical industry, the legal system, or even financial institutions, but chances are you’re not in any of those fields. To be the best, you have to keep your customers wanting more, over and over again. What better way to do that than to keep your branding efforts fresh and out of the box. The element of surprise will make you a trendsetter and leave the competition playing catch up… to you!

Have you used unconventional methods to launch or establish your brand? Share in the comments or tweet me @hiTiffanyNicole