Marketing is the equivalent of asking someone on a date. Branding is the reason they say yes.Ren Jones
Through our work with millions of solo and small businesses around the world, we’ve seen the same mistake: People want to brand their business and improve their brand, but they spend way too much time making things pretty, and not enough time getting clear about what their business does and what they offer.
Entrepreneurs will spend weeks choosing the perfect logo or hours tweaking the perfect image, but still don’t have a clear one-liner for their business. That’s because they think that pretty designs will strengthen their brand. This is only partly true.
Trust comes first: pretty designs come second. The first step to improve and brand your business is to build trust. Keep reading to learn how to build trust and improve your brand with the three C’s.
Branding is About Building Trust
At its core, branding is about building trust through your interactions with potential customers.
It’s simple: People buy products and services from companies they trust. It’s a lot like dating. For example, if someone asked you out on a date, the first thing you’d probably do is Google them. You’d check their social media – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn – and maybe their website (if they have one).
Now, how would you feel if this person had conflicting information or pictures?
You’d probably start to feel a bit uneasy. You expected this person to be a certain way, but they didn’t meet your expectations. You’d probably feel a bit confused, which would lead you to lose trust in this person. As a result, you probably wouldn’t go on the date, because you don’t trust that they are who they say they are.
The same happens when people interact with your business online. Every interaction is an opportunity to build trust with a potential customer.
The more trust you build, the more business you’ll get.
So how do you build trust and get someone to say YES to doing business with you?
The 3 C’s to Build Trust & Brand Your Business
#1: Be clear.
A confused mind always says no.Marie Forleo
True or false: When people visit your social media pages or website, do they know exactly what your business does and what’s in it for them?
Or are they too busy trying to make sense of your vague headline? All too often it’s the latter.
The number one way to build trust is by removing confusion.
When people interact with your business, you need to make sure they know exactly who you are and what you offer within the first 7 seconds. That’s why you need a one-liner. A one-liner is a 2- or 3-sentence elevator pitch for your business. It’s longer than a tagline but shorter than a descriptive paragraph A one-liner gives you a simple, clear, and memorable way to tell potential customers what you do and, more importantly, how “what you do” benefits them!
For example, a wellness coach may use something like this:
One-liner: Are you struggling to lose weight after your first pregnancy? I’ve designed several weight-loss programs that will help you lose weight without the stress, so you can focus on being the best mom for your baby.
– Part 1: New moms struggling to lose weight after pregnancy
– Part 2: Several weight loss programs that help you lose weight without stress
– Part 3: Be the best mom for your baby
It’s also important to add (if relevant) your contact information, so that people know how to get in touch with you.
To help you out, we’re sharing our free Ultimate 1 Hour Branding Cheat Sheet, which will walk you through the questions you need to ask yourself in order to come up with a one-liner.
The last part of building trust is to create your logo. This is the final step for a reason: People spend too much time on their logo.
Just create a logo (you can use an easy tool like Tailor Brands), and move on. You can always change it later 🙂
According to branding expert Donald Miller of Storybrand, a one-liner comes in 3 parts:
- Part 1: What’s the main problem or pain point that most of your customers face?
- Part 2: What’s your solution?
- Part 3: Talk about success. How will
your product or service make your customers’ lives better?
#2: Be consistent.
You only get a brand through interactions. By making promises and keeping them.Seth Godin
Now that you have your one-liner and logo, list all of the interactions you have
with your customers.
For example, these include:
– Social media
– Business cards
Now go through each one of these and make sure they include a high-quality image of your logo AND your one-liner + contact information. For example, some entrepreneurs put their one-liners on their email signatures and business cards. You want to make it crystal clear to anyone that interacts with your business who you are and what you do. Plus, it’s important to look professional with a high-quality image of your logo.
#3: Be competent.
Now that you have your one-liner and logo and you’ve placed them everywhere that you interact with customers, it’s time to take it a step further. Your one-liner and logo create clarity: people know who you are and what you can do for them. However, you don’t just want people to trust you. You also want people to view you and your business as experts. That’s because, when you become an expert, you become a trusted source.
And people buy from people and businesses they trust. So how do you become a trusted source? By creating valuable, insightful content. Content can mean many things; it can refer to a blog post, but also a social post or comment or even an email. The important thing is that you’re viewed as someone who consistently provides valuable information.
Some examples are:
– A post with statistics or research findings
– A post sharing misconceptions about a topic or idea
– A post sharing your opinion on a certain topic
(should be related to your business or industry)
These are all pieces of content that will establish your business as an expert online. Other ways to show up as an expert and boost your credibility are with:
– Testimonials – Sharing customer testimonials on your website or social media is a surefire way to get people to trust your and your business.
– PR – Few things build your credibility more than PR. PR means a third party source (a publication or blog) mentions you or your company. This instantly builds trust and expertise because people believe in objective sources. For example, you can say that you make the best cheesecake all you want, but the minute foodnetwork.com declares it, that’s when it
Over to You
Remember, branding is about building trust with your customers. Brand your business, create a one-liner, stay consistent with that message, and position yourself as an expert in order to foster relationships with your customers that get them to stick around.