A little over 5 years ago I took my first leap into entrepreneurship by opening up an online jewelry shop. At the time I was so desperate for money that my only goal was to get my products out into the world as fast as possible so that I could begin making money. I had seen the word "branding" in many of the business books I had skimmed through but figured it was something I could wait on once I began making money. Branding was just a pretty logo and website, right? Little did I know that branding went a lot deeper than just how my business looked online. I had to learn the hard way that branding is actually was the foundation of my business and how others would perceive me.
Without taking the time to consider my message, my brand's purpose or even the people I wanted to serve, the journey to making that brand profitable was hard and nearly impossible. Which eventually forced me to start over from scratch after wasting tons of money and about a year's worth of time.
So if no one else gets it, I get it. Your ultimate goal is to begin making money from your online business so that you can speed up the process to eventually quitting your full-time job, spending more time with your family or maybe even traveling the world. The issue is though, so many creatives make the exact same mistake that I made. They want to begin making money without first building the brand or even proving to their audience that they know what they are talking about. And then they wonder why everything they create dosnt get the results they desire.
The #1 thing you need to know about monetizing your brand is that you can not successfully make money if you have failed to build an actual brand first.
The majority of your focus at the beginning should be on:
- POSITIONING yourself
- Getting a clear on the PEOPLE you want to target
- Showing those people the PURPOSE behind what you do
- Gaining your audience's TRUST
Now this doesn't mean that you can’t create or launch a product shortly after launching your business it means you need to have a solid foundation to back up what you’re selling before you try to sell it.
Here’s what you should be focusing on.
POSTIONING & PURPOSE.
Branding yourself or your business means positioning yourself as an expert. The goal is to be known as the go-to person in your industry, the person who has all of the info on a certain topic and who can be trusted to provide actionable and relatable resources. This means you need to be confident in consistently showing your audience what you do and what you have to offer. It also means not being afraid to give your knowledge away. Another huge part of effectively building your brand is getting clear on your brands purpose or the big WHY around what you do. this message tells your audience what you stand for & what they can expect from you moving forward. It also helps to attract an audience who has the same values or purpose. Here's what you can do to begin sharing your purpose and positioning yourself as an expert in your industry:
Consistently share strategies, advice or free content around what your audience should know about your niche.
Study your area of expertise so that you can stay on top of your game and consistently be able to help your audience
Make sure that everything on your website, social media or anything associated with your business clearly states what you do and how you help your audience.
Look for different opportunites to connect with your audience and share your purpose with them. Think webinars or other tyoes of live events.
Every single product or service you create will be based around your target audience's biggest pain points. Which is why it's so important for you to get clear on what they need from you before you start creating anything. The last thing you want to do is create an offering that your audience doesn't need or has no interest in purchasing. Getting clear on who you want to target will also let you know where you should be marketing your product as well. For example, if your audience is mainly using Instagram then you know that's where you should be focusing a majority of your efforts.
ACTION STEP: Use this worksheet to begin figuring out exactly who your target audience is.
There is no lie that content is king. Not only because it can help to bring in consistent income into your business but it also builds trust between you and your audience. The free content you provide to your people shows proof that you know what you're talking about which in return encourages your audience to buy. If they find your free content to be valuable then they will have no problem investing their money into you.
Everything that you create in your brand whether it be blog posts, videos, newsletters or social media should be:
- Relevant - Meaning it's geared towards your audience's biggest pain points and is also aligned with your brand.
- Actionable - Your content should provide your audience with action steps that they can take after they consume your content and implement it into their brand.
ACTION STEP: Go through your content and update any pieces that are not relevant or actionable. Remember you want to give your best to really begin gaining your audiences trust.
The bottom line is, if you want to get serious about making money in your business then you absolutely need to be serious about building the brand first. If you're ready to learn more about building a solid foundation for your business and also take the steps towards properly monetizing it, I currently have 6 spots open for my three month one-on-one coaching program The 90 Day Blueprint. Click the button below to learn more and to reserve your spot!