Stephen Hart is the host of the Trailblazers.fm podcast and is also a digital brand strategist. Stephen enhances marketing and communications for a global software firm by coaching individuals and businesses to improve their own brand. Through his experience, Stephen is seeing the need for people to address their brand presence and their digital footprint. It’s important for your brand to represent your product well and this is done by your prospects associating your online presence with a reputation of quality.
People today are more digitally sophisticated. Employers and consumers often end up going to Google or asking Alexa and Siri for answers to their questions. The same is true when consumers are looking for products or services. They research and ask relevant questions using social platforms before making a final purchasing decision. People look at company websites, verified reviews online, the company’s social platform, and their customer service and support.
People want confirmation online long before they ever speak to their first salesperson. There are many touchpoints that consumers look for and by the time they make the decision to meet a product or service rep, most of them have already made up their minds. Ignoring the digital part of things is one of the mistakes in marketing campaigns.
Five key areas of branding
Branding is critical because it’s a visual representation that lets the consumer know what you and your company are all about. Stephen has five key elements that entrepreneurs should consider to define their personal brand. These 5 elements that will help your digital presence include:
- Mood and vibe
- Voice or the tone of your written content
Colors in branding
Color is important because it’s one of the elements that offer people the first impressions about your brand presence. Research has shown that people make a judgment within 90 seconds based on color tone alone. This is especially important for salespeople and business professionals with a global touch who are dealing with people from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds.
There are websites that can help you decide what color palette works best with your vision. Think about two or three colors that set the tone and an additional one or two colors you might use as an accent. The website can help you work out these different combinations. Mistakes in marketing campaigns happen when you put too many colors on your site and it clashes.
The hex code is a hexadecimal code that refers to the specific color that you want to choose. You can use this hex code to have a consistent color for your brand. You can document your six-digit color code throughout different platforms so you’re consistently getting the right color and shade. This will come in handy when making PowerPoint presentations, images in Canva, and more. Just type in the hex code and your color will automatically appear.
Even beyond your website, the colors you should choose should carry into your social media. Use them when you create motivational graphics for your social media posts and other areas you want a digital footprint. You want to create a cohesive visual feel across all platforms. This trains people to think of you when they see your color combinations.
Be involved in building your brand
While it may be a good idea to have experts and professionals handle the execution of your branding campaign, it is equally important to be involved in building your personal brand. It’s important that the final product accurately and authentically reflects the message you want to portray. Suggest color and tone so you can give the experts a launching pad and a sense of the energy you’re trying to create.
Focus on the personality of your brand as well. What kind of message do you want to convey? If it’s hard to see with clarity, consider creating a visual mood board. Similar to a vision board, your mood board will be the place you can put images that capture the tone and the vibe of your business, and you. The more specific your vision is, the easier it will be for your marketing team to put a package together that will make your brand stand out from your competition.
Another thing to consider is the tone and the voice in which you write your copy throughout your website, social media, and marketing tools. Is it playful, technical, serious? Make sure you have a consistent voice that reads the same, across the board, to avoid consumer confusion about what they can expect from your business.
Optimize Your Profiles
Your social media accounts are mission-critical for your brand. With that in mind, make sure you optimize your profile. Use a profile picture that can be found on all platforms, duplicate your cover photos from your website, and use uniform fonts and colors to show consistency and professionalism.
Use your LinkedIn account to expand your network. For your profile, be strategic about how you use the different fields. Your summary, your positions, experience, and education, for example, should keep pointing back to your central message. Be mindful of keywords that are high on the search.
“Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing” episode resources
Stephen advises business owners to take care of the story you share online. Begin by creating a personal website and optimize your social channels. Take care of your personal brand and your digital footprints. He is having a free webinar on October 4th where he will talk about the things that he’s mentioned in this podcast. This is a digital brand workshop that Stephen is leading for individuals who are looking to maximize their personal brand. Avoid mistakes in marketing campaigns now!
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