How to Create a Small Business Brand (By Avoiding Comparison)
How to Avoid Comparison
And Build an Authentic Small Business Brand
No matter what type of industry you’re in, there’s going to be competition. There will always be another bakery, another photography studio or another business consultant. The good news is, there will never be another YOU. Setting yourself apart from the competition is as easy as ditching the comparisons and exploring how to create a small business brand.
The Comparison Trap
Comparison is nearly impossible to avoid. Whether we’re comparing our parenting styles to our friends’, comparing the size of our homes or paychecks or comparing our businesses to other businesses, it’s human nature to want to know how we stack up.
Some comparison can be healthy, especially for your business and small business marketing. It’s smart to check up on your competitors and to stay on top of what they’re doing. You might get new ideas of your own or spot a gap in the market where you could step in with your small business brand.
Comparison becomes an issue, however, when it stops us from being our authentic selves and from creating authentic small business branding.
Doing something just because your competitor is doing it - whether it be running a sale or promotion or joining a new social media channel - doesn’t improve your small business marketing or boost your sales - it simply muddies the water and confuses your prospective customers. And it certainly doesn’t make you stand out.
So should you do instead? Think about your ideal customer and their wants and needs, not those of your competitors.
Building an Authentic Small Business Brand
If your top competitor has an active Facebook group, posts to Snapchat and uses Instagram ads to find new clients, should you? Not necessarily.
While these tactics very well may work for your business, it’s important to make marketing decisions based on what your existing customers - and your IDEAL customer - wants and needs. Making your marketing decisions based on what your competitors are doing will only make you exactly like your competitor.
Instead, take some time to really explore what your current customers care about, which social networks they use and what their interests are. It’s also important to think about your ideal customer - the one you want but don’t already have - and how to reach them.
Small Business Brand Research
To do this type of research and preparation, take these simple steps:
- Review your current social media analytics: While posting to Facebook and Instagram, for example, can be great ways to engage your clients and boost your sales, it’s important to not do so blindly. If they’re not producing results, then they’re not worth your time. Make sure you’re using Facebook business pages and a business account for Instagram and set aside time each week to review your analytics. Take a look at which types of posts result in the most link clinks, likes and engagement and which do not give you the results you want. Find out if there is a time of day when posts perform best. Use this information to inform your posting decisions going forward and see better results! The same kind of work can also be done on Twitter and YouTube.
- Explore Google Analytics: If you’re not using Google Analytics to take a deep dive into your website traffic data, now is the time! This is a super powerful tool to tell you which of your marketing efforts are paying off. Review your referrals to see where your visitors are coming from. If you’re spending hours each week posting to Facebook, but these posts are not resulting in customers visiting your site (and spending money!), then this may not be the best use of your time. You may need to either adjust your Facebook strategy or consider doing away with Facebook altogether. Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t mean you have to - do what works best for your business!
- Build a personalized buyer persona: The best way to get away from constant comparisons to your competitors is to determine what sets you - and your clients - apart by creating a buyer persona. Forget about your competitors for a minute, and instead, think about your ideal client. I mean REALLY think. Give this client a name, think about their job, their family life, their beliefs and interests and their challenges. Think about their budget, their spending habits and their use of social media. Then, think about the best ways to reach this client. If your ideal client is a middle-aged professional woman who earns $100,000 annually, is she spending time on Snapchat? Probably not. Click here to access a handy buyer persona template that will make outlining your ideal client easy!
Putting Your Plan Into Action
Once you’ve gotten away from the comparison trap and identified what works best for your small business brand (and no one else’s!), it’s time to put these practices into action. Of course, that’s easier said than done when you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner and time is of the essence!
If you’re interested in learning more about how I can help take some important marketing tasks off your plate, send me an email and set up a time to talk! I’d love to learn more about your business and how I can help get you back to the work you truly love!