Managing a business isn’t easy, and as your organisation grows it’s common to find yourself spending more time managing your team and less time working on the business itself. And, as a business grows it’s easy for teams to become disconnected and the overall vision blurred.
Your industry is forever changing and new competitors are entering the market. To make sure you stay ahead of your rivals, it’s important to be planning ahead whilst making sure your team understands the core vision of the company.
Perhaps your business has grown exponentially in the last few months, and with the right staff and the extra capital, you’re now ready to scale the organisation to new heights, but you’re worried it could unbalance your structure.
Maybe you feel your industry has out-grown your business, and you’re looking to freshen up your presence to attract more attention from a wider pool of clients and outshine competitors.
No matter the reason, if you're not feeling and happy and confident about your brand there are steps you can take to change that.
We’ve put together 5 practical ways that you and your team can raise your company’s profile and make valuable – and profitable – connections in the process.
1. Speak to a branding specialist - again
Even if you already invested in professional branding, you may benefit from catching up with your branding consultant. He or she will carry out a review of your logo design and your other marketing assets to make sure that your brand still accurately reflects the direction you’re heading in.
If your brand and your messaging are misaligned, or you find that you’re bored or frustrated with the way your company is being portrayed, don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board and come up with something new that inspires and excites you. Your brand is what is going to give you the ‘edge’ over your competitors, it makes sense to invest time and money into getting it right.
2. Educate your internal team
How can you expect your customers to fully believe in your brand if your staff aren’t on board with your vision, too?
Make sure your people fully understand your brand values. You may find it useful to share a basic brand guide with your team; you could create a document that outlines your mission statement, your company ethos, and perhaps even your brand design guidelines for good measure.
Better still, take a couple of hours out of the working day, gather everyone in the same room, and deliver a short workshop that discusses your brand and your wider company goals in more detail. It’s a great way to strengthen relationships and encourage trust in your organisation, and staff will also have the opportunity to ask you any questions.
3. Revisit your marketing strategy
You probably developed a marketing plan when you initially set up your business – but does it reflect where you are right now?
Review your strategy to see if your marketing strategy is still working for you. If you’re not generating the results you want with your current marketing mix, look at ways to change it up. For example, if you’re not getting enough engagement from your email marketing campaigns, consider switching your focus to social media marketing instead to build an audience in a more organic way. Similarly, if you need to generate more enquiries from your website to hit your new sales targets, think about investing in a strong SEO or paid search campaign.
4. Collaborate with influencers
Instead of trying to reach thousands of customers yourself, why not join forces with someone who already has a prominent presence in your industry?
The first step towards a successful influencer marketing campaign is to identify the people who have significant power over the opinions of your target audience. Instagrammers with over 500,000 social followers tend to be given ‘influencer’ status; bloggers and YouTube vloggers with a similar reach could also help you get your message out to the masses. However, micro influencers – those with less followers, but just as much power in their niche – can also create fantastic opportunities for brands with big ideas but less of a budget.
Simply email or DM the person you want to work with, then negotiate a partnership that will result in loads of great promo for your brand in return for products, services or, in some cases, a flat influencer fee. Tools such as Tapinfluence and Upfluence can also help you handle connections, manage multiple influencer campaigns, and monitor your results.
5. Work on your personal brand
You’re the driving force behind your business, so you need to carefully curate your own personal brand. If employees, suppliers or prospective clients search for you online, you need to make sure that the information they find complements your company’s presence. Ultimately, you need to establish yourself as someone they’ll want to do business with.
First of all, invest in professional headshots to show everyone that you’re serious about your corporate image. Then, set up a profile page on your company website that talks about your skills, experience and achievements in more detail. Visitors will love the chance to get to know you better, and if you add in a little wit and a smattering of humour, you’ll establish yourself as a business personality as opposed to just a business owner.
Attending trade shows and events as a keynote speaker is a great way to build your personal reputation further, and you’ll make useful contacts by regularly attending local networking events.
When it comes to taking your business to the next level, the advice we’ve given you here is just the tip of the iceberg. Never be afraid to explore new ways of expanding on your company’s image, and remember to evolve with your marketplace to avoid becoming irrelevant or outdated. The most successful brands never rest on their laurels!