In my day job creating authentic brands, while building one of my own over at Tall Guides Magazine, I’m always juggling tracking trends, going to events and hanging out with fellow entrepreneurs who are making things happen in their respective spaces. I’m addicted to learning and always soaking up ridiculous volumes of information. This information not only loses its value if I don’t make time to take a step back and digest it all but it can also send my brain into overload, which when spinning plates like a circus act can be fatal to productivity so here’s my top 5 tips for anyone looking to start up their own business and make it a success:
1. Consider your market
If you’re planning to bring a new product or service to market, do you know who you are talking to? Who is going to become a loyal customer? Look at what you’re offering, do your research and carefully match it to the market that fits. When you’ve figured that out, start talking, testing and asking questions to see if the demographic that you think are going to be your customers, really are. Unless your circumstances are an exception to the rule, it’s likely that you’ll be starting small but small steps in the right direction always lead to bigger things so it’s important to see how global influences impact your market.
2. Search the worldwide web for inspiration
We have been gifted with information at the click of a button or a swipe of the screen so scour the internet for brand and design inspiration, making sure your company stands out against the competition. Get to know the key industry players – the easiest way to kick start this is to look for great Instagram accounts in your space. The streets are always a great source of inspiration for original styling and for seeing how current trends are being interpreted by tastemakers.
3. Do your research
I’ve already mentioned this in point 1 but the value of research shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to creating a brand. Knowing what’s hot and what’s already on the market helps you to differentiate yourself. Some of the best places to do market research are offline – retail stores, exhibitions and events. They’re a great place to meet other people and having a strong network is always a plus.
4. Define your brand
Do you know what your brand blueprint is? In looking at your brand foundations, it’s important to look at both the niche, within the niche, within the niche; as well as taking your mind on a journey beyond the barriers of what you think is possible before coming back to the middle and designing solid foundations for your brand. By doing this, you’ll have established the perfect place from which to grow.
5. Turn up the volume on your social media game
One of the most effective ways for new brands to get noticed is on social media. Not only is it one of the most effective ways to market on a budget but you get to showcase your product and get honest feedback from your viewers. When you’ve got the right product or service, combined with a strong aesthetic, you can take your followers on the journey with you. When you’re inspired, they’re inspired. If you discover something worth sharing, they’ll discover it too and when you create something that has a value to them, they support you and become loyal customers.
Start with who you are, not what you do. When a brand has defined itself, it can identify collaborations, initiatives and causes that are in perfect alignment with its authentic brand story.
If you have any tips to add on starting your own brand, I’d love to hear about it and I challenge you to do it in 140 characters or less – #TweetMe!