When I was in my corporate job I dreamt of freedom. Of being able to take breaks when I wanted to, to go to bed early and have a picture perfect morning routine without a commute and haphazardly applying my makeup.
I was one of the lucky ones that got off of the corporate hamster wheel early and built a business that I am so proud of in a very short amount of time.
Being a 20-something 6-figure entrepreneur, I’ve been asked a lot how I built it. People want to follow someone else’s model and have concrete steps to follow.
But, as every entrepreneur knows, everyone’s path is unique and different strategies work for different people. However, if there was one tip I could share based on what helped me, it would be focus on building brand affinity now.
Brand affinity is the highest level of the consumer-brand relationship. It’s brand loyalty, but on a deeper level. It’s essential to grow your brand.
Brand affinity is built on an EMOTIONAL connection between the brand and the consumer. It’s based on the sharing of common values. It’s the ultimate connection. It’s driven by ADVOCACY, not just awareness. So, how do you go from brand awareness, to loyalty, to affinity?
- Find your niche and target audience (make it specific!)
The more targeted you are the easier it will be to “speak to” your ideal client. When you have a crystal clear vision of who your target audience is and what they care about, you can build your brand around their pain points, interests and needs. When people feel heard, seen and important that want more, that is where the magic happens.
- Be yourself!
Show your personality, be authentic and share your brand story. Humanizing your content naturally builds a deeper emotional connection. If you haven’t read Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller, it is a must read about this topic. No one really cares about that graphic you spent hours on, they care about YOU so give them something they actually want to see that feels real.
- Find a problem, and solve it better than anyone else in the market
Paint the picture of your audience’s life before your service or product, and how it improves after working with you. Just like with number 1, you need to get inside their head and figure out everything and anything that you can. Don’t settle for demographics, do some market research and then work your butt off to solve their issues with them.
- Build Credibility and Authority
No one cares how cute your logo is or how great you say you are. They want proof. Using strategic public relations, social proof and word-of-mouth. You can become a go-to expert in your industry. There is no need to pay for fancy advertising, just turn your clients into walking billboards. If you do a good job, they will be singing your praises to everyone they know.
- Stay connected.
Listen and engage with your audience constantly. In the DMs, comments, Facebook groups, you name it. Keep them in the loop and merge them into the brand.
If you follow these steps you will come out the other side with a stronger relationship with your audience, consistent leads, increased referrals and word of mouth, authority, credibility and revenue that you didn’t think was achievable.