If you are in the internet marketing business, the retail business, manufacturing, or nearly any other type of enterprise, then you must be concerned with your online identity and branding.
This should be the number one priority of any business that relies on the public to buy their products and services.
This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Please read my disclosure policy here.
But if you are new to business or even new to internet marketing, then you might not know exactly how to build your online identity and brand.
Here you will learn everything that you need to know to become a master of building your brand online.
What is an Online Identity & Brand?
The first question that must be answered before you can learn anything about the how’s and why’s of branding is what exactly an online identity is; as well as a brand.
Your online identity is the overall picture of your business online.
What you have to understand is that people don’t buy from companies, they buy from brands.
As a business, you are a faceless and soulless entity that wants to take their money.
But as a brand, you are a familiar presence and a trusted partner in their value proposition.
Your online identity encompasses everything that you are online; everything that people see, hear, or feel about your company.
Your brand includes both physical aspects like your logo and slogan, as well as less tangible ones such as your reputation, tone, and more.
Companies spend millions of dollars building their brand online.
But of course, this is unrealistic for most people.
As a small business owner, you can build a brand online that is going to give you the relationship that you need to turn a visitor into a buyer and then into a loyal customer.
Why is it Important?
There are several reasons why this is the case.
We’ve already discussed the most important ones, namely that your business success and bottom line depend upon them.
But an identity is especially important online because you need some kind of digital avatar in order to interact with searchers and online shoppers.
You need to create a brand that they will recognize and trust and then come back to again and again.
Your online identity is the most important thing that you will ever do online.
Are you ready to tap into your unique brilliance and start attracting the right audience? Click on the image below to take a Free Assessment to discover what makes you unique!
Setting Up Your Brand
Now we are going to discuss some of the things that go into creating an online brand that can represent your company.
We will start with the basics, much of which you may already know, and then move on to more advanced strategies.
Creating Your Physical Identity
The first thing that will discuss is creating your physical identity.
These are tangible things that people are able to look at or listen to.
Of course, since this is mostly digital content, they aren’t actually tangible, but it simply means that they are physically there.
Create An Amazing Logo
If you are just starting out in business, you are likely on a pretty tight budget.
When businesses don’t have a lot of money to spend, owners may try to design a logo themselves or find a discount graphic designer to create one.
But the logo is the most important part of your physical identity because it must be instantly recognizable and easily remembered by anyone who has seen it.
This means that it needs to be the right balance between simple and well-designed, with the right colors, shapes, and fonts.
Your physical identity also includes your website.
If your online identity is the face of your business online, then your website is your business address.
When people want to find out more about your company, as well as when they want to buy your products and services, they will visit your website.
Your website needs to display your branding, logo, description, and tell people what to look for when they come across you online.
Other Business Applications
Of course, physical branding also includes various other applications of that same logo such as social media profiles, business cards, letterheads, and basically, anywhere that your business is listed.
Your logo is just the outermost image of your company of course.
You also have pictures, descriptions, stories, and various other elements making up your physical identity online.
Creating Your Intangible Identity
When it comes to your non-physical identity, there is still a great deal of importance attached to it.
Your non-physical identity is what people believe about your company, what sense they get from reading your business story, and what philosophy and values you present to the public.
None of these things are accidental. Each one of these intangibles is carefully crafted by you.
Your reputation, your philosophy, and your values are all things that you create and then ensure get into the hands of the public.
But before we get into how to communicate these things, we have to cover how they are created in the first place.
Some of these elements are published to your website, or at least, the information published to your website should infer these elements.
For example, suppose that you published a blog, and you spent a great deal of time writing about the families of people who worked for you, and what kind of policies your business is creating to benefit those families.
Someone would rightly infer that families are important to you; that they are one of your values.
You also want to build the impression that you are an expert in the field.
That means that you’ll have to spend time online actually promoting that image.
Some of the best ways to do that are by answering questions on websites like Quora, visiting the relevant forums in LinkedIn, and maintaining a membership on bulletin boards and other sites within your industry.
However, you do want to make sure that you have all of your physical identity elements in place because when someone comes across your expert advice, you want them to associate it with your company and remember you in the future.
Let’s take a look at how you can Market and Maintain Your Brand in the next post.
Interested in more ways to balance your life and your business? Get a reminder with my HappyBot for my free Facebook Live trainings every Friday! happinessmatters.com/fblive