ATYPICAL

Building a Brand when the Budget is Broke

Amanda Bowen
We get it: funds are tight for everything when you're an early-stage venture. You must maximize every single dollar. Branding is something you know is necessary, but you don't have deep pockets to hire a consultant, create all the required branding assets, and promote like crazy. How can you build a brand without breaking the bank?

We get it: funds are tight for everything when you're an early-stage venture. You must maximize every single dollar. Branding is something you know is necessary, but you don't have deep pockets to hire a consultant, create all the required branding assets, and promote like crazy. How can you build a brand without breaking the bank?

Branding, the basics

Remember the point of branding: highlighting what makes your business different from everyone else in the marketplace. What marketing does is convey this unique value in a way that is consistent. Increase the power of your branding efforts by staying consistent.

Get it right, early

Changing your values, messaging, and strategy too frequently wastes your time and vital dollars. It is worth taking the time and the investment to get the brand identity correct early so you don't need to update until you're either expanding services or your revenue has increased to the point where you can afford it. Plus, this clarity about your company’s uniqueness and your brand identity helps identify the right talent to support your expansion and attracts the right customers.

Hyper-target your audience

Part of the branding process is figuring out your audience, but it's amazing how many people forget about this when they start promoting the brand. Know who it is you're trying to sell your products and services to. Knowing your target audience guided the rest of your branding and marketing strategy. Your earliest focus is on reaching these specific people, not mass-messaging.

Network everywhere you go

Do not be a fly on the wall. Some down-and-dirty traditional networking can go a long way to getting your name out there. Put a face behind the name and logo with the people you are looking to engage. Make a point to attend relevant workshops and conferences. When at a networking event, try to introduce yourself to at least three new people. The objective isn’t to outright sell, but you can pitch what you offer and the benefits.

Leverage social media

Even as its pay-per-click costs rise, social media is still one of the best low-cost branding tactics, says Forbes Magazine. Use social media campaigns on different platforms to share helpful tips and relevant news with your target audience.Talk about the benefits of your products and services in a way that doesn't directly promote them. Engage with others inside the industry to build relationships and brand awareness.

Testimonials and case studies

A case study can be extremely helpful when closing a new client.  Case studies clearly outline how your product or service generated a real benefit to someone else. Simply ask one of your current customers if they'd be willing to share how your product or service helped them.

Testimonials can work well, too, but when they’re hosted on your website they feel less legitimate. Video testimonials work better than text. If you can't get a video testimonial, get a picture of the person who said it. Another avenue is monitoring your reviews on third-party sites, like a social media platform.

Create partnerships

An easy way to expand the reach of your business and your early marketing dollars is to create a partnership with another brand that your target audience already works with.  People are more likely to do business with the brands that they trust. If they trust your partner brand, they are more likely to trust you. Make the most of your partnership by sourcing businesses with similar but non-competing audiences.

Work with a brand expert

Outsourcing or partnering with a branding expert in your early days can actually be more cost-effective in the long run.When you work with an industry leader like ATYPICAL, you know you're being positioned for success in the real estate business.

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