Building a brand or company in 2021 and beyond may seem like a piece of cake but in reality it’s becoming more and more difficult. The landscape, across many top industries and verticals, has become noisier, more competitive, saturated, and most definitely challenging. Every brand and company is shouting from the rooftops that they’re the expert and go to authority for a product or service they offer.
Is that really the case, though? Is everyone an expert and authority in their industry and vertical?
The internet and social media specifically have made it far more accessible than ever before to build a business. TikTok, Clubhouse, SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and many many more are allowing even teenagers these days to turn into entrepreneurs and business owners. You’ve seen the YouTubers or Tiktok’ers making bank off of hilarious and humorous dancing and stunts they do all day.
Sure! All the platforms and tools are accessible without a doubt but like anything else that’s proven to be successful it requires fundamentals. Strategy, implementation, and execution. Being able to exercise proven human-centric tactics that can help you start or grow an existing brand or company.
This is key to building a brand or business in this modern digital era. In fact, being yourself is actually a core value of ours here at Razor Sharp Digital. People buy from other people they like, trust, and see value from, so being yourself is a direct correlation to your brand and business. You want to attract other like-minded people who have the potential of becoming future customers interested in buying your product or service.
For instance, here at Razor Sharp Digital we not only embrace the importance of being yourself but we’re also quite unconventional in a way, very disruptive, super creative, innovative, and explorational. So, with that being said, we strive to forge relationships with people who resonate, relate, and have common interests with ourselves and our team.
Leverage Your Personal Brand
Many brands and businesses simply fail to understand the importance and value behind a personal brand. Similar to being yourself, whether it’s B2B or B2C focus that you have, at the end of the day people do business with other people. Having said that, you need to put forth an emphasis on building a dominant personal brand for awareness, interest, thought leadership, and community cultivation.
For example, as a Chief Human Officer at Razor Sharp Digital, in 2020 I emphasized heavily upon my personal brand using social video. I leveraged Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn primarily to build up consistency, awareness, thought leadership, and authority around myself. After all, Razor Sharp Digital as a brand and company is a direct extension of me as a person.
What is so fascinating about this personal branding approach is that it forged some of the best human-centric relationships, organically and also generated new business opportunities for Razor Sharp Digital.
Don’t be afraid to show the world who you are, what you offer, and how you can create impact. Otherwise people might jump to conclusions and make assumptions about who you aren’t and as a result create a degrading image of your brand and business.
Focus On Storytelling
Storytelling is so underestimated when it comes to building your brand or business using human-centric strategies in this crowded modern digital era. Why does storytelling matter though? What’s all the hype about it?
Storytelling helps create relatability, creates curiosity, explores creativity, and shares value that can be applicable to other people’s lives, brands, and businesses. In fact, storytelling isn’t a new approach by any means. Storytelling dates back to Greek and Roman cultures, where it was used to share philosophical, political, ethical, entertaining, and professional information between one or more individuals.
How does storytelling relate to building a brand or business, though?
For example, in 2020, as I mentioned above, I personally focused heavily on storytelling through social video and top social media channels, such as Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. In doing so, and leveraging the power of storytelling from a human perspective, I was able to cultivate a community of like-minded people who resonated with my interests. As a result, it helped forge conversations and some of those conversations turned into relationships and current clients.
- Share stories of your own successes and failures.
- Discuss value that has helped you to grow and can help others do the same.
- Leverage social video for improved proximity with others.
Develop Consistency To Establish Trust
Trust is perhaps one of the most important things in building a brand or business. If you can’t be trusted then how in the heck is anyone going to pay you money for what you have to offer? Trust is also earned, it’s not given. Just like in personal relationships, you can’t ask someone to trust you without giving them a reason to do so.
How do you build trust in this digital world, though?
Show Up! Show up consistently in people’s feeds by offering content and value that pertains to not only your personal interests but also to those who might find value in what you have to offer.
For example, back in 2019, I was publishing social media videos on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. About four months had gone by and out of the blue I received a direct message on LinkedIn. Mind you, that during the span of those four months, my videos weren’t getting much action on LinkedIn. The direct message I received on LinkedIn was from Kristin. Kristin was a Project Manager at a local healthcare startup at the time. Long story short, Kristin felt like she had gotten to know me on a more personal level through my videos. Her inquiry was to invite me to a meeting with one of the partners which ended up in nearly $30,000 of digital marketing work that was done for them over the next couple of months.
- Show up consistently in people’s feeds. Someone is always watching.
- Understand that consistency builds trust and people work with people they trust.
- Be diverse and creative about the way you present yourself. There’s only one you!
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Different
One of the biggest mistakes that brands and companies make these days online is that they desperately try to blend in too much. Your current customers, your potential customers, have chosen you because you’re different. Because you have a unique approach to the way you do things. Because you bring forth a breath of fresh air when everyone else is doing things the same way or trying to blend in with everyone else.
For example, here at Razor Sharp Digital we do things quite differently than most digital marketing agencies. The saddening part is that we get compared to others all the time and even at times it’s quite difficult to show how exactly we’re different because of all the snake oil in this space.
- Focus on personalization.
- Understand the importance of building relationships with people first. Yes, I said “people”. Not just paychecks.
- Be integral in your approach. Always! In fact, integrity is a core value of ours that we firmly stand by as a company.
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself! You don’t want to attract people who don’t resonate with your character and personality because in the long term they’ll end up judging you. Being Yourself is also another core value here at Razor Sharp Digital that we firmly stand by.
Being yourself, leveraging a personal brand, storytelling, and simply having a unique take are amongst few of the ways that you can organically build a dominant brand or business in today’s noisy digital world. There’s plenty of fish in the sea, as the saying goes. A scarcity mindset will not help you grow and expand your brand or business. Comparing yourself to others constantly will only create even more uncertainty inside you, causing you to veer off the path you started on.
How are you building your brand or business in 2021 and beyond? What specific things have worked for you? If you found value in this article, please feel free to share it with others and let us know your thoughts below.