I made a flying visit to a trade show a while back. I only had a bit of time to be there but I did manage to attend a seminar with Carl Hopkins (one of Channel Four’s Secret Millionaires). Whilst we were waiting for the seminar to begin, I chatted to the lady next to me. She was just getting started with e a new business teaching baby classes in her local area and I gave her two top tips that worked for my parent and baby wellness business as a start-up. As these were then reiterated among Carl’s 11 points in his presentation, I thought I’d share them with you here.
1 – Have a Strong Brand
A brand is so much more than just a logo, however in this post I am referring to visual branding/logos.
When I started my business, a lot of other holistic therapists I knew of had what I felt were quite wishy-washy, pastel colours or dated looking logos for their branding and none of them really stood out from each other. In fact, some of them used the same pre-designed branding from Vistaprint so their business cards and fliers actually looked exactly the same, other than the wording! I wanted mine to be bold, bright and contemporary so that it was eye-catching and memorable.
I wanted a symbol that was recognisable and could represent my brand even if my business name was not alongside it (like the Nike “Swoosh”). My designer came up with butterflies, each of which represented a different aspect of my brand. I had so many compliments about the design from people when I gave them my business card. More importantly however, lots of clients told me how they recognised the butterfly when they came across my literature or website and were able to identify they were looking at the same business each time. (If your branding is not consistent from your social media to your adverts to your website, people will not realise it is the same business and it takes longer for the repetition effect to kick in and them to remember who you are).
Alongside standing out, you also need to make it clear who you are or what it is you do. My butterflies didn’t instantly scream about what I did, so the main logo also included my business name and a tagline so potential customers had an idea what industry I was in.
- investing in a striking logo that will help you stand out from others offering similar services or products and
- ensuring that your branding is consistent. Use the same colours, styles of font and logo throughout your marketing so that it is easily recognisable as one brand
2 – Be Everywhere (that’s relevant to your prospective clients)!
My second tip was to be very visible to your market. Although I had clients attend my classes from all parts of the county, my target market was really clients who live pretty locally to my venue. When I started out I just wanted to be absolutely everywhere in that area. My goal was to catch my target’s market’s eye, every single time they walked through my area, whether that was seeing my flier in a coffee shop, seeing my branded car as I drove past them, seeing my poster in the post office or newsagent’s window, seeing my ad in the local magazine, seeing my banner across the pavement to my studio or my branded t-shirt when they queued behind me in a shop. (Or alternatively, if they didn’t leave the house, being all over the first page of Google when they search for baby classes in my area.)
Familiarity breeds trust and although not everyone who noticed my branding was ready to buy from me at that moment, by the time they were looking for a pregnancy massage or baby yoga class (or knew someone who was), my brand already felt familiar to them. Seeing your brand consistently, builds credibility and potential customers know you are here to stay. You also become part of the community if you are frequently seen around a particular area. Plus if you are absolutely everywhere often people won’t even go looking for another supplier to compare you with, they’ll just come straight to you as they associate the most visible with the most successful/best.
- Review your marketing materials and see if you are consistent throughout or need to pull things together a bit more.
- Think about where you need to be showing up consistently to build trust eg your FB group, FB ads, consistent mailers to your list, at industry events…