Written by: Dr. Allison Matthews
Congratulations! You finally have figured out a great idea to transform yourself into a brand to make money. This is your first step toward financial and intellectual freedom. However, there are many additional steps you need to consider when trying to monetize your brand. Lots of people have great ideas, but they often do not have the tools to make their idea financially success and sustainable.The most important aspect to developing your great idea into a brand is to tell your story. Who are you? Why are you developing the brand? What is your mission? How do you plan to execute your mission?
As I am working to develop my company, Community Expert Solutions, I have been challenged by many industry and marketing experts to tell my story. Identify the problem that you are solving rather than falling into the trap of simply telling people what your idea is and what you “do” with your brand.
As you begin to do research to determine how your idea fits into the market, you will start to see other applications and companies that do similar things. On the other hand, you need to recognize that what makes your company and brand unique is not what you do but who you are, why you do what you do, and how you accomplish your goals differently than your competitors. You have to identify and articulate your value proposition. What was it about your product that would save people time and money? Then and only the, can you ask people to do things to support your company.
Make sure to incorporate your ask into every marketing tool you use. Ask for donations. Ask for a share. Ask for a tag. Ask for a click to visit your website. Ask for people to share their story. Always ASK for people to DO something to support your brand. It keeps them engaged and helps you expand your network. Additionally, it increases your likelihood of making a sale!
Begin by writing a script for yourself that helps you answer those questions. Then get creative about ways to tell your story through video and images to make your story more appealing to the audience you’re trying to reach. Here are some creative ways to tell your story and market your brand:
- Create short, edited or live videos for social media.
- Create a newsletter providing your network with updates on your progression of developing your company.
- Write short blog posts providing people with tips on things you’ve learned as you’ve developed your company. Inspirational stories that motivate and inform your brand is an example.
- Encourage people to share their inspiration or their story about why they support your brand, company, or product.
- Research other companies who are similar to yours to better understand how they market their brands.
- Make a list and reach out to people in your network who have a large social media following, loyal customers, connections to potential donors and investors, or some other professional benefit. Tell them your story. Ask their advice. Ask for their support.
- Collaborate with others in your network who support your vision. Partnerships expand your brand to wider networks and are often mutually and financially beneficial.
- Find ways to have your network “work” for you. Encourage your network to “gift” one of your products to their friends. Encourage them to post photos of themselves in your product or tell their story about why they support your brand.
- Diversify your products and services. You can sell t-shirts, stickers, jewelry, hats, tote bags, pillows, etc.
- Seek corporate sponsorships to advertise on your website or to sponsor some of your social media posts. If you have a lot of followers, many companies will be interested in working with you to promote their products on your sites.
The most important take away is this: There are many competitors selling the same or similar products and services, but your consumers will support your company and your idea because of YOU and YOUR STORY. Your story matters!
Visit www.communityexpertsolutions.com to learn more about our story and donate to support the development of Community Expert Solutions!
Follow us on social media: @_CESGlobal @_AllisonMathews