I can see the overwhelm on people’s faces as we talk about building their small business brand in ways they never thought they’d need to. I can understand. It takes a little discipline.
Your self-imposed plan to tweet once a day will slip. You’ll fail to write that weekly blog post. You’ll get the monthly newsletter out late. It happens.
You want to spend your time doing the work you’re meant to do.
But even if you hire a professional to get your brand off the ground, you have to be the steward of your brand, taking it where it needs to go.
The playing field is more level now. Small businesses have an array of advantages over big companies. Even so, many businesses resist the obvious benefits that a more connected economy brings. They are overwhelmed by pressure to participate, to do more “work.” They see having to develop ongoing relevant content as a new burden, which is a shame because we all carry information and experience that someone wants and needs.
A connection economy
Big companies have to work hard to earn trust and not be seen as an impersonal enterprise. Small businesses can more easily share what connects like-minded people—values and passions. Some businesses focus solely on higher search engine rankings instead of creating meaning for people through good content. The former might seem like an arrow to a target, while the latter seems mushy and ill-defined. But the beauty of the latter is that you can choose when, how much, where and what.
Free (or nearly free) venues
Using one of the many venues (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and webinars), you can engage people in a more organic way, fueled by what you like and care about without having the deep pockets of larger companies.
Love of local
Capitalize on the hopefully never-ending wave of interest in keeping dollars local, which small businesses can do much more easily than a big company.
You have to have a clear sense of who you are and what you stand for. But you also have to remember that when you’re small, you can shift gears more easily later on. The foundation of your brand should be solid, but how you express it can evolve.
Customers want to be heard. They want to know your values, They’re hungry for real. A small business can build trust because it’s backed by a real live person whose success depends on authenticity.
Everyone’s an expert
If you’ve worked long enough in your field, chances are you are full of information that someone wants. You can find gems of content every day that you take for granted. The common problems that come up over and over for people. The “pick your brain” questions. The frustrations. The best content comes from your deep personal experience and intuition.
There seems to be a correlation between ever-expanding choices and that one thing missing in the marketplace. Where’s the unequivocally honest mechanic or the funny accountant? Somewhere, there’s a gap in your industry. It might be small and quirky or it might be profound and significant. Small companies can seek out and fill that gap better than a cumbersome big company can.