Whether it’s diving in headfirst without a plan or just the rookie blues, solopreneurs just starting in their businesses might be guilty of branding mistakes that lead to the loss of valuable customers.
But with forethought, professionalism, engagement, and authenticity, you can avoid common branding mistakes and add value to your startup. Here are eight fiscal faux-pas you’ll want to avoid with your entrepreneurial ventures.
Not prioritizing professionalism
Customers want brands to be professional because it instills trust. If your brand has a cheap logo, a home address as a business address, or little to no social media presence, customers are less likely to supply you with their credit card information. Your clients are trusting you with their hard-earned cash, and they want to feel like that trust is well-deserved.
You’ll want to prioritize your business’s image for maximum success in building your initial reputation. For example, if you’re publishing content to your social media, ensure that it’s well-researched and relevant to your target demographic. You should also invest time and money into sprucing up your website.
Correspondence management is another common professionalism pitfall. For example, if you’ve listed your home address as your business address, that’s not ideal for protecting the privacy of you, your family, or your clients.
Many fledgling startups don’t have the expendable budget for an office lease, but that doesn’t mean you’re out in the cold. You can solve your mail and address problems with products like an iPostal1 virtual mailbox. These mailboxes include a real address that you can present to clients and vendors, maintaining your image and privacy in one. You can also use a smartphone app or the Internet to monitor your mail remotely, making a perfect solution for the solopreneur on the go.
Getting started without a plan
Many solopreneurs start their brands because of a hobby that turns into a business. Consumers admire this type of passion, but it can drive beginner solopreneurs to jump in without a plan or strategy for capitalizing on this admiration.
Organize yourself before committing any money to your venture. Ask yourself, who is your target audience? How often do you plan on engaging with the target consumer base? And which avenues or platforms will work best for marketing your brand?
There are plenty of free resources online to help beginner solopreneurs avoid this costly branding mistake, so don’t let the blessing of enthusiasm turn into a curse.
Not engaging on social media
Maintaining a Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok account is an avenue that you can use to market yourself and engage with your target audience. Social media is an online shopping mall, and rookie solopreneurs who choose not to set up these virtual shops will lose customers and brand exposure.
Being inattentive to what the audience wants
Engaging on social media brings you closer to your audience and customer base. Become attentive to the age range, demographics, and psychology of your customer base to form a deeper connection with your client.
Being attentive to what your customers are looking for will enable you to tweak your marketing or design to better align with your brand voice. Knowing how your audience benefits from what you are selling can stimulate new product ideas to help your business grow.
It is crucial to engage in social media, but it looks fishy when a brand posts lots of content one week and then stops cold the next. Consumers correlate consistency with trust, so part of your branding strategy should include a realistic posting schedule.
If your audience knows that you post every Monday, they won’t expect more than one video a week. Posting on a schedule shows your audience that you are reliable and deliver what you say you will on the timeline you have set.
Not putting enough thought into their brand voice
Your brand voice is how you speak to your target audience. A typical branding mistake beginner solopreneurs are guilty of is leaving their personality at the door when they develop their voice. Be polished but authentic, and let the masses hear your brand’s voice.
Being afraid to ask for help
You might be a solopreneur, but you do not have to do everything solo to gain the most out of your business. Figure out where your strengths are and outsource jobs that suck the joy from your day-to-day routine. Your business will be much better off with a passionate CEO than one drowning in dull data entry tasks.
If you are not a designer, do not assume that you can just ignore the design component of your brand. Design should be in mind when creating your logo, company website, or Instagram feed.
Design is a way of creating continuity and intentionality in your brand so that all elements align with your brand voice and audience desires. Continuity gives your brand further consistency and authenticity.
Social media has put storefronts into people’s bedrooms, and these common branding mistakes beginner solopreneurs are guilty of significantly affect their brand’s level of exposure. People share and engage with what they like, so having your brand speak their language in an authentic, professional, and consistent way builds trust and lifelong customers.