Hey fellow entrepreneurs,
I've been an entrepreneur for 20 years after getting a lucky break with a job for Fox Sports when I was starting College, since then I've loved design and the digital space.
Lately I've seen a lot of posts regarding difficulties building brands successfully and getting sales and I thought I'd give you some insight on what's worked for me and the must-haves without sounding like a cheesy "guru." I'm not a guru, I'm just a hard working entrepreneur who has devoted their life and life-savings to building my personal brands up and making them successful, so all ego aside, here goes.
1. Branding is your foundation. Branding needs to permeate everything from your site's look and feel, your social media content all the way to how you respond to e-mails, customer compliments and their complaints. A simple test for me is to open a few browser windows and directly compare my brands to competitive products and ask a few questions. A) What are 3 things they are doing better than me? I then fix those 3, and ask this over and over until I can't point out anything else. B) What are 3 things that make them more successful from a financial point of view? Did I address them with Question A? C) What are 3 things that I can do to stand apart from them? *PRO TIP It's not price, many of my brands are more expensive than the competition and still highly successful. I'm NOT Apple, far from it, but they're not financially secure because of their bargain phones, look at their stock, down 10% because people don't want their cheaper iPhone 8, they're (me too) waiting for the iPhone X.
2. Marketing makes a difference. When I approach marketing I don't just feed the machine. Many clients say to me "My _______ social media ads just aren't working!" My answer is to start marketing effectively, look inwardly THEN outwardly. What this means is simple, inward marketing is what you as a person can do to directly make a sale. If you have one e-mail address you can make one sale. If you have Instagram, you can post your own content, if you have Facebook you most likely have friends, if you want to make sales, market yourself to your inward group, if that pool gets to small, then market outwardly. *PRO TIP, inward marketing will never get too small, you do an awesome job for one person, they'll tell someone else who will use you, and the pay-it-forward principle will run the machine for you.
3. Consistency is key. People need to stop stopping, many short term clients of mine are short term because I finish a few revisions, follow up weekly, and they're on a downward trend of interest/time/love/pizza is better than e-commerce success. What ever your case may be, you'll only be successful if you're consistent, to quote an actual guru (I can't remember their name, but the quote stuck with me) "If you go to the dentist once a month your teeth will fall out, you need to brush your teeth everyday." Something like that, sorry I tried to find the quote officially, when I do I'll edit this. The point being is that if you rely on one aspect of your success you'll be unsuccessful, just like you can't be an athlete by good diet alone, or running along, or just doing bicep curls, you need to approach everything with an open mind and a consistent attitude.
I hope this helps, and if I can offer you any more advice please feel free to ask.