Many businesses are trying to expand internationally to get into new markets. Even if your company can afford to invest the time and money required to build a branch locally or in another country, there's a considerable risk you won't be successful.
You may be thinking, "I'm a one-person shop—how am I supposed to brand myself as a remote company?"
You don't need to build a brick-and-mortar office or hire a public relations firm. That would probably hinder you rather than help you. But there are plenty of ways to brand yourself as a remote company without having to go to a traditional office space or pay an arm and a leg for services.
What is branding?
Branding is creating the look, feel, and persona for your business. It is the process of creating a brand that represents your company's products and services in an attractive, cohesive manner.
It's crucial to establish a brand identity that creates a positive perception of your company in the eyes of the public.
According to a blog from 99designs, branding began in the 1500s but changed significantly in the 19th and 20th centuries.
"Through decades of experimentation, technological advancements, and product development, brands have learned how to connect with their customers by breaking through the clutter and capturing their attention."
In the ancient Nordic language, the word "brand" is derived from "brandr," which means "to burn." By the 1500s, people started branding cattle to show ownership. Branding is all about making a mark, both literally and figuratively. Each branding mark was unique to the cattle ranch, and no two brands were alike.
Any good brand's tried and true pillars are simplicity, distinctiveness, and instant recognition.
Iconic logos are a compelling part of brand identity. These three icons have a special significance, representing the beginning of a new era. - 99designs
But branding isn't just about logos. It's a compendium of design elements that collectively convey a company's message and personality. These elements include color, typography, photography, illustration, and other design elements.
How to brand yourself
A personal brand can help you find clients, grow your business, and get more work.
What exactly is a personal brand? A personal brand is your professional identity. It's how you present yourself to the world, and it's how you communicate with potential clients.
Your brand is the sum of how you interact with the world. It's your digital footprint. It is on your website, social media profiles, and email signature.
Personal branding is the art of creating a consistent and coherent look that makes it easy for others to identify and remember you.
When you have a clear idea of who you are, what you want, and what you're good at, you'll be able to sell yourself to potential employers and clients. It's also beneficial when it comes to negotiating salary or promotion opportunities.
Here are eight steps to brand yourself as a remote company.
Creating a brand is a long topic. However, I will do my best to compress the essential steps to help you get started. Also, the steps below assume that you already have a niche in mind and know what skills or services you will sell. You should also have a portfolio of work that demonstrates your skills. If you don't have a portfolio, it's highly recommended that you build one, as this will form part of your "virtual store."
1. Choose a brand name (aka your company's name).
Choosing a brand name or the name of your company is crucial. Remember to choose something short, easy to remember, and memorable. Consider the following:
- What does the brand name represent?
- How does it sound?
- Is the brand name catchy? Easy to Remember?
- Is it easy to pronounce?
- Is it easy to spell?
Avoid generic brand names or anything that sounds like an existing brand. If you are considering using your name as a brand, then make sure it's not trademarked or used by another company.
2. Create a logo
Designing a logo can be challenging, especially if you have no idea how to do it. Ensure a clear vision of the final output when creating your brand's logo. It has a distinct style and character while being simple and attractive. Logo creation doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. You can visit Canva, a browser-based design software, and tweak one of the many logos available. If you want a professional-looking logo, you can hire the services of logo creators you can find on freelancing websites like Fiverr, Upwork, or Guru.
3. Create a tagline or a unique selling proposition.
A tagline, or unique selling proposition, is a sentence or phrase that describes what you do and why people should hire you. Besides the brand name and the logo, the tagline is what people see first, and it helps them decide whether they need to continue reading or not. It's the first impression.
The tagline should be short, catchy, and memorable. A slogan should be the elevator pitch for your brand.
Examples of taglines are:
FedEx Corporation - "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight."
M&M's - "The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand."
Domino's Pizza - "You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it's free."
Nike - "Just do it."
4. Create a mission and vision statement.
A small company's mission and vision statements are essential because they help define who you are and what you stand for.
A mission statement should concisely summarize what you want to achieve. It should be specific but, at the same time, general enough to allow you to grow and evolve as you go along. It should be short, clear, easy to understand, and specific.
A vision statement is more of a dream for the future. It's the ultimate goal that you want to achieve. Your vision statement should be inspirational, clear, concise, and actionable.
An example of a mission statement is:
"We will make the world a better place through technology."
An example of a vision statement is:
"We will create a future where technology empowers everyone to improve the world."
5. Build your website
Your website is the online face of your business. It's where you sell yourself. So, it must reflect your brand and personality.
To build a website, you'll need to choose a platform that best suits your needs. There are tons of platforms out there, but here are some of the most popular ones:
- WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to easily create and manage your website.
- Squarespace: a website builder that allows you to create beautiful websites quickly.
- Wix: a website builder that allows you to easily create and manage your website.
Your website must be clean, professional, and user-friendly. A website should be able to convey your message, tell a story, and inspire people to do business with you.
Creating a website is both technical and creative. If you lack the knowledge to make one, consider hiring the services of a website builder. You can find them on freelancing sites like Upwork or Fiverr.
A corollary to website creation is the need to buy a domain name for your website and find an affordable website hosting service. These two steps are crucial if you want to launch a website for your business.
Website hosting is a service that provides space on the web for your website. Website hosting providers like Bluehost, Dreamhost, Hostgator, GoDaddy, etc., offer this service for a monthly fee.
Domain names are like URLs for your website. They're similar to the addresses of websites on the internet. Users who type your website's address into their browser are directed to your website.
If you don't have a domain name yet, you can buy one from a domain name registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap.
6. Social Media Presence
Nowadays, social media has a significant influence on how a business operates. That is why it is crucial to have a presence on social media.
There are many different platforms available. Some are free, while others charge a monthly fee. The most popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers. It's a great way to engage with your audience, build relationships, and share information.
7. Launch a Blog
A blog is a great way to communicate with your audience.
A website is a static piece of content that does not allow for much interaction. A blog is a great way to share information, answer questions, and keep updated. You can use it to generate leads, promote sales, and increase engagement.
If you don't have a blog yet, it's time to get one.
Although many blog platforms are accessible, edworking is one of the best sites to write a blog. It's a remote work platform designed to help you manage projects, connect with your team, and build a blog within an intuitive interface. You and your team can collaborate within a workspace, turn the output into blog content, and publish it to your intended audience.
7. Develop a marketing strategy
Marketing is getting people to know about your business and, ultimately, do business with you. It involves creating awareness, driving traffic, and converting visitors into customers.
There are three types of marketing strategies:
- Direct marketing: this type of marketing is done by sending messages directly to your target market.
- Indirect marketing: this type of marketing involves reaching out to many people and then identifying the ones most likely to be interested in your product or service.
- Digital marketing: this type of marketing is done online, using digital channels like email, search engines, social media, etc.
8. Promote your product or services
It used to be expensive to promote products. Nowadays, it's relatively easy. There are many different ways to promote your products.
You can advertise on Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms.
The more exposure you get, the more people will know about your product or service.
The eight steps indicated above are by no means complete, but they are enough to get you started on how to brand yourself as a small company.
Indeed, if you want to succeed, you must be prepared to invest a lot of time and effort. However, you can start building your brand if you're up for the challenge.
I hope you enjoyed this article and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.