Your brand is a beanstalk. ? If you want it to reach the clouds, you must prepare your garden wisely.
There’s a lot of chatter out there in marketing when it comes to branding. It seems that branding is essential in business. Without it, you have no hope of standing out.
Good branding is a key to success, but “build your brand” is bad advice.
Why? Take a moment to make a list of what it takes to “build a brand.” If you’re like most people, you’ll probably include things like:
- Tagline and logo
- Content topic clusters
- Your USP
- Maybe even market positioning
Figure all that out and you’ve got a brand, which equals success. Right?
Wrong. Brands fail all the time – even good ones.
Hammering out the details of your brand is only one part of the equation, but it’s one that entrepreneurs often focus on at the expense of the other part.
What is that part?
The brand ecosystem. It’s comprised of everything your brand needs to grow once you’ve nailed down exactly what your brand is.
It looks like this:
Let’s explore exactly what it all means.
My all-new subscription-based community for growth-oriented marketers and entrepreneurs is here! ? Learn more about G.R.O.W. with Julia right here.Hammering out the details of your brand is one part of the equation, but lots of marketers lose sight of the forest bc of all those dang trees. ??? The whole picture is your brand ecosystem. ? Learn what it should look like here. Click To Tweet
The 6 Key Ingredients Every Brand Ecosystem Needs
If your brand is a flower, then the ecosystem is the flower bed. You must take care of that, too, if you want your brand to grow.
Here are six things I’ve identified that all successful brands must have in their brand ecosystem. With them, you’ll have a beautiful flower that brightens the days of many. ?
1. Relentless Quality & Authentic Value
There’s a reason Google’s evaluator guidelines spend 175 pages discussing what quality and value mean when it comes to content. It’s because quality and value should be the first thing that all content producers strive to deliver – and content is how you build your brand.
Consumers overwhelmingly want high-quality, authentic, valuable content that enriches their lives. If you’re not delivering this, they’ll go elsewhere to get it and your brand will wither into obscurity.
2. Solid Maintenance Habits
Imagine wearing the same wardrobe for a decade. After a while, you’d start to look a little dated, right?
Content is the same way. It’ll start to look a little stale – and Google will notice.
To keep your brand fresh, you need to keep your content fresh. That means revisiting and updating it periodically to replace those statistics that are a few years old or those facts that used to be true.
I do it every few months with my brands, but once a year is a happy medium that will keep your customers and Google happy.
3. A Commitment Consistency
According to HubSpot, content creators that publish 16 or more times each month see their traffic tripled. Consistently creating and publishing content is the key to growing a strong, sturdy trunk.
Producing content three times in one week and not again for a month doesn’t cut it. At best, it reflects a lack of commitment. At worst, it damages the trust your readers have in you because they know they can’t rely on you to keep delivering.
At this frequency, it’s almost like you’re running a business. Hmmm… Source: HubSpot
4. Rooted Reach
If you nail the top three, the next three will flow easily. It happens over time as your vine grows.
But your plant must remain rooted in order to thrive. Otherwise, one strong gust of wind could blow it over. Then, you’re starting over from scratch.
How do we measure reach? Beyond customers and sales, you’ll know you’ve got the brand ecosystem down when:
- You’re finding more and better products or services to offer your customers
- New markets are becoming visible that you’d never considered
- People are actively seeking out your advice or thought leadership
- You’ve become more engaged with your community or industry than ever before
5. Decisive Scaling
Freelancers wear hard work like a badge of honor, and many of us will take that attitude into business. It’s a good attitude to have, but it’s even better to know when to bring others on board to help you continue to grow. There are a few ways you can do this.
- Sometimes, handing off parts of a project to a third party is better than trying to DIY something in which you’re not an expert.
- Bringing on employees can lighten your workload and keep the business running.
- Contracting and subcontracting. Keeping freelancers in your back pocket is a good way to ensure that you have the firepower and expertise to take on large projects at a moment’s notice.
6. Established Authority
Once you’re known in your sphere – via brand reach and content quality – you’ll develop authority. That means people will listen to you when you speak up, you’ll have a better chance to nab the top spots in the SERPs, and you’ll inspire stronger loyalty from your customers.
Authority is the foundation of your success, as it’s what will help you sustain your success over time. It’s also what you develop only after you’ve built the other five elements of your brand ecosystem.
G.R.O.W. Your Brand Ecosystem with Us!
Building a brand? You need a solid brand ecosystem. I’ve shared the six things that every successful brand has in common.
But while you’re creating your brand ecosystem, don’t neglect your own. Surround yourself with motivated, likeminded entrepreneurs to share encouragement and real-life experience that works.
G.R.O.W., Gather Round Our Why, is my all-new subscription-based community for growth-oriented marketers and entrepreneurs. Connect with this amazing resource and get live coaching, templates, frameworks, and everything you need to know to grow a real business using content. ?