Every year, my family and I have trekked to the Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm. My kids have to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Hours later, with my wallet much lighter, we walk out with those perfect pumpkins.
One week later, I’ll walk through the aisles of a grocery store and see rows of perfect pumpkins for one half the cost!
Just as I could select the “perfect pumpkin” at the local grocery store, you can build your brand without emptying your wallet.
Spending frugally doesn’t mean you’re making your brand look cheap. It means you’re designing an elegant personal brand (champagne tastes) with the resources you have (on a beer budget).
“It is not slickness, polish, uniqueness, or cleverness that makes a brand a brand. It is truth.”
Harry Beckwith via the Magnetic Blog
Give Killer Customer Service
It’s rare to receive truly amazing customer service.
Here’s a story about Zappo’s insane customer service. They went out of their way to give extra service ant extra cost to themselves. But they maintained a customer, most likely, for life.
In 2009, a traveler checked into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. When the traveler was unpacking she realized that she’d forgotten a pair of her favorite shoes. She had purchased the missing shoes at Zappos, so she headed to its website. When she could not find another pair of the same shoes on the site, she called the company’s help-desk concierge service. Zappos no longer had the shoes, but its headquarters are just outside of Las Vegas. So the Zappos team located the shoes at a nearby mall, went there and purchased the shoes, and then hand-delivered them to the Mandalay Bay, all at no charge. The Zappos Effect.
Here’s another inexpensive, yet effective way to build your brand quality. Check out Darren Rowse’s article series, 31 Days to A Better Blog. Implement one idea per day, or even every other day, to build your brand effectiveness.
Think Outside the Box
Read stories and study top brands both in your niche and outside of your niche.
Check out a completely different field or industry for ideas.
Get creative. Here’s an article by Marquita Herald to help you get your creative juices flowing.
You can borrow ideas, or give those ideas your own personal twist.
Learn To Collaborate
Richard Goutal, at Fitting the Pieces, specializes in teaching internet bloggers and marketers how to collaborate together in win-win partnerships.
Make a list of 5 bloggers in your niche. Start commenting on their blogs, getting to know them, offering your help.
Over time, as you get to know them, and they get to know you, you’ll be comfortable promoting each other to your readers and lists.
Get to Know The Innovators
Who leads your industry or field? Get to know them.
Form a Twitter list called “People Whose List I Want To Be On.”
Respect them, and don’t spam them. But hang out on their blogs, post intelligent comments, even offer to write killer guest blog posts for them. But remember the new rules of guest blogging.
Reasonable Brand Design
If you’re looking for some elegant templates, sign up for Hubspot‘s newsletters. Recently they offered a lot of landing page templates for free. You’ll find other great offers from them as you get to know them better. And emulate their value added free offers for your own customers.
Be Exclusive and Elusive
For example, remember when Pinterest first came out? You had to have a special invite to be able to join. And you can bet, when the site when public, people were banging down the doors to get in.
In the same way, if you have a new product or membership, you may want to issue an invite only beta phase to your most loyal customers and readers. This builds anticipation and excitement for your brand.
Be elusive and mysterious, like Wander. Once I read about Wander, I went there and signed up, just because I’m intrigued.
You can do the same thing. Design a nice page. Build some intrigue. And make sure you deliver once everyone has signed up 🙂
Use Your Existing Resources
By this, I mean that you need to check your blog posts.
In case you haven’t already done so, use Google Analytics to analyze which articles have been the most popular on your blog.
Popular = The Most Hits, and The Lowest Bounce Rate.
This will tell you the different topics that are most searched and most interesting to your readers.
Then write related articles about those topics.
Two Free Resources To Help You Build Your Brand
I also credit Lauren Drell, author of the article on Mashable called, 8 Tips For Building Your Brand on the Cheap, for many of the ideas in this post.photo credit: kenteegardin
What resources are you using to build your brand without breaking the bank? Please share them with us!