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In an effort to combat boredom and upskill artisans during the lockdown, we’ve been hosting weekly virtual coffee sessions that discuss key elements of digital marketing. We recently had Tara Margulies from CAL Social explore tips and tricks to build a brand.

This discussion built effectively on the previous week’s chat on improving social media engagement. With social media being such a valuable part of marketing your product, it’s important to get the foundations right – including building your own personal brand.

Begin with reflection

Before you start to develop your social media profile, you should go back to basics and find out what it is that you – and your brand – stand for. A good rule of thumb is to decide on three main areas of focus and make a note of them.

Allocate a bit of time to ask yourself what you stand for, who you are, and what you’re good at. This will help you determine your end goal.

The Triangle

Now that you better understand the foundations of your brand and what you want to achieve, you can start to share the message with the world. Tara puts forward the triangle approach, which funnels the exposure of your brand in the right order.

Awareness

First, you begin with awareness. You want as many people to know about you and your brand as possible. Share your posts far and wide, across a variety of platforms and within different communities. Rope in family and friends to spread the word!

Community

After you’ve exposed your brand to the world, you can narrow down who makes up your main audience. This group will be your target audience and the main focus of your time. Constantly assess how you can grow this base and strengthen your position in the community. Use analytics from social media pages to understand your audience make up.

Commercial

The final corner of the triangle focuses on “commercial”. How do you get your community to purchase your product? By now, you’ve shared your message, built your audience and the time has come to convince them to buy – or give them a reason to make a purchase.

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How to approach building your brand

Building a brand is easier done when you know what your end goal is, but your message will change along your brand-building journey. So, here are a few considerations to keep in mind when building your brand.

Keep focus

While your enthusiasm may be very strong at the beginning, it’s important not to get carried away. Focus on one of the corners of the triangle at a time, before jumping on to the next one. This will allow you to dedicate energy and effort into achieving a single goal.

Be smart with your content

Use your creativity to produce content that you feel that you can create easily and effectively. Whether it be video, photography, or graphics, make sure that your content resonates with your brand and gets you closer to your end goal.

Whichever medium and format you choose, always play to your strengths. Make sure that your content is engaging.

If you need any tips on taking great photographs with your phone, you can check out these smartphone photography tips.

Community management

The more that you post, the larger your community will grow. It may be difficult to get the momentum going at first, so try to get a leg up if you can by reaching out to friends and family for support. You can also look at what other brands are doing and suggest a collaboration or encourage a shout out.

Note that if you’re trying to grow a personal brand, then it may be within your best interest to grow your community organically and steer away from paying for exposure. While there’s no hard proof, there are theories that various social media platforms start to penalise brands when they stop paying by limiting their exposure.

Test different approaches

Social media is all about figuring out what your audience likes, so take the time to ask them regularly. Assess your analytics and see how many likes, comments, and shares your content is receiving, taking note of the very successful posts.

Building a brand is a constant test so take the time to look at what’s working with your audience and what your competitors are doing well.

Little engagement hacks

As your community grows, so will your responsibility to engage with them. There are a few ways to make sure that you stay on top of your engagement, increasing your following and further building your brand.

Here are a few engagement tips that will keep you on top of your game.

  • Use the latest features on each platform
  • Reply to all comments – interact with your comments and messages
  • Cross-promote your posts across various channels (even if it is a personal channel)
  • Ask your audience questions – take advantage of polls, stickers, etc

When it comes to assessing how much time to spend engaging with your followers, you need to find the balance that works for your business and mental health. Between half an hour and an hour is a great amount of time.

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Five-point summary

While each of the topics discussed is important, you can bookmark the following five points as key takeaways.

  1. Keep going back to your goal and what you stand for. Ask yourself if your post is in line with what you want to achieve.
  2. Keep asking friends, family, and acquaintances for support – bring them into your sphere and community.
  3. Cross-promote your posts on different social media channels (including WhatsApp groups).
  4. Keep going back to the analytics to see which posts are performing well and how your community is engaging with you.
  5. Constantly engage with your audience

A platform to share your brand – Artisanry Co.

At the heart of Artisanry Co., we want to give small independent UK based makers a platform to share their brand with a global audience. Using these tips to build your social media profile is one step – and joining our community is another!

We are offering all independent UK based artists, crafters, and artisans free membership to the Artisanry Co. Community. We would love to showcase your work on our social media channels. Find out more about how to join us, and stay up to date on regular updates by following us on Facebook and Instagram.