These 13 Skills Will Improve Your Branding Efforts
Question: What skill could an entrepreneur learn in his or her spare time that can help them improve their branding strategy or efforts?
The following 13 answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
Branding is all about presenting yourself in a calm, confident and articulate manner no matter the circumstances. Improv class is a great way a founder can hone the skill in their spare time. Not only does it help you think on your feet, but it can help you grow your public speaking confidence at the same time. Quick thinking and performing on cue is something founders can always keep improving on!
Basic principles of psychology
You don’t need a degree in psychology, but it helps to know what motivates people. Reading books and articles, watching videos and taking basic classes on subjects such as social psychology, group behavior and motivation helps you understand what people respond to. This overlaps with advertising and copywriting, as the best copywriters have to know something about psychology.
Building a brand is creating emotional connection with the customers. Since communication is so important for connecting with the audience, one skill that every entrepreneur should learn is public speaking. Clear and precise communication creates a positive impact on the audience. Your audience remembers you based on how you present yourself and your business to them.
People often think that charisma can’t be learned, but there’s plenty of evidence that charismatic leadership techniques can be learned. John Antonakis, a professor of organizational behavior, is a leader in this field and entrepreneurs will find it rewarding to familiarize themselves with his work.
I spend lot of my spare time in creating valuable content: Digital branding is huge these days, and everyone is looking for brands online. By learning what content needs to be created, and how to create and market the content, you can build lot of digital value for your brand. I have increased traffic to our brand by 150 percent in one year by writing and promoting new content, so it was very helpful for me.
Copywriting — the ability to communicate out to an audience clearly and effectively, evoking emotion and telling the stories that matter — is essential to improving your branding strategy. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or which brand you’re trying to leverage, if you can’t talk about it succinctly and in a way that moves people to interest and action, your efforts will be fruitless.
Even if you have people coding for you, it never hurts to have skills in this area. Knowing the basics about coding helps you recognize design flaws in websites and gives you insights into solutions. There are many basic coding courses online that can give you a working knowledge of this important discipline.
Research other brands
When you aren’t working on building your own brand, spend time studying what other successful brands are doing to promote themselves. Check out popular social media accounts that are, or aren’t, related to your business and brand, and spend time on their websites and blogs. Examine how those strategies are working for them and how they might, in turn, work for you.
It’s important to have a consistent brand strategy, and the best way to get your vision across to your team is by creating a brand guide that includes everything from logo, sizing, fonts and brand-specific styles. Graphic design skills will allow you to have a better idea of exactly what you want and how to get there without having to rely on other people to get you there.
Having good candid pictures to help you with your social media branding is an easy skill to develop. It’s also really obvious to your followers when you don’t know how to do it. The best way to get better is to just force yourself to take a certain amount of pictures daily until you start to develop instincts. It’s both easy and necessary.
This is a great skill that is rapidly growing in demand. With technology ever changing, brand and design is no longer a flat plateau, but a dynamic landscape. Branding becomes more than just what you want the messaging to be, but what kind of interactions and experiences you are capable of creating.