I started my own brand 7 months ago. Of the many things I’ve learned, none have been more profound than realizing how hard it actually is to build a brand from scratch.
This post is going to teach you about 5 things you should consider before launching your brand. By the end of it, you’ll be more aware that not everything is glitz and glam. If you’re equipped with the right mindset, you will succeed beyond all of your wildest dreams.
1. Community is everything and then some
Now that social media is so prevalent and that people are equipped with so much choice at their fingertips, it’s hard to imagine that someone will pop up on your content consistently.
That’s why your main focus, above all else, should be to build a community. Regardless of whether you sell notebooks or are a social media influencer, you have a goal to make peoples’ lives better in some way, shape, or form. Doing this requires your audience to feel like they’re part of something.
When you start your brand, make sure that you set up a way for your audience to turn into a community. To do this, you can set up a Facebook group, a newsletter, monthly Zoom calls, or encourage user feedback. Show your customers that they aren’t just customers; rather, they’re friends of your brand.
You’d be surprised at how many people running brands are so self-interested! You’ll come to find that many of their audience members take notice of that self-interest. Don’t be like them.
2. There is no true competition, so don’t focus on anyone but your own brand
In a podcast episode from AB Talks, the host, Anas Bukash, explains that not once in the entirety of his career running his own brand has he looked at what the competition has done. In fact, when asked about his competitors, Anas said he doesn’t know who they are.
Anas is trying to tell us that the world is full of opportunity. You do not need to get caught up getting a slice of the pie, but rather, you need to understand that the pie keeps growing – everyone can have a slice.
How do you get the biggest slice of pie? Doing a great job of defining your niche, creating great products and services, building a community, and even collaborating with your “competitors”.
3. Don’t be phased by your brand launch’s excitement
Any time one of your friends announced that they just started their business, what have you done? That’s right, you shared their post and helped spread the word.
But do you share every single post, every product, every update, and every new phase of growth? No, you don’t. As a founder, I was thrilled by how many people showed initial support and devastated at how little people do now.
The lesson here is to be patient, because not everything will be as glamorous as those first few weeks.
4. Hire your weaknesses
If you’re lucky (and smart!) you’ll understand that having a set of partners or pre-existing employees who cover your weaknesses is essential to grow quickly.
One of my current fundamental issues is that I work alone and do everything myself. This is a rookie’s mistake. When you start your own brand, be quick to find your strengths and weaknesses. Once you identify weaknesses you have, you must delegated them away.
Add this to your rulebook: play to your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.
5. Get outside and continue to pursue your hobbies
I can’t stress this enough – do not let your hobbies and non-business interests die when you start your own brand.
The “escape,” as I like to call it, helps you recharge, stay sane, and actually stimulates creativity that you can transfer into building your brand.
Whether you play sports, read books, have kids, like to travel, or all of the above, it’s imperative that you make time for those and keep somewhat of a balance in your life. If you don’t, you’ll burn out quicker than a fire in the rain (yes, that was my best available metaphor).
At the end of the day, starting a brand is by-and-far the most rewarding thing you can attempt to do. But make no mistake, that isn’t easy. Like anything valuable in life, it requires consistent effort, sacrifice, patience, and then some.
Don’t let anything phase you; with these 5 entry tips, you’ll be well on your way to success.