When you build a powerful personal brand, speaking opportunities, media requests, and corporate opportunities will come banging down your door. Creating a national brand means you no longer need to explain your expertise or solutions or pitch yourself. Your clients will already know what you do, and your conversation becomes about interest and availability. It’s the ideal position to be in as an author, speaker, coach, or consultant.
One of the biggest mistakes many people make in this business is to list out all the things they can do. If asked, “What do you do?” they say, “I’m an author, speaker, and coach.” You can also replace coach with consultant; it doesn’t really matter. Instead of saying what they do with a label, they should focus on how they impact others.
For example, if you asked me, “Who are you?” I’d answer, “I’m Melinda Emerson, America’s #1 Small Business Expert, and I fix small businesses every day.” Which, of course, will invite a question about how I do that. Then as a follow-up, I’d say, “I’m the bestselling author with a book that has been in print for 13 years, now in its third edition. I’ve written over 5000 articles on my blog, succeedasyourownboss.com, about how to start and grow a small business. I also have an online school, smallbizladyuniversity.com, and host a weekly podcast, The SmallBizChat Podcast. I also occasionally appear on CNBC and Fox Business, discussing small business success. I also host virtual and live events for small business owners.”
So how do you build a national brand? In this article I’m sharing 10 tips from my experience.
10 Tips to Become a National Brand
1. Cultivate Your Attitude
Becoming a national brand all starts with what you believe about yourself. Success as an expert starts with confidence. Take proactive and decisive action toward your goals. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you; actively seek them out. Be willing to take calculated risks and make informed decisions to get your brand out there. Embrace a “doer” mentality and be ready to learn from both successes and failures. Maintain a positive and resilient attitude, especially during challenging times. Approach obstacles as opportunities for growth and view setbacks as learning experiences. By cultivating these attitudes, you will establish yourself as a national brand known for excellence, innovation, trust, and resilience.
2. Define Your Brand Identity
Defining your brand starts with clarifying what you want to be known for in the marketplace. Define your mission, values, and unique value proposition (UVP) to identify what sets you apart from your competitors. Analyze your strengths, expertise, and unique offerings. Consider what value you bring to your customers that is distinct and valuable. To be known for something in the marketplace, you must deliver on your promises consistently. Your brand should clearly articulate how you provide exceptional value to your target audience.
3. Define Your Niche and Target Audience
Defining your niche and target audience involves a strategic process of understanding your expertise, identifying your unique value proposition, and researching the needs and characteristics of your ideal customers or audience. Consider what makes you unique and the areas where you excel as an expert. Determine the specific value you offer customers that sets you apart from competitors. Defining your niche and target audience is an ongoing process. Regularly revisit and refine your understanding to ensure your business remains relevant and aligned with customer needs.
4. Survey Your Target Audience
Surveying your target audience as a national brand is essential for understanding customer needs, improving products and services, shaping brand perception, enhancing marketing efforts, and making data-driven decisions. You’ll gain a deep understanding of your target audience, their needs, desires, and pain points. Identify the specific problems you solve for them and the benefits they derive from your products or services. By actively listening to your audience, you can align your brand with their expectations and build stronger, more meaningful relationships.
5. Build Your Online Brand
An impactful online presence is essential for establishing yourself as a national brand and industry expert. Optimize your website for search engines and ensure it reflects your brand identity. Your online brand is the image or reputation you convey to the world online. Showcase your expertise through case studies or testimonials and provide a seamless user experience across devices. Utilize search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to increase your visibility in search engine results. Creating a cohesive online brand depends on consistency. Be intentional with your visual branding too. Use consistent colors and visual branding elements such as your headshot and graphics. Be reliable with your social media content to build audience engagement. Creating a solid social footprint is one of the most important things you must do to become a national brand.
6. Create Exceptional Content
Creating valuable and high-quality content is crucial for building your brand and establishing expertise. Invest in content creation that educates, entertains, and solves problems for your audience. This can include blog posts, videos, podcasts, e-books, case studies, infographics, and more. Focus on providing unique insights, actionable tips, and addressing frequently asked questions within your industry.
7. Develop a Signature Story, Expertise, or System
Developing expertise or a system in a specific area sets you apart from competitors. It positions you as a specialist, making it easier for customers to choose you over generalists or those with less focused knowledge. This differentiation creates a competitive advantage and increases your perceived value in the marketplace. When you deeply understand a specific subject matter or possess a proven system, customers perceive you as a reliable source of knowledge and solutions. This credibility enhances your reputation and fosters long-term relationships with customers and partners.
8. Inspire Others to Action
To inspire others, demonstrate your expertise through your actions and achievements. Share your experiences, both successes, and failures, to show that challenges are part of the journey and can be overcome. Be generous with your knowledge and insights, providing guidance and support to those who seek it. Show genuine enthusiasm and passion for your field, which will be contagious and inspire others to pursue their passions. Finally, encourage and empower others to explore their potential, offering coaching and mentorship when appropriate.
9. Leverage Your Network
Networking and collaboration are powerful tools for gaining visibility and credibility. Attend industry events, conferences, and trade shows to meet fellow professionals, industry leaders, and potential partners. Engage in meaningful conversations, share your expertise, and seek opportunities for collaboration, co-marketing, or joint venture initiatives.
10. Continue Professional Development
To become an industry expert and national brand, commit to continuous learning and professional development. Stay current with industry trends, technological advancements, and consumer preferences. Attend relevant workshops and webinars, and invest in professional development conferences such as Brand in Demand Live, Sept 21-23, in Philadelphia, PA. You’ll learn strategies and learn from experts about how to become a national brand.
Becoming a national brand and industry expert requires a strategic and focused approach, which I outlined in the tips above. By following this advice, you can position yourself as a trusted authority in your industry. Building a national brand and industry expertise takes time and consistent effort. Still, the rewards in terms of brand recognition, speaking opportunities, media appearances, and business growth are well worth it.