Branding for Beginners

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Branding in it's Simplest Form.

Branding is the expression of the value of an organization, product, or service. It communicates the characteristics, values, and attributes that help define what this particular brand is and is not.

A brand will help encourage someone to buy a product, and it directly supports whatever sales or marketing activities are in play, but the brand does not explicitly say “buy me.” Instead, it says “This is what I am. This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.”

Branding is NOT Marketing.

Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room. It’s what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization—whether or not, at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy.

Why is Branding Important?

A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. It's important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer which results in them wanting to do business with you.

Who is your target audience? Seriously…

As someone building a Young Living MLM business, it is unrealistic to think that your brand should attract all people. To brand this widely would be very expensive (think millions of dollars) and time consuming (think years). A more effective strategy is to identify a niche that your brand satisfies – travelers, motorcycle riders, home schoolers, hikers, etc… some group of people with whom you share an interest or passion that also helps you easily focus your efforts on.

Are you after people who want to live a healthier lifestyle? Are you after people trying to use network marketing to make money? How about at home parents that want to move away from chemical products? Can you see how different just these 3 groups of people are and how they would be looking for entirely different brands when looking to fill their needs? Bottom line: not everyone is going to identify with every brand.

Have you actually sat down to think of your target audience for your business? Or, are you throwing messages out there trying to attract users of all walks of life and wondering why it doesn't work? Wouldn't it be much easier to identify your niche and then tailor your messages to only targeting that niche? Every message would be on point, which aids in building your brand.

Online Branding…

Now let's start to get very specific to your Young Living business since its not as straight forward as most other businesses.

Young Living has its own brand and marketing strategies and that will continue forward no matter what you do with your Young Living business. You need to recognize that the Young Living brand (that you have no control over) can and will impact your business, both the good and bad.

Your Website

You aren't with Young Living because they are the cheapest oil on the market, why choose your website that way?Boyd Tiffin, Product Manager @ MarketMSO

As you build your business, you need to attract folks that are like minded and want to join you on your mission (i.e. believe in your brand). The first step is your website, which may be the first introduction you have to new people, but also is where you send people to signup in your downline.

Your website should have a professional domain name that YOU own – more on this below. This simple but critical business foundation is often overlooked.  Which domain looks like a business address and which looks like a spam address?

Which link gives the appearance that you take your business seriously enough to get a unique web address? Which link are your customers more likely to give their credit card to? Which link looks like the SPAM links you've seen in phishing emails? If you don't think something as simple as your domain name impacts your brand, think again…

You should own your domain name. Period. It is ok to register a domain name through a site that has your website, but are they registering the domain name in your name or theirs? Most companies register your domain name in their name, which means you are not the legal owner. What happens when and if you want to leave their hosting service and go somewhere else? What happens if they close down unexpectedly? Good luck…

Templated Websites

Templated websites can be a great tool to utilize to get you going, but you need to go into it with your eyes open and have your sights on the long game, not the shiny short game. A templated website is not a long term strategy unless the website allows you the ability to change and grow. Do you think The Lemon Droppers are using a templated website to run their business? They aren't…

What is the shiny short game you ask? It is when a new site or service comes out and people immediately jump to it because their friends are, or because their upline tells them to or they think it is pretty. New doesn't necessarily mean better and as a business owner, you should always understand what you are giving up to move or change your website.

Let's say you have one website service with 500+ pages listed on Google for your site (see below on SEO – a quick google search can easily tell you the number of indexed pages for your site). How many pages on Google will you have with the new website? What about the 500 links that are already on Google for your existing website? After you leave, do they all go to a page not found error? What will your customers think when they see those errors?

These are some of the costs of jumping from one service to another without understanding the impacts. Slow down and make an informed decision, for the sake of your long term business goals. If making a website move makes sense and moves the bar on your long term goals, then make the move from wherever you are now to the best service for your business! Of course we think that is MarketMSO for anyone wanting to brand, but you have to make the call for yourself.

SEO – Basics…

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is basically how Google sees your site. Google ‘scans and saves' every link available on your site. Our MarketMSO templated sites will eventually get you ~500 pages listed in Google for your 1 site. That is 500 potential pages that can come up when the public is searching for you or oils. The reason you will have so many pages with our service is because we are here for your long game. We have structured our service so that all images, blog posts, and pages are geared to help you come up in organic search engine searches so you do not have to run paid advertising. Other sites give you a single page for your ‘custom' website. How many searches do you think your site will show up for with a 1 page website? The answer is 1, maybe,  and that depends on the service.

So if you change your service from our service to the new Young Living service, you are giving up over 500 pages in Google that will no longer bring traffic to your site, you are potentially giving up your domain name and you are giving up control of the look of your brand. The Young Living site gives you a few options for how you want the site to look, but with the millions of Young Living members, how many different designs are there? Are you going to be different or just another distributor among the millions?

The MarketMSO service gives you complete control over the look and feel of your site. You can actually make the site look perfect for your target audience! You can create new pages, blog posts, events, landing pages and more for only $20 per month.

Social Media

Is there a right way and wrong way to utilize social media? No, but there is a strategic and non-strategic way to use social media.

If you think your Facebook Page is where you should be driving all of your users, that is a short-sighted, short term way of thinking. You should be using social media to drive all traffic back to your website! Your website is your company, your business, your brand, your message. What happens when the next Facebook comes along and Facebook falls to the wayside like MySpace did? If you are driving traffic back to your website, then you are already prepared for the next social media site.

If your readers and customers are finding you on Facebook and do not even realize you have a website, what are you going to do if Facebook decides that essential oils are no longer compliant with their terms and they delete your account? Don't think this can happen? It happened in 2016 to one of our clients when Facebook decided, without notice, that his industry could no longer be on Facebook due to Facebook's political values. They deleted everything overnight, years of contacts and content…*poof* gone

Your Message

This sounds easy and yet we see so many folks move off message without realizing it. Simply put, your message should be written to engage your target market. We would highly recommend staying away from hot button issues, unless that is your target market. If your target market is users with horses, then every message should be about how you can use oils with your horses, or other horse related posts. If your target market is people with horses and you are posting about the best ways to use oils in a nursing home, that is not reaching your target users.

This is not to say that you can't drift off topic, just know you are doing it and have a solid business reason for doing it. There is a reason most companies do not talk about politics or religion and that is because it does not promote their business. It does engage readers and customers, but it is not promoting their brand in most cases.

Now, What is Your Brand?

Are you still reading? Hopefully what we are saying makes sense to you and can help you grow your business!

After all of the above content, what is your brand? Sit down and actually write down your target market, identify your niche, go over the top and write a persona of your customer. Once you write down who you are targeting and what you stand for, now comes the message. What are 5 top points that should be conveyed in messages that come from your business?

Once you have these, your goal is to ensure that at least 1 of the points is in each message that your company posts online.

What Not to Do…Ever!

Here are a few items that we would put into the never do column.

  • Don't switch domain names
  • Don't let anyone else own your domain name
  • Don't get sucked into posting or commenting on topics unrelated to your business
  • Don't drive traffic to social media; drive it to your website
  • Don't let people tell you how to brand your business, unless you are asking them…

Next Steps.

Your brand is not your logo, your brand is not the colors or font on your site. Your brand is what you stand for and why people choose to do business with you. The MarketMSO Team helps clients everyday develop and market their brand. Each week we talk to new business owners about how to drive traffic to their website and how to use social media to its fullest potential. Your Young Living business is your business; you should own it, develop it, choose partners that can help you grow it and most importantly, choose providers that are with you for the long term.

Already branded? Leave us a comment and tell us what your business stands for!

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