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Build Your Brand Without Busting Your Budget

Aug 17, 2007
Coke. Pepsi.

Adidas. Nike.

Levi's. You.

You? Yes, you.

For the home-based business owner, establishing a brand is key to success. Powerhouse corporations spend millions of dollars establishing their brands in the hearts and minds of their target audience. However, for most small business owners, buying a commercial during the Super Bowl is simply not in the budget. It's not in mine, anyway.

So what can small business owners do to establish their credibility and become known in the hearts and minds of their target market? Is it possible to create a brand on a budget?

More importantly, can it be done quickly? Because we all know that speed is life, and if you're living on internet time, there's nothing like now. Who you are today is all that matters. What have you done for me lately?

I'm going to tell you exactly how you can get customers now, and build your brand in the minds of your target market. This isn't a time consuming process, it's something you can do today. It doesn't take a lot of time or a great deal of cash. You can start establishing your brand within the next hour. Yes. One hour from right now.

Your target market wants to solve a problem. You have a solution. If they knew about your wonderful widgets or your extraordinary ebook, they would recognize the value and buy from you. But how do you create your brand, especially as a home based business?

What can you do right now to introduce yourself to your target market? How can you let your target market know that you're an expert? Can you do it while keeping your costs at a bare minimum?

There is one simple solution for the home-based business owner on a budget: Demonstrate your expertise. You own a business - you sell a product or provide a service. You have expertise. Now express it to your target market.

But how?

Here is a three-step plan that brings qualified visitors to your website.

Step One: Think About Your Business
Right now, before you even finish this article, think about your business, just for a moment. What problems do you solve? How do you solve them? What are the steps necessary to solve those problems?

Is there a topic that you find yourself frequently teaching to your prospects? For instance, I frequently teach my customers how to build their brands quickly and inexpensively. Think of a topic that you cover with your prospects. Go ahead... I'll wait.

Ok, welcome back. Now that you've thought of a topic, you probably have a "standard spiel" you give your prospects when that topic comes up. For me, it's almost always the same. I tell my customers that to build a brand, they should think of a topic they know well and that they frequently explain to their prospects. I get them to remember the standard spiel they use to explain that topic.

Step Two: Write It Down.

That's all there is to it. Write down what you typically explain to your prospects. Write the article in a friendly, first person voice, much like I'm doing here. What's that? You don't know how to write an article? Sure you do. You just explain a topic so that a reader can understand it. That's an article. There's nothing mystical about it.

If the topic is really involved or complex, break it into sub-topics and write an article on each sub-topic. Keep each article to somewhere between 400 and 1200 words. This won't take a lot of time, because you already know this stuff. These are not topics you have to go figure out, research or look up. Just write down your standard answers.

When you're done, you'll have an interesting, content-laden, helpful article. It will be something that your target market is interested in, and something that you've learned through experience that they need to know. It's a topic you teach them during your sales process anyway, so it's not like you're giving away the store when you teach them.

Step Three: Get Published.

There are a number of things you can do to get your article published. Post it on forums.
Here are some of the top forums that accept articles:

Post your article at the popular article directories. Places like ezinearticles.com, content-articles.com and GoArticles.com love to get well-written articles from experts like you. And yes, you are an expert. This is your business - you know it well - you are giving credible advice. Readers benefit by reading your articles.

The secret to success is to get your article to the largest number of people in your target market in the shortest possible time frame, and then to continually reach out to new people entering your target market.

There are a number of services that will automate the delivery process for you. These places will handle the submission for you.
thephantomwriters.com charges $82.50 to submit three articles
isnare.com charges $49.00 to submit forty articles
ArticleMarketer.com charges $39.95 to submit unlimited articles. Also, try the free distribution option. It doesn't cost a cent.

The key is to get your expertise in front of as many editors and publishers as possible, as quickly as possible. A distribution service gets your articles to all of the important places much faster than if you do it by hand. You know the truth: time is money.

So what happens next? You've finished the three-step plan. You've thought about your business, written the article, and sent it to editors and publishers. Now what?

The editors review your article and decide if it meets their standards, and if it provides interesting information to their readers. That's the key - make the article interesting. It's not just a sales pitch or a call to action. Give the readers something they can do when they're done reading the article. Give them something that makes them more successful or makes them some money.

Why is that important? Because when you've proven your expertise, they'll want to read more of your work. They'll want to know more about you and how you can solve their problems.

That's where your resource box (About the Author) information is important. In your resource box, you put a call to action, your contact information, and a source for more helpful solutions. When they've finished reading your article, those on a quest for more information, with a problem to solve, or a need to fulfill will click through to your site to find out how you can help them.

Once you get your expertise on paper, and then published in newsletters, on content driven websites or in blogs, you are seen as the expert that you are, by people in your target market. You build credibility and you provide proof of your expertise. The more articles you have published, the greater your brand. And you did it without spending a lot of money.
About the Author
Chris Ellington is the founder of
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