Innovating Through Artistry

Build Your Brand

Written by Lisa Canning

To build a brand- an entrepreneurial identity that reflects the products and services you provide (or will soon provide) – others need to believe in you.

So how do you create this kind of emotionally positive connection to your audience?

I came up with the ETA contest in hopes of helping you begin to learn how to. Let me explain.

In any venture you begin, to initially and continuously draw in your potential client, you need both “features” and “benefits” to do so.

A feature of your product or service might be that you “brand” runs free competition for great prizes, writes interesting articles and offers free informational resources like book lists, free on-line business tools and more.

A benefit, on the other hand, is when you actually use or experience the services that “brand” provides and you receive a benefit, something tangible and concrete that is at least as valuable to you as the price you paid for it– but hopefully far more valuable to you than the sum you paid.

The difference between features and benefits is that features focus on what makes or defines the product, while benefits focus on your experience of that product.

At any level, beginner entrepreneur (aka I have an idea I am willing to try!) to those in an advanced class (aka I am building my customer base daily,) your support base from day one must begin to grow by offering features and ultimately real benefits your customers’ experience that keep them coming back for more.

dreamstime_2794733Whatever level you are currently at, rallying support around your features and benefits is critical, not only to developing your business daily, but especially to your overall mental health, as Kelly Penick described in her recent post ” Stop and Reflect on YOU, for once…” Given the certainty of feeling fearful from time to time, and having moments of anxiety, which often are particularly high in the beginning, (when you least know how to cope with them because they seem unfamiliar) I can assure you votes of confidence are VERY important to beginning and sustaining your entrepreneurial evolution and journey.

So how can the contest help you begin to build your brand?

You may notice that one of the ways contestants for the ETA Competition are being evaluated is based on how much attention they draw to their post.

How are these contestants drawing attention to their posts? Are they posting links to the ETA site on their websites, on YouTube, Facebook, blogging about the contest and asking readers to read the post? What exactly are they doing to seek out potential votes of confidence for the features and benefits of their established or emerging brand?

Not only will studying what each of the contestants is doing give you some insight into what you might want to do, but it also might help you to recognize how much further you will get developing your ideas by asking for a little bit of support for what you are trying to accomplish.

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