Digital Brand: Why you need one
Why do people and businesses need a digital brand?
A strong digital brand is fast becoming your most important marketing tool. Our changing culture, business practices and career paths have mean that strong personal and company digital brands are essential to help you be perceived as a leader in your market.
Who needs a digital brand?
- Business owners
- Change Advocates
- Sole Traders
- Small Businesses
- Anyone who wants to make a difference or become leaders in their field or organisation
- People and companies who are already influential and want to maintain, consolidate or focus their authority, market share and profitability
Does that sound like you? You bet it does!
What’s going on out there?
In the business world, everything has changed. Every profession and industry has been impacted by widely available technology, more rapid communication and changing consumer expectations.
For the last few hundred years businesses succeeded and grew by being faster, more efficient or cheaper than their competitors – and the result has been an endless array of cheap, mass-produced goods. But geographical, language and cultural barriers are falling away in the face of unrestricted information flow, viral sharing and the universal appeal of visual media. Customers suddenly have unlimited capability to search until they find exactly what they want. And nobody’s going to settle for less.
Big businesses are trying to respond by offering personal service and customised product bundles, but are hindered by the very standardisation and production economies which allow them to perform efficiently on a large scale. They simply can’t afford to specialise enough to meet the diverse needs of all their potential customers.
Chaos=Opportunity: how to benefit from market disruption
This leaves the door wide open for small businesses and entrepreneurs to capture and delight those customers. A whole new business ideology has developed around these amazing opportunities within the digital arena to identify a niche market – and establish a position as a leader, a trusted expert, within that market. With the right tools, strategy and mindset you can identify a profitable sphere and become influential within it.
So how does this impact you and your business?
But I’m a professional with a great career, this doesn’t impact me!
Don’t be a statistic – you are not immune to the massive changes which are already starting.
Many professionals and business owners fail to grasp the potential disruption to their expertise, employability and business model. Advances in computing and communication mean that many jobs which once needed an expert – a highly trained and paid professional – can now be done better and faster by a computer.
Even if not, chances are someone in India or Singapore (or even Europe or America) can be trained to do the same work for a fraction of the price. Australia is especially vulnerable to job loss, reduced pay and business failure, because we remain one of the few economies where most people are employed in high paying (in world terms) positions.
Obviously ignoring the threat is a recipe for disaster – but it’s also a mistake to give up. The key is to position yourself as someone able to utilise new tools and opportunities, and navigate the changing landscape of your profession.
10 years ago: your expertise was worth $100 per hour. Today – it is free on Google
In today’s online economy information, which was once the exclusive domain of professionals and experts, is now instantly accessible through Google. But more information doesn’t always lead to better decisions. Without guidance it can be almost impossible to distinguish truth from speculation. Today, more than ever, specialised, personal knowledge is a precious commodity.
The key to success here is keeping up with the latest news and developments in your industry, listening to the needs of your customers and market, and becoming well recognised as an authority in your industry. You need to be the one who knows what is coming before anyone else does, and ready to provide expert insight to those who need it and will pay a premium for it.
Social media makes all this possible, affordable and easy, but if you ignore it too long you may find yourself, or your business, a casualty of outsourcing, cost-cutting or technical change.
What does this mean for me?
What all this means is that if you have an amazing idea or product, or some unique, valuable knowledge to share on a subject, there is a tangible opportunity for you or your business to become highly sought-after. Provided, that is, that you are prepared to put some real effort into it.
The key to success in this social marketplace is authenticity; which means building your expertise around something you really care about, then promoting it with a brand which appeals to other people who share your passion.
- By drawing on your genuine knowledge, passion and enthusiasm as you reach out to people who feel the same way about the same thing; you will explore and expand your networks until you find the ideal audience for your idea, service or product.
- By thinking about the specific needs of that audience, letting them tell you what they actually want and making a genuine effort to provide something which meets those needs (rather than using tricks to sell them something they don’t need) you will attract people to your brand – people who value what you do and want to share it with their friends and colleagues who will also benefit from it.
- By contributing something new and useful, and by building a name for yourself as others begin to notice and talk about that contribution, you will gain reputation and influence within your niche.
- By repeatedly meeting their needs and working with customers in your niche, you will develop truly specialised expertise, and a toolbox of useful strategies and systems so you will work more efficiently, deliver better results and stand out as one of the top providers in your field.
As a person or business of with a strong digital brand, you have significant online influence, you are someone whose opinion and knowledge people respect. This means you become someone whose advice, service or products people actively seek out.