Branding comes first!
Don’t start your business, develop your website, take it from there, and see what happens. You need to develop a strategy including goals. You should have a logo; establish your brand, then build your website, advertisements, promotions, and other marketing efforts on that solid brand foundation.
Ask the right questions.
You need to make sure that your brand represents the real you (your personality) and the image you intended your business to convey. Ask yourself questions like: What are my values? What do I like and dislike about business or my particular industry? What do people tend to remember about you? What are you best at? What aspect of your business are you most proud of? How do you envision yourself and your company in the future? What do you want your legacy to be? What makes you different and better than the other guys?
Establish a clear, concise mission.
It is perfectly okay to offer a variety of products and services; just make sure that your company has a decisive mission and that that mission is the message you project to all of your clients.
Set yourself apart.
It is a competitive world out there and you have to let customers know why they need to come to you instead of the competition. This goes back to the question, “What do you do best?” Find your niche and communicate that through your brand.
Reflect your brand in EVERYTHING you do.
Your brand needs to be apparent in everything you put out, whether it is your company name, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, office environment, website, advertisements, direct marketing pieces, promotional items, social media profiles, etc. It should also be reflected in the way you do business; that means the way you act, carry yourself, answer your phones etc.
Get your brand out there!
You can have this awesome brand that fits you perfectly, but no one will get to know you if you don’t put yourself and your brand out there. Utilize social media, network with other professionals in your field, and establish a presence in the right publications and media outlets.