Fitjerk makes me laugh. No, really. I’ll be sitting there minding my own business and an email drops from the sky. “JAMES!! JAMES, I’m so excited, check out this POST!!!!!” And voila, there’s 1,500 words of rambling, passionate, off tangent, barely-sensical excitement splattered all over. I get the gist of it, but not much else.
“Good idea,” I’ll write back, wrapping my “No way in hell I’m accepting this post,” inside friendly suggestions on how to clean it up. And every single time, Fitjerk goes to work. “Okay, okay, I got it, right,” he replies absently, and I know he’s already working on it and doesn’t even realize I’m there anymore. All his focus goes into making the post better, cleaner, tighter. There’s no room for anything else.
Then the post comes back. “There. Done.” It’s clean, tight, concise, logical. And Fitjerk knows it’s good. He doesn’t need me to say so. That kind of determination and self-confidence? I love it – it makes me laugh every time, just because it’s so great to see.
But I digress. Go read today’s post. Enjoy.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s the concept of brands. A brand just makes life so much easier. I love how I can quickly determine the quality of a product, the experience I’ll have if I buy it, or the knowledge that it’ll be garbage just by looking at its brand logo.
We preach not to be superficial, yet in business school, we’re taught the importance of brands and how to make customers expect the expected just by looking at a certain image, word or color.
Pfft, what a ridiculous contradiction. It’s no wonder so many people are confused in this day and age.
But the truth is that we need brands. There are way too many products out there, and we sure as hell can’t be bothered to remember them all. We need a quick, efficient system that allows us to make an accurate buying decision – and branding is where it’s at!
It should be common sense that building, maintaining and protecting your brand or image should be of ultimate importance if you want your blog or business to thrive. The problem is that not many people track their branding power online – or worse, they don’t push their branding efforts far enough.
But what is far enough? Apple certainly doesn’t need to try to build their brand anymore; they just need to maintain leadership by not doing stupid stuff *cough* iphone4 *cough*.
When is it okay to pull back on branding efforts and spend more time on building products? I’ll tell you when: when your online brand becomes a major keyword… or as I like to call it, a BrandWord!
Now, not every blog or online business can claim that they are a BrandWord, oh no. You can only say you have a BrandWord when people type in the name of your product or company into Google or the URL address bar of a browser to visit your site. In other words, a BrandWord should bring you traffic because you are just that well known.
A few examples: When I want to find reviews on a certain cell phones and tech gadgets, I don’t go to Google. I go directly to engadget.com, because they most likely have what I need. If I want SEO or marketing advice, I go to Sphinn.com, not some funny-looking blog that fuses three random keywords together to end up with a horrific creation.
Mind you, some of them have good content, but if it’s good, it’ll end up on Sphinn anyways, and that’s where I go.
If I want copywriting or writing tips I come here, go to Copyblogger or bother James. Think about it. What’s more appealing as a brand, MenWithPens or thewritersforhire? Both provide the same service, but one is easily forgettable, while the other is… well, we’re all here, aren’t we?
And to prove my point further, it seems that when people are looking for a really handsome young man to whip their ass into shape, they throw my BrandWord into Google. Because my site is so relevant to what people are looking for, the average stickiness rate of unique hits – people who’ve never been to my site before – is 3 minutes and 45 seconds.
That’s right, I am loved. You may feel jealous now. It’s only natural.
Build Yourself a BrandWord
Since the subject of brand building is obnoxiously huge, I’m going to cut to the chase and throw out a few of my best kick-ass tactics that help your site become a BrandWord. All you have to do is follow my awesome plan, which consists of four kind-of-easy steps:
- Pick a brand name (duh!). Make sure it’s not too long and that it’s easy to remember. It should be relevant and descriptive, and a name you’ll feel good using forever. (I know, commitments scare me too, but a lifetime devotion to cash is something even I can handle.)
- Create a blog for your brand name that has a relevant URL. One of my early mistakes was that I bought fitjerk.com after I bought flawlessfitnessbook.com, and the blog attached to my book blew up faster than I anticipated. The problem was that there was no branding for that URL.
- Create a load of content and make sure you toss in your Brandword frequently. Spread it around – guest posts, articles, social bookmarking, free ebooks etc. This is an obvious step but so crucial and so often overlooked.
- Spend some cash on advertising, but write catchy ads. About a year ago, I set up a Facebook ad that said, “He’s a Jerk, but he’ll get you in the best shape of your life!”. The title had my BrandWord in it, I targeted the ad to males that were 30 to 40 years old, I set the budget and let it loose on the book-facers! The ad was NOT supposed to generate a click; it was meant to give my BrandWord exposure. The money I spent gave me a ridiculous number of impressions. Play around with exposure advertising on the web.
Honestly, that’s all there is to it. Time does factor into making this work, but then again, a business is a long-term plan to wealth. The accumulative time you spend on building your BrandWord pays off quite nicely… and I’m speaking from experience here.
So, is your business a BrandWord? Or is it just an unknown keyword?
Author Bio: “While he has a passion for writing and oozes the entrepreneurial spirit, FJ is a Fitness Expert first and foremost, focusing on impeccably accurate advice delivered in a straightforward, no-BS style. Check out his popular Fitness Blog and E-Training program!”
Here's James' favourite resource on branding that teaches you everything you ever wanted to know about branding your business (and the mistakes you don't want to make):
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by experts Al and Laura Ries.
You'll be on your way to building a branded success!