Online Branding and Standing Out: How to Grow Your Home Business

Home BusinessI stopped at a small, off-the-path restaurant and got a wrap for lunch the other day.  The server handed it to me in a somewhat typical clear plastic container.  Except that the top of the container was covered with the name and logo of the restaurant.

“That’s cool,” I thought, “but I bet they paid quite a bit extra for that branding.”

I hadn’t finished my lunch, so I brought it into a meeting I had.  After the meeting, someone noticed my leftovers and said, “oh, is that the place over on . . .”  “Yes,” I responded.  We discussed the place (she’d never been there), I gave it a good recommendation, and she plans to check it out.

Had the restaurant chosen the cheap Styrofoam containers, and not put their name and logo on their take-out food, that conversation never would have occurred.

Who knows how many new customers their branding brings in.  Or how many people see the containers and are reminded of the out-of-the-way eatery.  Or how many people stop in after driving by because they remember that a friend had take-out food from there once.

This small out-of-the way sandwich place (I’ve often wondered how they stay in business), has good food, and good branding.  And it works.

So much for my theory that their branding costs them money . . .

There’s a crucial lesson here for your home business. 

It feels like everyone is online these days.  Your home business has lots of competition.

Chances are, you are not the McDonald’s of your niche.  So you need good products/services and good online branding.

More and more, I see an inferior product outdoing its competition simply because it has superior online branding.

Yet, the number one concern of most home business owners I work with is that they create and provide the best product out there.

While this is a noble goal, you can’t spend 90% of your time on product creation and 10% on your online branding.  Reversing those numbers would serve you better.

“So,” you may be thinking, “sounds great, but I don’t know how to effectively do online branding in my home business.”

Let me share another story with you about online branding.

I’ve worked out with the same aerobics teacher for at least 12 years.  New people often follow my feet because I know what I’m doing. 

But it’s hard for me to keep track of these people.  They’re looking at me, but I’m not looking at them.

I hate to be rude and not speak to people I should know.  But I admit that often one of them will strike up a conversation with me about our class and I’ll swear I’ve never seen them before.

The exception is one girl.  I can always identify her.  And I always remember her.  Because she wears colorful knee-high socks to class every day.

Everyone else is in their cute little aerobic-wear, but she looks different.  She stands out.  And I notice.

There’s a lot to be learned from this when it comes to your online branding.

Think about how you stand out in your home business.  How are you different from the competition?  What makes you unique?

And don’t say you’re not.  You are.  Only you are you (obviously, huh?), which means you have a unique hook that no one else has.

It may be a story, a look, a tagline, a product or service.

Stop trying to be like everyone else in your market.  Figure out how you’re different.  Embrace it.  Put it out there.  Use it to make a million dollars.

And let me know how it goes for you!

14 Comments

  1. Great article Jennifer. This is a question I have been asking myself quite often….what makes me different, my business from everyone else. This is something I will continue to ponder and pursue. Thanks so much for the reminder and great examples!

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    • Thanks Jennifer, it is often hard to identify your uniqueness in a way that can be used to market yourself. What comes to mind when I think of you is the PASSION you have for what you do and how special your faith is to you. I like the way you use your faith to help people rather than to make them feel less than worthy. Of course I don’t know a lot about your business, but my outsider observations might give you some food for thought!

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  2. I loved this article, Jennifer. I find your articles and your social media posts are so informative as well as inspiring, thank you! This really resonated with me, “Stop trying to be like everyone else in your market. Figure out how you’re different. Embrace it. Put it out there.” I find when we are Authentic and embrace our true Magnificence and are passionate about what we are doing in making a difference in other people’s lives…you can’t help but be successful. Of course, I might add that effective action and wanting others to be successful as well and an attitude of gratitude, etc. are vital as well.

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  3. Love your un-business example of the girl with the great knee socks. I think a great place to start with how ‘unique’ we are is with our own selves. Being my whole, integrated self online has allowed me to evolve and grow in business while maintaining a personal connection with my online/offline world. Sometimes I still get a bit shaky but then someone will say something about how my ‘self’ and my story has touched them…and I stand tall again 😉

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  4. Wow! Jennifer, you have given me food for thought. I’m going to keep this close to me in all I do! Thanks for sharing & inspiring… x0x
    The LEARNED Preneur @ NormaDoiron.Net

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  5. Great ideas, Jennifer. And I love the knee-sock story. I have a young woman in one of my classes who wears the colorful knee socks–and so whenever I see someone with them (or read about it), I think of her. Building a USP really does help to set you apart, whether it’s your business look or your business focus, you need to give people a positive reason to remember you.

    I am definitely relearning this as I have gone through a process of business metamorphosis and refine my focus.

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  6. Thanks for a great post! Yes I think many times people are creating product and not doing the behind the scenes so to speak of making connections and building the relationships. Thanks for the reminder to take a look at what I am doing myself!

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  7. Great, great article Jennifer! And I love your real-life examples! – Working on my marketing right now! 😉

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  8. Loved your branding examples, Jennifer. You never know what people will remember about your service that will bring in the clients. Thank you!

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  9. So valuable again I agree with others! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge Jennifer! 🙂

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  10. Great article Jennifer. I love my ‘niche’ but I’m hopeless at trying to market myself. 🙁

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  11. that’s how I remember which one Jessica was this season on the biggest loser— she started wearing knee socks while running. 🙂

    Thanks for a great lesson in business branding!

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  12. Awesome article! I loved the stories too but more importantly I loved your message. It is so true that almost everyone we know is online or in some sort of business. We must be different to stand out. Thanks so much for the reminder to spend more time marketing and not so much creating…after all who will purchase our creations if we don’t market, right?

    Reply
  13. This is the first time I’ve been to your blog– enjoyed this post! Now it has me thinking of how to brand and stand out even more in 2012.

    Reply

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