In today's interconnected world, the premise of brand-building gets increasingly broader and more hazy. You may be familiar with the term "brand," but do you know what it takes to build one?
Building a brand is a journey of self-awareness, conviction, and finding yourself in your business. Whether you're a CEO, a marketing expert, a freelancer, or even a regular joe, if you want to make an impact, you need to get your branding right.
Every business name and logo you see today is a product of labor-intensive branding.
The business card you received at that executive function didn’t just appear out of thin air. Someone put immense thought and heart into its design before deciding to hand it out for the world to see.
As an entrepreneur, building a brand for your business is a never-ending effort. But know this: The companies that invest in establishing great brands have a substantial competitive edge.
While the rewards are sweet, the journey to get there rarely is. But we want to change that.
Branding can be fun, quick, and easy with #BrandInMinutes
With our Brand Plan, it’s simpler than ever to #BrandInMinutes with our collection of professional branding templates and tools to help you launch the brand you’ve dreamt of for so long.
The only way to understand the impact of having a #BrandInMinutes is to take a dive into the stories of entrepreneurs who have had to make it happen on their own.
And Steven Burkhart of Burkhart Creative Agency is the perfect example.
We spoke to Steven about his journey in building his brand for Burkhart Creative Agency.
Hopefully, his inspiring story can inspire new entrepreneurs, such as you, to take the leap and get your businesses out there.
1. Tell us about your business.
When I first thought about creating a marketing agency, I had already been shooting videos for several years.
What I observed on social media was this ever-increasing move towards video.
At the time, Instagram was only for photos, but videos started happening too.
Snapchat and Tiktok showed up (among others), and I realized that businesses would have to be making content, especially videos, to remain relevant in the places that people were actually spending time online.
Thankfully, the video skills I had been honing in the wedding industry were going to be pretty handy, and I was excited to use them to build businesses.
When it came time to take the business full-time, well, I didn't actually get much of a choice about it!
The business I was working for at the time was winding down, and I had already moved from full-time to part-time to build my business.
It made sense for them to let me go rather than cut several full-time employees’ hours, so I used that transition in my life to fully embrace building Burkhart Creative Agency.
We have a small team now and are what most call a "content marketing" agency.
Content is king and attention is currency. Without either content or attention, you have no audience in which to sell your product or service.
We create videos, photos, graphics, and articles to get the brand some attention.
In fact, we want to get them so much attention that they struggle to keep up with the demand for their products and services.
2. How did you go about building a brand for your business?
Unfortunately, because of the large amount of money I had to spend on gear to become operational, I was not able to invest as much as I probably should have when it came to building my brand identity.
Quite frankly it's a small miracle I haven't changed almost anything in my branding. It's usually very difficult for me to land on a decision I'm happy with for any length of time.
What I've realized when it comes to getting professional help is that it's not as much the "doing" that you need as much help as it is asking the right questions.
Literally anyone can make a logo on Canva if it's simply a checkmark in your business launching process.
However, professionals know how to get to the bottom of the feelings and things you're having a hard time working through so that whatever you make becomes something that resonates with your target market and you, the business owner.
That's something that most people cannot work through on their own and then end up making change after change after change of their branding, which is especially killing your business every time.
3. In your opinion, how important is it for a business to build a credible brand?
The world has become a noisy place. It used to be that a gatekeeper would be the decider if someone's work got shared with the world at scale. Think TV, radio, billboards, etc. The world at large and algorithms have become the new gatekeepers in deciding who is worth attention.
You have about 13 milliseconds to make a good impression online, so, just like you wear a nice formal outfit to an interview, businesses can make a first impression with their branding that tell people subconsciously if they are worth that attention.
If you have caught their attention, having cohesive branding that resonates with your ideal audience begins to build credibility over time. Truly credible branding is only built when the type of experience you promise gets met with a service or product that delivers on that promise again and again and again.
4. How did you get your first customers?
Most of our clients have come from relationships we have built, both professional and personal. What makes them comfortable with choosing us is seeing the quality of work we deliver and the creativity that we infuse with it.
While sharing a video we made for a client can establish some of that credibility we also believe that sharing our behind-the-scenes footage, stories of how we have helped clients, and the reviews we get, go far in making people who like us feel really good about trusting us with their business.
As far as growing outside of your current audience, I can say this, from the interviews I've had on The Death To Vanilla Podcast as well as our own experiences, you have to be engaging with people, human-to-human, all the time. You can outsource storytelling, content creation, and content distribution, but you cannot outsource building relationships.
Do this for me: look up Gary Vaynerchuk on Twitter.
He's easily one of the most prolific marketers of our time, but if you go check out his earliest tweets, they're practically worthless. However, if you know his backstory, you know he spent HOURS every day responding to people and it built him a huge audience (over a million).
So do these four things:
- Share your story
- Engage again
- Share your story again
5. What are your future plans with respect to building your business?
The plan for Burkhart Creative Agency since the very beginning was to have a 7-figure agency (10 million tops), and then take the highest performing "builders" and start building and/or flipping businesses that have a marketing problem.
For me, it is about the money. I want to make a lot of it. But it's also about helping people who have the skills, the fortitude, and the trust in me to take those kinds of risks. Being able to have them able to invest and get paid out when we sell is a major part of the plan. That way, when I win, we all win, and we all win big.
Over To You
Branding has no exact formula to it, but we do know there are a few key characteristics impactful brands have in common.
And it might be tempting to look at the successful businesses and say, “I’ll take that brand, please!” But what makes a brand work is how it speaks to you.
What makes your business authentically you? Businesses that manage to be true to who they are, what they do, and why they do it are able to create lasting, evolving connections with their audiences. This authenticity is the core of your branding.
What are you waiting for? Shine bright and #BrandInMinutes today!