Let’s work on “brand building” today.
Let’s try to build a brand together right here, right now.
And why don’t we make some branding mistakes and learn from our mistakes?
We need a “brand example”.
Trust me, there will be no perfection in this brand example. I will make “your mistakes” while building a brand.
I’ll be you. Step by step we will try to make it better. Deal? Let’s start!
Brand Building: The Confusion
You are living in Helsinki (Finland) and you are working in a private company which is renting and selling houses only in Helsinki. You want to start your own online business. You don’t want to leave your daily job until you make “enough” money with your new business.
You know a lot about real estate business but you don’t want to start a real estate business. You are not sure actually. Sometimes you feel that you love your daily job; but sometimes you feel like you are trapped in a cage.
You also thought about your hobbies. Maybe you can turn one of your hobbies into an online business. Why not? This will be the best life for you. Doing what you love…
What do you love to do in your free time? You love traveling, cooking Italian food, cycling… If you have to choose one, your biggest hobby is traveling. You wish you could do something about traveling. But none of your hobbies turn into a business in your mind. Especially traveling. There are hundreds of thousands of travel sites and blogs out there and who knows if they make any money. Whenever you try to write down notes or sketch ideas about this, in the end, you think that this is a childish game, you will never be successful and you will ruin your life with these stupid brand building ideas.
So you are confused. Starting an online business but what? Brand building but how?
You thought of different business ideas but you realized that you have little to no knowledge in those topics. How can you start a business if you don’t know anything about it? Of course, you can learn in time but it will take years to make progress, make money and make a difference.
Questions To Ask Before Brand Building
Which problem will I solve?
Who am I helping to?
How will I make a difference?
Can I provide value?
You couldn’t stop thinking about starting an online business. You don’t want to stop. This is the “place” where you feel in control, independent, joyful and full of positive future thoughts…
So you decided to take it easy. You will think more about this and you will find a way out. There is nothing to lose at this point. You feel that, if you don’t try this now, you will blame yourself in the future.
Maybe there is a way out if you combine two different topics. For example “traveling” and “real estate”. You have the knowledge in one of them and you have the passion in the other one.
But how can you combine real estate and travel and build a brand with this new combination? Is it possible?
As you think, you started to realize that this idea fits you well. Why?
In your daily job, you saw that wealthy people in Helsinki are very interested to buy or rent houses in different countries, especially in Florida, United States in the summertime.
On the other hand, you also know that wealthy foreigners (especially Americans) are very interested to buy or rent houses in European cities, including Helsinki. Helsinki is known as a Christmas city. People from southern parts of the USA love the city in the winter since there are a lot of gorgeous ski resorts around and they can also go to Lapland to see the Northern Lights.
Numbeo tells you that life is cheaper in Helsinki compared to Miami. Even if you are a rich person in Miami, you feel much richer in Helsinki!
So what will you do?
You will start a website that provides quality information about these people’s searches. You will help foreigners who want to buy or rent houses in Helsinki. And you will also help the people in Helsinki to buy or rent houses outside of Finland.
Your knowledge tells you that people are having a hard time finding quality content about this topic. Trust is another issue. You saw that people don’t trust middlemen who are asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars for buying a house that is thousands of miles away. Who are these people anyway? They are on the phone all day, trying to break all the communication records but their websites look like a slum house. If you wonder about their content quality: Their content is not bad. It’s because they have no content at all, if you don’t count the house photos and the price tags!
Brand Building Strategies: Your Advantages
People want to buy and rent houses in foreign countries but it is almost impossible to find the right people and information that they can trust.
So you will fill the gap with your real estate knowledge for Helsinki and Florida locations. This is an advantage for you.
You will be the trusted real estate adviser for people who looks for a house in these two cities.
People will remember your name. You will be in their minds as a contact person when they think about buying or renting a house overseas.
How will you do it?
You will create a very good website and you will create the best possible content for this site.
And how will you monetize?
You will take commissions or you will take consulting fees or you will find a way to earn money from your website.
You are not sure about your brand monetization strategy. This can be a mistake. It is good to know how to monetize a brand before starting to walk on brand building path.
You have another advantage. You can write both in Finnish and English and create content in these two languages which will result in more traffic to your website.
You will write in Finnish for Helsinki people who want to buy houses in Florida. And you will write in English for Americans who want to buy and rent houses in Helsinki.
You think that, if you reach success, you can broaden the topic to other European and American cities. Once you build trust and authority, it will be easier to grow. But for now, Helsinki is the hub and you have enough knowledge and resources to create the best content.
Creating a Personal Brand or a Creating A Company Brand?
Since you are working in a real estate company, you don’t want your colleagues and boss to hear about this project. You know that if you start a personal brand, you will have to start your social media accounts under your real name and it won’t take a long time for people around you to discover your Hub Helsinki Project.
Plus, you don’t feel comfortable to use your real name with this project if you consider that your real name will be spread all over the internet under this project. If you won’t be successful in this journey, you will always be related to this adventure and this will look bad in your CV.
Maybe it’s a mistake to start with a company brand name because you feel that it is much easier to establish trust with a real name and photo. People trust people, not imaginary brands (or let’s say, people generally do not trust new brands!).
But considering your current work and your unwillingness to start a personal brand, you decided to go for a company brand.
Personal brands scale easier in terms of social media followers and audience building. Selling your book, being a motivational speaker, consulting is cool under a personal brand. But you can also see digital marketing agencies performing under a personal brand name. More vulnerable, less plastic…
Company brands scale easier in terms of “business”. B2B is much easier with company brands. It is also much easier to sell your brand to an invester. Less emotional (a disadvantage sometimes), more professional…
Naming a Brand and Brand Logo Creation: Spreading The Love Sauce
A beautiful name and a beautiful logo can be a big motivation for creators. If you can spread “the love sauce” into the air, people will be happy to follow you. What is a love sauce for brand building? The love sauce is your heart. People will feel it if you love what you’re doing. They can smell the passion from hundreds of km’s away. Love sauce creates followers.
It is time to check for some domain names then. You are not really sure if you should include the word “luxury” to your brand name. Some people might dislike the “luxury” concept of the brand even if they have the money to buy or rent a house. Is this important? You will discover what you want as you check some domain alternatives. Let’s work.
This can be a mistake. You should know who your target audience is. Adding “luxury” to your domain name means that you are targeting people who are looking for luxury. Are you going to create content about this niche or not?
Sketching some logos will also help you in brand building. You feel that these are one of the most enjoyable moments in the brand building process.
Authority and Trust in Brand Building
You will build trust and establish authority under your company brand with very high quality content. Plus, you will also start creating video content. Videos will help people to know you better and they will easily understand that you have “the knowledge” that they are looking for.
You decided to check Udemy. Are there any courses about Helsinki in general? Or any real estate investment courses in Helsinki?
You couldn’t find anything about Helsinki in Udemy. This could be an opportunity since you will be the first creator and you will prove your authority. You decided to check Real Estate Investing Category in Udemy. Are there any courses about buying or selling houses in other countries? You found this:
Yes! You will create the Helsinki version of this course. You were amazed that people actually pay for these courses. You will release your course for free. Maybe you will price the course in the future if it gets enough traffic. But in the beginning, all you need is to spread your knowledge. The rest will come naturally.
You found Real Estate Investors Groups on Meetup.com. You joined all the groups that will benefit your brand building process. You will build your network and collect important leads from these groups.
You saw this workshop on Eventbrite and decided to make the same workshop in Helsinki. This way, you will increase your brand recognition and meet potential customers face to face which will bring more positive comments to your blog content and social media posts.
You saw this webinar also on Eventbrite and you decided to start your own webinar series. You will contact with people from all over the world and open the gates of new business opportunities on your brand building path.
Maybe Amazon can also give you some hints. There are lots of great resources on Amazon that will be beneficial to you on your brand building process. You typed “real estate investing Europe” and here you go.
These books will give you content ideas that you will use in your blog posts and they will also help you to write your own book about “buying a house in Helsinki”. This way you will grow your authority further.
You thought that your brand building process needs a story. Maybe you can make up a brand story?
No fake brand storytelling!
I didn’t go to Rome. The hotel didn’t cancel my reservation when I arrived at 3:AM and the night manager didn’t shout at me because I just wanted to sleep at the lobby. I didn’t spend the night in the park. That’s why I didn’t decide to start a startup for “last minute cancellations”.
Nobody believes in these brand stories.
Don’t do it.
If you don’t have a brand story, tell everyone that you want to create a brand story together. You have a dream and “our” story starts here with this dream. Let’s walk together?
You know that you should also start thinking about article topics. In the beginning, maybe you can write about Helsinki in general just to warm up. You know that people who will invest in a house in an other country will be highly interested to know about the safety of the neighborhoods, indoor and outdoor facilities, international schools, visa requirements…
You decided to prepare some content templates so that you don’t miss any ideas. You created an infographic since you know that people love to get information in the form of numbers and graphics… You started a webinar called “How To Buy A House In Helsinki”. You listed this webinar on event sites on the internet. You also started a podcast called “Living in Helsinki: The Expat Life” where you share all the related how to’s for people who are considering to move to Helsinki.
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