BAUCEs when it comes to growing your brand and business, marketing is essential. Whether you’re new to your industry; your newly built empire needs tools and a foundation to truly prosper in competitive spaces, and following these five tips can help take your empire in the right direction. Lashawn Dreher of BlkWomenHustle has built her brand and business from the ground up, having created an all-in-one networking platform for black women entrepreneurs, professionals, and creatives; she shares 5 marketing tips BAUCEs should adhere to.
1) Social media marketing will give you an advantage
As you may know, social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even Tik Tok are the biggest ways to get engagement for your newly established business and brand. As a new entrepreneur, it is important to fully engage with your followers, follow the latest trends relevant to your business, and collaborate with brands when needed. You want to build a community with your audience so you must engage with them.
“Before you create any more social media content, stop, and study your people. Social listening isn’t talked about enough. Creating aimlessly will likely lead you to low engagement. You must be intentional with your strategy. If you know what truly interests and moves your audience and their typical behaviors, you’ll likely create the perfect growth formula for your business.” Dreher says.
Using the features that these platforms offer such as advertisement – Facebook and Instagram offer you the option to market to people who follow your brand, or you can customize your targeting preferences by choosing specific details, including age, location, and search behaviors. “You can’t grow online without the people who are interested in what you have to say and offer. Forget the algorithm hacks— focus on those you want to stay engaged with and start building a relationship.” Dreher explains. BAUCEs use social media to your advantage, so you can ensure you’re only serving your ads to those most likely to purchase the product or services that your business offers.
2) SEO optimization will get you noticed
To get noticed your brand and in this digital world, SEO optimization has to become your best friend. SEO optimization will grant you the traction that your socials and website need, thus giving you more opportunities in the industry of your choice. When customers and followers visit your website, comment, and share, your competitors won’t stand a chance if you’re on top of the digital food chain! Having a great density of keywords for your search engines will greatly help in the promotion of your brand and it’s very important for you to have the right tone and tactic for your brand. “If you aren’t sure about the tone or energy you want to set for your business, start with the strategy, not the tactic. A tone must be established before you begin marketing. It’s a part of your brand identity. If you can’t effectively communicate what your business is to a targeted audience, you can’t establish enough trust to convert them into consumers. You have to know the style of communication that translates best to your desired audience,” Dreher advises.
Lashawn Dreher further explains the importance of SEO optimization. “Marketing methods like search engine optimization (SEO) could easily get eyes on your business without the physical work. I know marketers talk about social media a lot, but content creation for those platforms can be draining. On the other hand, SEO will take some research and strategy for your copy, but it can be tweaked along the way,” says Dreher. “Once it’s programmed effectively, you should start to see the results within a few months. Google your brand every now and then, set up your monitoring tools, and watch your progress.”
It’s tough out here in the business world BAUCEs, but with the right sharing tools and meta keywords, your brand is bound to rise above all others.
3) Trademark your brand name
BAUCEs, trademarking your brand is the ultimate key to growing your entrepreneurial empire! Whether you have a book, website, art magazine, or small makeup business, trademarking your unique name will help in the legalities of the business. “Once you know what you want to trademark, start your federal trademark application immediately! I’ve had lawyers as clients before and learned so much about the process,” Dreher says.
The last thing you want for your growing business is for others to steal your name, so, protect your brand identity and limit any imitation that competitors could coup up. One of the first steps Lashawn Dreher took for her platform/brand BlkWomenHustle was to trademark her business, and you should too. Even if it’s as simple as your name, never give competitors the opportunity to steal your hard work. There are many legitimate websites that can help in the process. “I always recommend Lerae Funderburg, Esq. of Lawyer Mommy®. She’s one of Atlanta’s top business and entertainment attorneys,” says Dreher. Hiring a lawyer to file your mark can be a steep investment, but she offers free legal resources and an affordable DIY trademark workshop to guide you through the process (https://www.lawyermommylerae.com/diy-trademark).
4) Have a mentor and grow a sisterhood
Just as it “takes a village” to raise children, the same can be said for being a new entrepreneur. For a new BAUCE, having the support and guidance from those that have been doing it for a long time can be beneficial, because they know the ins and outs of the industry that you’re in. Building a sisterhood with black women that are in the same circles as you, can give you life-long opportunities and even collaborations for future projects and products.
If you’re into beauty, have a mentor that’s in the same field where she can be a go-to for advice and even tips! When Lashawn Dreher started BlkWomenHustle, she knew the importance of mentorship and sisterhood. It’s already difficult to start a business from nothing and not having support can make it even harder. Using a platform like BlkWomenHustle or even the networking platform EMOIR can help build and flourish your relationships. “Every entrepreneur needs a mentor. Especially one who’s been where you’re trying to go. It’s not enough to study their work; you need proper guidance. Get the insight and feedback you need from someone who understands your work and knows the industry in-depth,” says Dreher. “Between BlkWomenHustle® and EMOIR, there have been thousands of successful Black Women featured that women can connect with, shadow, and create a bond with. You’ll always find someone in your industry who’s ready and willing to collaborate and grow together in business. And whether virtual or in person, don’t sleep on the events we host. It’s high-key where you’ll find the gems. The women we bring to the table are always prepared to shoot their shots or present an opportunity.”
5) Investing in yourself is investing in your brand
As black women and new entrepreneurs, we know the hardships of trying to get funding and noticed when it comes to business. We are sadly one of the most underfunded demographics, but this shouldn’t deter you from your goals and dreams. It is important to establish a plan, and fundraising for your business can be a winning opportunity. “We know the hard truth about Black Women being one of the most underfunded demographics in business. So, coming into business with some type of financial cushion will always be recommended. I know the entrepreneur life is glorified these days, but I’m also here for women choosing to keep their corporate roles and working in their businesses part-time,” Dreher says.
Investing in your brand can have its ups and downs, but if you can find investors willing to see your dream, go for it! Start with your family, friends, and even your local school events to get your brand out there!
“You must also consider the investments for intellectual property protection, accounting, insurance, personal development, taxes, the list goes on,” Dreher affirms.
BAUCEs, it’s time to set aside any doubts and get the ball rolling.