[SYBS EP11] How To Build A Loyal Tribe That Keep Buying

sell your brand show ep11 - how to build a loyal tribe that keep buying


How to build a loyal tribe that keep buying

In this episode, we talk about your tribe! Not the facepaint, warcry kind, but the fanatic, loyal advocates that follow your business, buy its products and services, and loudly sings your praises to anyone that will listen. There are so many immense benefits to developing your tribe, we show you how to actually do it! How do you build one, how do you keep them engaged and how do you make sure they are helping you achieve your business goals!

And in the Content Report this week, Mike talks about some of his alluring conference trips to some of the world’s best industry events and I drop my two pence in for the incredible book that is The Content Machine by Dan Norris. An absolutely amazing book that will give you step-by-step practical advice on how to up your content game and keep it hot an engaging for your audience. To be honest, there’s so much to this book, that summary barely does it justice…just read it!

Let’s get to it!

Just want the highlights?

Then the show notes are for you! Get our best advice, hints and tips from this episode straight to your inbox! The only thing it doesn’t include is the mildly amusing show banter…possibly not a bad thing…

These 8 Steps Will Make Your Brand Epic

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These 8 Steps Will Make Your Brand Epic

July 28, 2017

Building a brand is vital to the real success of a business.

A brand is all about perception – how to influence what others think and feel about you.

How to make them behave in a certain way towards your business – buy more things, provide more information, be more charitable etc.

There’s a lot that goes into making a great brand.

It’s not just logos and colours. No matter how much others may tell you it is!

So I wanna take you through everything that goes into creating an epic brand.

These 8 steps cover everything you need to do to build a brand that’s unique, engaging and powerful.

1. Know yourself

How can you expect people to love what you can’t even explain yourself?

This is the most important step in branding. Get this part wrong (or don’t bother with it at all) and the entirety of your brand will suffer.

Every part of your brand will have its foundations here. Your brand is the representation of the essence of your business. Your colours, fonts, logos, imagery, website design, tone of voice are all methods of getting your business’s existence across to your audience.

It starts with your story. Something completely unique to you and your business. Your experience, your inspiration, why you want to help people, your vision for the future etc.

Next up is your personality – the blueprint of how you present yourself to your audience. Are you all about simplicity? Support? Power? Passion? Do you come across as informal, humorous, spontaneous? Or serious, structured and traditional?

Following that are your values. People connect with others that share similar values to their own. Use them to build understanding, trust and loyalty. Are you all about teamwork? Creativity? Learning, Results? Etc.

Then to your promises. These are they way your audience experience your values every time they interact with your brand. They are vital in building trust. Don’t be afraid to promise your audience (i know a lot of people are!). Be afraid of not keeping them however.

Your reputation comes next – making people think and feel a certain way by associating positive emotions with your brand. How do you want people to react when they think about your business? What do you want them to say to others?

Finally, your solution. What can you offer to satisfy your audience’s wants, problems and needs? They WANT a better life in some way. Their PROBLEM is stopping them from getting it. Their NEED is your product/service. People don’t always want what they need however. It’s your job to take them on the journey from want to need.

2. Know your audience

Once you’re comfortable that you know everything about yourself, you need to look at the next most important part of your brand – your audience!

You need to be as specific as possible when choosing your target/ideal audience.

If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no-one.

However, I get a lot of people say to me:

“James, I can’t go too narrow, there won’t be enough people out there that will want what I’ve got!”

You need to build this into your selection. Can that audience help you meet your goals? It doesn’t matter on the number of them. There could literally be only one, but if they paid you a few million dollars every year, then all good!

Your brand and messaging needs to be focused to an individual group. You need to know that group inside out – their likes, dislikes, wants, fears, problems, frustrations etc. Everything you do needs to be tailored to them.

The wider your audience, the less possible it is to get down to that level of detail and act upon it.

Also, only choose one. Don’t move on to another until you’ve fully exhausted the first.

Trust me. One is plenty to focus on!

3. Know your industry

The last part of the ‘brand foundation triangle’ is the industry that you operate in. You need to know everything about current trends, hot topics and your main competitors!

You need to stay current, relevant and different.

No business is in a bubble, so don’t ignore what’s going on around you. It will influence your brand as much as knowing yourself and your ideal audience.

4. Know your brand pillars

Now you can start to move on to the more well-known branding activities.

You now know everything about you. You know your audience inside out. And you know the environment that you operate in and the businesses that you’re up against.

Your difference comes first – how can you separate yourself from your competition? What do your audience really value that you can give them and no-one else can?

What’s your mission? What change are you striving to make?

What are your brand keywords? Adjectives that sum up your business essence. These will be used further in the next step – brand design.

Time to look at your business name and tagline – what best describes what you do and resonates most with your audience?

Lastly, your pricing – a huge instrument in perception and a key part of your brand. High-quality product, not so premium pricing? That will cause a disconnect in people’s minds and develop mistrust. Make sure you get it right!

5. Know your brand design

Here’s the bit that everyone knows and thinks of when they hear the word ‘brand’.

See how far down the list it is and how much is needed before you even get to this point?

These are the external representations of you, your audience and your industry.

They use design principles and psychology to appeal, entice and influence.

Your brand design includes your colour scheme, your fonts, your shapes, patterns, icons, photography, logo and music.

All of these elements will have specific ways of using them, summed up nicely in your Brand Book – guidelines for your brand foundations and design.

6. Know your tools

Once you know what design elements you’ll be using, you’ll need to know how to work with them creatively.

That’s where Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator and Acrobat come in. Also tools such as Camtasia or Screen Flow for video editing.

“Hold up! I’m not a designer!” I hear you shout.

Don’t worry – neither am I.

And you don’t need to be.

A lot of those programs have bad stigmas attached to them – they’re too complex, too difficult to use, too overkill.

In their entirety, yes. Yes they are.

But you don’t need to become an Adobe Suite expert, you just need to know a small percentage of them to help you brand! Forget about the rest – you don’t need it.

Now there are free alternatives out there – Canva, PicMonkey etc. And you can use these. But to create a visually unique brand that actually has some semblance of design inspiration, you’ll need the power of the Adobe products.

Tools like Canva were built for the masses and your designs will look like the masses’.

7. Know your platforms and content

So where and how will your brand be used? Website, social platforms, video, email, e-guides, brochures, business cards etc.

You will need to know how to translate your brand to each of these to maintain consistency.

Consistency is what will take your brand from good to great!

How should you colours be used across these? How about your fonts? Are your adverts keeping the same look and feel across each social channel?

How do you implement for each specific platform and content type?

8. Know your words

A lot of brand experts cover off tone of voice quite early on into the process.

I don’t think it gets the focus it deserves that way.

And it’s not just tone of voice – it’s an entire communication style.

And it’s on-going. Always developing, always evolving.

It’s the only part of your brand that you will actively be using creatively EVERY day.

The external-facing part of a brand is made up of two things. How it looks and how it sounds. The two methods of communication.

Copywriting or brandwriting is a hugely important skill to learn.

No-one’s born with the ability to write amazing, engaging copy. It comes with practice. It comes with understanding the principles.

We communicate with words. Words are powerful in describing, explaining, influencing, enticing, transporting and building trust.

You will need to know how to use them if you want to create a truly epic brand.

What step are you at?

As business owners, we all have an idea around some of these steps.

What step do you know you’ve got covered?

What step weren’t you aware of until now?

What step excites you the most?

Everything You Know About Branding Is A Lie

brandsnack_everything you know about branding is a lie

Everything You Know About Branding Is A Lie

July 27, 2017

Well now, that’s all a little bit presumptuous isn’t it James…

A little bit strong.

But also in a lot of cases, unfortunately very true!

Branding gets a bad rap. It’s either massively undersold – it’s only just colours and logos, it’s real worth is questioned – it doesn’t deliver ACTUAL results, or it’s altogether completely misunderstood – it’s all just a load of bollocks and nonsense.

People love to dismiss what they don’t understand. They also love to spout lies about things that they themselves are in some way scared of doing.

That results in a lot of ‘bad advice’ around what a brand is, what it does and what it can achieve.

I’ve heard it a million times, from startup business owners, all the way through to top execs at large global enterprises – everyone has their ‘idea’ of what branding is, but it’s usually based on flawed knowledge.

So I wanna help you step away from the masses. To truly appreciate the value of branding and the HUGE benefits it can have for your business.

Here are 15 of the biggest lies that I come across time and time again.

Time to clear them up!

1. “Branding’s just a load of fluff and nonsense.”

Let’s go for the big one straight out of the gates, shall we?

There are a lot of people out there that think a lot of things are fluff and nonsense. Those that think this are those that don’t understand or have the desire to learn.

A lot of people used to think that the Dodo was pure nonsense when the Portuguese first discovered it. 


(about branding or Dodos).

The art of branding is based on human psychology. The way we think, feel and behave. Your brand is a method of showing how your business thinks, feel and behaves to resonate with and influence how others think, feel and behave.

A hell of a lot of research and strategy goes into creating a successful brand…which leads us nicely onto our second point…

2. “Branding’s just your logo and some pretty colours on your website.”

Yes, it includes these, but they only make up about 2% of an entire brand. Much like the sparkly tip of an iceberg, they’re the parts of a brand that can be seen by all. But under them, supporting them, is a great foundation of research and knowledge into who a business is, why it exists, who its target audience is and how it sits within the industry as a whole.

It’s about knowing yourself, your customers and your industry inside-out. It’s about understanding what drives them all and ultimately how you can use psychological hooks to influence those drivers.

A logo is just a quick flashcard summary of an entire business.

The colours on a website are just a visual representation of the essence of your business – who it is, what it stands for and the personality it has. And how they impact your ideal audience – what they’re looking for, how they want to feel, what resonates with them.

Your brand is the essence of your business – everything that makes it what it is. The reason behind your colours and logo.

3. “Branding doesn’t deliver tangible results”

Would an in-depth understanding of your customers’ problems, wants and needs not allow you to create the perfect products, services and messaging to sell more?

Would creating trust at every interaction with your audience not lead to quicker purchases?

Would having shared values with your audience not build loyalty, community and reams of glowing recommendations for your products and services to increase your revenue?

Branding delivers very real, tangible results.

People buy the things they desire. They’ll buy them more quickly if they trust them. They’ll buy them more often if they’re loyal. And they’ll pay more for them if they think they’re valuable.

A brand does all of this and more.

30-50% of a business’s value is in its brand.

McDonald’s would have some questionable meat and bread without their brand.

Coca Cola would have some simple sugar and water without their brand.

Apple would have computers based on technology from years ago without their brand.

Not the billions of dollars they’ve all made from creating a feeling, an experience, a lifestyle for their customers.

4. “Branding’s all about advertising.”

We associate branding with advertising because that’s our main, obvious exposure to mega brands. TV adverts, billboards, magazine pages, social posts etc.

Advertising doesn’t make a brand, but a brand makes the advertising.

In fact, advertising’s just another channel that a brand will influence. Much the same as your website, social media channels, emails, brochures, signage, business cards, blog content, product packaging etc.

Adverts are a way to gain exposure and entice an audience to do something specific – buy a product, use a service, donate to a charity, join a webinar etc.

Brands are the underlying foundation to adverts – WHY something’s being said, HOW it’s being said and to WHO.

5. “Branding’s just a marketing activity.”


No, it’s not.

Branding is something that should be inherently weaved throughout every nook and cranny of a business.

How your customer service emails sound.

How you and your staff dress (if you have any) when representing your brand.

How your T&Cs are worded (obviously to a point to keep them legally viable).

A brand represents everything a business is and everything its customers expect of it. Therefore it should be in every activity a business does.

Marketing only deals with the promotion and selling of products/services. The ‘how’.

Branding is all about understanding and using human psychology, design and communication to build rapport, relationships, trust and loyalty. The ‘why’.

6. “Branding's only for big businesses.”

Again, our main exposure to branding as consumers comes from big businesses, because they have the vast sums of money to constantly push it in our faces through presence and advertising.

That doesn’t mean to say they’re the only ones that can benefit from one, however.

In fact, developing a solid brand as a startup or small business is the number 1 path to a larger customer base and higher profits!

Having complete clarity, direction and focus in what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how it should be done will allow you to scale your business much more quickly than not having a plan in place.

Every business has a brand. Every brand has a customer perception. Every customer acts on their perceptions. If ANY size business can influence their customers’ perceptions, increasing their desire, understanding, trust and loyalty, then their revenues will grow at a much faster rate!

7. “My business doesn’t have a brand and doesn’t need one!”

Let me just stop you right there…

A brand is a perception.

Anything that we can see, hear, taste, smell and touch, we’ll have a perception about.

How good the quality is. How trustworthy it is. How safe it is. How it fits in with our lives. How much it will entertain us. How much we can benefit from it. How it affects how others will think about us…

The list goes on.

As human beings, we have an innate desire to understand everything we come across. To categorise it. To label it.

Your business has a brand – whether you like it or not. If someone has come across your business, they’ll have a perception of it.

Do you wanna leave that perception to chance?

Do you wanna let them make up their own minds about what your business is about and how much it appeals to them?

If you could influence that perception, why wouldn’t you?

If you could make them think and feel a certain way about your business, why wouldn’t you?

If you could make them act how you wanted them to, you would, right?

Much better to be in control of it and use it to your advantage.

Otherwise, you’ll be leaving A LOT of money on the table…!

8. “A great product/service doesn’t need a brand to sell it.”

There have been a lot of amazing products and services that haven’t seen the sort of success they deserve.

Ever bought something amazing and wondered why more people didn’t have one? Ever use a service and wonder why it wasn’t more popular?

Usually, it’s because they’ve spent all of their time developing an amazing product/service but completely lost the plot on their branding.

People won’t buy what they don’t trust.

People won’t trust what they don’t understand.

People won’t want to understand what doesn’t entice to them.

And then you have the multitudes of awful to average products and services. Literally at the bottom of their market zone of quality, but they’ve invested in their brands. And they’ve made millions!

There are infinitely much better burgers out there than McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC etc.

There are definitely much tastier beers out there than Budweiser.

And don’t get me started on Nescafe’s coffee…

But they’ve taken average quality products and invested heavily in their brands – into how they are perceived by the world.

It doesn’t matter what product/service you have, no-one will get close to it unless you entice them towards it in the first place.

That’s why EVERY business, EVERY product, EVERY service needs a great brand if they want to see the success they deserve.

9. “Only products and services can be brands.”

The word ‘brand’ is a very misleading one. 90% of the time associated with products and services from what we see through daily life.

But anything can have a brand. A person. An animal. An object. A business. A country.

Anything that has the potential for an identity, a personality, a character can have a brand.

Let’s stop thinking in business/marketing terms as in reality, it’s got nothing to do with the real essence of branding.

Branding is a psychological representation of anything that can be given a unique personality.

10. “Your brand should be an extension of you.”

Now, this depends.

Remember that the brand of a business is its own entity. It’ll have its own beliefs, values, personality, story etc.

Some of your own may cross over into this (as you’re the one that started the business), but you’ll need to draw a line somewhere.

Your brand should appeal directly to your target audience.

If the entire being of you is perfect for that, then plough as much of yourself into your business as possible. If only some aspects are, then choose carefully what you include.

You’ll need to create a unique persona for your business, and treat it as its own person. How should it think, feel and behave?

The more you craft it into a fully-fleshed out character, the easier it will be to stay consistent in the actions you take with it.

99% of the time, your ‘personal brand’ and your business brand will differ.

Sometimes your unexplainable love for meerkats should be kept back.

Or if you’re comparethemarket.com, throw ‘em in. Hasn’t done them any harm it seems…

Choose wisely.

11. “Once you have a brand, you’re stuck with it.”

I have great news for all the unfortunate shit brands out there…

No brand is forever!

There are two main elements to a brand.

  1. Internal – the underlying strategy and research

  2. External – visual design and communication style

The first determines the second.

If the internal element is missing or wrong, then it’s back to the drawing board. This’ll need to be right before the external element can even be started.

The external elements are literally the surface layer of your brand that communicates everything you stand for to your audience.

Sometimes a brand will require major re-work. Maybe for a completely different audience. Maybe they’ve moved into a new market. Maybe their values have changed.

This’ll be rare though, as brands are based on consistency.

More likely is that target audience expectations and industry trends will change.

This is usually what leads to businesses ‘updating’ their brand design – colours, logos, imagery etc.

Note that they will still convey the same values, messages, emotions to their audience, but will do it using an up-to-date design.

Again however, this shouldn’t be done often. Apple has changed their logo a few times over the years to stay relevant, but their core message behind their entire look and feel has mainly stayed identical.

12. “A brand is an immediate fix to my problems.”

A brand is an investment. And like with all investments, it takes time to see a sizeable return.

But growth is exponential.

It’ll start off slow – nothing in the beginning to be honest. Then a slight trickle. But this will turn to a flood as time goes on and your brand stays relevant and consistent.

A brand isn’t an immediate fix to anything.

But it is one of the most valuable assets you’ll have in your business.

If you invest in it right, nurture it and maintain it, your business will boom as it gains traction

13. “Branding can wait - it’s the least of my worries.”

Mention the word ‘branding’ and most people think about logos and colours.

I hear the word ‘branding’ and I think about creating emotional connections that make people buy, share and buy again.

A bit of a difference right?

Colours and logos can wait.

But can raving customers and sales?

Are growing your customer base and making more sales really the least of your worries?

Surely they’re at the top of your list!?

Branding should be at the top of your list.

If you wanna see MASSIVE success in your business, focus on your brand as a priority.

Apple did. And they’re worth $170bn.

Coca Cola did. And they’re worth $54bn.

Mcdonald’s did. And they’re worth £40bn.

There’s a moral hidden in there somewhere…

14. “Branding's expensive.”

Thank you to the swarms of advertising and branding agencies out there that have helped spread this lie.

Branding is not expensive.

It is if you want to get one of these agencies involved, but you’ll pay for large teams and over inflated director wages.

I’ve spent well under $1000 creating the brand for BRANDSNACK. And half of that was on the logo!

There are a huge number of inexpensive or free tools and resources out there that you can use to build your brand.

Agencies charge the extortionate sums they do because they shroud branding in this unnecessary air of difficulty.

And that leads us nicely on to our last point…

15. “Branding's a difficult skill to learn.”

You can do 90% of branding yourself!

You just need the time to dedicate to it and the right processes to follow.

I promise you – it’s not difficult!

Yes, you need to learn something new. It doesn’t just happen by magic. But it’s not complex.

There’s just a step-by-step process you need to follow so that your internal and external brand elements flow from one to the other.

If you want to create a brand. You can.

If you want to change your brand. You can.

How's your brand doing?

Has that helped open your mind to what branding ACTUALLY is and the amazing possibilities it has for your business?

How important is branding to your business?

Building your brand is one of the most important and valuable things you can do.

Trust me. Your business, your customers and your future self will thank you.

[SYBS EP10] How To Be More Confident In Your Brand

sell your brand show ep10 - how to be more confident in your brand


How to be more confident in your brand

In this episode, we have a look at the wider concept of confidence. How to be more confident in yourself, your business and your brand and the benefits this new-found confidence can bring. We go through our top 10 tips for developing confidence. Each of them are fully grounded in reality rather than nonsense theory, highly practical, slightly poetic and achingly beautiful. Just like us. Stop hesitating with your business! Be proud and start shouting about it from the mountain tops.

Also, in the Content Report this week, we talk about Digital Marketer’s certification program – DigitalMarketerHQ. An amazing resource full of training on content marketing, email marketing, social, search, analytics and data etc. – the list goes on! Want to know everything there is to know on this? Head over there and join up! 

We also take a look at the first of a stunning set of books by Michael Freeman – The Photographer’s Eye. Ever wondered why some photos just work and others look a bit rubbish? Why some photo’s you can’t tear your eyes away from and others you wish had never wasted precious seconds of your day? This book goes through the defining features of great photography. What makes a great photo and why.

Let’s get to it!

Just want the highlights?

Then the show notes are for you! Get our best advice, hints and tips from this episode straight to your inbox! The only thing it doesn’t include is the mildly amusing show banter…possibly not a bad thing…

[SYBS EP09] How To Expand Your Product Lineup

sell your brand show ep9 - how to expand your product lineup


How to expand your product lineup

In this episode, we go through the steps to using your products more effectively to get more sales – quicker! We look at price points, product suites, cross-selling and upselling and how these can all be combined to create an unstoppable revenue train for your business.

This week’s content report has us talking about a great book by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares called Traction. They take you through their 3-step ‘Bullseye’ framework to get you onto the right channels for your business to gain the most traction – out of 19 in total! Following on from the topic of price points in this show, we also take a look at The Psychology of Price by Leigh Caldwell. An eye-opening read about how you should be setting the prices for your products and services, and WHY. How to use price to influence people and change their perception of your business.

Let’s get to it!

Just want the highlights?

Then the show notes are for you! Get our best advice, hints and tips from this episode straight to your inbox! The only thing it doesn’t include is the mildly amusing show banter…possibly not a bad thing…

[SYBS EP08] How To Make Money On Autopilot

sell your brand show ep8 - how to make money on autopilot


How to make money on autopilot

In this episode, we talk about the importance of getting your sales process automated. Imagine making sales 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Without you having to do a thing! That’s the power of sales automation. We go through exactly how to start your sales automation process from lead magnets to value-stacked email sequences. Time to work less and earn more!

This week’s content report has Mike waxing lyrical about the free BRANDSNACK email course (yes he took it, no I didn’t force him to). And we also discuss a great book by Sarah Hyndman – Why Fonts Matter. A deeper, yet easy and enjoyable look at the psychology behind different fonts and how they can affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviour – amazing stuff!

Let’s get to it!

Just want the highlights?

Then the show notes are for you! Get our best advice, hints and tips from this episode straight to your inbox! The only thing it doesn’t include is the mildly amusing show banter…possibly not a bad thing…

[SYBS EP07] How To Get Great Clients And Keep Them

sell your brand show ep7 - how to get great clients and keep them


How to get great clients and keep them

In this episode, we talk about growing an audience of people that can’t wait to hear what you have to say next and buy what you have to sell. That’s just the first parthowever – we then look into how to keep them happy, to keep them loyal and to keep them buying your products and services. Customer loyalty is the holy grail of business. Once you can hook someone into what you do, there are so many benefits, on top of repeat purchases, that you’ll start to see. We go through them this week!

This week’s content report has us putting our two pence in on Read Me – an outstanding book by Roger Horberry and Giles Lingwood on how to write great copy. We also have a chat about Digital Marketer’s crackin’ guides to Facebook ads.

Let’s get to it!

Just want the highlights?

Then the show notes are for you! Get our best advice, hints and tips from this episode straight to your inbox! The only thing it doesn’t include is the mildly amusing show banter…possibly not a bad thing…