Building your brand without going broke

Recently, I spoke to David Siteman Garland, the founder of The Rise to the Top and author of “Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business.” We talked about how to build a brand and business without spending your life savings.

What are three ways to grow your brand without breaking the bank?

First, shift your mindset from a product-pusher to a trusted resource. A product-pusher focuses on shoving his or her product down  throats. A trusted resource is the go-to person that spends their time educating, entertaining and inspiring — as opposed to hard selling. Secondly, start the online media arm of your company with some type of free no-strings-attached content around an interest or passion (not a product). Why? Because content is marketable. People share content. And it builds influence and trust. Influence and trust leads to sales. Third, respect the blogger: Focus on one-on-one relationships with bloggers and new media sources. There are influential and up-and-coming bloggers in every industry and niche. Use Google Blog Search and identify the key players.

What are your first steps?

Open your big mouth and let everyone know you are starting a business. My company started as a local TV show. I made a list of people I knew and told them, “Here is my idea. If you like it, would you mind nudging me in the right   direction?” You never know who will be helpful until you ask.

–Dan Schawbel is the author of “Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future” and the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding LLC.


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