Hello and welcome to the third and final instalment of my series on how to build a brand from scratch. In this article, we will be discussing steps two through six of the Movement Maker System, which will leave you confident to start a new business that is both marketable and profitable.
Please, if you haven’t already read parts one and two, check them out at How to Build a Brand from Scratch and How to Start a Business with Sammy Blindell. They will lay the foundation for the exciting steps I’m presenting here.
This strategy will help you get your brand out there, build a massive amount of trust and an enormous amount of credibility…as well as help you turn what you know into skills for solving real-life problems. You will be giving people what they actually want.
It’s more than creating something just because you want to create it. That’s fine if you want to produce something and don’t care if you get paid for it. But if you want to build a business and make money, then you need to start solving problems that actually exist.
Everything here has been taken from my full Brand Builders TV episode, How to Build a Brand from Scratch. You may watch the entire video here, or keep reading for the conclusion to this series.
It’s time to learn it, model it and get shit done! Let’s go!
This is Sammy Blindell
A brand creation and visibility expert, Sammy Blindell is the author of multiple best-selling books, the Chief Visionary Officer for the Brand Builders Club and founder of the One Drop Movement. She is also How to Build a Brand’s CEO.
No business is too new or too established, too small or too large, for Sammy to work with its owner and show them how to enhance awareness, credibility, trustworthiness, reputation, marketability, profitability and branding. Her mission is to inform entrepreneurs of her strategies so they can get it right the first time, instead of making the mistakes she did. This decreases business owners’ investments of time, money and effort…with better results.
Let's move forward with Sammy, as she tells us in her own words how to start a new business.
Start a New Business: The Final Steps
Hello! It’s Sammy, and I’m back with steps two through six of the Movement Maker System, so you can start a new business that sells something people actually want, need and will buy.
Step Two: Craft Your Offer
Let people know that as a result of their feedback, you’re creating something. Tell them, “I’m looking for twenty (e.g.) people to test it with me. Who’s up for that?”
Talk to those twenty people and tell them, “This is how much it’s going to cost me to create the program. Would you be willing to invest in supporting its creation? You’ll be getting it at a fraction of the price that everyone else will pay once it goes to market.”
Then you’ll get early adopters—people who are investing in you and paying you to create the program. They’re going to get more of your time than anyone else because you’re building the program around them.
You know they have a problem that millions of others also have. Whilst it will feel like you’re personalising and tailoring it to them, as you’re doing that, you’ll also be creating it for the million people who will come after them.
This is the time to craft your offer. You’ve done your research, you know what they want, and you can start reaching out and asking if this is roughly what they were thinking of.
It's better to create it live, in a setting where you’ve got love and people around you who will help you produce something people actually want…better than making all your mistakes publicly. A lot of our Brand Builders test and launch things in the Brand Builders Club before they take it market.
Step Three: Pre-Release
You’ve done your research, you know exactly what people want, you’ve created the offer and you just want to release it.
Not long ago, we released the 7-Step Brand Kickstarter online program, which is a brand-building system. It’s something I do personally with my Brand Builders Club members, but lots of small business owners were really struggling with their messaging (How do I create a pitch? How do I talk about my business consistently? How can I get other people talking about my business consistently?).
And so, I created that for the public as well and put that out within my Brand Builders Club LITE Membership group and said, “This is a fraction of the price to do it here.” And they all went and bought the 7-Step Brand Kickstarter. They’ve all been going through it, which is great. I’ve pre-released it. I can get feedback and get it tested before the “real” program is launched.
Step Four: Launch
Now you have confidence that your creation is going to work. It’s going to do a good thing.
Step Five: Optimise and Re-Launch
In my case, I had pre-launched my program into the Brand Builders LITE Group. They tested it and gave me feedback. I could then optimise it and make any changes.
People went to the landing page and found little grammar errors. Any little thing like that is enough to put a stranger off, so test it with friends first because they’re already in love with the stuff you’re doing and want to support you.
If you do it that way, it will be much easier for you and you’ll get it right. But then you’ll want to optimise it before the big launch. This is something for you to think about in your process.
Everything I share with you is stuff I’ve actually experienced. I never read a textbook and then tell you to go and do it. These are things I’ve done over a thousand times. I’ve learnt a lot the hard way, so you don’t need to.
When you re-launch it, you will have had a whole lot of people testing it, who have been part of the journey and who have grown up with the product.
A lot of business owners make the mistake of only starting to announce the product once the thing has been created. They don’t talk about it early on. When you’re thinking of creating something, start sharing it now, then you’ve got people who will buy from you as soon as you launch it, and you won’t have to turn strangers into friends from scratch.
Step Six: Illuminate
Put it out everywhere, let everybody know about it, ask people who have been through it and people who trust you to help you in driving out the message. Don’t be afraid to ask, because if you don’t ask, there’s a 100% chance that you won’t get what you want.
Get support. Let the whole world know about it. Let space know about what you’ve created. Put all of your energy into getting it out there.
Step Seven: Automate
As soon as you get to the end of the process, you won’t want to be doing this again and again. That’s not a good use of your time. Some of it you will need to be doing because it’s reliant upon your being there—but there are certain things that can be automated, like emails, messages and some of the social media…so it can be going out even when you’re not there.
With the Brand Accelerator program, I was creating email content in a Word document, copying and pasting it into emails and addressing the emails to every single person. It was only eighteen people for a period of six months, so it wasn’t too stressful, but you can imagine how that would feel for a larger number of people, or for a longer period of time.
Then my PA was sending those emails out. Every time a Brand Accelerator would send an answer back, the next step was emailed out with this copy-and-paste method. But we had money from paying customers to invest in someone automating these things for us. And so we automated with InfusionSoft, which is a large program. You can use Mail Chimp to get started, which is free to use for up to a certain number of contacts. Active Campaign is somewhere between Mail Chimp and InfusionSoft, and comes at a minimal cost.
When you’re first starting out, you don’t need a massive email system, but if you know you’re going to get 1K or 2K people onto that list, it’s easier to go for the bigger program straight away. Otherwise, it can be difficult to export names. You might have them tagged and segmented, and modelling that into a new system can be quite manual and time-consuming.
Why Start a New Business without the Brand Builders Club?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series with me, Sammy Blindell, all about how to build a brand from scratch. Please share it with a friend who may be wondering how to start a business or how to improve an existing business.
And before you go, be sure to check out the Brand Builders Club. If you’re in a job and want to create something on the side or you’re already busy with your business, or starting a new business, there are 30 mentors waiting for you in the Brand Builders Club. The LITE membership is only £37.99 per month, and you may cancel at any time.
I did things on my own for three years too long. It was ridiculous, and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was doing nice things, but wasn’t making money, wasn’t fulfilled, and was just busy doing things I thought I had to do.
But you are unique. Your business is totally different than everyone else’s on the planet. You don’t have the same business, desires, vision. You are unique in what you want to do and how you want to do it. There’s no one-size-fits-all business model. That’s why at Brand Builders Club, we meet every week. If you can’t get to a session, you’ve got the group to be able to ask questions and throw grenades in there. I can have more influence and support you in your journey if we’re actually working together.
So please, head over to Brand Builders Club LITE and take a look around. There’s a whole world of support waiting there for you.
In the first article in this series, How to Build a Brand from Scratch, I talked to you about what’s really important when you decide to build your brand. And now, it’s time to get to the heart of the matter and show you how to start a business on a budget, with nothing more than a passion and a vision.
The first step will be shared here, and the next six in Start a New Business with Sammy Blindell. Why only one here? Because it’s so crucial to everything that comes after it. It will set you up to build a brand that will be visible, credible and that will have an impact.
All of the content here has been extracted from How to Build a Brand from Scratch, an episode recorded for Brand Builders TV, and has been created for the purpose of showing you how I took a business from £0 to £18K per month in just twelve short weeks.
You can watch the full episode right here, or you can keep reading.
Now let’s learn it, model it and get shit done!
Who is Sammy Blindell?
Sammy Blindell is a branding and visibility expert who has written several best-selling books. She is also the CEO of How to Build a Brand, Chief Visionary Officer at the Brand Builders Club and founder of the One Drop Movement.
Sammy works with all sizes and types of businesses (and entrepreneurs who are thinking of opening businesses) to increase their credibility, relevance, visibility and profitability. She made a number of mistakes when she built her first businesses, and now she’s on a mission to make sure that none of us make those same mistakes. She’s saving her 46,000 followers from wasting time, money and effort and helping them to get it right the first time.
In her own words, as extracted from her Brand Builders TV episode about How to Build a Brand from Scratch, she’s telling us how to get started.
How to Start a Business: the First Step
Hello! Sammy here. I’m going to take you through a seven-step Movement Maker system. I shared this on a webinar about two years ago, and I don’t think I’ve shared it with anyone since then.
This is a process that works 100% of the time, whether you’re launching a business, a product, a book…for anyone who’s just getting started in business, starting over again, a young business owner or someone who’s new to business.
Step One: Research and Listening
I know this sounds like a really boring step, but you can make this so much fun. When I was getting ready to launch How to Build a Brand, I reached out to some friends and said, “I’m going to launch this online resource. It’s a brand-building resource for business owners and I really want to get it out there in a big way. I know you run events, and I’d love to talk at your events. I know you run webinars, and I’d love to deliver a webinar with you to support your audience with how to build a brand, which is the name of my company. Do you have any slots available?”
I got some speaking gigs and there was one speaking opportunity that came up for a two-hour presentation for a friend of mine, Simon Coulson. He has an online marketing group and he said, “Come and talk to the group.”
I immediately went onto some Facebook groups (you could also use LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest or any platform where you already have a following) with an essence of fun and enjoyment. People could tell I was doing it because I really wanted to help; not because I was trying to get something out of them or sell them something. That wasn’t the energy I went into it with.
So I got focussed on going into some groups that weren’t my groups (I didn’t have my own Facebook group at that time) and said, “I’ve got to create a two-hour presentation for a friend of mine all about how to build a brand. What are some questions you have about how to build a brand that I can answer for you and these people? Because you are the same audience that will be in that room.”
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was brilliant. I had one group where I got 19 responses. Every one of them came in with really good questions. In another group, I got 21 responses, and about the same from the third group. Some were duplicate questions, which was great because that told me they were the ones I needed to answer first.
This is a great YouTube strategy because you’re getting actual research from actual people who actually exist and who actually want to know the answers to specific questions.
So you go and get those questions, compile them in a list including who asked the question so you know who to go back to, and friend request people who jumped in on the conversation.
Back then, we didn’t have live streaming, so I bought a 12” foam grip tripod from Amazon (the smaller plastic ones slip and are too lightweight). It bends and wraps around things; you can take it anywhere.
And that’s how I started How to Build a Brand: with a free Facebook account, an iPhone 4S and a £12 tripod. I got to work making videos to answer those questions. For instance, “Lisa, thank you so much for your question on building a personal brand at the same time you’re building a corporate brand. If you, like Lisa, have that question, over the next three to four minutes, I’m going to answer it for you. If you have any additional questions as I go through this, please pop them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to make you a video as well. Let’s get started…”
Then I delivered that. Every day, I put up another video. I posted it on my own personal profile because I had friend requested new people who had joined the conversation. I posted it and tagged them in and sent them a little message saying I’ve just posted a video for them. I asked them to share the video with anybody else who would find it valuable. The people responded, “Of course I’ll share it. You created a video just for me?”
I spent maybe an hour a day creating a video and responding. At the same time, I was going back to the threads of questions, thanking one or two people for responding and letting them know I’d created a video and where they could find it.
I was continually signposting back to that content. And because of that, I wasn’t having to create a load of content—just one piece a day and then driving people to it. It also did something else, because every time a comment is made on a post, it will go straight to the top of people’s news feeds. So every time I went back and commented, it shot the post back to the top. Using this commenting strategy, your brand is the one that will most often be seen at the top of the page.
That was my strategy for Research and Listening. I was creating content people were asking for. That gave me permission to create the content, to contact them about that content…and they became really amazing brand ambassadors.
By week ten of launching How to Build a Brand from scratch, I still only had a Facebook account, a phone, a tripod, a blog and a URL for my website (I went with .org, bought .com and .uk and directed them there, because Google always ranks educational content first). Google makes its money with advertising, so it wants to direct people to the best resources, and educational ones are just that. So the more relevant you are, the more educational your content is, and the more content you provide on that…the faster you’re going to increase your ranking online.
On day one, my website was number 437,000,000 in Google search rankings, and most of us know that people rarely look past page one. Just with this strategy of learning, providing content and value, and turning that into blog posts (using Rev.com and Otter for transcribing), I got to number three on Google’s first page.
So I was creating the video and sharing it on Facebook, also sharing it on YouTube, transcribing it and turning it into a blog post for the website, and streaming the YouTube video into the blog post. So I’ve got YouTube (which is owned by Google) and I’ve got my blog (which Google loves because it’s educational content) streaming into my website, which took me to the first page of Google for “how to build a brand” in just twelve weeks (ahead of Sir Richard Branson).
We also launched my first book, The Seven Reasons Why Customers Don’t Choose You, and that book answered the top seven questions I had gotten in those comment threads. That book was launched in week eleven, but in week ten, I had enough information and enough followers that people were already asking me for things. So I created the Brand Accelerator program by week twelve, and eighteen people bought it because they’d been seeing me every day.
They saw me show up, they knew I was loyal, reliable, consistent…and they knew I was the one who could help them to build their brand. Those eighteen people invested £1K per month to work with me on this intense program for six months. So I had six months of income, with £18K per month coming in.
It makes sense that if you’re going to create something, Research and Listening should be your first step. You’ll never create something people don’t want if you do the Research and Listening first.
That’s How to Start a Business
So that’s the first step. For the next six steps, jump over to Start a New Business with Sammy Blindell. There you will learn about Crafting Your Offer, Launching, Optimising, Illuminating, Automating and more. Those steps will take less time each, but they’re just as crucial to learning how to start a business, especially if you don’t have the budget to invest in lots of expensive marketing, websites, funnels and that type of thing.
Let’s continue on together! Because I want to see this business that’s blooming inside of you out there in the world!
How are you liking the episodes and the material we’re presenting in the Brand Builders TV episodes? If you’d like more, please do subscribe to the Brand Builders TV YouTube channel to see all our Brand Builders have to offer there. Or, why not participate live in upcoming episodes, where global thought leaders are sharing tips, tools and resources to improve the flow of your life and business? For that, simply Like and Follow the Brand Builders TV Facebook page.
And finally, if you’re wondering what the Brand Builders Club is all about, learn more at https://lite.brandbuilders.club/member. It’s a safe space for entrepreneurs like you, filled with support, encouragement and accountability. Come see what you think.
To make something from scratch: That means to take raw ingredients and create something that none of them could be on their own. And just like that, I’m going to show you how to build a brand from scratch—to take the glimmer of an idea and work with people who need what you’re offering to create something completely unique, marketable and money-making!
This article is the first in a series of three, taken directly from the Brand Builders TV episode How to Build a Brand from Scratch. I’m going to take you through a seven-step, twelve-week process that will turn a loosely organised idea into something you can use to make a difference and change lives in ways you’ve never imagined.
I have designed this strategy with my own trial-and-error, so you don’t have to. It took me from being number 437,000,000 in Google results to third (on the first page). It can do the same for you.
You may wish to watch the entire Brand Builders TV episode here, or read on to experience it in my own words.
It’s time to learn it, model it and get shit done. Let’s go!
Meet Sammy Blindell
Sammy is a brand visibility expert, multi-award-winning international speaker, best-selling author, founder of the One Drop Movement, Chief Visionary Officer at the Brand Builders Club and CEO of How to Build a Brand.
With a following of more than 46K business owners and entrepreneurs, Sammy is working with businesses of all sizes and stages to make them more visible, credible, trustworthy, relevant and memorable. This is branding, and she’s teaching us all how to do it from the ground up.Now let’s hear about Sammy’s strategy for building a brand, in her own words.
Sammy is Sharing How to Build a Brand from Scratch
Hello and welcome! I’m going to share with you a strategy I used when I really didn’t know any different. I’d been building big companies, marketing campaigns and brand strategies for many, many people. But I had been doing that for them. All of a sudden, it really meant something because it was my stuff I was putting out there. I was in the position to start something from scratch and it was suddenly more important.
It became an overwhelming task.
I had walked away from an £8M company and I was never going to go into business again. And presto, the creative streak in me couldn’t help it. I was compelled to start another project, which went on to be How to Build a Brand. We’re now eight years into that. It’s taken us all over the world, we’ve launched over a thousand minicourses and masterclasses, we’ve done loads of great things…but that’s now. Looking back at when I was first starting that, I felt like I was learning everything for the first time.
I don't want you to have to build your brand that way. That’s why I’m sharing what I know with you now.
What I’ve Learnt About Building a Brand
What I’m going to share with you will help you to cut out a load of the marketing crap and funnels. Those things are great once you’ve tested them and know they work, but you can hemorrhage time, money and energy trying to do everything perfectly the first time. That’s the worst way to do it. Maybe you’ve heard me talk about how Perfection Is Poverty.
There’s throwing jelly at the wall and hoping it sticks, which is Brandalism (brand vandalism)…puking everything out at people. But then there’s creating a strategy, testing it first and taking it to market to make sure it changes a lot of lives.
The first step to building a brand-new brand from scratch is to create the brand in the way you want it to be remembered. You might recall from other content that your brand is what other people say it is when you’re not there. This isn’t how to create a logo from scratch. It’s how to create a brand from scratch—a reputation from scratch.
The way you help people to remember you is the ways in which they’ll share you. And how they share you is going to make dramatic differences in your marketing costs. If you’ve got a word-of-mouth strategy, that’s going to drive the cost of your marketing down. The more people who are talking about you when you’re not there, the less it will cost to reach the lives you would have never reached if it hadn’t been for those people sharing your name.
There’s a quote by Simon Sinek I love: “We all die. The goal is not to live forever. The goal is to create something that will.”
By doing that, you will not only create a product or service, you will also create your legacy. When you’re getting your message out, and other people are getting your message out for you, you are creating a legacy. You may not want to grow a global business; just make your mark on your corner of the earth. But I think there’s a different way of thinking on the horizon. The world is looking for a new style of leader now. It’s looking for legacy leaders—those who aren’t in it for the quick win and who want to make a conscious impact.
There’s an energy that comes from a leader like that. You can tell instantly if someone is in it for the long game or they just want to get in, get their money and get out.
There was a time when people could go into business like that, but that time has gone. The new level and style of leader people are craving is the one who’s on a mission to make a difference in a bigger way than just for themselves. They’re doing it for other people.
Most Brands are Global Brands
We’ve got to think more globally about the ways we’re building our brands. We’re not just living in one corner with other people just like us anymore. For instance, I live on a boat in a marina and there are approximately 24 other families who live here too. Only one-third of us are English. The rest are from Poland, France, Italy, Brazil and more. That’s just in one marina in England.
If I create my brand just for a specific person, I will soon find out that it needs to be bigger than that. If you’re going to create a product, that’s where niche comes in. You need to sell that product to the person who needs that product. But when it comes to building your brand, that first three to twelve months should be dedicated to choosing your direction, setting your vision and getting totally focussed on the difference you want to make. Then you can start making an impact.
The vision will start to shape itself as you begin to grow. What I see too often is people creating the branding, website, funnel…getting everything “perfect” and then they have to change it because they outgrow it.
The key, if you want to do those things, is to go through the process I’m about to introduce in the next article, How to Start a Business with Sammy Blindell. It will get you to think in terms of branding yourself and your business as it’s going to be in the future.
Where is your brand now and where do you want it land in ten years, or even a hundred years from now? I have a hundred-year vision, and you can too. I want to create something that lasts way beyond me, whether the person next door or somebody on the other side of the world is impacted by it. I want to create as many One Drops and as many Ripples as I can, while I’m still here.
To me, legacy is something you create in every moment. It doesn’t have to wait until you’ve died.
That’s How to Build a Brand from Scratch
…but it’s also only the beginning of making it happen for you. In the instalments that follow (How to Start a Business and Start a New Business), I’m going to take you through the Movement Maker System, a seven-step strategy for building your brand without having to be perfect, without making mistakes on a public stage and without having to risk losing lots of time, money and effort in the process. Don’t miss this!
How would you like to go through this entire journey with support, accountability and a network that will offer feedback and spread the word about your business? That’s the Brand Builders Club and you can get a taste for it by joining a Thinkubator, where you’ll put your business in the hot seat for reactions from seasoned entrepreneurs and business owners. Register today!