During two decades of business and backpacking experience, the most important lesson I have learned is that team engagement is the key to success! Imagine how silly a single backpacker would look trying to carry the load for all the members of an expedition. On a more somber note consider how quickly one overwhelmed team member runs out of steam when they try to do everything on their own. For your business to be successful in creating long-term positive experiences and building the company’s unique brand identity, without experiencing team member burn out, you need to work together.
A Note For Solopreneurs
As a team of one, you may think my advice does not apply to your situation in which case I recommend that you begin building your team today! John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing suggests that you form an advisory board by finding “8 to 10 folks in your community who could be convinced to help you grow your business. Clients, vendors, lenders, other small business owners all make great prospects for your board.” Tactically engaging professional advisors such as accountants, attorneys, and marketing consultants is another excellent idea. Finally be sure to seek out strategic partnerships with your key suppliers. Business is a team sport, begin building yours today!
What Can The Entire Team Do?
Taking a holistic view of brand identity makes it much easier to find ways for the entire team to be engaged. A unique brand identity is, more than visual imagery, logos, and color schemes, more than sales and marketing; a unique brand identity encompasses every procedure, process, team member, system and interaction both visible and invisible that a business participates in; it is the unique value proposition that creates the very essence of a company! To ensure delivery of a consistent experience, team members can document their processes and procedures then cross train co-workers. Cross-function groups can work on process innovation initiatives to improve brand experience and improve internal customer support. Every employee can and should be an ambassador for building your holistic brand identity by participating in content marketing and social media initiatives. As you can see when you view marketing from a holistic perspective, there is more than enough for each team member to do.
How Do I Engage My Team?
Establishing an internal marketing strategy to build brand awareness within the ranks is critical when enlisting soldiers for your brand army. Perhaps the most crucial part of your internal marketing plan is to make sure you are creating a good work environment because unhappy employees will not positively promote your unique brand strategy. Next, give them a voice during the development of the branding plan. Most importantly, don’t forget that actions speak louder than words when trying to lead any change; you have to be an example first. You may get pushback when you enlist the team in your marketing efforts but be persistent!
Empowering Your Team
At Circle Pi Creative we practice a philosophy of continuous professional development and find that the return on investing in our team is huge! Most professional development programs begin with role-specific functional training through conferences, trade shows, short-term courses and in some cases tuition reimbursement programs. Augment technical training with cross-function soft skills such as those taught in Franklin Covey’s Seven Habits material. Finally, investing in wellness programs, like Smart Dollar by Dave Ramsey, can help individuals overcome personal challenges and reach their full potential at work. As with other areas of business empowering your team to ensure they can actively engage in building your unique business identity is priceless.
Involving your whole team in your marketing strategy is one of the keys to establishing and maintaining your unique brand identity and so crucial that even solopreneurs should embrace it. By looking at marketing from a holistic perspective, it is easy to identify ways that any team member can contribute. Internal marketing, team member empowerment, and persistence will be required to get everyone on board. It won’t be easy but engaging your whole team in your unique brand identity will be worth it!