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  • Writer's pictureUana Coccoloni

Avoid These Branding Mistakes: Tips for Female Entrepreneurs

Female Entrepreneurs

It doesn’t matter if you’re head of marketing for an internationally known company or running a hair salon out of your basement with dreams of getting that storefront one day; the principles of building a brand are the same. The only difference between those two scenarios is having access to more money, time, and resources. Most female entrepreneurs start off doing literally everything for their business, and invariably, the most neglected part of your business is building your brand. How do I know it’s the most neglected area of most businesses? Because I receive calls for help from entrepreneurs with branding issues every week.

Look, I get it. You have so many things to handle, branding doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Create a logo with some cute colors, get some social media, and you’re set, right? Nope. Big mistake! Huge! Not establishing a strong brand foundation will cost you a lot more money, time, and resources at a time when you should probably be focusing on the growth of your business.

But fear not. Today, I’m going to address some very common pitfalls in brand building and give you tips on how to steer clear of them. 

The Clone Wars: Copying the Competition

One common misstep is mimicking competitors' strategies instead of embracing your brand's own individuality. It’s so easy to look at what your competitors are doing successfully and try to replicate it. It’s like skipping steps on a math problem when you were in school. The answer may be right the first time, but as the problems become more difficult, you’re going to wish you had focused on what makes your brand unique and built from there.

The goal should be for your brand to stand out; not blend in. Here’s a great exercise. List five brand characteristics of your competitor. Now, list five characteristics of your brand. There could be some crossover between the two lists, so cross those out. Now, whatever remains on your list is what makes your brand unique. And that is your sweet spot. Focus your energy there. Only you can be you.

Social Media Overload: Spreading Too Thin

POST! POST! POST! That’s what everyone tells you to do. Now, mind you, most of the people are telling you that they are on social media. Many business owners fall into the trap of quantity over quality, but that doesn’t mean you need to be precious. You need to get content about your business onto platforms. But which social media platforms? All of them? Why? Are your customers on all of them? Let me save you some time. They’re not.

Bombarding every social media platform may seem like a good idea, but it will lead to burnout and subpar content. Focus on platforms that align with your brand and your target audience, then tailor your content accordingly. Remember, your friends follow your personal social media because they’re your friends. Your customers follow because they connect with your brand. Quality over quantity, always! 

The DIY Design Disaster: Bargain Branding

I know you get compliments on that shelving unit in your living room that you put together, but that doesn’t make you a carpenter any more than using a Canva template makes you a graphic designer. Sure, online design tools are tempting, and AI makes us all feel like writers, but those tools won't replace the touch of a professional. Invest in a well-crafted logo and cohesive visual elements – a well-designed logo attracts and leaves a lasting impression.

And with copy, consistency is key. Too many business owners send out mixed messages about who they are and what they’re about. You need to ensure your brand voice, values, and visual elements are connected across all platforms and channels. Whether it's a social media post, a blog, or an email, you want your brand's personality to look and sound consistent. It’s easier to do this once a strong foundation has been laid (there’s that word again: foundation). Oftentimes, that comes with the help of a professional.

Ignoring Feedback: The Ostrich Approach 

Customers, not unlike children, will tell you what they like and what they don’t like. While you can ignore your kids since you’re the ones feeding them, your customers are the ones feeding you. Ignoring their feedback, or worse, not actively seeking it, is a surefire way to miss out on valuable information that will strengthen your connection with your customer. Embrace feedback as a gift – it's your secret weapon for improvement. Whether it's positive praise or constructive criticism, use it to refine your strategy and stay ahead of the curve.

If your customers aren’t giving you feedback, that’s a problem. So, you need to reach out to them. Use whatever data or contact info you have and ask your customers what they think or thought about “X.” Get their thoughts and thank them for their time. It may feel invasive, but that’s just your fear talking to you. You had to get over your fear to start your business, so fear is of no use here, either. Find out how you can improve. Customers love giving their input. I wish some of my favorite brands would reach out for my thoughts. (Jimmy Choo, if you’re reading, your boots are awesome, but the heel caps wear down way too fast. IMO).

Building a strong brand is not easy, even with all the time, money, and resources in the world. Missteps are going to happen, but avoiding these common mistakes helps build a foundation so that when missteps do occur, you can regroup quickly. Remember that building a brand is not a sprint but a marathon. Embrace the journey, stay true to your vision, and trust your instincts.

I hope you found this post helpful. Feel free to email me directly with any brand questions you may have, and remember to SUBSCRIBE. Until next week – Stay Dope!




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