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  • Writer's pictureDouglas Kennedy

How to Invest in Your Brand As a Small Business Owner

Marketing and branding invest in something deeper.

Marketing, branding, marketing consultant
Photo by Austin Distel

Gary Vee is a well-known entrepreneur who became popular when he created a popular YouTube channel called Wine Library TV and then later became the CEO of VaynerMedia. Gary has a principle: give, give, give, ask.

In other words, as a business owner or as a content creator on a marketing team, you want to create and give value to the customer 3 out of 4 times when you post content. Marketing is more than just asking for business. Marketing builds trust and creates relationships with customers. There’s a bond with the business and a product that is created. This is a HUGE part of building your brand. Your brand is the sum total of all the experiences a customer has with your company. So, when you provide value through social media and marketing channels, you are in effect building your brand.

I believe this is the biggest mistake small businesses make on social media. I understand why. Most owners are so busy running their business that they don't have time to create fresh content Instagram. Plus, it can be hard to measure ROI on building your brand. When you run an ad, you can track the number of impressions and leads. It's hard to get ROI from "providing value" to the customer.

Now, by “give value” I do not mean that you give discounts, rewards points, or have other programs, although those are not at all bad. In fact, these offerings can be an important part of your business. I'm not talking about lining a customer's pockets to make them feel warm and fuzzy. I am narrowing down on your content (videos, blogs, social posts, email campaigns, etc.).

There are a few ways to leverage these channels to provide value. Here are a few categories to get the juices flowing:


The information that you have is like a content power tool to building your brand. Most customers that come into your business know very little about your business or quite possibly even your industry. Otherwise, they probably would have done it themselves or found some else to do it.

Example: 10 Questions to Ask a Digital Marketing Agency Before You Hire Them


I saw a great post today that said, “Kindness has a high ROI.” People not only want informational value but they want to feel valued. It’s one of the deepest human needs. When businesses show that they value their customers, others see it and want to become a customer too.

Example: A customer posts a fantastic review. They are faithful and loyal to your company. You post their review along with an email to them with a $10 Starbucks gift card.

A Story

Stories are powerful. Use the power of stories to build and enhance your brand. Tell people about the founding of your company, a struggle that you had and how you overcame, or a success that your company had at one point. There are many different directions you can go with this.

Example: Tell your audience about the moment you decided to start your company and compare that to where you're at now.

The best advice I can give you in expanding the diversifying your content on social media is to just TRY. It can be uncomfortable to start putting yourself out there in different ways. But I can guarantee you that if all you do is ask for business, you're loosing more business than you know.


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