Everywhere you turn, you’ll get advice on using social media to “brand” your business. The gurus and experts talk about branding like it’s something you can “do” to your business – like slapping a fresh coat of paint on a wall. If only branding were that simple.
Branding is what consumers DO to your business and are not the logo, color scheme, font and other visual elements you use to represent your business. Sure these elements play an important role part in branding your business but not in the way you might think. Those visual elements are not your “brand” but rather those visual elements play an important role in shaping consumer expectations.
It’s not just bad behavior that earns you the wrath of users of social media. Often, consumers have a tendency to bitch quite freely when a marketing campaign paints an unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations can quickly turn any social media campaign into an ugly social media nightmare resembling the Zombie Apocalypse.
When expectations are properly “shaped” – then you have a much better chance of pleasing the ever increasing horde of Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts and avoiding the carnage their combined wrath can engender.
On Friday, April 13, 2012 – Zak Muscovitch, the Domain Name Lawyer spent three minutes in an online chat with me, answering a question I had about a prospective domain name purchase. I want to point out that the only reason I HAD the question in the first place is because I discovered his blog a while back and subscribed to his RSS feed. I’ve followed his blog posts, learning about many of the potential dangers which lurk in the simple process of registering a domain name. So when I found a plethora of tasty .com’s which included a potential to infringe upon the intellectual property of one of the world’s largest companies – I decided to hit the “chat” button on the website and ask a quick question.
Zak didn’t charge me for his time – and I felt such gratitude that I immediately tweeted about the encounter. However, I wanted to delve deeper here on how that 3 minute investment of time is working to build his “brand”.
I wish I had found him back in 2005 when Copyscape showed me that a web development firm in New Zealand had stolen every page of content from my previous HTML website. I wanted to throw up as I saw every article, every page – duplicated word for word on a site representing a firm on the other side of the world where they had placed their own copyright symbol and the current date.
I contacted a lawyer who – quite honestly – didn’t know where to begin or what to do. Oh, he didn’t come out and admit that when I called – he asked me to pay him a $5000 deposit to get to work on the case. When I questioned him further, like about what I might expect to receive in return – I was told to expect nothing.
I’ve never proclaimed myself the smartest business woman in the world – but spending $5K to start in an international pissing match with no possibility of seeing a penny in return just didn’t seem like a great investment at the time.
Want to build your brand? Spend 3 minutes a day sharing what you know. Who knows – you might get a whole blog post ranting about how wonderful you are like Zak Muscovitch did. I asked – he answered – and now I’m sharing the link to his website and his blog so you can learn from him as well.
I hope you never need more than 3 minutes of Zak Muscovitch’s time, but if you need help protecting your domain name, trademark, or copyright, or heaven forbid – you need to defend yourself against a claim that is made against you – you’ll know where to turn.