Graphic Guide: How to Build a Global Microbrand using Social Media

I work and talk with awesome people from all over the world, people who dive DEEPLY into entrepreneurship:

  • A Mongolian woman who wants to build her own fashion brand and ships her collection worldwide
  • An Australian who builds his little “social chocolate” business, using only
  • A Romanian who runs his own, fulltime interior design blog

These are not made up examples – those are actual people I talk to and and work with. They may come from the most DIVERSE backgrounds possible, but they ALL have three things in common;

  • They want to live and work on their OWN terms
  • They want to build their brand and run a sustainable business
  • They have internet access Smiley

THIS goes beyond the lame-ass make-money-blogging  around, this is a whole new business paradigm:

You now have ALL THE TOOLS to build a global brand, creating a business that sells and is known around the planet. But instead of needing thousands of people and insane venture capital, you can DO IT YOURSELF, only needing 2 things:

a) The desire to create your own things (services, artworks, products)

b) An internet connection.

And of course the ENDLESS FIRE INSIDE to make it happen Smiley

It’s called a global microbrand (GMB), and let’s define it like this:

It’s a small, tiny brand that uses the internet to sell services and products all over the world.
This can be a blogger or individual with a distinct online presence and a loyal fan base.

You know what this means ? That you can become your own, little fashion brand,  media channel, author and service provider. Ohh BABY !

I have create a semi-graphical guide to show you the overview of how the WHOLE process works. Remember, it’s a basic overview and not the bible of business. Enjoy with care.

Level 1

Level 1 – Every saga has a beginning

It starts with a simple, BURNING desire that can change your WHOLE life if you act on it:

You want to live and work on your own terms !

And the ONLY way to achieve that is to build your OWN BUSINESS.

You have something to sell – either your ideas/knowledge or already existing physical products, and you want to build the online presence to sell them. Good. It’s time for level 2:

Level 2

Level 2 – Set up your site and build your brand

Now you start building the CORE of your business – the very foundation of your digital destiny. Answer these are important questions that help you with the basics of your brand.

Set up a site/blog, and ponder:

What’s your mission, what’s your WHY ? This is the core question that will shape your digital destiny. Why do you build your business, what is the purpose behind it ? Plz don’t say: “I just want to make lots of MOOLAH” – that’s a result, not a motive. Or do you really care about thousands of printed papers ? No, you care about want the money will give you – freedom, adventure and possibility. So, what’s the drive behind that ? And how can you formulate that into an inspiring mission statement that connects with your “right” audience ?

What makes you unique ? This is the sequel to finding your “why”. Remember, you are competing for attention, and since your biz is going to be online, you have to compete with the WHOLE planet ! In order to survive in this FIERCE battlefield, you have to find a style that makes you STAND OUT IN THE CROWD. Think about it:

How can you have a distinct online presence ? How can you make your site design more remark-able ? How can you invent your own (writing, speaking, business) style that makes people want to talk about YOU ?

What do you want to achieve ? What are your goals ? Do you want to build a powerful online presence ? Sell your own, physical goods through your site ? Build a location independent consulting service ? Knowing WHERE to go will show YOU which steps to take NOW !

Whom do you want to appeal to ? Who’s your target market ? And I don’t mean the boring-ass statistical approach: I want to target 21 – 35 year old white male persons in the middleclass range blah blah blah zzzzzz. NOOOO, I mean for WHOM do you create your stuff ? Entrepreneurs ? Travelers ? Big business owners ? Health freaks ? Make sure your online presence attracts your “people” !

ANSWER THOSE important questions and build the epic FOUNDATION for your business !

level 3

LEVEL 3: CONTENT CREATION !

Hell yeah ! Now the ACTION starts. You have built your site, you have found the ESSENCE of your brand (purpose, goals and target audience), and NOW you create like a maniac. You produce content that’s relevant to your niche – EVERYTHING goes. Choose your favorite media style  :

Writing: write poems, essays, tutorials (how to’s), FAQ’s , manifestos and stories…anything goes !

Video: create visual tutorials, little animations, shows, video sessions, little movies.

Images: Show your gallery and portfolio, do a photo story. Go VISUAL.

Podcasts: Make your online radio show and share your experiences. Invite interesting people and teach people with your voice. Do awesome stuff that the big media is SCARED of.

Sky isn’t the limit – your mind is ! Use your creativity to produce the most OUTSTANDING content that’s RELEVANT to your niche !

Social Media domination

LEVEL 4 – Social Media Domination. OH yeah.

CONNECTING time – hell YEAH ! You now produce your KICK-ASS content, but now you need the audience to consume it ! Where do you find it ? Social media, baby !

Use any popular platform that’s relevant to your business and network like a maverick:

Facebook: The uber-empire let’s you build your own mini-site, the fan page, which can be used to raise awareness around your brand and lets you interact with your growing community – endless eyeballs possible !

Twitter: The microblogging service is cool for promoting & sharing your content and connecting with your followers. It’s also GRRREAT for connecting with peers or people you want to network with – most of my most valuable relationships have been formed through Twitter.

LinkedIn: An effective platform for business relationships and job opportunities. Build your business profile and attract clients and customers through networks and word of mouth.

??? There are so many other platforms. Honestly, it would take an afterlife to mention them. Use Google to find the right social media service that matches your business. There’s often a platform for every MAJOR industry – design, fashion, food, handicrafts etc. These are SPECIFICALLY tailored to each group to ensure the MAXIMUM exposure and connection opportunities !

Use whatever platform is vital for your business and ABSOLUTELY dominate it with your presence !

level 5

Level 5 – it’s time for business, baby !

You create awesome content & you build your networks and community, now you make the moolah. If you have attracted a raving audience through your SWEET-a-licious content, you can sell your own stuff:

IF you sell information, you can survey your audience – this helps you to specifically tailor your product to the needs of your community. But if you sell physical products, make sure that the content you produce and makes your audience “desperate” to BUY them !

Digital products: Knowledge is power…and money (insert evil laugh here !). Sell your wisdom, ideas, stories in any digital format that’s known to mankind :

Ebooks, eguides, courses, membership sites, workshops – hell, offer your own online services and software apps.

Using online services like 1shoppingcart or ejunkie help you with the transactions and “digital” shipping process.

Physical products: The creative builder type ? Fine. Today’s online environment has made it easy to sell & ship your tangible products WORLDWIDE.

Artworks, clothes, tools, handicrafts and any kind of self made stuff can be sold via your online presence and a digital service (Etsy for handmade works for example) that helps you with the logistics.

Build and sell the most awesome stuff to your audience, and turn true fans into loyal customers that luv to buy from your “brand” !

LEVEL 6

LEVEL 6 – Perfect the business cycle = true entrepreneurship at its CORE !

Every part of building your global microbrand is linked to each other:

The content you create attracts an audience, which will lead to product creation, which you can sell to your community, which gives you valuable feedback on your content and products, which will be consumed by your audience, which…

You see, it’s an interconnected cycle. Every part of building your business influences each other – your producing style and community interaction is a co-creational process.

As time goes by, you will get better AND better at creating content, connecting with your community and producing & selling your products. Make “Trial and Error” you daily mantra, and constantly challenge yourself in the way you build your business !

Sooner or later, you will turn into a notorious brand, that leads to…

the future

If you kick ass at what you do, and you dominate your niche of the digital world, you will face many exciting opportunities:

Online partnerships and joint ventures. Why do all the work YOURSELF if the world is at your feet ? Find like-minded entrepreneurs and team up to create projects and products that you NEVER could have done yourself. A mutual alliance can DRASTICALLY increase the awareness around your brand and bring your biz to the NEXT LEVEL !

Speaking. A notoriety in your niche can result in speaking gig offers at expos (like Blogworld for bloggers), conventions and other events. If you don’t want to wait, you can ignite your speaking career yourself – find the relevant shows in your niche and try to get in as a speaker and PROVE that you know your stuff !

Media mentions. Public and national media will find you if your online presence is REMARK-able enough. I know people who get invited to interviews and talks because they have built a name for themselves.

And who knows ? Maybe you can host your own TV show Smiley ?

Book deals: A kick-ass online presence can be the stepping stone for a book deal.  Show publishers your raving fan base and  convince him how a book can sell like crazy. Write down your experiences and story into a physical form and impact the offline world with your brand. Or do it yourself all the way – who needs a publisher if you can sell the book to your audience yourself ? Create your own print-on-demand book using a service like Amazon’s Createspace or Lulu and sell it to your community YOURSELF !

Sky’s the limit. It truly is. If you build an incredible global microbrand, ANYTHING can happen to you. Possibilities and deals you have NEVER dreamt of can come your way, turning your future into a playground of endless OPPORTUNITIES.

The world needs you.

What do you think ?

And if you want to start building your own global microbrand, check out my services and sign up for my info-taining domination dispatch.

  • An old friend

    first ;-)

  • An old friend

    Great post btw, still going strong I see

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      thanx man – from where do I know you ?
      Old reader that came back after a big hiatus ?

      :)

  • Anonymous

    You’re right.

  • Jakesch

    wow, definately one of your best posts ever! But, if those persons arent made up, why dont you link to them :)

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Jakesh,
      The Australian and Mongolian are still building their site (their business is currently offline online).The Romanian is the only one with an existing (business) blog. You can find him here: http://freshome.com/
      I just thought it was strange to include just one link.

      • Jakesch

        okay thx for the fast reply :)

  • http://twitter.com/Impds Miguel Lesy

    One hell of a a post, man, one hell of a post. Keep rocking!

    You know, I’m happy that both existing small-bizz owners or aspiring small-bizz owners have people such as yourself. You keep the existing ones going and you keep the starting ones, such as myself, inspired, you give us fuel to be creative. Thanks a lot!

    Best. Frakking. Post. Ever.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Haha, I luv inspiring people, and I luv comments like yours :)
      Creativity is what LIFE is all about !

  • Cliff

    Awesome post from a very insightful concept. Thanks Cliff

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Thanx Cliff :)

  • http://elishares.com Elisha Batuncang

    Online Business Cheatsheet!! Thanks for these insights Mars.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Haha, I hope SO Elisha,
      this is my cornerstone content that I will use on an ongoing basis.

  • http://www.stardeveloper.com/ Faisal Khan

    This is one awesome post.

  • http://www.murlu.com Murray

    Fantastic overview here Mars.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that’s trying to reject this idea that our only option is to “make money blogging”; I’ve always hated the idea because a blog should be used as a platform rather than a business in itself.

    A platform lets you expand in to new areas.

    For example (not to be promotional), I’ve launched my article writing business. I used the experience that I learned from writing on my blog and challenging myself with freelance writing (on the side) to pursue this business idea. I really love writing so it naturally fit.

    I looked at the Murlu community and found a niche: people need content and don’t have the time to constantly work on new pieces.

    The overall difference here between the two mindsets of ‘mmo blogging’ and ‘online business’ is that one has a definitive end and the later gives you countless opportunities to expand.

    Hell, I’ve been thinking about starting a custom arcade cabinet business for years now. In many ways, I’ll be able to use my blog to help it get launched whether its just support from the community or the direct things I’ve learned from interacting with others.

    The trick, like you mentioned, is to perfect the cycle. It’s an never ending goal but with each new project and venture you work on, you master another level.

  • http://www.murlu.com Murray

    Fantastic overview here Mars.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that’s trying to reject this idea that our only option is to “make money blogging”; I’ve always hated the idea because a blog should be used as a platform rather than a business in itself.

    A platform lets you expand in to new areas.

    For example (not to be promotional), I’ve launched my article writing business. I used the experience that I learned from writing on my blog and challenging myself with freelance writing (on the side) to pursue this business idea. I really love writing so it naturally fit.

    I looked at the Murlu community and found a niche: people need content and don’t have the time to constantly work on new pieces.

    The overall difference here between the two mindsets of ‘mmo blogging’ and ‘online business’ is that one has a definitive end and the later gives you countless opportunities to expand.

    Hell, I’ve been thinking about starting a custom arcade cabinet business for years now. In many ways, I’ll be able to use my blog to help it get launched whether its just support from the community or the direct things I’ve learned from interacting with others.

    The trick, like you mentioned, is to perfect the cycle. It’s an never ending goal but with each new project and venture you work on, you master another level.

  • http://www.foursides.ca James M

    An incredible post, and a great model for me to work from for my own consulting business. Definitely going to bookmark it, and use it as a base for when I want to brainstorm/mindmap about what I want to do with my business.

    Great stuff!

  • Artwell

    awsome post. really enjoyed it