Small businesses, young professionals and freelancers are among those who are unfortunately at risk of economic setbacks. While the situation at large may be beyond our control, combating feelings of hopelessness as best as we can is our secret weapon during this time to ensure we make it through the pandemic as unscathed as possible.

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home, that’s already a great start! 

READ MORE: 'I landed a new job by sliding in the DMs, here's why you should try it'

Here are seven ways to keep building your brand while in lockdown:

1 - Do your research, become inspired 

Now is a great time to dig deep and figure out all the possibilities and avenues your brand has to explore. Conduct a competitor analysis and see what everyone in your field is up to during this time. Perhaps you may pick up a helpful tip or two that you can adapt to your own business.

It’s easy to feel stuck and not motivation at a time like this as well, therefore, drawing inspiration from real-life success stories or people you look up to in your industry (or life in general) is an excellent way to go. YouTube and TED Talks can help you with this!

READ MORE: 'I quit my new job in just 5 days' — here's how it all started going downhill almost immediately and what I learnt

2 - Network (work, work, work, work, work)

Yes, that was a nod to Miss Fenty.

Building a stable network for your brand is an absolute essential, yet something so many still shy away from due to fear of rejection or hesitance to put themselves out there. In many industries these days, it is about who you know. Send out emails to other brands/ professionals/ potential clients you feel would be beneficial – even if it feels like a long shot, you never know who might respond positively.

LinkedIn is an excellent platform for networking (business people do take it seriously), so spend some time finding relevant professionals in your field and get connected; start conversations. 

There are also helpful Facebook pages such as The Resource that assist with connecting like-minded professionals (this specific one focuses on the creative industry, but you could find one that works for you as well). 

Ask around – people in your life may know someone you can form a good professional connection with. Never be ashamed of trying to better yourself. 

READ MORE: ‘I started my own lube company at 24 after listening to a podcast’ - Cape Town woman shares success story

3 - Social media is your best friend 

Building your brand using social media in a time where the whole world is more connected is crucial. Content truly is king, so get creative and give your friends and dollowers something to see! 

Share some awareness, positivity and help where you can – not only can you use your platform to build your brand, but make positive changes and connect with people who share your passions as well.

4 - Happily engaged

Engage with your audience! Use this time to highlight more of yourself and the humans behind your brand on your social media pages. Be genuine – people respond well to authenticity. 

Community engagement is another sure-fire way to build brand awareness. Interact with similar accounts to yours, create your lockdown challenges and participate in others’. Show you’re not a regular brand, you’re a cool brand. 

READ MORE: FEEL GOOD | Babalwa sold her car to start a sanitary pads brand that's now building a R67 million factory

5 - Love at first (web)site

As previously mentioned, people are more online than ever, so you need to give them something worthy of their time and data. If you don’t have your website or online portfolio, you should seriously consider creating one on platforms such as WixSquarespace, and Wordpress that make it simple to build beautiful, custom sites. 

Already have a website? Make updates! Create new, fresh, and fun content with shareworthy value. Upload your latest work. Consider adding exciting features, etc. 

6 - Plan a way forward

While things are uncertain, remaining as positive as possible that there will be a greater future for your brand will motivate you to put the work in and strategise. Sit down, have a clear think, and create practical goals for moving forward. Remember that persistence is vital – talent and passion will only take you so far, but persistence will see you through. 

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7 - Don’t neglect your mental health

At the end of the day, you’re more than just your business or your brand – you’re only human and however, you react to these devastating times is natural. Remember to take the time for self-care to relieve any external/ work stress. How well can a brand genuinely function if the person behind it is miserable, anyway? 

Here’s to getting through challenges and prospering, good luck!

Have you managed to build a successful brand? Tell us how you did it here.

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