We had the chance to be present at the fifth edition of the Dubai Design Week again at the Dubai Design District (D3). This annual event highlights the best of design, architecture, craftsmanship and creativity from the Middle East. And this year was extra special as we – @fronteriors, a furniture company I started together with fellow stylist @houseofhawkes – were asked to speak at the Forum about building a brand online.
We started @fronteriors only at the beginning of this year as a passion project. As stylists, we felt there was a need for furniture that touches on being affordable as well as unique.
Our marketing has only been through Instagram which is exactly what we were asked to speak about. Pratyush Sarup, head of programming for Downtown Design, welcomed us to the Forum and asked us about our three best insights for building a brand online.
We would like to share a recap for anyone who is starting/wants to start a business themselves. It might be of help.
Social media is social and authentic
Many people on Instagram focus on likes and on trying things that work really well for accounts they follow.
We however feel that authenticity is one of the key points for building a brand online. Being genuine and real makes you more relatable. Your audience wants to see what you stand for, hear your tone of voice and see what you do on a day to day basis. If you make a product, take your audience to see what is happening behind the scenes. If you are providing a service, take your audience with you on the journey.
Besides that, social media is meant to be social. Engagement, having conversations and sharing ideas is far more important than collecting likes. Social media is about connecting with your audience, not only converting.
Consistency, consistency, consistency…
If you have your own business, keep in mind that social media is acting as your marketing department. You want to make sure your message is consistent. It is so import of find your visual and actual voice to share with your audience.
What you post, when you post, what filter you use, what captions you add… it all should reflect who you are and what you do. Does this sound like a lot of work? Trust us, it is! Yet being present online and being attractive to your audience is the only way you can build your brand online.
You start a business by actually starting it
There are so many creatives out there with fabulous ideas that always ask us: So how do I start my business?
Well, we have a very simple answer to that one: You just do.
You do not need a business plan, an office, a team, a fancy title on a business card.
Start today and just get out there. Along the way you will figure out what you need to make your business a success.
Live Loud Girl started by sharing inspiration on this very blog (dare to look back at my first post here) and @fronteriors started with an idea and an URL.
The time is now! We have decided that you have just started your business. So get out there and work hard because that is the only influence you have on making your business a success.
We would like to thanks Pratyush Sarup for the opportunity of sharing our ideas. We are also ever learning and public speaking is not high on our list yet we love sharing our thoughts on this subject.
Let us know if you have questions and looking forward to hearing your success stories.