Welcome to our 4th Small Business Book Club, where our team identifies key takeaways from a book that enhance small business operations, strategy, or marketing. Check out our last review, with tips to lively up your business writing, inspired by Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes.
What is Brandscaping?
Brandscaping, according to Andrew M. Davis’s book Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, is “A process that brings like-minded brands and their respective audiences together to create content that increases demand and drives revenue.”
What does Brandscaping mean to a digital small businesses?
This is about the relationships small business owners cultivate at a “local” level.
For a brick-and-mortar business that may mean in a physical neighborhood, but for digital businesses like ours, it means the virtual neighborhood.
Brandscaping is a framework for optimizing online relationships with core clients or prospects, supporting their work, tapping into their digital networks, and connecting with more people like them.
How is the book useful?
Brandscaping has 27 chapters, each ending with a question to get you in a Brandscaping mindset. Here is a sampling:
“What kind of talent can we work with to make our brand more relevant, more often?”
Davis describes this as being a “digital talent scout.” Maybe you identify a new and promising podcast host, get a spot on their show in the early stages and then continue to support them and promote their show. Eventually, you will be their go-to person for whatever service you provide.
“What content does our audience already have a relationship with and how can our brand embrace it?”
Once you have a solid group of core clients, you realize there are connections that are obvious, e.g., “client A” referred “client B” to us, and then there are the more subtle hints about where your core clients focus their marketing efforts. What are their affinity groups on social media? What podcasts are they guesting on? Who are they promoting?
“Where does our audience live online?”
If you have clients from Facebook, focus on Facebook. If you have clients specifically from Facebook groups, focus on groups. What’s your most active channel? Be THERE and cultivate those relationships! The author Andrew Davis suggests choosing ONE place, in a quality-over-quantity strategy.
“What products or services do our customers buy before they have a need for our wares?”
For us at EPW, this question may mean we cultivate relationships with graphic designers who specialize in logos. If someone is getting a logo done for a new business, chances are that they may need a legal Startup Plan or Trademark.
Brandscaping at EPW Small Business Law
We made Brandscaping our major marketing strategy this year and are excited to experiment. As with anything, it will take some testing to see what produces results.
But instant results aren’t the point. The effort to cultivate a like-minded small business network is a slow and steady process. And it’s crucial for long-term viability.
Tip: Try using Airtable.
We are big fans of this relational database. A dynamic place to track Brandscaping efforts and to see your super-connected network take shape, Airtable has a free version that provides fantastic value. Here is a handy PR Outreach template that works well for Brandscaping and includes a Kanban view.