Entrepreneur recently featured an article on its website titled, “Why Building Your Business Comes Before Building Your Brand,” which discusses why new startups must focus on developing the business instead of creating a brand.

“I know what you’re thinking, ‘Aren’t those the same thing?’ Or, ‘You need a brand to build your business,’” writes Kimanzi Constable, contributor, in the article. “Building a brand helps your business. But, how to do it and what it means are often confused. The result ends up being entrepreneurs chasing their tail trying to achieve a result that [comes] later in the process.”

In the article, Constable offers some advice for how to build a business:

  • Busy work. New business owners who aren’t fully aware of what they should be doing or are frustrated with a lack of progress often turn toward the busy work, such as building social media, buying ads, creating logos, etc. “The busy work makes you feel like you’re doing something,” explains Constable in the article. “You hope if you do enough of it, it will bring business. This isn’t a great strategy. There’s no ‘why’ behind it.” Startups need a clear plan. Sometimes new business owners will also turn to other successful startups to mimic their ideas. However, Constable notes in the article, “People do business with entrepreneurs who stand out, not blend in.”
  • Establish connections. When building a brand, advice is often given to put your business on a pedestal by listing all your accomplishments and coming off as hard to reach because you are so busy. However, people connect with people. They want to be able to relate. Relationship and referral marketing can help to build a business and create a loyal customer base. “If [customers] conclude they’ll never reach you through all the filters, they’ll think long and hard before they ever do business with you,” says Constable in the article. “Building a business in today’s world of social media and the Internet is all about connection. When you are approachable and relatable, people are shocked because all the ‘build your brand’ talk has hurt real connection.”
  • After building the business, then build the brand. Starting with a strong foundation is the best way to build a brand that people can connect with. To help craft a thriving brand, Constable suggests in the article to include an “about” page on your website that is personal; make sure to interact as much as possible; and gain exposure wherever you can.

Read the entire article about building before the brand here.