One of the most difficult aspects of starting a business is getting people to know who you are. You may have a great product or a great service, but people want to know who you are as a company \u2013 what your brand is \u2013 before they buy from you.\n[ Related: 8 ecommerce categories that will be hot in 2016 ]\nSo how can new ecommerce and multichannel businesses create a strong brand presence online, and off? Here are 11 tips.\n1. Research your brand\/company name \u2013 and register it. \u201cInvest [time and energy] in naming your brand,\u201d says Mihaela Lica Butler, founder, Pamil Visions, a travel and hospitality PR firm. \u201cThere are so many instances of unfortunate naming that may result in failure, despite [the company] having great products or services. (Urinal Tea comes to mind.)\u201d\nSo when you get down to a short list of possible brand names, go online and see if there are other companies with those names, or similar names, and if the name you have chosen is considered offensive or would provoke a giggle in another language.\nThen \u201cmake sure your mark [name, logo] is available for use and registration,\u201d says Kathleen Lynch, an intellectual property attorney. (You can do this by going to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).) \u201cToo many times I see people coming to me after they have spent a lot of time and money on a brand only to find out after they begin using it that someone else has prior rights.\u201d\nOnce you\u2019ve checked that it\u2019s okay to use the name you\u2019ve picked, \u201cregister it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office,\u201d she advises.\n2. Make sure your domain name is the same or similar to your brand\/company name.\u201cWhen creating a brand from scratch, the first thing you should consider is finding a domain,\u201d says Ella Cullen, marketing manager, IconPeak, which specializes in targeted mobile ads. \u201cBrainstorm name ideas (aim for some relation to the benefits of your product\/service) and use GoDaddy [or Register.com] to ensure that the .com version is available. Otherwise consider an .io domain, which is popular amongst startups.\u201d Or go with .net or .org, if you are a nonprofit.\n3. Create a great logo. \u201cYour logo is the most important component of building your brand,\u201d says Craig Bloem, founder, FreeLogoServices.com. \u201cIt will be the face of your business and the foundation for all branding efforts. It should go on all your marketing materials \u2013 business cards, signs, shopping bags, boxes, pens, email and social media.\u201d\nSo be sure to \u201ccreate a logo and brand aesthetic that conveys your values, [and which] will [work] well on the brand\u2019s website and also as avatars [on] social media [networks], such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook,\u201d says Pamela Webber, CMO, 99designs.\n4. Make sure your web or ecommerce site is attractive and easy to navigate. Even if your web or ecommerce site is just a few pages, make sure it is easy for visitors to read, navigate and make purchases.\n[ Related: 13 Simple Tips for Improving Your Web Design; 8 tips for hiring a Web designer for your business ]\n5. Be consistent in your messaging, regardless of the channel. \u201cYou want to have a visually identifiable logo and clear message across all of your platforms,\u201d says Katie Hornor, CEO, Como Blog. \u201cRegardless of whether someone sees you in a print ad, online or on social media, they should be able to immediately know it is you and what your message is.\u201d\nSimilarly, \u201cyour website, Facebook, Twitter, business cards, advertising, etc., should all have the same name the same way [if at all possible],\u201d says Cheryl Rios Poldrugach, a marketing and PR specialist. For example, if your Twitter handle is @BrandBig, use @BrandBig on Instagram, not @theBrandBigTX, she says. Consistency is crucial as it helps customers readily identify who you are.\n6. Establish yourself as an expert online. \u201cShare your knowledge,\u201d says Derrick Lawless, marketing director, D. Lawless Hardware. \u201cIf you want to become a trusted brand when no one knows who you are, then you need to contribute to your community without trying to sell. No one trusts someone selling something right off the start. Your reputation will be built over time by really contributing in your niche [or industry].\u201d\n\u201cTurn the CEO\/founder [or another member of your team] into a thought leader,\u201d says Jeremy Almond, CEO, PayStand, a B2B payments platform. \u201cHave them post regularly on Twitter, share on LinkedIn\u2026 and guest post on blogs.\u00a0I talk about payments everywhere, I can't help it. I love it.\u201d Just remember to \u201cfocus on being helpful [and] sharing knowledge.\u201d\n\n\t\n\nAnd \u201cprovide content that relates to your audience,\u201d says Dan Kogan, founder & CEO, 1Digital Agency. \u201cUse the 70:20:10 rule: 70 percent of content should be adding value and brand building, 20 percent sharing others\u2019 posts and ideas and 10 percent promoting yourself or your business.\u201d\nIf you give good advice, as opposed to trying to sell people something, people will listen to you and you will build credibility for your brand.\n7. Blog. \u201cBlogging is a great way to build your brand,\u201d says Rasheen Carbin, cofounder & CMO, nspHire, a job search app. \u201cIt allows you to demonstrate your expertise while completely controlling the message.\u201d And your blog posts can lead to more traffic on your website.\n8. Use social media. Set up company pages on the social media sites \u2013 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram \u2013 that your target audience is most likely to visit, and include a link to your website on each page. Then assign someone, who can respond quickly (and appropriately) to any questions, to monitor your social media accounts.\nOne way to get your brand noticed on Twitter and Instagram is to \u201ccreate a fun, memorable and unique hashtag for your brand,\u201d says K.B. Lee, founder & CEO, Ever Bamboo, the maker of bamboo-based deodorizers. Just \u201cmake sure you are the only [company] using the hashtag. For us, it\u2019s #RethinkTheStink.\u201d\n9. Include\/Publish reviews on your website. \u201cHaving numerous published reviews helps establish credibility and directly helps sales and marketing efforts,\u201d says Mikhail Ledvich, head of Marketing, Shippo. \u201cThey can be promoted on social media, quoted in your collateral and help you stand out from other vendors as a customer-focused brand that delivers on your promises.\u201d\n[ Related: 5 ways ecommerce businesses can improve customer service ]\n10. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and\/or ProfNet. HARO and ProfNet connect journalists and bloggers with sources. Both are a great, inexpensive (or free) way for startups to connect with reporters and get publicity.\n11. Actively promote your brand offline. \u201cJoin professional groups and boards, go to events, donate your time to charities, give presentations and guest lectures,\u201d says Shaun Walker, cofounder & creative director, HEROfarm, a marketing and public relations firm. \u201cThe more you put your business out there and\u00a0are\u00a0seen, the more name recognition you earn on your way to becoming a\u00a0household name and gaining that incredibly important third-party validation. Even if\u00a0a\u00a0potential client or customer has never met you, you have the backing of trusted sources that confirm your credibility.\u201d\n\u201cAdd your logo to [promotional items] and hand them out as gifts,\u201d says Bloem. Everyone loves getting a gift. Also be sure to put your logo on uniforms, if your company has them, or on polo shirts staff members can wear. It will increase your brand\u2019s visibility.