As a brand pro, I am going to break down the branding basics for you and give you 3 branding hacks you need to create a confident and compelling brand.
You’ve probably asked yourself, what is branding anyway? And, how do I do it?
Now that you’re building your empire, you see this topic popping up everywhere. That’s because Branding is everything. But as a business owner, it can be so overwhelming.
First, what is branding?
Simply put, a brand is your identity. This is true from your personal brand to your business brand. It’s not one specific thing or another, it’s the entirety of who you are. This means, it’s not just a logo or brand name. It’s your customer value, how you present yourself, your tone of voice when speaking, the elements that surround you (have you heard the saying: “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” by Jim Rohn?).
When I worked in an office with a brand team of 12 people, we would say things to each other like “Wow, this desk set-up you have is definitely ‘on-brand‘ for you.” Or “Of course, you would pick the unicorn cupcake instead of the simple, typical Oreo cupcake.” Because a solid, genuine, compelling brand is the makeup of who you are, it’s habitual, it’s visible in every way.
It feels like a lot, doesn’t it? And, this is why I’m giving you snack sized pieces of super valuable info so you can stop being overwhelmed by it and start slaying your brand.
So, why is branding so important anyway?
To showcase who you are and the purpose of the value you have to offer, will attract the clients that you truly want to connect with for the very real value you can bring to their lives and it will make you memorable. It’s like making new friends.
Here’s a recent example: A new neighbor, who moved in just 5 doors down from me, offered up some free coffee pods on one of our neighborhood Facebook groups. It was a coffee brand I love, so I raised my hand and was able to pick it up from her. I thought she was a kind and generous person to just give these away, so her name and face stuck in my head. I would see her post on these pages some of the amazing dishes she would make at home, awareness about volunteer opportunities (that she would, most times, coordinate) and tips or advice to moms who struggle with their kids being bullied. My heart would just be filled with joy each time I would read one of her posts because I loved her giving spirit. I really felt like this is someone I could align with because I want to be that giving. One day, I messaged her and asked her to lunch to get to know her. After nearly a 2-hour lunch that flew by, we were amazing at how similar we are in values and mission and ambition. Now we have a few adventures we’d like to go on together and she really affirmed my dreams that I walked away with so much confidence.
That is an example of why showcasing your identity will attract people that are right for you in a very strong way. It will beat paying for “friends” aka “clients” and pretending to be something you are not—that will just make you work harder and lose money.
Here are 3 simple, but extremely important ways you can create a compelling brand:
This is your brand story. Take some time to write it down. Not just in your journal, write it on a Word Doc or the notes of your phone or on your blog draft. Find it in the answer to these questions (write in long form, be very detailed):
Notice that this is like an invitation—who, what where, why and how? People need to know what’s up (Is it worth my time? Is it something I want to do?) before they show up for you. Those people who don’t need these details and do show up, they are you friends and family whose loyalty is unwavering. Reality check: you also won’t charge them and they’re not your ideal client.
How to use it: Once you’ve relived and written the long form of your story, you have a singular vision to write content from. Use short forms of this for your social media bios, sprinkle parts of this story into your posts, write a blog post, send an email to your email list, and most of all, know that it’s totally okay to repeat this story. It’s yours, and your people will be inspired to hear it.
Take it from someone who has held many brand secrets for years, a brand is built on who you want to be, not what’s stopping you from being.
When you formally learn how to unravel brand elements and build a business, you have to create all sorts of plans, mission statements, objectives, targets and KPIs. See what they all have in common? The future.
In the exercise above, you looked at your past motivations and your present purpose. Now, the secret to successfully breathing life into your brand is knowing what you want it to become. Close your eyes and imagine every part of your brand’s life. What do you see surrounding you? How do you see yourself? What colors pop out at you? What does it smell like there? What are you, as your brand, doing? And, with who? What do you want people saying about you?
How to use it: This vision is your transformational tool. Write down the physical, mental and emotional elements happening in that vision. Don’t hold back on any of it. If you see pink, but your colors are blue now, trust the vision. If you see yourself swimming in money, that’s a vision you absolutely should not shy away from. If you see yourself with your laptop on a beach, bring me with you! Be true to your vision in this moment.
I know for most of you reading this, you either feel tapped out on creativity or you just don’t get this part. It’s probably the driver in getting you to seek out Brand advice. I got you. Read on and hang loose, this is your game-changer.
Content: You’ve written your story, but how do you know it resonates? Here are cool and simple tests to get comfortable in a writing style that actually works for your brand. By channel:
There it is. The only 3 things you need to create a compelling brand story today: Know what you’re About, who you want to Become and how to get Creative. They all tie in together to make every step valuable to your time and output. I hope you enjoy rediscovering your brand and becoming confident about it.
Do you do better talking it out with someone to help you understand your brand? Book a brand chat with me and we can do exactly that. I will listen, ask you questions to help you discover your story and give you strategy focused feedback. Click here to book time with me.