Last week, I talked about why branding is such a big deal and why everyone is talking about it non-stop.
Today, I’d like to give a few tips for creating a brand that you love, that makes you money, AND that makes a difference.
This is the stuff that you should do BEFORE you work on your visual story – the colors, fonts and graphics that will represent your brand.
This is the stuff that you want to be clear about BEFORE you create your website or hire somebody to design a logo.
First, I can’t say enough about why it’s so important to pay attention to your brand. The experience you give people is what’s going to have your business grow and have people lining up to hire you.
People love Starbucks. Why? Because they have VERY intentionally curated a brand that is distinct and memorable.
Have you ever had a super rude dude prep your coffee at a Starbucks? It DOES happen, because we are all human after all.
But, it’s freakin’ WEIRD when it happens. If you don’t get the expected over the top good cheer that comes oozing out of most Starbuck’s baristas, it just doesn’t feel right, does it? (they seriously have to be on something better that coffee, I mean, for REALZ! I wish my morning cup woke me up like that!)
Do you get what I mean? Your brand is the experience people have when they come into contact with your business. From good design, to great service, to that awesome thing that makes you unique. It all works together to connect and makes a difference with current and future clients.
So, here are the five things you should do BEFORE you create your brand’s look at feel:
1. Get clear about your BRAND VISION
WHY are you in business?
You got into business for yourself to make a difference in some way – to create something awesome that inspires or helps people to love their lives more.
Your Business Vision is your mission, your purpose, your WHY.
It’s the blood that runs through everything. It’s the reason you exist. Without a VISION, you’re just surviving and trying to “make it,” which I know is not the reason you decided to start your business. Am I right?
So before you even get to work creating a VISUAL story for your brand, get super clear about why the heck your business even exists in the first place.
2. Know who your DREAM CLIENTS are
I firmly believe that it’s our CLIENTS who make the work we do magical, and I’ve talked about how to ONLY work with people you absolutely love before.
When I really love a client – I get them, we jive and speak the same language, and I’m inspired by their business vision and dreams – then I go the extra mile to make them happy.
I work harder for them and produce better work. Work is JOYFUL and fulfilling.
This is what it means to thrive in business: when we can connect with our customers in a way that has both THEIR needs and OUR OWN totally taken care of! It’s pure magic.
Knowing who your dream clients are will help you ATTRACT them into your business. Your vision, design, and marketing message can be crafted to speak DIRECTLY to them, which will build the kind of connections you most want to make.
This is the heart and soul of a powerful brand.
3. Get in touch with your CLIENT SHARED VALUES
Your dream client has things that matter to them. And so do you.
Knowing what values you SHARE with your dream clients will help you to focus your attention on THOSE elements, creating a deeper bond with current and future clients.
This will help you to create marketing materials, visual elements and products that effectively communicate your brand and help you to most easily CONNECT with potential customers.
4. Create a clear BRAND MESSAGE
Your message is how you help people and it’s how you’ll position yourself in the marketplace.
You want to think of yourself at an OUTCOME CREATOR. You make things happen for your clients.
Your clients have struggles and YOU offer a unique solution to whatever is challenging them.
Their struggle could be with money, happiness, making their home more beautiful, dating, etc.
Your brand’s marketing message should state clearly:
- Who you serve – aka Your DREAM client
- What they are struggling with
- The outcome you will help them create
- What makes you unique?
5. Know the VOICE of your brand
Your brand voice is YOUR VIBE, the spirit of your business.
Think about it: If you’re selling skateboards to radical youngsters, you would have ways of speaking that would make sense in that market.
You wouldn’t be all stiff and formal, ya know? ?
Same thing if your business is financial consulting. You wouldn’t want to be too casual, but you also don’t have to be boring!
You can still be fun and totally YOU, but you’d use a tone of reliability and trust – because you’re talking about people’s money!
Now, you COULD be all dry and stiff and keep it completely “professional.” Lots of people do that. But YOU aren’t lots of people.
No matter what you’re selling, you still want your brand to be YOU – you don’t want to pretend to be someone else. You want to be authentic and true to who you are.
If you’re a financial planner, but you bring a good dose of woo-woo to the mix and your dream client is a hippie dippy, tree hugging mama, who also happens to want their finances to ROCK… you wouldn’t want to be Mr. Formal Tax Man, would you?
Knowing your business voice will help you create your visuals, write your copy and say what you have to say – in a way that your DREAM client can hear it and want to do business with you.
All of this, BTW, is covered (along with worksheets) in my free guide: Your Brand Plan – if you’d like to dive in a little deeper.
So there you have it! The 5 things you want to be clear about before you even begin to think about the look and feel of your brand. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.