Branding is much more than your logo and tagline. These items help communicate and clarify your brand, but they are not your brand. A brand is what people think about you – your reputation. It’s the story you tell about yourself.
Building a brand is a process. It will eventually lead you to your ideal clients, premium rates, more referrals and strategic brand partnerships.
Below are four steps to help you build your brand:
Determine your brand goals. What is your success determined by? Number of new clients, engagement rate, closing percentage? Evaluate the progress of your goals every quarter. Figure out what is working, what isn’t working, then adjust.
Define what makes you unique. It needs to be relatable, believable and distinctive. Questions to ask yourself:
⦁ Why do your clients value you?
⦁ What kind of services are you good at delivering? Where do you excel?
⦁ Where do you offer the most value?
⦁ What comes naturally to you?
⦁ What is an uncommon quality?
Embrace your personality as part of the brand. Don’t try to be everything for everyone. Be you.
Now it’s time to translate your differentiators into a story that clearly communicates why you are special. Create a branding guide. This will help drive creative decisions and clarify how you are different from everyone else. A branding guide should include your:
⦁ Visual Elements
⦁ Brand Messages – common themes that make you different
You want people to understand your brand and want to work with YOU. You don’t need to be highly visible to everyone. But you do need to have a strong presence somewhere. Choose a platform that makes most sense for your business and target audience. For example:
⦁ If you are a photographer, start with using a visual platform – Instagram.
⦁ If you are a writer, start a blog.
⦁ If you are a make-up artist, create a YouTube channel.
From that starting point, your brand strength can grow. Produce content that supports your brand messages and showcases your skills.
Popular tools to help support your brand:
⦁ Social Media
⦁ Speaking Engagements
All of your branding tools need to be aligned with your branding guide. You need to talk about your business in a consistent way otherwise, your message will become unclear and your target market will be confused about who you are and what you’re trying to say.
Determine a posting schedule and create a monthly content calendar. How many times a week will you post to your brand tool? A few ideas on how to share your brand:
⦁ Share behind the scenes.
⦁ Tell a story.
⦁ Showcase a testimonial.
Good brands are REAL. Your brand should truly impact everything your business puts out into the world. This will help you develop a deeper level of trust with your audience and they’ll want to go on your journey with you. Your brand is YOUR story.