As a brand consultant, this is what I frequently hear from frustrated business owners.
"I just want more clarity about how to communicate what I do, and how to position it…"
"How can I express my true and best version of myself online?"
"How do I package myself online to get noticed for what I really do?"
If you’ve tried to build a website, no matter how many fonts or templates you try, you can’t seem to nail your message, your "look", your story, and your difference. But you’re not about to give up because it’s way too important. It’s you in the world. It’s how people see you, your value, your place.
Creating a brand is not just a logo on the top of a page or web site. It’s a cohesive series of messages, experiences and visual cues that deliver your heart and soul, your purpose and your value that enables you to show your true colors -- something you feel confident putting out into the world.
If you’re constantly questioning your position against others in the marketplace -- your value, your place, your offering, and you want to know you are connecting with the people who need you the most and you most enjoy working with, you need to create a brand you love. However, before you can do this you need to get really clear on a few things first.
Get clear before you get creative
It’s so easy to get impatient, or get excited, around the creative elements of your brand. It’s easy to forget that behind it all, there has to be a really great business with a clear offering to a clear audience. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in business for a while, the first and only place to start is to tackle the questions that you’ve been avoiding.
- What do I do?
- Why do I do it?
On the surface, this might sound easy. You might be one of the lucky ones who can say – I’m a doctor, or I’m a writer… but if you’re like many people these days, chances are, you’ve got so many things you do, or that you’d like to do that when you get asked that question, your palms get sweaty and you might as well have been asked to address a 1000 people right there on the spot. You need some clarity.
These three questions play such a huge part in the branding process, I can’t emphasize them enough. If you can’t answer these, then you need to go back to basics and really address your business from a new perspective. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and let’s explore.
1. What you do - why you do it
Let's start with the WHAT.
Today, there are so many new and exciting possibilities in the world. We are inventing new words, new roles, new titles and finding new ways of working which is brilliant. This does, however, create a few issues sometimes in explaining what we do. Sometimes it's just not that definable especially if you're a thought leader and what you do is new and really never been done before.
ACTION: Take the time to explore your offerings and translate them into something you can explain to people who need you.
That leads to the WHY.
Today, people see through people or products that are not authentic. False promises and vague outcomes just don't cut it. We want to work with people who care about their cause; who have passion behind their outcomes -- those who are driven by more than just the dollar. If you have a clear cause and are able to deliver through real promises, you will find you begin to flow and attract people who value and care about the same things. Suddenly your business becomes a vessel to deliver so much more. Your days are filled with purpose and your business is filled with people on the same path.
ACTION: Ask yourself - "Why do I care and why should others care?"
2. Who you do it for -- what do they want?
Now let's explore the WHO.
If you know what you do and why you do it, you can begin to attract the people who are looking for you. Instead of creating products and services that don't resonate, you naturally begin to develop meaningful and relevant offerings people can seek out. It's a win-win situation. You get to do what you love, what you're good at and something that means a lot to you. Your customers get to learn what they want and get what they need - what matters to them. Simple really.
ACTION: Ask yourself - who really needs what I do?
3. What makes you different?
Then you can start to identify your point of difference -- a spark that sets you apart. There is always something unique in you; something you do differently or in such a way you can own it and claim it as being your unique point of difference. Sometimes it takes a fresh look to see it, but it's always there. I can help you identify it - but only if you spend the time exploring your what, why and who.... It's the magical part of the next step in the process - identifying your Brand Essence - which we will talk about next time!
ACTION: I can solve certain problems better than anyone else because I ...................
Just in closing, I'd like to share with you WHAT CLARITY FEELS LIKE because as someone who's been stuck in confusion and seen many others still there, it's really worth sharing.
...a calm presence that allows you to focus on what matters most
...a confident feeling when you have to introduce yourself and you know you can
...the ability to make a clear decision when given a series of choices
...feeling like you're on a path that's taking you somewhere
...being on own your journey, owning your position and knowing your value
...turning the lights on so you're able to see the bits missing before
Once everything falls into place with a clunk and you begin to focus on doing what you love and attracting the people you want, rather than putting up with the people you have or that drift into your path – then you know the hard work has been worth it.