When you’re considering how to brand your biz, most people want to jump into all the fun stuff – your logo, colours, fonts – it’s these visual elements that people often think of first when they begin their branding journey. But I’m here to tell you that you’ll be wasting your money & time focussing on these things first.
But before you dive into hiring a graphic designer or building your new website, there are three essential things that you need to nail first.
Getting clear on these three things will save you so many headaches, overwhelm, time & money (you an thank me later ☺️)
BRAND FOUNDATION #1
What is your business’s purpose? (aka your ‘WHY’)
Simon Sinek famously said, ‘People don’t buy what you do or how you do it, they buy why you do it.’
Your ‘why’ is your purpose, the soul of your business and the reason you get out of bed in the morning.
When you understand your why, you’re able to connect with your audience on a deeply emotional level, showing them the human face behind your brand.
Understanding your why might take some soul-searching. Just saying ‘I want to help people doesn’t go deep enough. Ask yourself why you want to help people. When you’ve answered that question, ask ‘why’ again.
Keep asking why until you get that shiver up your spine or that warm feeling in your gut.
That’s when you know you’ve found your true ‘why’.
This is what will keep you going when it all feels too hard. This is what will help you feel empowered, despite the setbacks and disappointments that sometimes come with being a soulpreneur.
When you truly understand your ‘why’, it will infuse every piece of content you put out to the world. It will connect you with people who understand and share your why.
And those people will become your tribe.
BRAND FOUNDATION #2
Who is your dream client? (aka your ‘WHO’)
In marketing speak, in order to know WHO you’re marketing your business to, you need to create an avatar. An avatar is a pretend person who you use as a model for your soul-mate client. They’re the person you’re speaking to when you write that web copy or social media post.
You’ll see a lot of information about how to figure out your avatar such as knowing their salary, hobbies, shopping habits and other (very dry and very superficial) demographics.
While it’s useful to have an idea of these things, it doesn’t help you create a real, three-dimensional person who embodies your dream client.
Real people have hopes, beliefs, fears, problems and, you guessed it, emotions.
Understanding these emotions and what drives your client will help you speak their language and connect with them on a meaningful level.
Your product or service will have many benefits but not all those benefits will speak to your ideal client. When you understand your client’s pain points, you’ll know exactly which benefits you need to make them aware of.
When your audience feels that you ‘get’ them, they’ll have faith that the service you’re offering is really going to transform their lives.
And don’t forget to call in the people that YOU feel comfortable working with. The people that are aligned to YOUR values, and the ones that have the type of personality that you like to work with.
Being super clear on your WHO is the foundation for ALL your messaging and content.
BRAND FOUNDATION #3 What does your business do? (aka your ‘WHAT’)This one seems like a no-brainer – after all, of course, you know what your business does, right? But hopefully, having thought about your ‘WHY’ and your ‘WHO’, you’ll see that your ‘WHAT’ may be more nuanced. If your business is personal training, WHAT you do will be very different if your WHO is a new mum wanting her pre-pregnancy body back vs an overweight man recovering from heart surgery. Knowing your WHAT, allows you to have clarity when you create offers, courses, 1:1 sessions, and ads. Understanding exactly what it is you do, allows you to explain your services concisely on your website (or to anyone who asks what you do). This means your audience will understand straightaway whether you can help them or not. It also allows you to focus on those things that you’re great at and that bring you joy – instead of trying to create products and services that appeal to all the people, all the time.
BRAND FOUNDATION #4
Bringing your WHO, WHAT & WHY together (aka your HOW)
I know I said there are three essential things you need to know before you start branding your biz, and here we are at number 4.
Let’s call it a bonus, shall we? (Who doesn’t love a good bonus? 😉 )
Now you understand your WHY, WHO and WHAT, you’ll have a much clearer picture of your HOW.
Your HOW brings your first three branding foundations together to create a cohesive and meaningful brand experience. I’ve given my community free access to my Dream Plan Do Content Strategy mini course & planner. This will help you get clear on your branding foundations so you can move forward with confidence and clarity.
Now you can start on the fun nitty-gritty of what your brand is going to look like. You’ll have a better understanding of which colours, fonts and images will best represent your business. Need help creating a visual brand? Click here.
You’ll know what elements your website needs because you’ll understand the journey you need to take your visitors on as they move from brand awareness to purchasing your service.
You can take this information to your web designer, copywriter or graphic designer – they’ll love you for your clarity, and it will make their job a whole lot easier.
Clarity around your three essential brand pillars will also help you create content. Your WHY, WHO and WHAT will be your compass as you tame that ever-demanding content-monster (more about this in a later blog!).
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