There are two parts to every small biz ownership. There’s your actual business (the what you sell or offer, aka how you make money) and your brand (the look and feel of your biz, aka how you attract and keep clients and customers). Some of you think these are one in the same and some of you are really good at building one, but not the other. We get it. We know you’re busy putting the never ending pieces of your small business together, but your brand is one that needs your utmost attention right now.
Before we can get into what you brand does for you let’s first go over and clarify what your brand isn’t.
What your Brand is NOT
Just your logo. Your brand and logo are not interchangeable. We have heard many times, “I have a logo, so I am good to go.” Which is really only just a small piece of the puzzle. Your logo not only needs to look great, but should also begin to tell the story of your brand. Does it attract the right audience? Is it in line with your business's target market?
Your website. Your brand is not your website. Your website may be used to communicate and disseminate information about what you want your brand to be. The website alone is just a communication tool created to communicate your brand message to consumers. Is your message upbeat and conversational? Can other people relate to what you are trying to accomplish?
Made exclusively for you. Your brand is more than a logo, website and clever copy. Your brand encompasses the feeling you leave behind with your customers. What they think of you and your company is out of your control. You can do as much to shape the message and manage the image you put out there, but what the people think about you is ultimately up to them. “Once an audience can see themselves in your story, the need to persuade disappears (source).” It gets right to the point, your Brand isn’t about your products or services, your price points or even your value proposition - it’s about the audience.
Your story. An effective brand doesn’t tell stories about themselves. Instead, the brand brings the audience on a journey where your audience is the hero (not you or your company). The people have an opportunity to see themselves in the context of the brand you are building.
Do a mini-self assessment:
- Are you attracting your ideal client or customer?
- Is your voice consistent? And does it convey the feeling you are trying to leave behind?
- Does someone understand who you are, why they should care and how to get involved instantly when they land on your website?
- Is your social media telling a story that makes your audience a part of the picture?
If you want to take this even further we have the perfect (FREE) activity for you. Click here to download and start your free Brand Assessment. Get clarity on your brand so you can make sure your messaging aligns perfectly.
What can your brand do for you?
When done right a brand is the most effective tool a small business owner can have in their back pocket.
It sets your tone. Everything from the words you use to the images you share and the colors you pick have an effect on your brand tone. You’ll want to make sure that the personality of your brand (i.e. bubbly, confident, outgoing) match what your brand portrays itself as (i.e. colorful, bright, positive). It doesn’t matter what personality you want your brand to have, but the way you choose to portray that needs to go hand in hand.
It steers the conversations. As a small business owner you get the privilege to decide what kind of “person” you want your brand to be. Your brand is usually a branch off of who you are as a real life person, but it doesn’t have to be 100% the same. For instance, you could be choose to incorporate or eliminate things like your faith, food choices, lifestyle, or personal preferences into your brand. You could choose to curse a little or not at all, talk about politics a little or never, reference animals or your love of succulents (guilty). People will begin to attribute these real life things to your brand so be mindful that it’s something you’re okay with. We have people tag us in pictures of lipsticks, dogs, or knit succulents because they know we love them and our brand loves them.
It attracts and deters. This is one of our favorite aspects that a good brand does. Like one of our mentors Marie Forleo says, “If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one”. Don’t be afraid to deter some people with a few of your brand choices - this is a good thing! You do not have the time or energy to be crafting something that everyone likes (that doesn’t even exist) so just worry about crafting something that a select type of people like. We know some people hate red lipstick, dogs or saying “get shit done”, but we love those things and only want to hang around people that also love those things. When you work on narrowing your brand message you will attract the people who absolutely love what you’re putting out into the world and that is all you need to worry about.
If you’d like more clarity on your small business as a whole we’ve created the perfect (FREE) resource for you. Click right here to get started on your free 7-Day email course “Spark Your Creativity: 7 Steps to Ignite Your Creative Business”. You’ll get Lesson One today so you can start to get shit done.