The first quarter of a new year is a great time to think about how you can refine your brand. Our brands and businesses are constantly evolving, with each new client we work with, each new idea we try, and each new personal or professional goal we seek to achieve. That’s the way it should be!
But making sure our brand stays relevant and representative of us is super important. So today I want to share with you 6 key elements to think about to help keep your brand on track. Getting clear on the core elements that underpin what you do will inform how you choose to communicate your products or services, through words and visuals.
So let’s dive in…
What’s your business’ big vision? It’s the old cliche of “what would you aim for if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Get that *thing* down on paper, my friend. This is about getting clear on what it is that drives you forward, write down every single best-case scenario for your business and then start to reverse engineer your goals. What are the steps you need to take to get there? Take the time to really think about your business’ future, your future self will thank you for it.
Do you know what your brand values are? Getting back in touch with what you and your brand stands for is key to communicating your standards and boundaries, the types of clients you’ll work with / for, the projects and opportunities you’ll undertake, as well as the way you’ll market your products / services, to name but a few! Ultimately, it’s about defining how you want to be perceived as a brand and an entrepreneur. (If you’re not clear on your values, this exercise from MindTools is worth a look.)
Are you clear on exactly what it is you do? You have less than 5 seconds to capture your audience’s attention online (whether on your website or social media). As soon as someone lands on your page, that clock is ticking and if they can’t figure out what you do within the first 3-5 seconds, they’ll be off. It might sound harsh, but it’s true. Take the time to put what you do into words and be as descriptive, yet brief, as possible. All too often I see IG bios that sound positively dreamy, but I’m left with no clear idea of what they do or what the benefit might be to me as a potential follower. If you’re a photographer, say you’re a photographer and not a “purveyor of the chemical process of stopping time” (even if it’s true!). Get clear on what you do, and what the benefits are to your followers / clients / community and then rewrite it so clearly that a 5 year old could understand it!
Now it’s time to think about what you want to communicate and how. Spend time thinking around the way you want to come across to your ideal clients - Fun? Serious? Encouraging? How do you want people to feel when they interact with your online space? Our buying decisions are based on how much we know, like and trust a brand so your messaging needs to be authentic; if you’re naturally a serious person, don’t try and masquerade as a clown as it only breeds distrust. When you know how you’d like to come across, then it’s about working out what language / visuals / content you need to help bring that messaging to life. It needs to be consistent across your website, your email newsletters, and your social platforms (both written and video), as well as how you come across in person and on video / audio.
5. Ideal clients
We might be lucky enough to work with a real variety of clients that believe in us and support our entrepreneurial dreams and also teach us more about ourselves as part of the journey. It’s time to spend a few minutes thinking back to some of your favourite client experiences - who are these clients? What do they have in common? What are their interests? What are their struggles? What is it that made them an absolute dream to work with? Were they super organised? Were they eager to learn from you and take your advice and expertise on board? Were you able to serve them from deep within your purpose? Were they dog-lovers, just like you? Did they watch Strictly, just like you? Get clear on the key things that made them ‘ideal’ - when you’re clear on who it is you want to work with and who you want to speak to, that changes everything.
This is where I’m going to ask you to be brave and explore your niche, my friend. What is your core offering? A clear offer is the best kind of offer - when you’re concise about what it is you can do for your customer, you avoid customer confusion. A confused client will always say no. But if you’re super clear on what you can do for your customer and exactly what that looks like in practise, you’ll be able to attract your ideal clients (and repel the clients who aren’t right for you). Take time to write out your offer in multiple ways and see which one stands out as being the easiest to understand and the most enticing to follow up on (if you’re feeling really brave you can ask others for their opinions on which they feel is most successful).
So there you have it! 6 key elements to help you build your brand! I’d love to know if that’s helpful for you and what learning you’re taking away - drop me a message on Instagram and let me know!