“A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another” – Seth Godin
When people think of creating a great brand, they so often want to start with the visual part of it – the logo, colors, and fonts they want to use. I know when I started my business, that’s exactly what I started with as well. Business owners want to get right into “I need to get a business card, I need to get a logo, I should go look at the psychology of colors.”
There’s so much more to it than that.
Your brand is your story; it tells people who you are, what you do, and what you’re about, without them even meeting you. It gives people a feeling about you when they may have never met you. It builds a relationship with you customer through a set of experiences, stories and challenges that relate to them in some form. When people land on your website (probably your biggest marketing tool) or they go to your Instagram or Facebook page, people want to get a feel for who you are and what you do. The visual piece is secondary to what is at the heart and soul of your content and copy.
Ok, so tell me how I do start to figure out my brand.
So, one of the things you want to work on first is your ‘why” story. Ask yourself:
- What parts of the journey you took to get here are key in relating to the person you want to help?
- What are the things you’ve struggled with and have overcome?
- What are the things that you’ve learned along the way?
- What are the things that you know?
Brainstorm “why” you started your business and “why” you are passionate about what you do. Also, ask yourself what advice would you give to someone else who is going through what you just got to the other side of? Your story plays a key role in connecting and building relationships.
The next step is to ask, who is it that you want to help? Who is your ideal customer? So many people think that they’re going to wind up serving everybody, but you really want to focus in on one target person. Ask:
- What is that person struggling with the most?
- What are they passionate about?
- What are the things that they get frustrated with?
- What do they read, what do they love?
From there, you can start to see things that connect. Look for similarities between the things that you have struggled with, why you want to do what you do, and the things that your ideal customer is struggling with. Once you’re figure these things out, you can start writing content and copy that really connects.
Don’t be afraid of Copy and Content. Copy could be anything that you write for your “About Us” page, your “Services” page, podcasts, social media posts, or videos. The language that you use, the way that you want people to feel, the journey that you take them on, that’s all part of your branding. It all starts with figuring out who you are at your core, and that’s part of telling your story. Then ask who it is you’re trying to help and serve. Once you figure this puzzle out, you’ll begin to find the words that people use to describe you as well as what your super strengths are. You can start writing copy that is engaging to your ideal customer and makes them want more of it. It’s not about the products that you’re selling, but more about how you can help people with the experiences and lessons you’ve been through.
Your brand doesn’t start with the visual, it starts with feeling. It starts with how you want people to feel. It starts with really putting out there what you stand for, who you are, and giving people that feeling of authenticity. When you can be authentically you and not anybody else, people get a feel for that. That’s really the core of what your brand is all about, and being able to take that and put it into words so that when people see you online, they can read things about who you are.
After you unearth your story, then you can start to focus on colors and visual branding elements that complement who you are. When I started to revamp my brand (after my initial flubber), first I got through my story, who I wanted to serve, what I wanted to do, then I started to look at creating a logo. My logo is a representation of me. It’s a chess piece, but it’s a unicorn too, so it’s a blend. My personality and how I work with people is a blend of creativity meets strategy, flow meets structure. Even all the colors in my logo are representative of who I am, and how I want people to feel when they land on my website. There’s a psychology behind the pink, the green and peach color.
So, before you start with the visual branding elements, start with what is at your core first –that is what your brand is all about. It’s about your story, what you’ve been through, what you’ve experienced, what you’ve overcome, and how you can translate that and put it into practice to help other people. Start with those things first with your brand, and then move to the visual elements. Obviously you want pictures that help you tell your story, you want videos that represent who you are and what you do… but start with your why, start with your story because that’s what your brand is all about.
Want to work with me personally to figure all of this out?
Helping small business owners to gain clarity so we can create a strategy to scale their business while building an impactful brand is my life’s work and what I am SUPER passionate about. I only take a small group of coaching clients because we do a lot of intense work in a small period of time…and there is only 1 of ME. I do know that I can have the biggest impact and we can really create amazing, executable strategies when I work with someone 1 to 1.