Good-Bye 'Sea of Sameness'
Building your brand is the first step to take when you are developing your expert business. Your brand sets the tone and direction for where your business is headed. Or if you are looking to reinvent or redesign your brand identity, reworking your brand is the first step in redesigning your overall marketing strategy.
Brand and business strategy go hand-in-hand. Your brand sets the tone for your overall business image and allows others to quickly understand what your business is all about. Your brand allows others to connect, understand and recognize that you are the expert in something and it’s the first step to building trusting relationships with your prospects.
Effective branding is critical to put your business in the right direction. The wrong brand image could move you miles away from your target. You must have a way to stand out instantly to your most ideal target client. In today’s noisy marketplace you MUST stand out from the crowd and be seen as unique and special. Standing out means moving away from “The Sea of Sameness” to OWNING what you do.
People want to invest in experts they know and trust. Your brand is going to give you that edge. When done effectively, your brand connects to your overall business strategy and your targeted goals. Your brand is everything that represents you and what you are all about. It must work effectively for your overall business image.
Once created or recreated, your brand must remain consistent on every bit of marketing that showcases your business. A complete brand must include an updated logo image, brand colors that match your style, a unique selling message that tells what you do in an instant, and your expert tagline. Your brand is much more than just a logo. Your brand clearly defines what you do and the benefits you offer to prospects.
Once the overall brand strategy and graphics are created, you’ll add them to your business card, email signature, website, social media and all marketing materials. Remember, everything must be consistent to keep your brand identity working effectively for you.
Create your brand with a purpose and mission in mind
My clients are either new to the expert business or have been working in the business for years. They decide to work with me for different reasons. They want to develop a new business model. Or, they want to reinvent their existing business model due to lack of the income or sales they desire. Many are looking to completely reinvent themselves and their businesses with a new direction for their expertise and target market. Either way, they always begin with brand restructure.
If they are already doing business as an expert, I begin by evaluating their existing brand, overall business strategy and website. From there, I can instantly see the blocks in their marketing direction.
When taking on a new or rebranding project the first place to start is to ask yourself some defining questions. Don’t be too general or too grandiose with your answers. Be realistic and honest with yourself as you respond to these questions. As you respond to each question, be very specific about your goals and why you want to achieve them. Often, understanding why you want to achieve a goal brings more clarity. The more focused you are, the more effective you will be at developing your overall business and brand strategy.
Below are seven important questions to ask yourself before you begin.
- What sets your business and your expertise apart from your competitors?
- What unique services do you provide for your clients that other experts don’t?
- What are the top three goals for your business this year?
- If you could wave a magic wand and change three things in your business right now, what would they be?
- What are some challenges you are facing today in growing your business?
- What areas do you need to focus on most to grow your business?
- What is the long-term vision for your business and expertise?