I had the privilege to be involved in two amazing brand exercises and the result will be life changing for me and my business.
Contrary to popular belief, your brand is NOT your logo and colors. It is what you stand for, who you help, your beliefs, and the feeling you want your potential clients to get.
Now I always tell my clients to “just be you” so they attract their ideal clients and quickly realized while doing my exercises that I was only about 70% of the way there myself. True story. Having come from a stodgy government job it took me MONTHS to get to the point where I felt comfortable doing what I thought was being me.
And so, I did the work. Revamped my one liner, created a mission statement, developed core beliefs, got more clear on my ideal client, and named my brand personality. I now have a clear brand and mission from which I can develop every little thing that has to do with my business. Every little thing. If it doesn’t match up with my brand work, it either needs to go or needs to be tweaked. Consistency. Clear expectations. Clarity for those who follow me.
But it’s risky. And scary as hell. Why? Because my brand personality is TOTALLY me….the Girly Wild Child. Not everyone embraces those of us who are often unfiltered, who see tables as dance floors, who can turn sassy into a positive life force, and still like to wear some pink.
But I’m doing it. Because doing anything less would not be my true self and I would not be attracting my dream clients. We all talk about being authentic. It’s quite the buzzword. If I don’t show you my antics, my vulnerabilities, and my sass, then that buzzword means absolutely nothing.
Let’s take a look at 5 things that developing a brand can do for your business:
By having a one-liner or “what I do” statement, you are telling people quickly and concisely who you serve, what you do, and what the end result will be if they work with you. And when attention spans are short as they are today, this is critical to have. Think of it as your virtual business card with a hand shake and small talk.
Doing avatar exercises and answering questions constantly about your ideal client may seem like one hell of a drag but it makes it clear for YOU who you help so you aren’t trying to help everyone which in turn gets you nowhere but frustrated and broke. Been there and done that with my heels dug in screaming from the rooftops that I wanted to help “women” as a health coach. My burning refusal to niche down was a ship sinker for sure.
It was a ship sinker because I wasn’t talking to my ideal client. I was talking to “women” who, let’s face it, are all completely different with a few bazillion (technical term) problems to be solved. In other words, I was essentially speaking to no one who was interested in what I had to say.
My favorite exercise was developing what I call a Mission Statement. The rebel in me had to adapt it to my needs, of course, but what I ended up with was a paragraph describing exactly what anyone who comes in contact with me or my brand should feel.
Why is this important? With everything I do, I now know exactly what kind of feeling I want my ideal client to walk away with. Every single thing I do should let my peeps know that they are enough and can 100% do this thing. It gives me direction. And direction makes content creation, interaction, and program creation a whole lot easier!
One piece of the exercises I did last week involved creating core beliefs. I came up with five core beliefs which will shape everything I do in my business. Every time I create content and programs, I have a stable platform from which to create. If at least one of these beliefs is not up front and center in whatever I’m doing, I need to make revisions or start over. Period.
This combined with the Mission Statement gives immense clarity for my business creativity.
The most eye opening exercise for me was realizing that my brand personality was not already on point. That’s right. I was not being 100% authentic even though I thought I was. Once I got into the nitty gritty of what I love, what I do, what I enjoy, what I provide and how I act in “real life,” I realized I was still holding back.
I went back and forth as to whether I should let the real me out. After all, who is going to work with a Girly Wild Child? And then I realized…I would. And so would my ideal client. I’m smart as hell, driven, creative, and have over 19 years experience helping people get past their bullshit. So if an occasional beer pic or minor swear word offends anyone, they aren’t my person and they don’t see my value. Much like that boy in high school but that’s a whole other matter….
The moral of the story is you have to possess a clear idea of who you are, who you are trying to serve, and what you want someone’s experience to be like before you can silence the crickets and attract the right people like a moth to a flame. If it’s a struggle, there is a piece missing and not having a complete brand vision could be that piece.
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