There are two big “wants” that motivate people to get their brand shaped up the way they really want it to be. You would think a strong branding desire would be to make more money, or gain more followers, or dream clients. Sure, those wants are in the mix, but the biggest pleas for branding help we hear time and time again:
1.) “I want to my brand to feel more like me! It just doesn’t look or sound like my personality or style!” and 2.) “I want my brand to be more clear! I want people to understand how to hire me, what I’m best at, and what they get from me!”
“I want a brand that feels like me.”
Stay tuned because Kathleen is going to be sharing about how to have a brand that feels more like you in the next couple of days: How to get your voice and style into your brand places, content, and conversations. This is how you attract and inspire clients, followers, even collaborators – by being yourself!
“I want a brand that is clear.”
Tara here, and I want to share more on the getting clear part, which is really about getting clear on what you sell. Once people are attracted or inspired by you, do they understand how to hire you? Do you?
Knowing what you sell, what your clients can expect along the way, and what they get at the end takes some work to hone in on. Most of it is really just self-editing. Can you cut out the services or products that you no longer want to be doing? What if you still offered these services – but just no longer devoted the space, the bullets, and the layers of explanation they require that are cluttering up your brand?
A clearer focus on what you sell doesn’t have to mean claiming a niche. It can simply mean keeping what you’re best at and what you want to be known for front and center in your brand messages — and cutting the rest.
Let’s say I only had thirty minutes to spend with you as a branding client or I could only share one exercise with you as a Braid ECourse student. If my goal was to help you get clear on what you sell, it would be the exercise “If You Wrote A Book.” I’ve shared it before but it’s just so darn distilling on so many levels. Here’s how to get the most out of this exercise:
1. Get out a piece of paper, and ask yourself: “if I wrote a book, what would it be?” Instead of thinking of all the ways you’re selling yourself on your website or trying to explain your process in your “closing the deal” brand conversations, let’s say you had to write a “how-to” book that revealed the work you create for your clients one-on-one. What if they had to do it themselves? What steps would you tell them to take? What would they learn in each of the chapters?
2. Start with the “chapters.” Don’t try to name your “book” first. Outline eight chapters to start. Avoid overly-clever or conceptual chapter names. Name your chapters in a straightforward way that describes what people actually get or learn as they read them. Then see if you can narrow or combine (edit!) down to just four chapters.
3. Next, add bullets to fill in the “at-a-glance” details. These are the tools, skills, practices, or insights you use. Three bullets for each chapter is a good rule to stick to. So four chapters with three bullets each means you’ve got twelve talking points right there – that simply and clearly explain what your clients can expect when they hire you.
Your “chapters” are the ingredients you deliver every time. This is the brand language you should be using to get clear about what people get from you. This is how you sell what you do!
4. Last, try to naming your “book.” The title can be a little more expressive, but the subhead should do the explaining. What I mean is, the title can be more infused with your personality or deeper purpose. But the subhead underneath should be as close as possible to the “thing” the “package” that people are buying from you. Our title could be “Your Secret Brand Blend,” but the subhead would be “how to brand you + what you do.” Your title could very well be the name of your offering, your package, or your product. It could be the name of your whole dang business if you’ve been struggling with that one, too.
5. Bonus, if you still want to get more of “you” into your brand, then write your introduction. It’s not the whole book, it’s not a memoir, and it’s definitely not “dear diary.” But your introduction touches on your own story or reason for doing the work you do. Guess what, you just rewrote your about me page for your website, and got some of that “I want it to feel like me” blended it with the “I want to be clear” messaging you’ve been wanting for your brand.
Give this exercise a try! It may be like opening a can of worms (because now you’ll really want to write that book), but I think it will be like opening a can of clarity! Get clear on what you sell, make it feel like you, get it blended into your brand – and get it out there.
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We created a worksheet with more details on where this “book” content actually lives and shows up in your brand – both online and off.