Last week we took a bird’s eye view of branding and defining the function your brand serves in your business. You can read that here.
So now let’s zoom in a little and look at the different threads of your brand and business that make up who you are and the work you do. These threads can pose a challenge when they feel tangled and jumbled, but when you can connect the dots and weave the different aspects of your brand into every platform, interaction, and presence you will build trust, impact, and credibility with your potential customers and peers. You’re able to create a rich and layered story that makes sense (P.S. We’re called Braid Creative because it’s our job to help our clients and students take the threads of their business and weave them together in one cohesive brand story.)
Your clarity of purpose
When you know your mission, what you offer, why your dream customer needs you, and the problems you solve… you’ve got clarity of purpose. This crystal clear perspective of who you are and what you do and why might feel like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses have overlooked this part of their brand and business vision. And that clarity of purpose can take you far when it comes to how you position and differentiate yourself in your market. The confidence that comes with knowing who you are will attract dream customers.
What’s your mission? What do you offer and for whom? What problems are you solving? And why?
Your personal style
Most branding experts will tell you that your brand begins with your customer… but we think the best place to start is with yourself. We believe that when you can blend more of who you are into the work you do, you will be more fulfilled in your job. A lot of creatives think that having a personal brand means taking lots of selfies and posting them to Instagram, and while we think that’s okay, that’s not the point. The point of a personal brand is allowing your values, intentions, and personal expression to have a place in your business. It’s letting personal experience and story have a place at the table just as much as your talent, skills, and business model. Because the truth is – no matter how big your business grows at the end of the day, people hire people. Your customers are looking to connect with something human.
How is your personal style reflected in your business and outward facing brand?
Your dream customer
While we like to start with you, we know (and you know) that your brand isn’t just about you. It’s about how you communicate what you do and for whom in a style that resonates with your dream customer. A disconnect between who you think you are and who your dream customer thinks you are can be detrimental to your success. Plus, it’s not just about them liking who you are – it’s about reassuring that you’re for them by articulating what you offer without confusion.
Do you know who your dream customer is? Do they know who you are and what you offer?
Expertise can be a loaded word that doesn’t land with everyone in the same way, but it’s as simple as staking a claim for what you want to be known for. Becoming a reliable guide and “go-to” for the thing you offer will elevate you beyond a commodity and position you as a sought-after problem-solver.
What do you want to be known for? What’s your expertise?
Your brand is how you tie the story and emotion of what you do to the nuts-and-bolts deliverables you offer. If you lean too heavy on the emotional side of how you connect to your dream customer, you risk confusing your clients as to how you’re actually helping them … which leads to hesitation when it comes to closing the deal. When it comes to your deliverables, use branding language with a light touch and just say what you mean.
When it comes to your offering, what do you deliver? If it’s not tangible, try to paint a before-and-after picture of your client before and after they work with you.
Your content—whether that’s a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel, or a social media presence—is one of the best ways to establish your expertise, share your story, and attract dream customers. It’s also a place where you can explore and evolve your brand. What you create along the way shapes who you become in your brand and business vision.
Does the content you create support your expertise with the tone and style of your brand?
So here we’ve shared a few of the threads that create the bigger picture of your brand and business vision. No one thread is more important than the other – they all work together to tell a cohesive and clear story about who you are and the work you do.
Want to dive in a little deeper? Download our free 7 Ways to Brand You and What You Do eBook:
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