Branding can sometimes feel like a luxury, only reserved for the times when we have the mental energy, money, or even space on our to-do list to devote to a worthy (but not exactly a necessary?) investment for our business. Branding might not be at the top of our list when we’re trying to decide how we are going to spend our hard earned dollars. Do we invest back in our business or back in our savings account? Do we spend our time getting our brand looking beautiful and legit, or do we just put our head back down and get to work!?
Branding can sometimes feel like a big process and a lot to bite off. But positioning? Positioning is a muscle you can exercise every day. And positioning pays.
Kinda sounds like I’m making branding sound like a chore. But once you commit to updating your messages, your images, your identity – a new brand that really feels like you as a person and a professional can feel so energizing, clarifying, and confident-boosting!
And if you’re working with brand experts who really make you feel heard + guide you along the way, going through a branding process can actually be the most inspiring time you spend on your own business in a long long time! (Ahem, disclaimer that was blatant Braid self-promotion! But that doesn’t make it untrue!)
But what if you’re just not mentally or fiscally “brand-ready” right now? Perhaps because:
- uh, it feels like you just updated your brand…
- you don’t have the money to spend on your brand right now…
- or, you’re in such a state of transition with your business, it just doesn’t make sense to cement it with a brand just yet. You feel the need to wait and develop your biz just a little bit longer!
Ok, great! I hear you. And I agree with you. Put that brand talk on pause, please! This is where I want to talk to you about your positioning.
Positioning is being able to clearly & confidently tell people in an instant what you do:
- in quick introductions
- short conversations
- introductory or inquiry follow-up emails
- in footers of your blog posts
- in your social media profile descriptions
- on your website home page
- in your internal mission or business vision
- and unapologetically and without hesitation in your OWN HEART & MIND!
Sharing your business positioning should feel like second nature, so it feels natural to talk about, write about, and adapt to any situation.
Let me break this out a little more so you can give it a try yourself. How clearly you can write your positioning for each of these points below? Or better yet, test that inner voice of yours in the moment! (But use the excited inner voice, not the tired one.) See if you can express in one sentence or less an explanation for:
1. What You Do in a way anyone can understand in an instant—the simplest “label or title.”
2. Who You Do It For so they get a sense if they are a fit. Even if you’re not niched or specialized, you can still give people a sense of the kinds of people or businesses you work with, come on! You can always narrow in with specifics and broaden back out later in your conversation, in your website, in your email, or whatever form of communication you’re using to convey your positioning in an instant!
3. Why You Are Doing It so you feel like a person with a purpose, not just a robot, resume, or a talking sales page.
4. How You Go About Doing This ALL THE TIME so you don’t sound like you’re just winging it. This shouldn’t be your process listed out in laborious detail. This is just you giving a hint of your approach, a behind-the-scenes sense of the work you do, or even the experience that unfolds for your clients along the way. This last one is where the magic happens, but it’s a bonus. It’s not going to be in every introduction, but it better be the next layer! Or else your positioning may just position you as an order taker instead of the guiding expert you are!
How does knowing and clearing articulating your positioning really pay off? Let me count the ways. Okay, actually, let me just tell you how it pays off for me.
- non-awkward business introductions when I first meet people or potential clients
- easy-to-navigate kickoff meetings with brand new clients who want to feel at ease
- confident client meetings/presentations along the way with less anxiety and doubt
- clear boundaries at the “end” of our engagement because the positioning set me up that way from the beginning
- and literally in my pay in letting me charge what I’m worth, not what the hours billed, project-of-the-day, or the budget of each client will allow
Guess what? Uncovering our clients’ positioning before we ever develop the outward facing messaging, design, look and feel of their brand is 75%—if not more—of the work we do at Braid as guiding experts with that outside perspective. If you want to inquire about working 1:1 with Braid on your business visioning, positioning and brand platform contact us here.