Nothing is new in business. There are likely thousands of people doing exactly what you do. The only difference between you and those thousands of competitors is your brand voice and style.
Branding (your brand voice, look, personality and style) is what makes your brand recognizable.
DID YOU NOW: In marketing, it is said that a customer has to see an ad seven times to remember it. That’s if your branding is consistent. How many times do they have to see your brand if your website, social platforms, marketing materials and business cards all look different or don’t relay the same voice? A lot more than seven!
How much thought and time have you given to your branding? Likely a lot. It’s also likely it has been done in a “brainstorming” fashion and not by answering specific questions, using a Step-By-Step Branding Guide to walk you through perfecting what it is about your brand that is going to create consistent awareness across all platforms, while resonating with your ideal customer.
It’s time to dig in, do the work, take the time and make your brand memorable. Let’s get your branding on point and get you recognized and chosen by your ideal customer.
Who is your ideal customer?
You sit down at your computer to map out your social media posts for the week and you freeze up. What do you say? What should you post? The problem is you likely don’t know who you are talking to or what they want from you. Imagine if you had a very clear picture of your client. Her personality, her wants, her needs, her lifestyle. Your ideal customer, once created, becomes your imaginary best friend. Every time you sit down to craft your marketing plan, you are going to give her exactly what she needs and wants.
Defining your ideal customer is the single most important thing you can do to simplify your marketing efforts. Get specific. Give your ideal customer a name. Define her habits, her hobbies, her lifestyle, the number of kids she has, if any. What magazines does she read? How old is she? Is she married or single? You can use The Ultimate Branding Guide for Women Entrepreneurs to help you craft your ideal customer. It walks you through every question you need to ask yourself.
What problem do you solve for your ideal customer?
What specific problems do you solve for your ideal customer? List them all. Then write out how that ultimately enhances your customer’s life on all levels. For example, if you are an esthetician and you provide facials or waxing you solve the problem of skin issues and hair removal. Dig deeper. How does that make your client feel and how does it better her life?
What is your why? Why do you work for your ideal customer? Why do you wake up every single day and do what you do? What value is it that enhances their loves and that motivates you every single day to keep doing what you are doing?
What makes you different from your competition?
What is it about your product or service that is uniquely you? This uniqueness is the reason customers will choose you over your competition. A whole lot of people do exactly what you do, how do you do it differently? For example, I specifically focus on female entrepreneurs. This sets me apart from other agencies and allows me to have a deeper understanding of the needs of my clients. What are your differences?
What is your brand personality?
Your brand personality is what makes you who you are. It’s what your customers are drawn to. It’s why they choose you over your competition. Is your personality fun and spirited? Is it serious and straight forward? Write out several words that define your brand. Now take these words and create a short bio you can use on your social media channels. For example @x_o_a describes her brand personality as passionate, simple, kind and honest. Her social media bio is, “I believe in making beauty simple. I am passionate about artistry and imagery. My foundation is built on honesty, humility and kindness.”
What is your voice?
You’ve defined who you are speaking to and you’ve gotten clear on the unique personality traits of your brand. Now you need to craft how you speak to your ideal customer. Will your social media and overall marketing voice (including your outgoing voicemail message and the tone of your emails) be humorous? Sarcastic? Serious? Authoritative? Sophisticated? Think about your ideal customer. How would you speak to her? Do you joke around? Do you give advice? Do you get personal with her? Once defined, before you put out a tweet, post or email ask your, “Will this resonate with my ideal customer?” If yes, hit send. If no, redo it. Your voice, like all aspects of your branding, should stay consistent.
What colors define your brand?
Pick wisely. Just because you like neon pink, doesn’t mean that is what will draw your ideal customer to your brand. Re-read how you defined your ideal customer and ask yourself what colors you think she would most be drawn to. Once you choose your pallet use it consistently on your site, your social updates, newsletters and all marketing materials. Color is one of the most recognizable pieces of your branding. Need some color inspiration? I am crazy for Color Palettes.
What fonts define your brand?
What fonts are you going to consistently use on your site and all marketing tools? Make sure your font isn’t too fancy or swirly and hard to read. Choose simple fonts. You can throw one fun cursive-y font in for punch, but keep your main fonts simple. Need some font inspiration? Check out Google Fonts.
Look at you!
People buy from people. It’s a proven fact. Make your face visible in your social media. People want to see you. If you do not have a great headshot and a couple of great lifestyle photos of yourself, you need to invest in some.
How about that logo?
Aside from your face, your logo is the second most recognizable piece of your brand. Make sure your logo resonates with your ideal customer and aligns with your business. If you are a hairdresser, having a beautiful tree as your logo is a bad idea no matter how lovely the tree is. You want something that aligns with your brand.
Create a Pinterest Board
Create a Pinterest board the includes images with colors, images and quotes that define your brand. This is a great check in for you when you need it. Open it as you start to create marketing pieces and social media updates and ask yourself if it aligns with the board. If it doesn’t align, fit it.
Branding should not be taken lightly. It is a big undertaking and requires a lot of focus, introspection and consideration. It’s the key element to awareness and ultimately the success of your brand. Spend the time, do not rush it. Everything you do to market your brand will be exponentially easier. You won’t be starting from scratch each time. You will always use the same colors and fonts. You won’t be unsure of what to say because you now have a relationship with your ideal customer (at least in an imaginary way) and you will know what will make her feel something or fill her needs. Every piece of content you create will be designed just for her.
Carve out some time where you are alone, get out your notebook pens and start branding your business today! Feeling a little overwhelmed by all of this? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I have designed a workbook that walks you through each step of the branding process! The Ultimate Branding Guide for Women Entrepreneurs
Your brand is your strongest asset. It is the reason your customers will choose you. Perfect it. Go to your Pinterest Board often. Read your Ideal Customer Bio often. Never lose sight of it and never miss an opportunity to create brand awareness. Consistency, consistency, consistency!
Pin it to come back to it!