“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” — Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon
What do you want your ideal clients to say about your brand?
It’s easy for us, as creative entrepreneurs, to either (a) get lost in “all the things” and try to make too many ideas come to life or (b) get stuck in the systems, processes, and everyday routines we created for ourselves.
I have been caught up in both extremes before.
- My first year in business, I got so wrapped up in following my blogging, newsletter, and social media schedule that I failed to come up for air and make sure this schedule was actually helping me get closer to my bigger brand vision.
- My second year in business, I tried to be everywhere and do everything: working with brand design clients and coaching clients, creating digital products, hosting webinars, periscoping, tweeting, instagramming, launching new programs, creating virtual coworking spaces, opening a facebook group, etc.
If you’re in either one of these boats today, I want to help you make sure what you’re doing is positioning your brand in the way you want to be perceived.
If we don’t even know who we are and what we do, our people won’t either.
I learned to combat the craziness of my own creative mind by doing a brand check-in every six months. There are three things I look into to ensure I’m positioning my brand how I want to be perceived.
You can test your own brand using this three-step check-in.
1. Learn Who Your People Are Again
As your brand grows and evolves, so does your community.
Reach out to them. Get to know them. Let them know you’re human. Show them you want to include them in your brand decisions.
You can stalk your followers on your favorite social media platform and try to gather information about them or head straight to your newsletter list. Send out a simple question asking them what they’re struggling with or take it a step further with a quick questionnaire.
For example, I just sent this simple form to my newsletter crew:
- I am a… [designer] or [creative]
- I’ve been in business for… [less than a year] or [over a year]
- My business would be a lot dreamier if I could just… [fill in the blank]
2. Only Present Solutions
Once you’ve learned more about the people in your crew, you want to be sure your offerings are in alignment with what your people need.
Just by asking the three questions above, you’re learning:
- What your ideal clients call themselves so you can refer to them in the same way in your brand messaging.
- How long your ideal clients have been in business to ensure your content is attracting the right clients.
- What your ideal clients are struggling with, so you can ensure your current offerings are specific solutions just for them or start creating new ones.
This simple survey helped me go from offering “all the things” to offering only two extremely focused services: brand education and strategy. Now I know, and more importantly, my clients know exactly what my brand stands for and how to work with me.
The Braid Method is another perfect example of this. Braid Creative could offer multiple branding packages, but instead they only offer one. This clearly positions their brand as an expert in one particular area leaving no room for confusion.
3. Have a Clear and Consistent Brand Message
Once you verify who your people are and what solutions you’re offering them, it’s time to make sure you’re portraying your brand message clearly and consistently.
Break it down into super simple terms and rewrite your Golden Circle one sentence (aka your elevator pitch).
I help [who] do [what] through [how] to [why].
Example: I help designers put systems and workflows in place through one-on-one consulting to give their clients a quality brand experience.
Make sure this message is portrayed clearly on your website and in social media bios.
Sharing the same message across every brand platform allows no room for confusion when it comes to how potential customers perceive your brand.
Schedule time on your calendar every six months to do a brand positioning check-in: get to know your people better, assess your current offerings, and ensure your messaging is clear and consistent.
Start positioning your brand how you want to be perceived by your people.
If you liked this post be sure to check out:
- This week’s Being Boss episode with Tara Street of Braid Creative — Being Boss Episode #109: Packaging, Positioning, and Process with Tara Street
- The Struggle to Express Our Best Selves in Our Brand
- More on owning your expertise — Being Boss Episode #56: Owning Your Creative Expertise with Tara Street