Watch the Video that walks you through all of these tips!
When we start any brand design project we have a conversation with our clients so that we can ask them various questions about their brand. We like to see how far along they are in their business, what their business means to them, and other questions to really get to the heart of the business. By doing this, it allows us to create a more meaningful design and clients are happier with the outcome because the design actually represents the deep meaning of their business.
As we ask questions, we can decide if a person truly understands their purpose and if their visions are aligning with their brand. We have found that some people don’t have any kind of foundation or clarity about their brand which is truly important when building your brand.
Building a strong foundation and gaining clarity for your business will ultimately let you create a brand that builds trust and shows authority. People are much more likely to buy from sources that they trust.
tip .01 | know your purpose and understand your why
Your purpose or your “why” is the reason WHY you do what you do. As Simon Sinek, from one of the most popular Ted Talks, says “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”
Your “Why” or your “Purpose” is your driving factors behind your brand. A lot of people like to say that their purpose is to make money. However, when you are in business, of course one of the goals is to make money but that doesn’t make it your purpose. Instead of saying your purpose is to make money, you should be asking yourself, “what freedoms does money allow me to have?”
For example, maybe you don’t want to work in a corporate job any more because you want to spend more time with your children and husband. Maybe you want the freedom to travel as much as you want. Maybe the corporate structure doesn’t allow you to be in control as much as you’d like. These are motivating factors that will give you the motivation to continue to work.
Exercise #1: Finding your purpose – ask yourself the following questions.
1. What is your passion? If money wasn’t an object, what would you do everyday? What is something you enjoy doing, just to do it?
Why you should be asking yourself this question: If you are creating your brand, you need to have so much passion for it that you get excited about it, can’t sleep because you can’t stop thinking about it, not afraid to tell everyone what you do. So at the core of your brand, you need to start something that you have passion for. This doesn’t mean that you have to be passionate about every aspect of a business (i.e. I do not have a passion for accounting) but I’m so passionate about design that it makes that part worth it.
2. What are you naturally good at?
People usually have skills or talents that they are naturally good at but never actually think about how they can apply that to creating a business. You might be naturally good at teaching, so why not create something that you can teach others? You might naturally be very personable and outgoing, so you can use those skills when doing a product launch and doing webinars so connect with your audience. Your natural skills/talents might be obvious or you might need to think out of the box.
When you are naturally good at something it comes easy to you and you don’t have to fight it to make it happen. Which means you are more likely to enjoy what you’re doing.
3. What skills / expertise do you have?
The skills and expertise that you already have might give insight on what you’re passionate about. Maybe you learned a skill and realized that only one aspect of it is something you enjoy. Maybe you thought your passion was being a fashion blogger but maybe you realized that your real skill is at the photography aspect of a fashion blogger so you can pivot your skills to work for you and your passion.
4. Where in the market can you add value?
Is there a hole in the market that you can add value to? Is there a market that isn’t being tapped into? Is there something being used in one market but not in another? You can usually see that there is a place in the market that you can add value, whether it’s to people’s lives, wealth, business, mental health, etc.
When we say market, we want it to be a market that you are passionate about.
Once you have these answers you should be able to ﬁnd your purpose or at least see some kind of a pattern or commonalities between the answers. Knowing and understanding your why allows you to create goals to achieve the life you want and to be able to communicate it effectively with your audience.
For example, our purpose is to empower, teach, and inspire creative entrepreneurs to be able to create an unforgettable brand so that they can create the life and impact that they have always wanted.
tip .02 | know your brand’s values
Your brand values let your customers or clients know what you believe in as a company and how you are working toward that shared vision. These values will dictate how you behave as a brand and how you communicate with your audience, and how you choose your goals for your business. I think this is a step that is often overlooked, and at first glance, I can see why. However, as you start doing business and clients start doing something that goes against one of your values, you’ll realize how much you don’t like it and how you need to communicate how important your values are.
For example, maybe “control” is one of your values, so you send your customer a welcome packet and give them a timeline so they know what to expect and provide feedback. However, on their due dates, they continuously don’t communicate with you, they don’t have all their information, or they ask for a couple more days throughout the whole project. This would go against your core value of control and instead of running the project, now the client is. This can be extremely frustrating and hard to continue to work with this client. That’s the moment when you realize that control is one of your values, and you need to stand behind that value, and communicate this with your client.
So make sure you have your core values clearly stated on your website or welcome packet and then infuse these values through everything you do. Your visuals, your website, your communication to your clients and more.
We like asking a client’s brand values because we communicate these values into design. If one of your values is happiness, dark or deep colors don’t match that value.
Exercise #2: How to discover your brand values
1. Make a list of 5 personal values and write down why they are important to you.
2. Make a second list of negative experience that you’ve had with clients or with other brands.
What was the experience like?, How did they handle it? What is the opposite value that you would like your clients to experience? Sometimes we don’t realize what our values are until they are being test and you don’t like how it feels.
3. See how these values can overlap, and decide on 4-5 for your brand and then write why each one is your value. Save this list and follow this list going forward.
tip .03 | know your audience
Knowing your audience is a vital part to growing your brand and it’s a huge topic so we’re just going to discuss key points. We would like to stress at just how important it is to know your audience. Your audience dictates what your next moves are in your business. A common misconception is that you should market to everyone so you can have the largest audience. This is actually the opposite of what you should be doing. There is a saying “If you are marketing to everyone, then you’re marketing to no one.” Everyone is not your target audience. Your audience needs to know that you are speaking to them. Your audience needs to relate, understand and feel a connection with you, your products, or your services which you are able to do when you know who your audience is.
On the other hand, when you know your audience, you know their pain points and their struggles so you know to how to solve it for them. Remember, “People don’t buy products, they buy solutions.” – Meredith Hill.
When you know your audience you also know where they are hanging out, how old they are, and how you should be communicating with them. This will allow you to market directly to them.
Exercise #3: The biggest hurdle that my clients have when they are just beginning is knowing WHO and HOW to ﬁnd their audience. Follow these steps below:
1. Based on your past experiences, with clients or people that you have worked with, write down all the positive qualities that you liked about working with them. Was it their age, communication skills, their industry? What qualities made you like working with them?
2. Create a dream client. Create one specific person in your head who you would consider your dream client. Give them a name, an age, interests, and all the qualities that you stated earlier. Where does your dream hang out? What social media apps do they use? What stores do they shop at? What are their values?
3. Any time you are marketing to your audience, make sure your all your marketing is targeted to where they are hanging out… online or in person, make sure your price range and services are correct for those demographics.
4. Your visuals and voice should be attracting your audience. We like to use Pinterest to create a mood board from your Dream Client’s perspective. You created your avatar and understand her pain points, now make a mood board that she would create if she actually existed. Pin all the things she likes, the things she is searching for, the things that she wants, etc. Save this mood board as a reference point so you can visually see her style and see what kinds of things she is attracted to. This helps you design and create a voice for your audience.
Eventually you will start seeing analytics and data and this will help you make sure you are aligning with your audience. You may have to make small changes to really align with your audience or you might find that your content is actually attracting a slightly different audience.
tip .04 | know your competitive advantage
Your competitive advantage is also about knowing your Unique Selling Point (USP). What are you doing that is different from your competitors that makes you stand out? What are you doing that’s better than your competitors or unique to your business? What makes your audience purchase from you and not other businesses in your niche? For example, an interior designer may have a unique process that they use, a specific style that matches yours, or something else that’s different from their competitors that attracts clients. By finding your advantage over your competition, you are able to become the authority in your ﬁeld and also make you stand out. It could be the one thing that people remember you by.
Exercise #4 – How to find your competitive advantage.
1. Make a list of competitors in your niche.
2. Visit their website and write down three things that they do that is unique to them or something that makes them stands out.
3. Make a list of the things that they are missing or things they do just like everyone else.
4. Brainstorm how you can do these things different. Figure out how you can ﬁll in the holes that they are missing.
5. Don’t go back to your competitors websites or social media accounts. You do not want to be influenced by them or intimidated by them.
Design your products, website, and branding to be different than all your competitors.
tip .05 | create a biz bio
Our favorite way to wrap all these tips up in a nice little package Is by creating what we call a biz bio. It is very similar to a purpose statement or mission statement but we like to use this on our website, social media bios, or as our elevator pitch when we are networking in person. So a biz bio is a formula to create your purpose statement in one concise sentence.
So let’s break it down with an example:
1. What you do = you create organic skincare products
2. What you help your custom accomplish in the short term = safely & dramatically improve their skin
3. How this will change their life in the long term = They will gain conﬁdence and love their skin.
Putting this in one concise statement you get:
Our organic skincare products safely and dramatically improve your skin so you can gain conﬁdence and love your skin.
Seems pretty easy right? Now you can use this statement in your website and Instagram bio.
The fun part – Download Your Free Brand Starter Pack
We created a brand starter pack that is completely free to download and it will walk you through all the tips we discussed. If you want to take your branding and business strategy even further, we have one brand workbook to walk you through the foundation of your business. We have this available in the shop if you are Interested. It is the same workbook we walk through with our clients when we start a brand package.