How clear are you on your brand? Working out what you really want to be known for is not an easy task, and you may even find that it evolves over time. In some ways I feel that the task of branding is never finished!
I know it’s really tempting to jump straight to the exciting bits – creating a logo, choosing your colours and typefaces, commissioning photographs and pouring over website templates – but it’s crucial to take a step back before you get to that part and work out what it is that makes your business super special. To get clarity on your brand so that you can make your life easier when you get to the visual parts.
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The first thing to do is to grab some paper and spend some time writing about your brand – get everything out that you think is important. This is a great way to start because it gets you warmed up and thinking about your brand before you move on to the questions. You can’t get this bit wrong, just spend ten minutes writing out and jotting down anything that pops into your head. Think about:
- what you’re passionate about
- what you can bang on for hours about
- what people come to you for advice on
- what really matters to you
- what you try to be
- how you want to change things for others
- which books, blogs, magazines and films get you going
- what you can’t seem to stop learning about (and loving learning about!)
- what you’re excited to get out of bed to do
- what your dreams are
- how you want your life to look
- what skills you have that help you run your business
When you’ve done that, here are some questions to help you dig into that and work out what your brand is all about!
What do you do?
What is it that you offer? Are you selling picture frames, a drill, or a hole in a wall? Are you selling pretty shoes or happy feet? Are you selling graphic design services or confidence? Are you selling skincare products or relief? Are you selling beautiful cakes or sheer happiness?
Free worksheet helps you gain clarity to make creating your brand identity easier
How do you do this differently?
This is about your values, those super important words that help you to define what you’re about and communicate that through each touchpoint. Don’t choose obvious words (ie. an accountant is methodical) think about words which are not expected – remember you’re trying to show how you are different, not the same as everyone else who does what you do. When you’re talking about your business to others what gets you really passionate?
What is it about your business that means that you are the only real option for your ideal client? Do you have a particular way of doing things? Why should your ideal client buy from you?
This might be a good moment to check out your competitors. How are you different to them? Make yourself a gird and look at what they say about themselves, what they offer, how they promote themselves, how much they charge and anything else that you think is relevant to help you work out what makes you different to them.
What makes you an authority at what you do?
How did you get to where you are now? This is about your story – the path that got you here. The qualifications, experiences and trainings that you’ve been part of that have helped you become an expert. The people you’ve helped, the outcomes that they’ve had as a result, the processes you’ve put in place to deliver your offering.
Think also about how people can SEE that you’re an authority. Do you have a book, or have you written so many articles that you are EVERYWHERE, do they find that they discover you wherever you go? Have you won any awards? What have you done to make your authority status obvious to the people who matter?
Who do you work for?
Your Ideal Client is something is something I love to talk about! It helps so much to have a handle on who they are and what makes them tick and there are a few ways to work out not only who your customers actually are now, but who your perfect client is.
If you meet them in real life then it’s a lot easier to gain an idea of this, but even if you sell products online and have never met them, you can still find out a lot about who they are. I have written a whole post on this here, but here’s a brief run-down that will work for you whether you meet your clients or only have their contact information.
- Create a survey. You will need to think very carefully about the questions that you ask to make sure that you get what you need without asking too many questions! You could ask them the easy questions first – age, gender – and then ask about what their interests are – what they read?, where they shop? – you could ask them why they bought from you and what they valued about the experience,
- Spend some time in your stats. Social Media platforms and Google Analytics are full of wonderful information about the people who are interested in what you do.
- Think about the problems that you solve for your customer and write these down.Think about the questions that you keep being asked by others, this will help. What are your customers worried about? What goals do they have? What values do they have?
When you’re done, create a very detailed customer profile to help you focus all of your marketing efforts. This should include:
- Their age
- Their gender
- Their relationship status
- If they have kids/ pets
- What job do they do?
- How much money do they make?
- Where do they live?
Do you know who your ideal client is?
What is your vision for your business?
What are your plans for the future? Where do you see your business? Who will you be working for? How do you want people to feel when they see your visual branding? This is an opportunity to dream – get excited and see what feels good to you. What do you want to be known for? This part it about helping you get really intentional with your brand so that you’re communicating the right information in the right way to the right people – putting out what YOU want to put out so that people have the right impression of you and your business.
These questions are going to help you gain some clarity in your business so that you can move on to think about your visual brand in the most intentional way, speaking to the right audience and creating compelling materials that draw them in.
Amy Purdie is the founder of Whiteacres (where you are now) she can help your business become irresistible to your ideal clients so that they can’t wait to work with you.
Amy has been enjoying designing logos, brand identities, illustration, print work and websites – since 2007 fuelled mainly by tea and chocolate.