BRAND STRATEGY TIPS
OUR BEST RESOURCES & ARTICLES TO HELP YOU BUILD A GREAT BRAND
How do you demonstrate to your potential clients that your method or process is actually going to work, they will get desired results, or (here's the big one) you're actually worth the pricing you're charging? Clarity, my friend. Getting clear about who you are (read: how you're different from other people who are selling or doing what you do), and what you offer is the very best way to show your best potential clients that they can trust you.
Today’s post comes from a question from Jenny Bailey, style consultant owner of This Vivid Life. Jenny asks, “How do you “talk” to customers that don’t know they need you?” Jenny is asking what many of our clients want to know — how to begin having consistent and valuable conversations online with the right people. But how do you do have valuable conversations about how you can help someone if they don’t even know they need you?
Last week, we got some really great questions in response to last week's newsletter, where we asked you to send in your questions (If you're not getting our newsletter, you join us here). One of our brand-friends and previous clients Jenny Bailey of This Vivid Life, a color and style consultancy, emailed us back with a great question about finding dream customers — specifically customers who don't quite know they need you. Because her question was one that we get often from our customers, last week we took the opportunity to flush out an answer on our blog, which you can read here.
But after writing that post, I wasn't quite finished with the topic. I had some lingering thoughts around finding those dream clients, especially when they don't know about you yet.
Jenni here, and one question that we get asked a lot is: "I know I need my brand to be "differentiated" or to be different than what everyone else is doing. How do I know that I'm telling a truly compelling brand narrative vs. being just like everyone else?"
After years of guiding and working with clients on our brand strategy and marketing plan, The Brand Plan, we have started to see some trends in the path we take brands through on their way from ordinary to compelling. Here are three styles of differentiation that we've used to help successful step away from the noise and stand out in a crowd.
So many clients at this stage will reach out to one of three people: a web designer, a graphic designer, or a photographer. But during this inflection point, a web designer, graphic designer or photographer is not the best person to help you. You need to be looking at the "foundations" of your brand not just that "outer layer."
I have a bit of a confession to make. Yesterday during a meeting I was asked "what is positioning?" and I am embarrassed to say that I couldn't explain it without using the word "position."
So today I am going to give you a bit of 101 on what is positioning, how it shows up in your marketing, and why it matters.
Positioning is the intensions, image, and story you weave around your product, services, and brand. It's how customers know that your product is for them and not someone else.
Jenni here — and this week I want to address one of the most common things we hear from our clients: "I feel overwhelmed by marketing. I'm never in front of it. It's more like 'Shoot, I haven't posted something to Instagram in like 4 days.'"
Sound familiar? I thought so. If this is you, let me start by saying you are not alone. Sometimes marketing can feel like a wave coming at you, and if you're not prepared, it can feel like your legs are knocked out from under you. Or worse, that wave can pass you by and instead of grabbing a board on hopping on it, you're left standing there watching other businesses wave at you while they speed by. (Ok, please pardon my horrible surfing analogy). It's hard not to play the comparison game, it's hard to feel like we're on top of our marketing, it's hard not to be mad that we're not better at catching waves, or that waves don't come more often. If you have ever felt any of these things when it comes to opportunities and marketing, believe me, you are not the only one.
Many of us think we know our best customers, but when it really comes down to it, you probably just have a general idea. And while a general idea of your customer is not a bad place to start (especially if you are in your first 2 years of business), as you grow, getting more specific is the key to getting more great customers (and fewer customers that are helping you pay the bills but aren't portfolio worthy).
To make sure you're marketing to the best customer for your business, you have to know who that person is. We have our clients go through an exercise of assigning their current and past client base to one of our four target customer categories. Through the process, you'll see trends emerge, and you can learn something about what customer you should be focusing your marketing on.
Do you sometimes find yourself staring at an empty screen with the cursor tapping it’s impatient foot while you’re trying to figure out what to write for your blog post that week?
Writer’s block happens to all of us and coming up with fresh content on regular basis takes work, but what makes it all worth it is circling back to why your write in the first place: Your audience, your dream customers, your brand cheerleaders. The people that like, comment and share your work or verbally tell you how much they enjoyed reading your posts and how much it helps them and improves their work. Picturing those people in your head and thinking about what their needs are and how you can help them can be the key to unlocking your content block
We hear most of our client say that they feel like they're flying by the seat of their pants when it comes to their marketing. They say things like, "Right now I'm just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. Or I'm just trying different things but I have no overarching direction. Or I want to establish my company as a brand, not just another voice in the noise." So this week I'm dedicating this blog post to the overwhelmed, the confused, and those of you who know you need to be marketing but aren't sure what exactly that looks like. Here are our three steps to getting out of marketing overwhelm.
Your brand values are the main things that your brand represents and stands for, it is the heart and soul of your business.
Brand values are the principles that distill the essential qualities of you, as a business owner, and your business. They also acts as the plumb lines of your brand, define what makes you stand out from competitors, help you measure success and weigh up the right opportunities to avoid making the wrong decision.
Do you know what your brand values are? You probably have a good but perhaps foggy idea, which could be contributing to feeling fragmented or stuck between options. You feel passionate about your great product or service but sometimes feel it's hard to know how to talk to about your passion or idea in a way that a potential customer can understand and value it.
Jenni here, and today I want to take some time to talk about a question that has come up a lot in the past several weeks. The particulars of the question vary from form or another, but the basis has to do with how you're segmenting (or not segmenting) your ideas, products, or customers across the various places your brand lives on the Internet.
I'm going to give you a couple of examples, the first of which we heard while in a sales class several weeks ago. In the class, we met a woman named Cynthia. Cynthia runs a food delivery and catering business and she said:
"I have two target clients. One is a busy mom that will buy my food direct and the other is a company that will hire me for catering services. Do I need to have a different website for each?"
Great brands don't just happen by accident. Creating a brand people LOVE takes some thought about who you are and what your brand is all about.
What most people think of as "branding" is really just the outermost layer. Really impactful and inspirational brands have a clearer understanding of who they are and what makes them different. They also have clear vision of who are their best clients and their mission of how to help them.
A brand is a set of values that sets the bar for all business decisions and shapes your brand into something concise, distinctive, legitimate.