There was a time when “branding” meant a corporate-looking logo, a slick catalog and matching business cards and stationary. We’re not there anymore. In today’s online marketplace, the real value is in simply being you. People really aren’t so interested in how big you are. They want to know who you are and why you do what you do.
Let Your Personality Shine Through For A Stellar Brand
Here’s the one thing today’s successful marketers know: Customers don’t buy a product or service, they buy you. Your personality, your experience, and the unique qualities only you possess. They buy your how and why you do the thing that you do. That’s your brand. That’s what separates you from the herd and attracts your ideal clients.
It’s what makes price and competition irrelevant. Because, no one else can do you. When you’ve created a brand, that truly represents you, you have the real key to creating an amazing brand, that fills your pipeline with clients and lets you grow a business you love.
But, exactly how do you do that?
Here Are Four Tips Helping Me To Create A Brand I Love:
Use Your Authentic Voice
Have you ever heard a song on the radio, and as soon as the artist sang the first words you knew exactly who that was? Even, if you’d never heard the song before, you knew it was that artist. They had a signature sound that was theirs.
Bruno Mars can do that for me. He sings a song and from the first phrase I know it’s him. Other people sing his songs and sometimes I think, that sounds like it could be a Bruno Mars song. Even when I’d never heard him sing it before. And, it always turns out, that it IS a Bruno Mars song. I guess you could say I’m a fan. And, his sound, is his brand.
As a small business owner, and especially one online, branding works like that for you too. How you write, speak, and even, act on camera, or in an audio interview, has the power to instantly identify you to your audience. The trick is to be consistent in your style. That means the shapes and colors of the images, status updates, shared posts, and content you deliver to your social media feeds, and other platforms you use to present yourself to the world should be easily recognizable as having come from you. And they should align with your real personality and the products and services you release out into the world, or hope to one day.
If you have a favorite person you follow regularly on one of the social media platforms, take a moment to really look at your feed. I’m willing to bet it’s easy for you to tell which images and updates that person posted. It’s because you’ve come to recognize their voice, just by how they regularly speak. It’s become their brand. The same thing can be true for you.
Speak To Your Specific Audience
There’s something else that’s a really important aspect of using your “authentic voice. . .” It has the power to attract a specific audience. YOUR audience. Because, word choices, intonation, style and delivery all have an impact in reaching your right audience.
Whitney Houston sang “I Will Always Love You,” and garnered international fame and recognition for it. In fact, since her death, it has pretty much become HER theme song, her Opus. Everyone recognizes her for having sung it. But, it wasn’t her song first. Dolly Parton wrote and sang that song long before Whitney ever even heard of it.
And, despite Whitney Houston’s great fame and accomplishments around that song; Dolly fans remember who did it first, and maybe in their opinion. . . best.
There is a world of difference in those two versions of that song. And each version speaks to the audience that is perfect for it.
The point is, it doesn’t matter who else does what you do. When you stay true to your authentic self, you attract people who want to work with and be around the real you, the way YOU do what you do, blemishes,warts and all. Being true to yourself makes competition irrelevant.
Share Your Story
Share your story. Your backstory and how you got where you are today is powerful stuff! Even, if you think it’s boring, complace or irrelevant—I promise you it’s not. It’s a powerful tool. It makes you human and identifiable and it explains your why in a way that’s memorable. It can help solidify your brand and attract just the right audience. And, most importantly, it gives your audience the support and hope that they can achieve their goals too.
I used to be invisible. I struggled with self-doubt and low self-esteem. But, everything changed for me when I finally realized that it was the stories I told myself that kept me invisible and afraid, and it was up to me to change it. I had to do a mindset reset in order to even begin to feel capable or worthy of having the business I wanted to build.
But, I didn’t think my story was relevant for others trying to build a business. Guess what you can’t build a business if you’re not visible. You probably already know that. The problem is you don’t WANT to be visible. And, that is because of whatever brand of baggage you’re holding onto that keeps you feeling unworthy. We’ve all been there. So when, I finally shared my story, it resonated. It helped me begin attracting my right audience.
Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic.
My friend and mentor Kelly McCausey, talks about how when she first came online, she was just looking for a way to earn a few extra dollars a month to keep the lights on. So she started creating $5 graphics and very quickly found herself with a full-time career online. She’s changed her brand a few times since then. But her story, is still a part of it.
It’s a simple story. But, it works. Your story can be simple too. You certainly don’t have to share more than you’re comfortable with, In fact, the only real requirement is that it’s yours. When you’re true to yourself, your right audience will self-select. Your perfect client will find you.
Don’t Be Afraid To Make Mistakes
Finally, this is a biggie . . . I’m not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. I make mistakes. And, you will too. The thing is, what you do most consistently, and how you do it builds your brand, and your brand’s reputation. That means that sometimes you might be accidentally creating messaging that you really don’t want to be a part of your brand.
And, there’s probably a reason for it too . . . one that gets right back to the heart of creating visibility for yourself and your business. But, you don’t have to let it win.
Here’s the thing, and maybe one of the most important things you need to hear. . . it’s okay to simply course correct. What it’s not okay to do, is beat yourself up, revert back to negative self-talk, or give up your dream of successful business ownership altogether. Just own the mistake, learn what you can from it and move on.
I guarantee you’ll feel better afterwards, and you’ll be developing a strong success habit in the process. Best of all, you’ll have the secret key in hand. Be yourself, it’s the hidden gem behind all the tactics of the gurus and wizards, to truly building an amazing brand that you love.