Branding is one of the most overused and misunderstood words floating around in the business world right now. Everywhere you look, there is a new branding coach, strategist or expert, making attempts to convince the world that they know all there is to know about “branding”. Yes, their website may be enticing, and their “elevator pitch” may be captivating, but what are their credentials? Where are their credentials? Listen, before you reach into your pocket to pay for another life-changing, accelerating, sure-fire, monetizing’ coaching program, make sure you do your own research into what branding really is and how you can build your own brand without forking out thousands of dollars before you actually need to.
As you utilize resources that cost you little to no money to absorb information from (Google, Social Media, top business blogs, etc.), there are three key points you need to keep in mind when casting your branding vision:
1. Be authentic
I could give a concrete definition of what the word authentic means but I won’t. When I say “be authentic”, I mean own who you are and what you do. You are in business for a reason. Your reason is unique to who you are. Believe it or not, if you are not staying true to who you are, how you feel, and what you believe, everyone will know it! This means you cannot be the business expert you strive to be based on being a carbon copy of something or someone the industry has already seen or heard before. You have a voice and that’s what will attract the people (and the money) to you.
2. Be specific
One thing that messes up new small business owners and entrepreneurs is the desire to want to reach any and everybody at once. The fallacy in this is there is no strategy behind it and success, no matter how small or large, must be strategically planned. In your planning stages, be intentional and specific on what it is you want to do and who it is you want to appeal to. Your target audience needs to be laser defined. Your mission, vision, and purpose must be crafted around the standard for which you desire to set forth in your business. Fix your focus on a target and stick with it.
3. Be credible
This is a simple key concept: do not advertise what you cannot execute and deliver. The old saying “…the jack of all trades but the master of none,” is bad for business. Your reputation is what will establish you as a professional. Do not allow the sparkle of the “I can do it all” seasoned entrepreneur fool you into stretching your own gifts and talents too thin. If you know you can only offer two services and those two services you have mastered so well that you could perform them in your sleep, let that be it! This is not to say later on you cannot enhance what you offer. This simply means to use wisdom. Your credibility in business depends on your ability to do exactly what you say you will do.
While there is so much more to discovering and solidifying your brand image, the tips I have given you are valuable starting points. Before you launch your business or next project, take the necessary time to make sure you have all of your ‘ducks in a row’. You need to stand up and stand out; they best way to do this is to make sure your brand standard and image is set in stone and marketable. I believe in you…now go make it happen!