Now that you have a clear and concise direction you’re going in with your business it’s time to focus on your brands identity. Your brand is more than your business name and logo. It goes so much deeper and is more complex than that.
Your brand is:
- WHO is your brand
- Your business’s reputation
- How your brand makes people feel
- What your business represents
- Your business’s core values
There are of course the obvious (but still super important and fun!) things like color scheme, branded font, online presence etc. but those are just the visual representation. It’s what’s at the core of your brand that draws people in a creates loyal customers.
You may think that personal branding is specifically for bloggers, large entrepreneurs, online and social media personalities but that simply isn’t true. Everyone can benefit from and should invest time into their personal brand. Personal branding isn’t just reserved for influencers, freelancers and online celebrities.
Your brand is what people say about you behind your back. Do you want to be known as a hard worker, dedicated to their craft who continually turns out quality product and awesome customer service as well as someone who opens up and is genuine with their audience? These are all qualities you can work into your own personal brand.
We live in an age of almost constant online activity combined with a real yearning to form a personal connection with people whether we know them in real life or only encounter them via social media. I have made some amazing connections and friendships with women I may never get to meet in person and it all was born of our personal brands aligning. What your brand and business identity say to people and your customers is so vitally important because it’s an opportunity to allow them a peek into your life.
You are an awesome individual who is inspiring and creative and offers value to others, let people see that! Your brand is your voice and a bridge between you and your circles of influence and potential customers. When someone connects with your brand it can override influence, past purchases and recommendations and pull them to buy into your brand and purchase from you.
So what are the steps to building your personal brand? A few basic goals will get you started and give you some insight on how to get started and where to go from there.
Consider your existing brand.
- Who are you now, what does your brand say, if anything, about your business? Do you even have a brand personality?
- Are you happy with the image you have presented to the world, for all to see?
Take a look back at your shop, past sales and online/social media encounters. Google yourself and see what, if anything, pops up. Do you exist online? It’s so easy to assume people have access to our business and shops but it may not be the case! You need to start leaving digital signals for potential customers to find you. Consider social media posts and online interactions to be the virtual breadcrumbs leading people to where they can find you!
Now take a look internally.
Who are you? Who is your brand? What motivates you and what motivates others to want to buy into your vision? What are you about? What defines you and sets you apart from others?
Confused? Sometimes it’s hardest to answer personal questions about ourselves. We can be so close to our own situation it’s hard to see the big picture or perhaps we’re just too hard on ourselves that we don’t see how truly amazing we are and what we are offering is.
ASK. FOR. HELP.
One amazing gift of being in a community with your fellow entrepreneurs is you aren’t alone! Call on the friendships and partnerships you’ve made along the way. These will be unbiased and invaluable resources for your entire business venture.
When you enroll the help from those closest to you you can often times walk away with amazingly accurate and valuable insights to your business hurdles.
Think up your ideal brand
The most important step here is knowing yourself. Why are you doing this? What drives you? Something got you started on this path and drove you to take the leap into the world of entrepreneurship. If you know why you’re doing this at the core of things then you will always have a light to guide you home when things get tough. And they WILL get tough but you’re a fighter and you have got this in the bag!
Knowing your why will give you purpose, it’s what drives you when it’s 3pm and you’ve been awake for 4 days and there’s no sleep in sight and you have to cook dinner for a pack of wild toddlers who won’t eat it anyways and you have 13 orders to fill and all you want is a hot shower and to sleep for about a week straight. Your “why” is your beacon, it’s your energy source. Know it. Know it like the back on your hand because it will be your safe harbor in the storms. Your why will nourish your passion and keep you going.
Curate your circle of influence, customers & audience and cultivate an experience specifically for them.
If you take anything away from this it’s that you are not only doing this for yourself but you are doing this for your tribe and your customers.
Once you’ve pegged down the 6 points and focused on your brands personality and your WHY it’s time to hone in on your ideal customer.
Ask yourself these questions and be SPECIFIC.
- Who is your ideal customer?
- How can you reach them?
- What of value can you provide them?
Think of your community as your friends and family. You want to nurture them and give freely to them! Provide them with what they want and need. They came because they were intrigued and once they got a taste of how awesome you are and how valuable what you’re offering is they stayed.
Selling within your Brand
Don’t focus so much on selling. I know, I know. What? Isn’t the whole point of this to figure out ho to make more sales?
Well yes, of course! But people don’t want to stick around to see what you have to say if you only ever tune in to sell them things.
If you invited people over to your house for a party and you spent 3 hours trying to get them to buy your candles and only 20 min spending time with them and getting to know them and letting them see who you are and sharing snacks and stories and LIFE do you think they will come to your next party?
I know I wouldn’t.
This is so much more than selling things. Your brand is about building RELATIONSHIP with people. People vie for community and fellowship and that’s where the trust is built and that trust and familiarity leads to sales.