Hello Beautiful Entrepreneur Friend!
People often want to know… so what really IS my brand?
And here’s one really good way to think about it… what are your clients saying about you?
Whether it's to your face, online, or to their friends — you can bet your business comes up. And you know what they're talking about?
You might not realize it, but that's what it is.
Your brand is a whole lot bigger (and sometimes vaguer) than you think it is.
You might try to define and style it and lead people toward it (something I LOVE to do, and love to help YOU do!), but truthfully, in the end -- your brand is whatever THEY think it is.
Nope, it's not that lovely logo or those beautiful colors (though those are important things that are influencing your clients, even when they don't realize it) -- your brand is the combination of the experience these people have with you — primarily with your online presence first.
They might land on your website for 5 minutes and form an impression of your brand. They might work with you for a year and form an impression of your brand. Either way, they have developed their own impression. And if you're not keenly aware that this is happening, you’d better start thinking about it!
Because you definitely want to be STEERING it… why? In order to work with the clients (and more of them!) that are the perfect fit for you.
So what can influence you brand? Here’s the lo-down…
>> Your Visuals: Yep, that logo, your color tones, whether your imagery comes off as simple or too busy, and whether any of it matches at all (or screams chaos instead). Right along with that (and I’m going to argue, maybe even MORE importantly) is how inviting your photos are, and what style they bring to the table. People might not *think* about any of this, but all of it is leaving an impression and has it's own voice (and it's inside their head).
>>Your Wording: What brand story are you sharing? What messages are you sending over and over? (Once is never enough). What key words or phrases have weaved their way into your business?
>>Your Purpose: What do you stand for? What do you value? What greater good are you working toward? For example, here at Feather Blue Studios I have a "Changing the World" page on my website -- this isn't my logo or my color scheme, but you can bet it's part of my brand.
>>Your Vibe: Are you trying to inspire? Problem solve? Stir up concern (so that you can calm it)? Whatever emotion you're trying to give off will distinctly effect the feel of your brand and the type of client you're drawing in.
>>Your No-Ways: Just as you want to draw clients in, you want to keep some away too (like the crabby ones. haha, kidding). You want to keep away clients who don't really jive with your purpose and style, because ultimately you want to work on projects you ENJOY! So make sure your brand style and voice is distinct enough that you're bringing the right people your way! Don't be afraid of being different. Don’t be afraid of voicing things (politely I might add!) that might simply and gently brush some people away.
>>You: What is your personality? Your likes and dislikes? Are you showing your face? And are you treating clients with care? Providing good customer service? Jumping up and down to help when things go astray? Your online brand is only as powerful as you are as a customer service rep and expert in your field all in one. So put your clients first and desire their genuine success over your inconveniences. And don’t be afraid into letting them get a peek at the real you.
Want to KNOW what people really think of as your brand? Ask them!
Ask a few recent clients for online reviews or testimonials and see what comes up. Or ask them what the first thing they think of when your business comes to mind. That will give you greater insight than you could ever come up with on your own, and then you can adjust the “steering” as necessary to continue to cultivate the brand you want to have.
Here's to creating a beautiful brand that truly serves you well!
With Style & Joy + Purpose & Grace,
PS - Want to know if your BRAND (or one of these other 5 things) is holding your small business back? Grab your free report here!