When we think about branding – the thing that may initally jump out to you is your logo, but branding is so much more than that. In this post I will take you through some key areas that you should have clarity on – these are the foundations of all businesses, the groundwork that gives your business strength and structure, and are the building blocks of how to create a strong brand.
Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, states – “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
Being able to share your deeper reason behind your work, allows you to connect with others, it helps them to see the human behind the business.
Your mission is the deeper reason you do your work – it’s the bigger picture that drives you forward.
For example: I know for a fact if we didn’t need money to live, eat, cloth our kids etc, then I wouldn’t charge for the work I do.
Because designing for others gives me an incredible sense of joy and satisfaction, but it’s also because I care deeply about helping others, and the fact that I can transform the way someone feels about their business, and the results they get, truly lights up my world.
I’m on a mission to help and encourage people to follow their calling, do the work that lights them up and connect with their soul clients, through aligned, strategic and beautiful design.
So how about you – what’s your mission, why do you do the work you do?
Vision is the magic ingredient that helps you push forward and bring new ideas, products and services into the world.
Having a vision for what you’re creating, both now and in the future, will help you to think about ways that you will be presenting your brand, but will also give you a plan on where to start, and where you can diversify as you grow.
Knowing where you would like to take your business in the future, you can think about if your current brand design will help you get there, is it aligned to that bigger vision you have for your business?
If not what needs to change, how does your brand need to look and feel to get to that point?
The potential is huge if we just allow ourselves the opportunity to reach those heights.
What’s your vision for the future of your brand? Where could you take things?
What do you need to be doing now with your brand to start successfully moving in that direction?
Your values are at the core of what you do, the beliefs that your brand stands for.
They’re what helps you to connect with your audience and should be weaved throughout your brand experience.
Knowing these don’t just help from a branding perspective, but they also help to keep you aligned and navigate whether an opportunity, service or piece of content is right for your business.
For example my core values are:
Intuition – I trust my gut and follow my intuition in every aspect of my business, going against it never ends well
Joy – If its not joyful, then why am I filling my days with it
Generosity – I’m a giver and nurture at heart, if I can help I will!
Authenticity – Showing up as me, and embracing all my imperfections
Connection – Genuine connection, care and interest in my people, if we get to know each other, I’m most likely going to be a cheerleader for life!
Having these front and centre will help you to connect with your people, create an aligned brand and business that you adore.
We’re creating our businesses, our way, this is where the magic lies.
What are your brand values?
We’ve all got a huge amount of potential soul clients out there who would dream of working with us, they are the people who share our values, appreciate our vibe and the way we approach our work, and they actually need our help to get past a struggle they’re dealing with, but they’ve just not come across us yet.
That’s pretty exciting right?
But to be able to speak to those soul clients, to be able to show up where they are, get to know and engage with them, we need to get a really clear picture of who they are.
This is where the ICA (ideal client avatar) comes in – and to be completely honest with you , I used to really struggle with this. I just could not get my head around how knowing what someone’s favourite thing to read would help me speak to them, a random list of demographics just didn’t seem to help.
Can you resonate?
Until I discovered a new way of approaching it – The Backstory Method.
This is where you imagine a person who has the problems you solve, their life, what they look like, their personality and you can really then visualise this person. Filling in details with questions to ask yourself about your soul client, these questions really help to dive deep into where they are now, and gives you a sense of who they are, and how you will help them.
After all the prompts have been completed, you’ll have a backstory for them, and you will really feel like you know them.
I also like to give this person a face, just searching through a free stock image site, like Unsplash until I find their face. It’s a bit like creating a character for a movie.
I know that you want to serve many people in your business, how can you just pick one… we all do!
But the thing is, this is not a REAL person, but the IDEAL person. In a dream scenario, this would be THE perfect person.
And yes this one person may not be real, but there will be many who are very similar, and those are the people you are ready to serve!
Having a clear idea of who your soul clients are, before you start designing for your brand is really important, you can see how your brand will fit into their life, which helps you to create an identity that speaks to them and they feel drawn to, leading to a more aligned audience and more dreamy clients who adore working with you, and you getting paid for doing the work that you love.
If your brand was a person, how would you describe them?
This is a question that helps us to understand your brand personality and how it looks and behaves. From the colours, type choices and style of photography to the tone of voice and language that’s used in social media and the website copy. It’s all down to the personality of the brand, and understanding these personality traits.
Your brand personality helps you to connect, and show up in a unique way.
Imagine we have two photographers:
Photographer A’s brand words are: feminine, creative and bold
Photographer B’s brand words are feminine, creative and peaceful
Two businesses, offering a photography service that is creative and feminine – but the addition of the third brand words dramatically changes how they will be showing up and how their brand personality could be weaved throughout their brand.
Yes they both offer a similar service but the finished product, their soul client, their brand visuals are all going to be very different – knowing all of this information and bringing it altogether is what is going to help them stand out and attract their dream clients, and get paid for doing more of what they excel at.
Our businesses will always be evolving, so it’s never too late to ask yourself these questions, especially if you’re feeling like you’re lacking clarity, but I also recommend revisiting them yearly, just so you’re always clear on the path you’re going. If you’d like to go deep on these questions and more, I’ve created an in depth workbook to help you with this process. Download it here
Image by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels