As a business owner you probably hear the word branding thrown around all the time. Most of the time people are talking about a logo, colors, and font and that stuff is all great, but I want to take it to the next level. I want to dig deeper into what makes a brand successful. Marty Neumeier, a wise branding guru, once defined branding as “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company.” I’m going to dive into 3 ways to make sure that ‘gut feeling’ is a true representation of what you want your brand to look and feel like.
For starters, you need great brand photography. Invest in a branding shoot with someone who’s style represents the feeling you want your potential customers/clients to have. Not only that, but make sure you have plenty of photos of yourself! In today’s society, people don’t just value the product you’re putting out, they want to know who is delivering that product. They want to see the love you’re putting into it, and if you’re a product based business, they want to see your products being used!
The fact is that you get back what you put into the world, and if you have no photos, or bad photos representing your business, your sales will reflect that! If you’re a photographer and you want to market yourself for destination weddings, then you better be posting destination wedding photography! If you haven’t done a destination wedding yet, invest in traveling to a photography workshop. If you’re only posting budget weddings, those are the types of clients you’ll attract. The bottom line is that you need to be thinking about what your ideal clients and customers want to see, and then give that to them.
If you haven’t hired a brand strategist already, it’s time to get on that. You need to get outside feedback about your brand in order to truly know how you’re portraying yourself to the world. My brand strategist had me give him a list of three people – one who knew me really well, one who knew me sort of well, and one who only knew my business – and he contacted every person on that list and asked them a series of questions about me and my business. The only way to get the truth is by having someone else conduct these interviews! Through this exercise I learned that I was being perceived quite differently than what I had hoped. I learned what I needed to change and now I know how to communicate to my clients successfully. When you are the business it’s so difficult to be able to see where you’re failing or where you could improve, thus having this feedback or market research is priceless in so many ways.
Lastly, it’s really important to understand where your emotional connection is. What is your brand story? What really changed you as a person? How did you become a creator? I often ask my coaching clients to list 25 reasons why someone would hire them over someone else, and this has proven to be very hard. Once you get past the generic ones you’ll begin to get to the core of who you are and you’ll be able to create a story around that. We need to stop looking at similar businesses and just telling the same lame stories that they are. You need to differentiate yourself by telling your unique story and finding connection points between you and your ideal clients and customers. Emotions are a key factor in making a sale, and if you’re not connecting with them, you’re failing your business. For more details regarding brand stories, see this post.
I hope these three tips were enough motivation to get you diving deeper into your brand and taking the right steps to marketing for your ideal clients. If you want to see my live discussion about this topic click here. If you’re interested in learning even more of my marketing knowledge check out my Ultimate Marketing Map Course for creatives – I hope to be able to blow your mind!