Our 5 Tips for Defining Your Brand
Today, we've got a blog post that dives a little deeper into our Episode #7 topic: Branding Your Business. Branding is one of those elusive, magic, hard-to-conquer concepts when you're just getting started in your business. Even though we (Kiley and Blaine) don't feel like we're the end-all-be-all in business branding, we are confident that the following 5 tips can get you started in the right direction! These 5 Tips are for branding the heart and the 'why' of your business. These are not web design or logo tips, but stay tuned--we might go over some of those in the future!
5 Tips for Defining Your Brand
1. Define Your Aspirations
This should be your number one priority. Before you do anything else, ask yourself the "why" of your desire to start a business. Once you hone in on the core reasons why you want to be your own boss and build your own career, you can move forward with that aspiration in mind. This is a really important first step that's going to be the foundation for the remaining 4 tips.
2. Define your audience
There are two types of aspiring business owners: those with a following, and those with a Facebook! (I made that up, but I think it works...just give me a chance to explain!) Let's say you're a lettering artist, like me, Kiley. Even though you haven't started your business yet, if you have been posting your lettering on social media for any amount of time, you've probably amassed a number of audience members who are there for your lettering. If you haven't yet begun promoting yourself or your aspirations on social media, you probably have a social media account of some sort...which means, in the most general way, you have an audience. Either way, take stock of who you have in your audience right this very moment. Can you identify who is there for your potential business? Can you identify who you believe would be interested? If not, our advice is to start putting yourself and your potential business (with aspirations in mind) out there consistently. Once you build up a following, no matter how small, sit down and identify commonalities among your audience members. Now, take a look at who you believe you ideal audience members are. Are they mostly female? Are they mostly moms? Mostly college students in need of a hobby? Something else? How do your current audience and your ideal audience match up? When you identify the heart of your audience, you can narrow your focus and start pointing it (once again, with aspirations in mind) toward your ideal customer.
3. Define your offerings
We believe numbers 2 and 3 are interchangeable, or at the very least, can and should be worked on simultaneously. The products or services you offer are hugely impacted by your target audience, and vice versa. Think about what you can offer your existing/ideal audience that is not currently being offered? Or, even if it is being offered, isn't being offered the same way YOU would. As creative human beings, we all have a unique perspective. Once you define what you want to offer, it's time to start promoting that to your audience. From there, you have to bring those offerings to life!
4. Define yourself
What are your strengths? What makes you completely unique? How do you communicate best? How do you want to present yourself: the expert professional or the super casual mentor and friend? This could also be inserted at ANY point in this list. Defining who you are; as a human, a business owner, a friend, a mentor, etc is SO important to your brand. You are your brand. Only you can decide who you are and who you want to be in your business. With all the previous steps nailed down, this is the time to focus on yourself and look within to further differentiate your voice from the rest.
5. Define your mission statement
With all the previous tips in mind, you can create a KILLER mission statement. Your mission statement doesn't have to be plastered all over your website, your social media, or even be public knowledge. Your mission statement can simply serve as a personal reminder to you, the business owner and the creator of your own dreams, of what your mission is.
With these 5 tips in mind, you should be ready to start putting your best, most honest foot forward in the small business world! We hope these tips have helped guide you in the right direction for your entrepreneurial dreams! Got some more tips you want to share? Drop them in the comments below! And don't forget to listen to Episode #7!