If you’re like many entrepreneurs, when someone asks you about your brand you immediately start describing your logo or your website. You spent a lot of money to have your logo and website professionally designed. They look fantastic. Unfortunately, they aren’t helping you to attract more clients and make more money. Here’s why.
Your logo and website are merely expressions of your brand.
As an entrepreneur, your brand reflects the unique identity of your business. A successful brand is central to you creating a clear and compelling message about:
- who you serve
- why your product or service is a good choice for them and
- why they should believe you.
Your brand needs to be grounded in the truth of who you are. Prospective clients aren’t interested in over-hyped claims. Essentially all they want to know is, “do you understand my problem?” and “do you have a solution for it?” They also want proof that substantiates your promises.
Nearly every business has a brand. Unfortunately, your default brand may not be how you want to be known. In your market your reputation may be that you’re the “expensive dog groomer,” or the “the cheap graphic designer,” or worse, you’re “So and So’s wife who does catering.”
Creating a magnetic or Iconic Brand helps you to stand out in the marketplace on your own terms. Branding allows you to highlight the uniqueness of your business and differentiate yourself from others in your field.
The way you transform your default brand into an Iconic Brand is by refocusing on the passion that created your business. You then must realign everything you do around it.
There’s a reason that you started your business in the first place. You may have seen an unaddressed need in your market or perhaps you decided that you could serve clients better. A business with an Iconic Brand isn’t afraid to espouse its beliefs or its big purpose.
To rediscover the passion that created your business, ask yourself a few questions…
- What people, places or things make you feel excited?
- What are the activities that bring you joy?
- What actions, circumstances or events make you angry?
Remember, we often create businesses that reflect our interests or respond to situations that have deeply affected us.
What makes you, your business, or your service special?
Many entrepreneurs employ the “me too” client attraction strategy, which is to copy successful businesses in their industry. However if you’re imitating someone else, you’re not giving prospects a reason to hire you. Iconic Brands exploit (in a good way) their specialness.
Iconic Brands frequently buck the status quo. As an entrepreneur, you can create your Iconic Brand by zeroing in on a distinct aspect of your business. Perhaps your business’ philosophy, methodology or vision is different than other businesses in your market. Your Iconic Brand is based on you publicly owning and communicating your special talents, experience, or perspectives.
What impact do you want to have on your clients?
It’s the ego that controls people’s purse strings—their survival mechanism. So, your brand has to deal with how your business improves your clients’ lives or livelihoods. Your product or services has to fix a specific problem or help clients achieve a particular result. Even if your business is artsy or esoteric, you need to explain in plain, concrete language how working with you benefits your clients. Do you save them money? Do you help them make money? Are you going to save them time and aggravation? Will you help them to become slimmer, healthier, or less stressed? Will they improve their love life by working with you?
If prospective clients aren’t certain how you can help them, they won’t hire you.
Crafting your brand boils down to: What do you want to be known for?
Your brand’s message is like a sound bite. In a brief sentence it tells your ideal clients that your business has the perfect solution for their specific problem. To convert prospects into clients, you’ve got to emphasize your unique ability to understand their needs and to help them to overcome their obstacle.
Your brand is important to your success because in business as in life, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”