You know what consumes more internet space (and a healthy portion of my brain) than anything else?
Branding is one of those topics that is so huge, ever-changing, and really confusing. There are thousands of articles online about what exactly branding is, why it's important, and why you need it to create a really strong business.
Is it just your logo? Is it the words on your website? Is it the photos on your Instagram page? Is it how your client process works?
Well, fortunately (or unfortunately), branding is all of those things. Branding is pretty much the public persona of your business. It's evident in how you write your emails and your blog posts (notice how I use a lot of asides, sneaky jokes, and incomplete sentences? That's allllll a part of my brand). It's noticeable in your logo, the colors on your website, the images that you choose to display, and your personal photography.
It's how you interact with your clients (very buttoned-up or a little more casually), it's how you run your business, and it's evident in almost everything you do that is public-facing.
It's probably a lot of things you don't even realize that you do and say and write, yet all of those things are very much a part of your brand.
So how do you build a really killer DIY brand without spending thousands on a graphic designer or branding expert?
(Well, you could come to the Boss Lady Branding 101 Workshop next week. But you can also get started below.)
You gotta do the tough work to really figure out who you want your client to be.
This is hard.
This takes work, this takes honesty, this takes ruthlessness, and it takes time. It's constantly changing, and thinking that sitting down once for 15 minutes to throw out a few adjectives about the kind of clients you maybe want to work with is not at all how to do this exercise.
Imagine that you could only work with ONE client, ever, and it's the best client you've ever had. You just totally get each other and working with him or her was a dream.
Why was it so easy? Why did you love working with this client? What about them makes your heart light up?
Make sure to cover these things: personality, income level (because you know what isn't fun? Working with clients that can't pay you), daily habits, family life, home life, professional life, social circles, cultural habits, etc.
Ask yourself what kind of food they eat and morning beverages they drink. Think about what kinds of magazines they read and television they watch.
And most importantly, think about WHY they do these things? Do they read People Magazine because they're so emotionally and mentally taxed at the end of the day that they don't have any more brain space to give to The Economist? Do they drink tea because coffee gives them too much energy? Do they like Thai food because they're into traveling and they have a curious sense of taste?
The WHY behind these choices is crucial, because understanding why your ideal client acts and operates the way that he or she does is critical to understanding their buying choices. And understanding their buying choices makes it easier for you to put together packages and services that make them want to give you their money.
WARNING: This is a HARD process. Figuring out your ideal client takes work, it takes self awareness, and it often takes the perspective of other people who know you and what you do really well. If you don't have a community of people to help you with this, then you need to come to our workshop.
Seriously, your business depends on it.