When you decide to make the leap (yay you!) to become your own service-based business, it’s natural that one of the first things you want to focus on is your branding.
Oh the joy and excitement of seeing that final logo, the way your tagline sounds, the pretty colors you’ve picked out…you’ve done it.
Congratulations! You now have a brand…or do you?
Here is one of the biggest misconceptions we here at Her Influential Brand debunk on a daily basis.
Your branding is not the same as your brand
Frequently clients come to us with a big problem. Their brand doesn’t ‘feel’ or ‘fit’ them. It isn’t attracting the right clients and they are not able to command premium prices for the work and expertise they provide.
So, let’s deconstruct what a brand is and what branding is, and you’ll soon see which one comes first and why it is essential to get clear on one before starting on the other.
There are lots and lots of definitions on what it means to have a brand. Talk to 100 brand strategists and chances are you’ll get 100 different answers. You will find, however, that there are some common principles that emerge.
For the clients we work with (service-based entrepreneurs), we define brand as this:
/brand/: The intentional, strategic, and genuine way you want you and your work to be perceived by your Right People.
A brand is the foundation that must be built before branding starts.
A brand foundation consists of essential elements such as:
- Core Values
- A Unifying Belief
- The mission of your work
- Who are the ideal clients for the work you do
- Signature Methodology
- Clear positioning
We define branding as this:
/branding/: The outward manifestation of your brand through words, imagery, typography, graphics, colors, and personality
When you have clarity around your message, the feelings and emotions that you want to evoke, the results you get for clients, and why you are the only choice for those clients, then the branding itself is aligned and easy-peasy.
Here is an important caveat to all of this: You are never done with your brand. It will grow and evolve just as you grow and evolve. Your ideal clients may change, the services you offer may change, and you focus may change over time (in fact, we practically guarantee it will!).
But when you have the rock-solid brand foundation, those changes will happen organically and naturally…as opposed to feeling forced and awkward.
If you’ve been struggling with your brand, it may be because you’ve been more focused on your branding and not paying enough attention to your brand.
Ready to find out how to have the business you want with a brand you love? Schedule a time to talk with us!