Here’s what clients, coaches, and consultants with a bankable brand know: customers don’t buy your services. They “buy” you.
Out of all the other people they could have worked with, they chose you because of your experience, expertise, and your unique talents and personality – Your Brilliance!
There was a time when “branding” simply entailed having a nice-looking or recognizable logo and a catchy tagline, but in today’s online marketplace, the real value is showing up in your authentic brilliance.
Today, I’m sharing three mistakes I’ve seen some really brilliant coaches, consultants, and holistic practitioners make. These mistakes while simple to fix, can be very costly.
How you speak and write and even how you act on camera or in an audio interview has the power to instantly connect you to your audience. Just check out your Facebook feed. There are some posts and updates that you check out just because of who shared it. That person’s voice, how they show up resonates with you and you want to pay attention to what they are doing.
Your authentic “voice” has the power to attract a specific audience, your MBAs (Most Bankable Avatars). I’m sure you’ve come across a few high profile coaches and consultant who have become popular mainly because of their colorful, “no-holds-barred” language. M. Shannon Hernandez of the Content Strategy Academy, is known for dropping “F” bombs as needed and makes no apologies for using words that might offend some people. Her community love her for that and has no problem using the same color in their language to show their agreement or excitement. Those who get offended by that are just not her people – and she is 100% okay with that.
There are lots of folks in our space that are totally comfortable with dropping “F” bombs, but sarcasm and brash language isn’t the only way to go. Is your language always positive? Do you pose controversial questions that jolt people out of their comfort zone? Or maybe you love soft, warm, and fuzzy woo woo language. Whatever is authentic to you – own it. You want to make sure that the way you show up online is 100% the way you show up offline. This keeps you in integrity and makes your connection with your community strong.
If there’s one mistake that new—and sometimes even established—business owners make, it’s this: failing to develop a clear vision of her ideal client. And to clarify, I’m referring to who they want to work not who they are attracting. I’ve found that often those are two very different people.
Think that our offerings are “for everyone” is not only unrealistic, it’s costly. While it might be true that everyone could use your help, it’s simply not possible for you, your budget, and your brand to appeal to everyone. Your prices may be more than some people can afford. Your brand messaging will not resonate with everybody – no matter how clever your words are. And your story will not inspire or move everyone with the same sense of urgency.
When you try to reach everyone, rather than focus to your true ideal client, you dilute your message and sometimes your weaken your credibility, making it less likely that your perfect customers will find you.
If you’re just starting out, it can be hard to really “know” who your ideal client is. Start by choosing who you will work with using these three points:
1. Gender. Is your audience male or female? While men and women might both read and enjoy your content—and even buy your services—you will most likely find that your market is skewed heavily one way or the other. Men and women are affected by stories, words, and branding in completely different ways. What appeals to a man will not always appeal to a woman. Think about some of the brands you buy, and you’ll start to see how they form their messages to appeal to one or the other, but very rarely both.
2. Goals. What does ideal your client desire to achieve? Let’s say you are a health coach and nutritionist and you have decided to work with women. You could try to reach all women, but you’ll be more bankable and successful if you align your brand message and story to a specific goal. Let’s say you have three prospects; a mom with a newborn who has food allergies, an executive woman who has poor self-care practices which are taking a toll on her physically and emotionally, and a woman who wants to train for a marathon and is looking for help with mean planning. There’s no way to market the same message, solutions, or offerings to all of those women without being stretched way too thin. However, you could build a solid brand and establish expertise in one area very quickly, especially if it is aligned with your own personal journey.
3. Which brings me to third way to get clear about your ideal client, where they are in their own journey. Would you prefer to work with beginners or experts? Are they just getting started and have lots of question or are they looking for mentoring than instruction? How you speak, how you write, what marketing methods you use, and even what prices you charge will are all influenced by where your client is and where they want to go. If you are overlooking what your VIPs (very interested prospects) need right now, I can guarantee that your messaging, marketing, and offers will not get the results you expected.
One of the biggest decisions you will have to make is whether you intend to include yourself as a key part of your branding.
If you’re trying to build authority, credibility, and trust in a particular niche or industry, then being highly visible as a personal brand is important. Brand names and titles can be catchy, but faces and names, are more memorable – it’s just how the human brain works.
Likewise, using your name and face gives your brand instant personality and inspires more trust. The more you are able to ’embody’ your message, results, or vision, the more likely it is that people see themselves in you. If your niche is fitness then you need to be in great shape. If your niche is dating, then you need to have healthy relationships. This way, you can become at once a role model and proof that your process or techniques work.
Now if you are an introvert, this can be a little frightening. Or maybe you’ve always considered yourself someone who would rather work behind the scenes. You still have to find a way to allow people to connect and engage with you, but you’ll want to do it on your own terms. For example, when I do webinars, I use slides rather than sat on screen the entire time. I start off face-to-face, but then either use screen sharing or slides, and then come back on at the end. I make sure there is enough visibility to let me community connect with me without requiring me to be on screen the entire time, which I wouldn’t enjoy as much.
Now that you know these three mistakes that could be costing your clients and opportunities, what will you do to make your brand more bankable? Here are three easy ideas:
1 – Add your picture to the home page of your website, above the fold, so visitors can see you.
2 – Start focusing your messaging to address the needs of the audience that you most enjoy working with.
3 – Incorporate your uniqueness into your brand. My Brilliant Business Girlfriend, Nicole Fende does a great job of this. She’s a financial strategist for entrepreneurs and she loves science fiction. Her most recent book uses sci-fi characters to teach people about business finances and it’s brilliant!
Tai Goodwin on a mission to help 10,000 women entrepreneurs create more joy and wealth in their life and business. She's the CEO of Aligned + Bankable and creator of the Bankable Brilliance Course. An intuitive business growth strategist and teacher, her specialty is helping clients create bankable business models that allow them to increase their impact and income without burning out. Tai is a former corporate trainer with a master's degree in instructional design and over 20 years of experience designing course, training programs, and certifications. She is also the author of Girlfriend, It's Your Time and founder of Brilliant Business Girlfriends.