Choosing the right branding can be hard.
Names, tag lines, colors, logos, unique selling points, values, key words, language, style, tone, focus, reputation – there is so much to consider when it comes to branding your business. And we are desperate for branding that is catchy and cool. A special combination of branding elements that will surely make us stand out from the crowd and magically cause prospects to fall under our spell and sign up for our services. If we could just get the right wording, the perfect WordPress template, the most unique graphic styling – then our marketing would be easy – or so we think.
I’m embarrassed to think about how much time I used to spend comparing myself to other people on line. It used to happen to me every time I came across a website with someone that had a catchy title, or a stand out tagline. Or when I would come across a cool layout or design that someone was using for their blog. All of a sudden what I had come up with wasn’t as catchy or cool to me and off I would go to sulk until I came up with something cleverer or more cutting edge. What a waste of time, money and energy.
Some of my clients have pretty clever names that they spent lots of time and money having someone help them come up with. Others are struggling in a sea of over-branding and hype to find the perfect title or tagline. Then some are caught in a perpetual cycle of rebranding. In all cases, branded and unbranded, they are still having a hard time:
- Finding and connecting with their ideal paying clients
- Offering the right services at the right price point
- Marketing their services to their ideal audience with confidence
They think the problem and the solution is in their branding. They think if they change their colors, get a name and tagline that “pops,” or get a newly designed blog or business card that looks unique enough, that all the paying clients they know are out there will suddenly come running to their website.
Great branding might have all the right colors and a name that sounds good. But brilliant branding is an inside job. It’s based on being confident that the work you are doing is connected to your purpose and passion.
Absolutely! As long as the branding is coming from the right place and has the right impact. I have seen far too many people trying to hold onto branding that doesn’t serve them. I have also seen and experienced what it’s like to brand based on the reaction and response from other people. A brilliant client recently asked me for feedback about a name change she was considering. She said, “I want people to be excited and intrigued when they hear my tagline.” My response: “I want people to want to whip out their checkbook and pay you when they hear your tagline.”
Excitement will only get you so far. If they cannot remember what you do or how you can help them – what’s the point?
What I’ve discovered is that long term branding WOW is not sparked when other people get excited about who you say you are. It’s ignited when you are clear about who you serve, how you serve them, and how that calls for you to show up in the world. It starts with you being able to see the value of what you have to offer and the impact of your work. Brilliant branding and marketing confidence comes from knowing that there are people waiting for you to step into your Brilliant Zone and help them.
If you have been struggling to live up to a brand that sounds cool but doesn’t fit your purpose, or you’ve been delaying offering services until you get the right title – let it go. Is it worth it to invest money and time in good branding only to find yourself closing shop in nine months because you have no clients. You can serve people without having all of your branding in place. If you focus on the right offerings and the right prospects, you can close deals and put agreements in place without a website.
Let me be clear. I am not saying that branding is not important. It most definitely is. Which is why brilliant branding is something that can’t be faked or come from external sources. Your brand and all the components that contribute to it, like your values, your brilliant zone, your mission, vision, they all work best when they are connected to your purpose and passion.
Has branding been a challenge for you? Start by spending time tuning out everything and everyone else so you can hear your own voice. What words, messages, and experiences have shaped you? What paths have you travelled to get to where you are? How do your unique perspective and acquired expertise combine to help you craft a compelling story that attracts the people you have been called to serve?
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