I know firsthand that when you're starting a business, every. single. last. thing. on your to-do list feels like it urgently needs to get done.
There are emails to send, clients to serve, websites to build, products to sell, and a million other things that distract you from longer-term (and daunting) to-do's like, say, "building my brand."
Ya feel me?
Let's face it. Building a meaningful, powerful brand that really—I mean really—works for you (& resonates with your audiences) requires:
Time and space to create
Research and strategy skill
A knack—or passion—for writing
Design chops and abilities
Photo editing acumen
AND the technical ability to implement everything you've done across your platforms and materials—in a way that you're proud to show off.
If a little "EEEP!" just squeaked out, or a butterfly fluttered in your stomach, take a deeeeep breath. I've heard it ALL, I've been there myself, and I'm at your service with some Dos and Don'ts to make your brand-building journey a little bit easier.
READY? HERE. WE. GO.
Do: Enlist others when you’re too close to the project
A brand needs input from the outside world to become truly powerful. Can you singlehandedly throw a website together? Sure. Can you craft an eye-catching advertisement all by your lonesome? Hell-to-the-yeah!
But, the key ingredient of an engaging, beloved brand is its ability to engage and resonate with the outside world.
Your brand is the magnet for your business, and if you’re creating that living, breathing organism in a dark and lonely room with nobody else at the table but your party of ONE, let me tell you something—you might be building the brand you like—but you’re very likely not building the brand that your customers need.
The easy solution?
Enlist others—the outside world!—to provide you with an objective perspective.
One very important caveat: When I say “enlist others” I don’t mean asking your partner, your parents, your kids, your best friend, or anyone else in your personal circle what they think of your website, messaging or logo design. This group is well-intentioned, but you’re going to get a whole lot of personal (uninformed) opinions, which usually ends up adding more confusion to the mix when what you really need is informed feedback and strategic direction.
Instead, ask folks who embody your ideal customer to weigh in. This can be an intimidating step to take, but believe me, it is 100% worth it. Every time I get on the phone or a Zoom call with a dream client to ask for feedback, I learn something profound that shapes the way I execute my brand, products, messaging, or strategy.
Bonus: You never know where the conversations will go… and what opportunities or partnerships may also come out of them! My old fundraising director’s words come to mind… “if you want someone’s money, ask for their opinion.”
I know what you’re thinking… this all sounds great, but where in the world do I start?
You are in LUCK my friend, because I’ve got some thought starters for you:
Survey your current customers or email list
Engage your professional network and mentors
Tap into your online or in-person marketing connections—co-workers, LinkedIn contacts, etc.
Join private Facebook groups with folks who embody your ideal customer (join our Soulpreneur Circle here)
Conduct a poll on your business instagram or facebook account
Hire a brand consultant that lives and breathes this stuff for a living! (oh heyyyy!)
You got this.