Overcoming the “What Ifs” of Branding

The innate ability of a 10-year old to find exceptions to the rule is inspiring.

Rule:  Please don’t tell your brother what to do.
10-year old’s objection:  But what if he’s about to step on a pile of knives?

Rule:  No feet on the kitchen table.
10-year old’s objection:  But what if a crocodile is snapping at them while I eat breakfast?

Rule:  If we get separated, please stay put so I can circle back around and find you.
10-year old’s objection:  But what if evil ninjas attack me and I have to fight them off?

Face palm!

The “What If” game is a masterfully contrived never-ending rabbit hole of excuses kids use to stall and avoid compliance or work. Sound like anyone you know?

It’s Not Just Kids

If 40 is the new 30 – then branding is the new marketing. As the ideas for branding small businesses takes hold in the entrepreneurial crowd, it’s easy to start playing a little “what if” game of your own:  “People keep saying I should think of my business as a brand. But what if…???”

Suddenly your head is swarming with hesitations and all the reasons why you shouldn’t add branding to your business mix.

Branding is Better than Marketing

Branding is the perfect fit for entrepreneurs who are running soulful and kind businesses.

Branding, much more than marketing, allows you to:
– Dive into your values and those that you share with your ideal clients.
– Put the focus on your customer and the benefits she gets from working with you.
– Promote your business from a place of sincerity and authenticity.

It’s easier than you think to start branding your business. I’ve even put together a free worksheet that will help you get started (check out the link in my bio below). But first let’s take a look at some excuses for stalling and avoiding branding.

Common “What If’s” of Branding

What if I don’t have a lot of cash to throw at a new design?

There are two sides of branding – the visual and the verbal. They work hand in hand. A nice aesthetic to your business is important to establishing a recognizable brand. You need a professional logo and website to help establish a cohesive look. However you don’t have to go bananas on a special photo shoot or custom graphics.

With a professional, yet simple, look in place you can pour your energies into creating a brand with your verbal communications. This means focusing your social media posts, emails and website content on answering these three questions:
– What do I do and what’s important to me?
– How does my client feel while working with me?
– How is her life better because we’ve worked together?

What if I’m not comfortable being the center of my brand?

No sweat. Even if you are a solopreneur and the face of your business, your brand should never be about yourself. The most powerful brands are about the client – who they are, what they love and to what they aspire.

As you build your brand, tell stories about your customers and the problems you solve for them. Share examples of ways your clients reach their goals by teaming up with you. Your ideal client will start to imagine herself as the client – she’ll put herself in the story, she’ll be the focus rather than you. You’ll simply be the facilitator of the change.

What if I start talking about my brand but it turns people off?

Good! That means you are doing it right. Branding your business means you are calling out to your ideal client and saying, “I’m right here! Look at me. We are perfect for each other.”

While it’s tempting to appeal to everyone, you can’t. At least not very well, so you end up being mediocre for a few people.

Let people who aren’t the best fit move on. It frees you to grab hold of people who really get what you are doing. You will capture their attention and in some cases, even their hearts.

What if I don’t have a brand story?

Oh my friend! You have one. You just haven’t discovered it yet.

Your story could be what brought you into your current business via the path you’ve traveled. Or, it could be the journey ahead for your clients.

Either way you have values that guide you and are meaningful to the clients you serve. As you explore your values and your experience, bring them together to create your brand story.

What if I don’t have time to developing a brand?

It’s actually easier than you think. With a few small adjustments to your current marketing and communication plans you can start building a brand.

It starts with focus on your brand message:  How do I make my client’s lives better?  It builds from there as you help your ideal client start to imagine her life or business improved by your collaboration.

Better yet, building a district brand message makes growing your business easier because you know exactly what you need to say to help bring the best clients to your door.

Because growth takes action, take a step towards branding your business today. In just 30 minutes you can flesh out the important themes of your business (see the link in the bio), start sharing them with your ideal clients and watch them engage because they can truly see the benefit you bring.

Natalie Gowen is the brand strategist and content coach behind Moxie Tonic.com. She loves helping passionate entrepreneurs discover their core, authentic message and teaching them how to share and connect with their ideal client. You can grab the free Values Worksheet by clicking here: https://moxietonic.leadpages.co/values-cheat-sheet-lgj/

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