A swoonworthy brand that has your customers falling over themselves to work with you. It’s every biz owner’s dream, right? We all want to be crazy-successful – highly sought after, the go-to experts in our field, exuding professionalism with every blog post and Insty update.
But if you’re an entrepreneur of the heart-centred variety, it’s not enough to just create a brand that looks pretty and shiny from the outside; it also needs to feel good on the inside. You want it to be rooted in authenticity and alignment, to come from a place of soul-stirring truth.
With that in mind, here are my 5 must-follow rules to help you build a crazy-successful brand from the inside out…
Know your ‘why’.
Why do you do what you do? What’s the underlying thread that unites your body of work? What impact are you trying to have on the world?
Without a clearly defined mission motivating your work, your business is never going to resonate in the deep, heartfelt way that leads to raving fans and loyal customers. If you’re having trouble answering the above questions, try thinking about your work with the end in mind: When your time is up, what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Embedded in your answer is the essence of your why.
Understand your Audience.
Plenty of biz owners find themselves stuck when it comes to truly knowing their audience. They either try to appeal to everybody (and become completely ineffectual and ‘vanilla’ in the process), or else they try to narrow it down way too far and get stuck in the nitty-gritty details that don’t really matter. The sweet spot is actually somewhere between these two extremes.
So stop wasting time trying to figure out whether your ideal customer prefers Thai food to Indian (unless you run a take-away joint, of course!) and instead focus on the stuff that’s actually pertinent to your business – their hopes, dreams, fears, worries, struggles and aspirations.
Radiate authentic awesomery.
‘Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You.’
– Dr Seuss
Yep, that old Seuss guy had a really good point: YOU are amazing, wonderful and worthy just as you are. When you choose to live that truth in your business – to embody your true essence, to not try to squeeze your gorgeous square self into a round-shaped hole – that’s when you become an absolute magnet for clients and customers.
See, people can smell inauthenticity from a mile away. People know when you’re trying to walk in someone else’s Manolos instead of proudly strapping on your purple flip-flops and dancing to the beat of your own drum.
So stop trying to be like all those big-time bloggers and biz-owners you admire. Sure, look to them for inspiration as to what’s possible, but then get your eyes back on your own game. Being authentically you is the surest path to success there is.
Pay attention to your visuals (and use them strategically).
You know what’s guaranteed to rile me up and break my heart? When my fiancé accidentally deletes the recording of ‘Real Housewives’ before I’ve had a chance to watch it. (Not even joking!)
And also: When I see trailblazing biz babes with important messages and plenty of passion who are rocking less-than-professional websites and ill-conceived visual branding. Seriously: heart = broken.
The visual side of your brand is crazy-important – it’s how you make a first impression, it’s how you position yourself, and it’s how your customers make sense of who you are and what you do. So I highly recommend hiring a pro who can help you extract the true essence of your brand, amplify it into a visual identity, and then transform those insights into strategic elements to help you connect with your customers. This is truly one of those areas where it pays to go pro.
Create an experience guaranteed to delight.
When you buy an Apple product, the entire experience is a carefully choreographed waltz of perfection. From the ‘genius’ who serves you in-store, to the crisp white packaging which holds your spankin’ new ‘puter, every stage has been deliberately designed to delight you. It all translates into an incredibly powerful brand experience: people love Apple – hard. They are unwaveringly loyal (and often annoyingly evangelical!).
Just because you don’t have a bricks-and-mortar store or a physical product doesn’t mean that you can’t get intentional and deliberate about your own brand experience. A great place to start is to think about every interaction your clients have with you and your brand (your website, your emails, your phone calls, your Skype sessions) and ask yourself: How does it make them feel? If the answer is a whole lot of ‘Meh’, you might have some work to do. Consider: Adding in a discount code to your newsletters for loyal readers. Punching up your autoresponder with something that will make ‘em smile. Including a personalised note on your invoices. Giving away a sneaky bonus to your customers (just because). Or sending a snail-mail thank-you card when your time together comes to an end.
Though all these little touches may take a bit of extra effort to begin with, the payoff for you and your tribe will be exponential.
And the brand value you’re creating with every single step? Priceless.
Want more? get on the VIP list for my upcoming eCourse – Brand Your Biz Like A Boss-Lady here.