When you are getting started in your business, you hear from countless people that you need to Define Your Brand. But what does that mean?
It's not just picking out a logo, or a color scheme for your website. It's not just designing your business card. It's a long thoughtful process that is way more complex and it goes deeper than you can imagine.
I want to tell you what you need to do to develop your brand, and finish off with a story showing how having a fully developed brand helped me just last week!
1. Define your client.
In order to flesh out your brand, you need to think about who you are speaking to. Is it brides? Expectant mothers? Seniors? Let's go deeper than that, what types of brides? Where would those expectant mothers shop? What schools do your seniors go to?
If you have established for yourself what your cost of doing business will be, and how much you need to charge in order to have a sufficient income. Knowing how much you need to charge will help you to decide what type of client you are looking for. But it STILL doesn't just end there.
Here is an example of an ideal client avatar:
Ideal Client: expectant mother
Interests: art, photography, gaming, cloth diapering, entrepreneur, reading, music (love for the Beatles is a must :p lol), biking, swimming, movies (indie movies, but not the totally obscure art movies that no one really understands), charity work, and family, Fruit Loops.
Shops: Gap, children's boutiques, record stores, etsy, farmers market, doesn't like chain restaurants.
Where do they live?
What are their morals and values?
What is their personality like?
How much does she make a year?
How much does she spend on luxuries?
(edited with Bliss 5 from The Clean Look & True and Sweet Slumber from Simply Dream)
Defining this will help you to figure out how to speak to these ideal clients. You want to speak their language, so if they believe in sustainability and not hurting the environment, advertise that your products are environmentally conscious and that you build product to stand the test of time. If their beliefs are in the family is important above all, talk to them and show them that family is the cornerstone of why you do what you do. Define who you are speaking to and then speak to them. This will make your marketing that much easier.
2. Define your why.
Wait... So why are you doing this, anyway?
This is super important. You need to define your why. Figure out what it is you are doing and why it is you are doing it. This will assist you in speaking to your ideal client because you will be able to show them the drive behind what you do.
My why to do photography is all about validating love. I am fully aware that life is not always pretty, and it puts us through tough trials that feel like they can just crush us. But it is my hope that my clients, being surrounded by the proof of their love with my images on their walls, the proof that THEY ARE LOVED helps them through the tough times and makes them stronger. Sometimes your family isn't always with you, but they can be in your photographs, and knowing that you are loved is sometimes a lovely reminder if you feel alone.
When I speak to my clients it's with this in mind. And if they ask I am able to fully articulate why I do what I do, which helps them to figure out for themselves whether I am a right fit for them.
(edited using Bliss 2 from The Clean Look, Simply Artiste, and Sweet Slumber from Simply Dream)
3. Define your style.
It's what will help you figure out the fun part of branding which is your color scheme and logo etc. I find that while defining your why is the intellectual way you speak to your client, defining your style is like your body language. So what does this mean?
Consistent edits, a specialized genre, a clear style and unspoken message in how your website looks and invites people in.
One way that was taught to me a few times that helped me to define that style was to post on my personal profile on Facebook and asking my friends and clients to try and define my style in three words. I thought I was going to get 50 different words, but instead I got a variation of three, warm, timeless, and authenticity. And these words fit my why so well I kept those words and my style the way it is.
This assisted me when talking to my logo designer about what my logo needed to look like. I chose colors that were warm and timeless, I wanted a design with a vintage yet modern flair, and I wanted my website to be simple yet warm and with a timeless feel.
If the words I received did not fit my why, I would have started to do what I could to figure out how to get my voice, my why, to speak through my photos. So that might have been posting more candid shots on Facebook as opposed to posed, and shooting and editing sessions with my three words in mind.
These three things are vital in focusing your business and your marketing in a better way. People are more willing to purchase your services if they are not confused. They won't be confused if your message is clear.
(edited with Magic 10 - The Magic Look, Simply Artiste, Innocent & Intensity from Simply Dream)
How knowing my brand helped me:
Knowing my who, my why, and my style assisted me in this past week in corresponding with an unhappy client. She emailed me over a mix-up in her order and told me that she felt like she was being cheated.
My heart dropped.
This was not good.
But because I knew WHO I was speaking to, I knew HOW MUCH she spent, and I knew my WHY, I didn't focus on my feelings about it, I was able to instead focus on her feelings and speak to her in a way that she understood and appreciated and I was able to rectify the issue and have her feeling 1000 times better about me than she did when we began that discussion.
So knowing your brand helps you in the front end of your business (bringing in clients) and in the back end as well (retaining those clients), and this is why defining your brand is so important. Dig deep and lay it out in front of you. You would be amazed at how much it helps you in your day to day decisions as a business owner.
Comment below with what your three words are for your style, or tell me what your why is! I can't wait to hear from you lovely readers!