When I started my online business, I made plenty of mistakes!
There are a lot of factors that go into creating an online business… and growing a brand that resonates with the ideal client, is usually something that requires a lot of work. so when I was having a coffee with another biz owner, and she said “It’s really scary to move your business online”… I get how she feels.
So I thought about the 5 big mistakes I made when starting out.
So I decided to sit down and write down the 5 tips I could share with her [and you], to help you create a brand that stands out online!
The 5 Branding Tips to help you grow your online business
The things that I wish someone had shared with me, the important things that your brand is built on!
1. Why are you in this… what’s the message / purpose?
First Tip, is one that took me a while to figure out.
Having a clear message or purpose is really a game changer in building your brand.
When I got clear on what I was put on this earth to do, all the pieces started falling beautifully into place…
… I knew what I needed to do [because I knew where I was going] and how I was going to serve the world
… Suddenly my decision making was easier [when you’re working towards something of purpose it’s clear which decision you should take and which you shouldn’t]
… when times became tough… having a purpose is what pulled me through [my calling was wheeyy bigger than me and my current issue].
Friends, this really is a big tip!
Knowing your purpose, your heart, and how this all comes together… is almost like a magical wand of clarity for your business.
Added bonus: You don’t get distracted by all the other shiny objects along the way [all the other cool things you “could” be doing]
I really encourage you to explore your purpose and message!
Who are you serving?
Why are you doing this?
What is your “thing”, what value are you adding to this world?
2. Know who you’re serving
One of the things I discovered the hard way… is that when you try to cater for too many clients, you start getting really confused about who you are chatting to.
You write posts that are a watered down version of you – because you want everyone to be happy.
I discovered that it actually wasn’t making ANYONE happy.
In fact, it had the opposite effect.
NO-ONE was really happy.
Think about it this way [aka: learn from me]
I had 2 clients… corporates… and entrepreneurs.
I tried to write posts to both of them… yes, I really did!
Corporates don’t want to hear about the frustrations of freelancers, and how to make your client happy.
Entrepreneurs don’t want to hear about how to communicate internally in your business.
It just didn’t work!
So now, this space is really dedicated to you… the entrepreneur.
What impact did it have? Once I had made the decision, shifted my focus… my work also shifted. Very soon, I started working more with women who ran online biz’s, and less with corporates… and now… I hardly ever work with larger corporates.
One client… one focus… and a feeling of clarity!
Spend a bit of time really getting clear on your ideal client…
Who are they… really get to know them, what makes them tick, what keeps them up, where they like to hang out… everything!!!
3. Clear about what you’re serving
Qu: Are you offering your client a clear way to work with you?
Seems like something pretty basic question,
but you’d be surprised how many people DON’T have a “work with me” page,
or if they do… their offering isn’t clear.
I was one of them.
In having a conversation with a friend a while back, he gave me some really valuable feedback:
“Emma, I’ve REALLY tried to understand what you do… and I’m still not very clear”
Like Whhaaaattt…. it’s so clear in my mind!!!
So 2016 became the year I got intentional. I took a long hard look at how I was serving my clients, clear on how I wanted to serve them, what they needed, where they were at, what the gap was, and where my speciality lay.
I tested and tweaked, and it was only in the first half of this year – that I feel solid on what I offer + how I show up to serve my clients where they are!
You need to get your offer clear in your mind, and only then will you be able to start making it easy for other people to understand.
But know this… keep it simple… a confused buyer walks away!
Pop on over to your “work with me” page [go for it, this post will be here when you get back]
Take a step back, and look at it from your clients point of view.
Are you explaining your offering in a way that they really “get”, in a way that really works for them?
And if you’re throwing all your industry’s jargon at them… know that it probably isn’t impressing them, instead, it’s probably leaving them feeling anxious and overwhelmed!
4. Serving delicious design elements.
This is an area where I see many business owners trip up with.
It starts with Canva, then there are aaallll the purdy images… so then we mix colors… and did you see that cute font?!?!?!?!
The result: A mis match of branding elements that send confusing messages to ideal clients!
In order to create a clear cohesive brand, you need to create a consistent message through your design.
And no… I’m not just talking about the logo.
I’m talking about how you bring your brand to life… each image you use, each colour that you use, each font that you use.
You should be working from a very clear style guide, so that when anyone encounters your brand… ANYWHERE… they know who you are!
Your business card, your website, your pinterest image, your Facebook, twitter and instagram posts should all have a similar feel.
One clear message.
That’s why when I work with clients… they don’t just get a logo designed… it’s about creating a clear brand – through a style guide… so you know and use YOUR colours, fonts, and imagery.
It’s not just for you… it’s for everyone that works with you… your VA, graphic designer, web designer, and other creative team members who help you out… they need to know what the brand guidelines are… so that they can execute YOUR brand effectively.
Get a brand guide in place – with your logo, colours, typography, additional elements / patterns, and examples of how your imagery should be portrayed.
A base for you and your team to work from.
The final tip… is to put all those design elements into place… consistently!
There were moments when I loved the fact that my brand was starting to look clear.
I had a clear look and feel… and creating the posts were easy.
Then I got bored and wanted to change things up.
The challenge is that by changing things up…
I started softening my clear branding, and my clients felt it.
So even when your brand message becomes “boring” to you… your clients are probably still loving it, because they don’t see it as often as you do.
By keeping on keeping on.
Be clear about how your brand should be portrayed, and give a damn about the details.
Here’s hoping that these tips have helped you look at your brand in a new light…
What is THE FIRST tip you are going to act on this next week?
Ps… As promised, I am sharing my secret branding recipe with you – so that you can see what I put into my brands 😉