One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years is that business is all about people - their feelings, their perceptions and their beliefs.
Take just a minute to think about why you make the decisions you do about what to buy, where to eat, what music to listen to, or who to hire when you need help with a project.
Every now and then you’ll probably make a decision based solely on the facts, ie: how much something costs, how much you need it, etc.
But likely you make most of your purchasing decisions based on your feelings, perceptions and beliefs. Maybe you grew up believing one fast food restaurant to be far superior to all the others because that’s what your mother taught you, so you’d never be found eating somewhere else.
Or perhaps you only shop for clothes at one or two of your favorite stores because you know you can always find what you want and that experience makes you feel good.
When it comes to hiring someone for something, say a new babysitter or a photographer, you’ll obviously look at the facts to make sure your decision is wise, but at the end of the day how you feel about the person you’re considering has a lot to do with whether you’ll end up hiring them or not.
The Mistake People Make in Business
Too often I see both rookie and seasoned wedding professionals make the mistake of working their buns off to sell all the benefits and features of their products and packages, instead of focusing on allowing their brand to sell for them.
What do I mean by that? Well, think about some of your favorite brands….the ones that stick out as being memorable in your mind.
What specifically is memorable about them? What feelings, perceptions and beliefs do you have toward each of those brands? What are those feelings, perceptions and beliefs based on? If you were to invest in one of those brands, what would be the biggest deciding factor for you?
Chances are that how the brand has carefully taken the time to present themselves has a lot to do with why you have a preference for them.
They’ve worked hard to become known for something specific, which means that they don’t have to work as hard to actually sell…their brand is strategically selling for them.
How to Create a Brand That Sells for You
So the question now is, how can you recreate the same thing in your business? Let’s dive in and figure that out together!
1. Establish what your overall business objectives are
Before you get too far with building all the pieces of your business, the #1 most important thing you need to do is take time to cast vision and set goals for your business.
If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you likely won’t get where you want to go!
Ask yourself, “What are my overall objectives with this business? What do I want to see happen? What kind of results am I going to be working toward? Why do these results appeal to me? What kind of experience of life do I want to create for myself?”
Taking the time to answer these questions will really help clarify and fine-tune how you need to approach your business in order to stand the best chance of actually achieving what you want to in your business.
2. Clearly identify who your ideal client is
Once you know exactly what you’re shooting for, you need to have a really clear picture of the kinds of clients you’ll be targeting.
Too many people step up to bat without any guidelines or boundaries for where they are hitting. When you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.
If you’re feeling unsure about who exactly your ideal client is, take a few minutes to go back and read this article on identifying your perfect fit client and these 3 tips for zeroing in on your ideal client. And, you'll probably want to snag my free interactive workbook.
When you know the people you’re trying to attract, it becomes way easier to actually target them with intention so you begin seamlessly attracting them to you.
3. Determine what you want to be known for
Another important part of crafting an effective brand is determining what exactly it is that you want to be known for….what is going to be unique and set you apart from all the rest?
Word of advice: don’t get super hung up on figuring out how to be completely different from anyone else out there doing the “same” thing as you in your industry.
Instead, focus on what makes you unique and different as a person. What is it about what you’re trying to accomplish, and how you intend to accomplish it, special?
It will take a little work to hone in on what you want your “specialty” to be, or what the specific things are that people will know and remember about your brand, but those are the things that will ultimately move people to become your clients or not.
4. Develop an appealing brand identity
This is the part that most people readily acknowledge as being the core of branding - colors, logos, fonts, business cards, etc.
As a creative entrepreneur and a designer myself, I totally geek out about the branding part of the business-building process.
I love to experiment with the different visual components that make up a brand, until I am totally satisfied that the brand identity that I’ve created effectively represents what my business is about, who my ideal client is and what you will see, hear and experience as my client.
Don’t skimp out on this part because what people understand about your business and how your business brand identity makes them feel is what will likely determine whether they book with you or not.
5. Learn to strategically position yourself
Lastly, it is so, so, SO important to learn how to appropriately position yourself within your industry so that people know who you are, what you’re about and what they can expect if they decide to work with you.
All of this effectively begins with how you work to position yourself. I chose this point last because, in order to know how to correctly position yourself so that people are banging down your door to work with you, you have to have worked through all the other points first.
An effective brand that has the ability to powerfully start the sales process on your behalf can’t be built in a day. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long, drawn out process, but it’s important to give yourself adequate time to really develop your brand well.
When potential clients keep hearing your name or brand over and over again because of great word of mouth referrals, good branding that shows up in Facebook ads and Google searches, and seeing that you’ve been validated by speaking at events or being published in major industry publications, you’ve broken down TONS of barriers they may have originally had to working with you.
Your Next Steps to Getting Started
Do you see how proper positioning can be so hugely integral to having a brand that literally sells for you?
Ok, now it’s time to get to work! If you’ve already been in business for a bit, take some time to evaluate what is and isn’t working within your brand.
Hold it up to each of the points mentioned above and make the tweaks and adjustments necessary to more effectively establish and position a brand that will stand out and attract your ideal clients.
If you’re just getting started, you have a fresh, clean slate to build from, so just work through the above points one by one as you craft and hone a brand that really works for you and your business for a long time to come.
Have any questions about creating a brand that sells for you? Feel free to drop them in the comments below!