There’s a quote from the movie Brave (a favorite one of mine) that says: “Your fate is within you, you only have to be brave enough to see it.” – Merida
I am going to piggyback on that and say: Your fate brand is within you. You just have to be brave enough to see it. And I would also add to embody it.
Initially, this article was going to be quite a different one. I was going to tell you all about the importance of branding: How to elevate your brand and what it can do for your business.
But the more I stared at the (dreaded) blinking cursor, the more I realized that was not the article I wanted to write.
If there’s something I’ve learned in my four years in business it’s this. The world of personal-branding is a misunderstood and grossly oversimplified one.
Branding has become a surface level, cosmetic solution for online businesses, resulting in misalignments, dissatisfaction and (lots of) lost investments.
I don’t want to list all the ways an elevated brand can help your business. Or the “10 mistakes entrepreneurs make when elevating their brand”.
I’m not going to say you shouldn’t DIY your brand if you want to elevate it.
Instead, I’m going to keep it simple, I’m going to tell you why you SHOULDN’T “elevate” your small business brand. At least not yet.
Establish Your Own Baseline Before Elevating Your Small Business Brand
Before we go any further, let’s make sure we are on the same page. Think for a second, what does “elevating your brand” mean to YOU?
Chances are it goes something like this: It’s about raising the bar, making smarter decisions, increasing visibility, more cohesive, making it stand out from the rest. (Insert yours here.)
To an extent I agree.
The caveat I want to focus on here is this: The result of elevating your brand is often confused with how to do it or even why to do it.
Yes, we all want our brands to stand out from the rest and to be unforgettable, cohesive, pretty, and consistent. The issue I see more often than not is IF we stay on the surface level of elevating one’s small business brand, we risk not only watering down our brand’s potential. But we never end up taking true ownership of that newly elevated brand.
We never feel connected enough to embody that new, pretty, stronger, etc., version of our brands. Why? Simple.
It was never built upon a foundation that will support and stand the test of time. Instead, it’s a brand that’s disconnected from ourselves and therefore we are neither passionate nor unapologetically attached to it.
But here’s the kicker, if we are NOT passionately attached to our OWN brand, neither will anyone else, i.e. our clients.
Course Correct Before Elevating Your Brand
If your current brand does not make you feel like you can BE you, FEEL like you, or SHOW UP like you, then I strongly caution against ‘elevating’ that version of your brand. Why? Because it will simply be a prettier version of your misaligned current brand.
Time and time again, what my clients needed from me was not a new logo, amazing photos in amazing locations, or a revamped site. They actually needed something entirely different.
Through helping my clients, I’ve learned I’m not in the business of building brands.
I’m in the business of igniting brand confidence.
Why? Because you can pay a designer to create a pretty logo and a developer to build you a kickass website, but none of those things will do anything for you IF you aren’t building brand confidence based on clarity, courage and conviction to be whoever you and your brand are meant to be.
If we tackle the ‘elevate’ your brand process from a mere cosmetic, outwardly perspective we are only putting the proverbial lipstick on a pig. We risk watering down the key to truly creating something unique, outstanding and with long-lasting potential. Upleveling your brand is and should achieve much more than a revamped and elegant rebrand.
The Key to Elevating your Small Business Brand
Why do I believe brand confidence is the key? Well, because elevating your brand is all about stepping up to the plate, out of our comfort zone and into something bigger and better than what we had before. And that can feel intimidating, scary and overwhelming. It requires guts, gumption, and confidence and if we don’t have that, it will be difficult to find that inner courage to bravely and boldly embrace OUR brands in whatever shape and form they are meant to be.
Entrepreneurship is one of the biggest leaps of faith IN OURSELVES and (especially for us women) plagues us with a lot of comparisons, self-doubt and insecurities.
We believe we have to be, look, and show up in a certain way and in the process, we lose sight of the big picture and our confidence.
The Transformation IS The Elevation
Finding that confidence from the inside-out is what will make you unstoppable and make any seemingly crazy and bold idea for your brand become a natural next step.
The outwardly looks? Once you have the foundation in place, everything else will easily take shape.
The icing on the “branded” cake? If you ensure your brand elevation is done correctly, you will protect your investment, (no more cosmetic tweaks here and there).
With your new-found confidence, you will become unstoppable because you will OWN your brand, you will EMBODY your brand, you BE-come your brand. The rest is a natural process.
I invite you to rethink the process of elevating your small business brand and revisit your inner compass, re-align with yourself, with your brand and then look for what YOUR version of up-leveling your brand means to YOU.
Here’s to possibilities.
“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”
– The Greatest Showman
Ready to elevate your brand and book more clients? Get our Small Business Branding Ultimate Guide.