Most entrepreneurs generally start out by focusing on what they’re good at and what they can sell, but this is the cart-before-the-horse method of creating a long-term viable business. What every business needs first is a good brand strategy.
If you don’t have a strong brand, then you just have a service or product without a real vision or identity. You’re just selling stuff. (And you feel like your services are more than just stuff, right?) Without creating a brand strategy, your business has nothing to guide it on a path towards long-term impact and success.
So what exactly is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy encompasses the characteristics, attributes, personality, and core essence of a business. It’s what helps your business make an impact and build a culture and following beyond your services.
Not everyone thinks of starting with a brand strategy when they first launch into business, but having the right strategy in place will make building your business, attracting clients, and positioning your services so much easier.
A brand strategy consists of a number of elements such as your voice, style, promise, message, story, values, vision, identity, and target audience. Most entrepreneurs tend to skip over everything and jump straight to their identity and target audience. However, the other, sometimes-less-tangible elements of your brand play a large part in shaping how your target audience perceives you, connects with you, and feels about becoming your potential client. As all of these emotions are crucial when it comes to building a brand, don’t overlook these other important branding elements.
An effective brand strategy is essentially your guide to influencing your target audience’s opinion of who you are, what you’re about, why they should care, and how you can help them.
Here are a few benefits of having an effective brand strategy:
- You create and strengthen the know-love-and-trust factor with your ideal clients—no more struggling to get clients!
- You leverage your brand’s advantage or competitive edge to set yourself apart from others in the market—no more blending in!
- You can increase your buying power in the online market—no more low-priced offers!
- You know how to communicate to your ideal clients—no more crickets during pitches!
However, the biggest reason why you need a brand strategy actually has nothing to do with these benefits. It’s bigger than that.
You need a brand strategy because you have a purpose.
If you are a passionate, purpose-driven entrepreneur and see your business as a calling (and not just something you do to make money), YOU NEED A BRAND STRATEGY! If you would summarize your purpose as merely getting sales and quantifying the hourly calls you make, then you are overlooking and undervaluing the gifts and change that you bring into this world.
You need to discover and extract your strengths and bring clarity to your brand so that you can fulfill your true goal—to not only make the money you want, but to do so with heart, soul, and purpose.
So how do you know if this applies to you? Ask yourself:
- Do you feel like you’re building a brand, not just a business?
- Do you focus on creating a connection with your audience or just the sales transactions?
- Does your business have an identity and a vision?
- Do you have an audience that likes to hang out with you online?
- If you disappeared for a few weeks or months, would your audience wonder what happened to you?
- Have you been committed to your purpose, or do you feel like you get easily distracted?
If you’ve answered anything other than “yes!” on these questions, then it’s time to shift focus and start creating a solid brand strategy today.