Defining your brand can feel like a giant puzzle, right? Taking every nuance of who you are as a person – your experiences, your values, your fears, your traits, your goals – and combining them into a cohesive entity? IMPOSSIBLE.
(It’s not – but we’ll get to that.)
Let’s take a step back, because before you can figure out your brand, you first need to understand what a brand is.
At its core, your brand is really just how people feel about you. It’s the words that come to mind when they think of you and your business. It’s how they describe you and your business to friends.
And this is where shit gets crazy, because you are a human. And there are FAR too many facets of a human to describe in just a few words.
So how do we get from YOU (someone with many memories/thoughts/emotions/hopes/dreams) to a BRAND (someone straightforward and easy to describe)?
It’s simply a process of refinement. We’re not taking all of these elements that make you you, squishing them together, and calling it a brand. Instead, we’re considering them all and thoughtfully pulling a few select pieces that make the most sense in terms of who you are, what you do, and who you serve.
So – let’s do it! Let’s start to figure out your brand with the following prompts:
1. Write down15-20 qualities that describe you as a person (NOT a business – a real human person), and then narrow that down to three to five that stand out the most. Choose the ones you feel make you unique, or are a large part of your personality, or that you love sharing with others.
2. Stop thinking about what you do, and start thinking about why you do it.
3. Describe the kind of people you LOVE to work with, and then figure out the reason. Is it because they’re extremely driven and don’t give up on their goals? Is it because they’re easygoing and carefree? Is it because they make new experiences a priority in their lives? Is it because they value their friendships above all else? Is it because they’re fiercely loyal to those they love?
If you take the time to really dig into these exercises, you’ll start to see some parallels between all three – who you are, what you do, and who you serve. There’s a lot more that goes into building a strong brand – communication, mission, visuals, values, message, story– but the more you’re willing to refine with exercises like these, the clearer your brand will become.
One other thing to keep in mind: your brand is going to be ever-changing because it’s a constant refining process. Brands change because people change, and when people change, their businesses need to change with them. We’re constantly updating our headshots, adding new website content, learning more about our craft, changing our workflows, and restructuring our offerings, so why would our brands be any different?
Don’t be afraid to make changes to your brand, but equally important: don’t be afraid to make confident decisions about what your brand is right now.