when to start branding your business
How do you know when to start branding your business? At what point do you switch from tactics focused on business growth and getting clients into the phase of building your brand?
Being an entrepreneur is a wild ride – there are intricate moving parts and a stupid amount of decisions. If you feel like you have too many options and no clue which to choose, huge goals but no plan, or a ton of ambition but no direction, I have great news: all of your scattered ideas always stem from one big idea.
The “always” in that statement makes it a bold one, but I’m really not exaggerating when I tell you every single one of my brand strategy clients are exhausted by what to do with all of their thoughts and options and hopes and dreams – and then discover after working with me that it’s all just different iterations of the same concept. And that’s amazing news, because the strongest, most captivating brands are built on a big idea.
I’m not suggesting brand strategy is the solution to every single business problem. But what I will say with confidence is that when you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed brand strategy is usually the best place to start – because how are you supposed to know what you should be working on every day when you don’t know what you’re working toward?
You know you have a big vision for your business that goes beyond just “sell shit for money,” but you don’t know how to start or which strategy to try.
Should I start a Facebook group? Should I join Pinterest? What should I post about on social media if I’m not getting any sales? Should I be blogging more often? Should I create a DIY course? Should my podcast name be the same as my business name? Should I buy this new domain? Should I create separate Instagram accounts if I’m building a personal brand as well as a business? Should I create this new offer I’m passionate about, even though it doesn’t really have to do with my current business model?
When clients come to me with these questions, we always start with brand strategy. Because in order to make confident decisions about the direction of your business, you have to know four things:
1. Exactly what you do
2. Exactly who you do it for
3. Exactly why it matters, and
4. Exactly how you do it differently than anyone else
So to help you self-diagnose the friction and escape the analysis paralysis of what you should be focusing on to grow your business, I thought it’d be helpful to talk about when to start branding your business. Let’s get into it!
When to Start Branding Your Business
(11 signs it’s time)
1. Your clients are rarely ideal, but you ignore the red flags because declining clients = declining money (which means despite being your own boss, you still end up dreading your work)
2. You’re pretty sure you bring something unique to your industry, but you aren’t sure how to communicate what exactly it is in your marketing (so you end up just regurgitating the same clichés as everyone else and disappear amongst the competition)
3. You can feel your brand and business evolving, but you’re not confident enough in your future path to commit to a change (and therefore feel stuck providing products or services you’re not passionate about anymore)
4. You’re trying to attract multiple target audiences for multiple offers and your messaging isn’t clear (so you aren’t making sales because your audience is confused about how you can help them)
5. You’re bored of the market, book client, repeat formula. You feel like it’s time to level up your business and expand your vision, but you don’t really know what that means for your brand (or how to do it)
6. You temper your personality when representing your business because you’re worried about coming across as unprofessional (so marketing always feels difficult because you don’t know what to talk about besides what you sell)
7. You’ve been meaning to start outsourcing, but without a clear long-term plan for your business you aren’t sure how to do it strategically (which means you avoid hiring and end up exhausted from trying to do everything yourself)
8. You want to pivot or specialize, but you don’t know how to do it without compromising your current flow of income (so you keep putting off an official pivot even though you’re ready for it)
9. You keep seeing standards and norms in your industry that piss you off, but you’re not sure how to channel that energy (so you sidestep what you really want to say to avoid rocking the boat)
10. You feel called to share something online that’s unrelated to your business, but you aren’t sure how your audience will respond (so you keep it to yourself and miss the opportunity to make a new connection)
11. You use your platform to stand up to injustice by resharing a meme instead of creating your own genuine content (because even though you’re passionate about change, you don’t want to offend anyone who might have different opinions)