Take a minute and think about your brand.
Could you sum it up in a sentence? Like, Hello Seven’s sentence could be Helping Women Build Seven Figure Businesses. And my personal brand might be something like, No Bullshit Biz Advice for Babes.
You might not be able to come up with a sentence. It might be a run-on paragraph like: So, I’m a consultant and I help people figure out what they want to do with their lives. But it’s kind of spiritual and there’s a big accountability aspect. I also occasionally do marketing work for clients. AND…I have a macrame shop.
That used to be me. I used to be an IP lawyer who also handled legal issues for small businesses…and helped businesses grow…and I worked only with women…but also with men. And I offered some courses on branding.
These aren’t brands. These are shitshows!
Who is the customer of our macrame-making friend? Somebody who wants to eat healthy? Or somebody who wants Facebook ads? Or somebody who needs a plant holder?
There’s a trend that I’m noticing in the online space. I’m going to call it the, Sell First, Brand Later trend. At first, I liked this trend. Clients were telling me they just wanted to launch and they’d figure out all the fluffy bits once they’d made some money. Or they didn’t know exactly who their customer was but they were going to test some different offers and see what stuck.
You know me → I love it when people get shit done, make some money and put off the busy work for another day (or never).
But here’s what I’m seeing: businesses that don’t know what they’re selling or who they’re selling to. Brands that are totally nebulous so they can’t develop a real following.
When you ignore your brand, you leave $$$ on the table.
You may be thinking that you don’t have the time or money to work on your brand right now, but you’re not seeing the time and money you’re losing because of how hard you have to work to convince a customer. Not to mention less-effective copy, less-targeted offerings and higher acquisition cost. It will always be easier to sell dog training to moms with babies who have aggressive dogs then it will be to sell “coaching” to “men and women and business owners and babies who are ready for a change.” That’s Every. Single. Person. On. Earth.
So what do you do?
First off, go easy on yourself. We all start here and the only important thing is to make sure you don’t stay here.
#1. Understand what I mean when I say brand
I mean the usual suspects like your website, logo and business name. But I also mean the more subtle things — like the voice you’re using, the kinds of topics you’re writing about, the copy on your website, the types of offerings you create. It even includes how you stand out from competition, how you explain your business on sales calls, and how you decide who to pitch your offerings to. Everything you do should be cohesive with your brand. (hint: the reason most of us don’t have powerful brands is because we’re afraid of committing to one thing and getting rid of the rest).
#2. Go deep
The best way to get clear on your brand is to get really introspective. Think about your story: who you are and what brought you to this point in your biz. For me, I can’t think about my brand without also thinking about how I grew up and how my parents taught me to always be financially independent. That’s why I push women to think seven-figures. Then think about what you stand for. I stand for things like honesty and accountability which is why direct, no-bullshit advice is vital to my brand. Think about how you add value. For me, it’s about pushing women to think big, holding them accountable to (and for) their dreams, and giving clear actionable advice instead of aspirational vagueness.
Being completely honest with yourself is key. Your brand has to come from inside of you or it won’t ring true with your audience. Think of it like your fashion sense: as much as I want to dress like Michelle Obama, I ultimately just end up dressing like myself (yep, sweatpants and big earrings). Because that’s where I’m comfortable! That’s who I am.
#3. Come up with a brand sentence.
I want you to come up a sentence that explains your brand. If you’re feeling stuck, start with what you do, like Dog Training. Then add who it’s for, like New Moms. Now, see if you can explain what makes it different, like Freudian. Now we have Freudian dog training for new moms. (so, in my case, biz advice is what I do, babes is who it’s for, and no-bullshit is what makes it different). Then I want you to reply to this email and I’ll give you some feedback. You don’t have to be sold on the sentence, just try to come up with something that really nails it.
You know how we spend our twenties trying to figure out who we are and what we want to do with our lives? Well, brands are the same. They spend the first part of their lives trying to figure out what makes them different and who they want to be hanging out with and the kinds of things they want to be known for.
Just like I tell my teenage daughter, there’s no better time to figure out who you are than TODAY. And once you figure that out, the rest is a cakewalk. So, what are you waiting for?
PS: Whenever you’re ready, here are four ways my team and I can help you grow your business this year:
1. Join the Hello Seven Group and connect with women entrepreneurs who are scaling too. This is our new Facebook community where badass women learn to get more income, impact, and independence. Click Here
2. Attend our Hello Seven Incubator event [online]. Next month, I am running a full day, virtual workshop for advanced women entrepreneurs. I'll show you what the back end of a seven-figure business looks like and teach you how to reverse engineer it for yourself. You'll learn how to fix the gap between having $10k months and having $100k months. A third of the tickets are already gone. Would you like to attend the event? Sign Up Today