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What does your brand say about you and your business?
How did you come up with your current branding?
Is your brand consistent?
These are all questions you should be asking yourself regularly; both, when you are building a new business from scratch and as your business grows and changes. Your brand is your first impression, your calling card, your reputation, and the way you represent yourself and your business to the world. To put it lightly… it matters.
Anyone who has followed me over the last year or two… hell, even longer than that, but especially over the last year, will have noticed that my brand has changed DRAMATICALLY… multiple times. There has been a reason and strategy for each and every change; but also, many of my previous brand designs were born from a place of misguidance and focusing on the wrong things. If I’m being honest, I have come to realize that my past business brands have failed to align who I am with the business I have built.
With that in mind, I’d like to save you some of the growing pains, mistakes, and hardships that I have been through. Don’t get me wrong, growing pains and mistakes are part of the process. Successful businesses change and stretch as they need to, but I’m going to share some truths I have learned about building a successful, authentic brand. My hope is that they empower you and save you a few misguided steps along the way.
Vulnerability is Empowerment
Your story is your superpower. I’ll say it again and again and again. Creating an authentic brand begins with embracing your authentic self and telling your story. And that includes showcasing yourself in your brand.
Your brand and messaging should reflect who you are, why you do what you do, and how you got here. You’ve probably heard of the “know like trust (KLT) factor” marketing concept. Basically, your goal through marketing is to gain your audience’s KLT. Well, people are more apt to like, trust, and want to get to know others who are relatable. Which is why vulnerability, though scary at first, is empowering when building your authentic business. It will help you to develop trust, demonstrate passion, and build credibility.
The Riches Are in the Niches
Many business owners, especially those who are just starting to build a customer base, desire to build a brand that speaks to everyone. They just want to sell and they don’t care to whom. What they don’t realize, however, is that a brand that speaks to everyone is a brand that truly speaks to no one, and definitely not an authentic brand. If this is you, your fear of pushing some people away is what’s stopping you from attracting your ideal customer. Read that again.
If you’re hesitant to really step into your authentic self and your authentic business, you’re missing out on your people. Get to know your target audience, their specific needs, struggles, preferences, and what motivates them. Determine who your people are, who you want to work with, and build your brand and messaging to speak directly to them without fear of “turning off” those who aren’t a good fit.
If you’re working through this, don’t feel bad. It took me a really long time to get to where I am today with a super authentic brand. You can hear more about my story to developing my fearless authentic brand on my Podcast Episode 44.
Intentionality is Key
Build your brand around what feels authentic to you AND what will resonate with your target audience. Once you get to know yourself, your brand, and your target audience, be intentional about staying on-brand. When people think of you, you want them to immediately picture your branding, who you are, and what you do.
For example, I don’t want people to hear Lucie Mitchell and think, “that sounds familiar… she’s that gal who runs some kind of online business.” No, I make it a point to make waves. So that when people hear Lucie Mitchell, they think “that badass bitch who speaks her mind and helps other badass bitches elevate their businesses.” That’s not everyone’s cup of tea… but it attracts my people.
Messaging is Everything
Speaking of familiarity, you want to make sure your messaging is crystal f*ing clear. You don’t want someone seeing your posts, visiting your website, and coming away questioning what exactly you do. What is the point of that?! Your brand and messaging should clearly communicate who you help and how you help them.
I’ll use myself as an example again. I used to post everything all the time. We all know the extreme pressure to pump out content on a ridiculous level, so I thought I’d just post whatever came to mind: products I loved, workout inspiration, business inspiration, daily thoughts, etc. …no strategy whatsoever. As long as I have content to post, it doesn’t matter, right? Wrong. So wrong!
Now, my messaging is everything. There is strategy behind my website, content posted, everything that is attached to my brand has a purpose. And that purpose is clearly stated: Elevated business strategy for captivating entrepreneurs.
At the end of the day, here’s what I want you to know. Most people think of branding as a fun step in their business that doesn’t really matter or require strategy, and that mindset is just missing the mark. First thoughts when it comes to branding is often: colors, fonts, logo, mood board… and that is part of it! But it’s only part of it. The more important part is the strategy behind it; speaking to your ideal client, being true to your authentic self, determining your message, and being consistent.
If you’re looking to level up your branding and business, and struggling to do it alone, I’m here to help! I have multiple business coaching opportunities for business owners at every level. My goal is to help you harness your story, your superpower, empower yourself, and build a badass authentic brand that speaks for itself and attracts your people in a way you’ve only dreamed!
Business Success Coach & PR Agency
Lucie Mitchell & Company
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