thinking of hiring a branding expert?
Deciding to “brand” your business is an important move to make for your business and could very well mean the difference between success or failure. So, how do you know if it’s the right time for you?
For a very long time, I didn’t pay much attention to my brand. I know, I know, I’m a branding strategist and that might not have made any sense to you. However, like all of us, I started my business on step one. Step one of course means not really caring about much except getting our business off the ground. When I began working as a freelancer, I was focused on all aspects of design. As the years went on, I started focusing more and more on branding and leaving everything else behind.
Once I made the decision to drop every other service I offered, I came to the conclusion that branding was really the key to building a business with success. So, how do you know when the right time to start building your brand is? Here I share with you my insight and tips.
I also have this pretty incredible guide with the most common branding and website mistakes you need to fix in order to attract ideal clients. These are great at giving you insight into whether it’s the right time to hire an expert, too!
you´re just starting out
If you are just starting out or launching your business, it is absolutely and without a shadow of a doubt, the best time to start your branding process. Besides the obvious reason of needing a logo and a website, you have to understand that what will take your business to the next level is your brand. If you took out the products from Coca Cola, but left the brand in place, it would still be one of the biggest companies in the world. However, if you started selling Coke with a different brand name, not associated to Coca Cola, it would most likely fail. Why? Because of its brand.
And I get that, that example I just gave you was huge and that you’re probably a small business or entrepreneur that’s just starting out. If that’s the case, then you need to build your brand even more. Why? Because it means that you’re competing with companies that already have their foot in the door.
Something that’s extremely important for you to understand though, is that it’s not about designing a logo and that’s it. It’s about understanding your business from the inside out. Defining what your purpose is, determining what makes you unique, getting clear on your positioning and your audience in order to build a strategy and communication that will attract them your way while building differentiation, trust and credibility.
For me, the moment I started really working on building my brand with an intention, everything changed radically in my business. I started being a lot more clear in the way that I spoke and the content I created. I also started being much more consistent with my brand. Of course, this all translated into radical success for my business.
you feel your brand is invisible
One of the feelings I hate most in the world is feeling invisible. Like you’re doing so many things and putting all the effort to be seen, but it’s almost like no one is there. That’s how you may feel when you see so much competition around you. Unfortunately, businesses show up every single day with promises so similar to yours, it sometimes seems hard to catch up. It makes you feel like all the effort you’re putting in is getting lost in the crowd. If this is how you feel with your business, it’s absolutely the right time to build your brand.
You see, competition might be disrupting the growth of your business. The reason for this is that you’re basically not being effective enough in communicating your value to your audience.
I see this happen all the time with clients. They have offers that are pretty incredible, but since they’re “packaged” in a not-so-nice way, they keep on losing out on opportunities. I analyze their competition and am surprised to see that sometimes they lack things that my clients’ are very strong at. However, they are still the “little guy.” To me, this all comes down to positioning.
Positioning is all about how others see you. How you are framing and packaging what it is that you do.
you´re missing out
Speaking of opportunities, if you’re missing out on them, because you aren’t effectively showing what makes you unique, it means it’s time to build your brand.
For me, it means that for a long time I felt small because I didn’t know what it was about my brand that made me unique. I felt that there were probably a lot of people that were better or even cheaper than I was. Then I realized I was looking at it all wrong. You see, people hire you because of mixture of your skills, abilities, passions, personality and experiences. That means that no matter how many people out there are doing the “same thing” as you are, nobody will ever compare to you.
In my case, my design style was totally unique to me. Not only that, I was really differentiating myself in that I’m not just a designer. I’m a lot more than that. Most of the people working in my industry only focus on design, when I really work on building a brand from the inside out. Most designers out there don’t have an MBA, or have done dozens of online courses, programs and taken graduate classes on branding to be the best possible at building brands. All of these things, plus my experience with clients, my life, and personality make me completely unique.
Using these things to my advantage remove those “missed opportunities” we might be afraid of having. Make sure you download the guide with all the common mistakes you could be making in your brand (that would mean it might be time to hire an expert!)
you´re attracting the wrong people
This is a big one. If you keep on attracting the wrong people, who are placing too many objections (i.e. your price is too high), it means your branding is all wrong. The first step of building a brand is defining your foundations and within that, it’s about understanding your audience. Your audience is everything. Without an audience, you don’t have a business. So, if you are getting the wrong people coming into your business again and again it probably means that your communication is directed at the wrong people or that you’re showing up in the wrong places for them. Knowing your audience means knowing where they are, how the speak, what their pain points are and how to offer effective solutions for them too.
If you are struggling with defining these things, it means it’s time redefine your brand.
your brand doesn´t represent you
This is probably one of the main reasons why you need to working on your branding for your business. If you feel that your brand doesn’t represent you, or that you’re embarrassed to show who you are — because you know that you’re not presenting the best version of you.
Here’s how I see it: your business should show the best that you have to offer. It’s not about selling, it’s about knowing that you can honestly improve people’s lives with what you are doing. You want to honestly make sure that it’s getting across with all that you do. You want to make sure that just by having people look at your logo, they can tell that you are the real deal, that your business means business.
This to me is crucial for the success of your business. I don’t think you should ever feel embarrassed or uninspired when looking astroturfing your branding. This is your business! You decided to become an entrepreneur (which is amazing and hard already), you decided to pursue your passions and build a life full of freedom, how could you ever feel back about how that looks? If you aren’t proud of it, and don’t feel it represents you, I definitely think you need to work on building your brand.
To find out more about whether your brand is representing you, make sure you sign download the free guide with the most common branding + website mistakes right here:
Effective brand strategies have the capacity to transform business results. This is because it goes well beyond having a brand that has a nice logo, and into the internal definition and focus of your business. Bringing together the specific goals from your business with your interests and aspirations as well as those of your audience. The strongest, most lasting businesses are those that are capable of bridging the gap between their brands and the human connections and emotions necessary to humanize and inspire.
Ultimately, it comes down to understanding whether or not your brand strategy is working and enabling you to grow as you were meant to. For me, once I started building my own business, it absolutely made a huge difference. Beyond having a beautifully designed website, it meant finding the real ways to connect with my audience.