When you're a solopreneur, you're intensely invested in your business on a day-to-day basis. This can make it hard to take a step back and identify what exactly is holding you back from being where you want to be. You can probably tell that something just doesn't sit right, but you might not be able to put your finger on the exact cause. I can tell you that at least half of the time, the problem is the elusive "B Word": Branding.
You might have had an awesome logo made, but branding is so much more than that. I've seen clients that say "but my branding is so good", and that may be true in a sense, but is it pulling in the people you want it do? Is it effortlessly communicating your business to it's core? I'm sharing my biggest tried-and-true signs that it's really your brand that's really holding you back from the growth you want.
No Stick = No Click
Your brand needs to be sticky to stand out and attract customers. Being "sticky" means that your brand presence - be it on social media, your website, or your blog - is consistent, grabbing, and encouraging returning visitors. Of course everybody wants a new reader or visitor to subscribe to their email list or click that "Follow" button, but HOW is this actually achieved? If your brand is inconsistent, bland, or easily forgettable, you can forget about landing your dream client (see what I did there?).
You need an on-point brand identity and consistent brand voice on all platforms. Good branding is built on concrete goals for attracting your target client, so without this, you're definitely not reaching your true revenue potential.
High-Budget Clients Want High-End Brands
If you're trying to attract a more affluent target client, then you better believe you need high-end branding to match. Your product or service may very well be of a higher quality than your brand depicts, in which case holding off on professional branding would undeniably be turning away potential clients/customers.
Even if you keep telling yourself "I'll invest in good branding eventually", you're missing out on the opportunity to build trust with people that may turn out to be valuable clients one day. Sketchy websites and brand identities attract sketchy clients. It's just true. Brand yourself for the client you want, not the client you have (click to tweet).
Targeting Everybody Books Nobody
If your brand is vague in attracting your target market, it's likely that you haven't fully narrowed in on what your "target client" is. Even if you need to take on a ton of types of clients to pay the bills, you 100% should only be showing what you want to attract. In photography, we say "show what you want to shoot". If you try to post everything, advertise for a ton of different services, or try to attract everybody at once, you end up attracting nobody. This is why people look at market segments to split up their broader target market and create more targeted campaigns and branding. When a potential client visits your site, these things should be clear right off the bat:
- who you serve
- where and how you do it
- what the result is (value proposition)
This "result" that your selling is a big part of your branding as well. Are you trying to tap into a specific lifestyle? Are you making any promises of a result after they purchase your product or use your service? Knowing what your target client wants and needs is the key here. This is usually very emotion-driven and can be subconscious. If someone can clearly understand what they would be getting out of what you offer, then they are much more inclined to either be (or not be) attracted to it.
Confidence Is Where It's At
When I first started my photography business, I was in high school and knew next to nothing about branding and growing a business. My branding and business language was totally random. It was so thrown together that I actually felt embarrassed to talk about what I do. I felt hesitant to send anyone to my website because I knew that what I was showing the world wasn't a brand I was totally confident with or proud of. I knew I was ready for success, but I didn't feel like my brand was ready.
Today, I'm totally fine with my "elevator pitch" and have no problem giving someone my business card (for either of my businesses). As a result, I end up connecting with a lot more potential clients that FIT my target market. Plus, everybody that knows me knows exactly what I do because there's no fluff in my branding. This makes it a lot easier for friends and family to refer me to other people. You have to be clear about what you do and who you do it for, and not just to other people but also to yourself. A boutique branding experience will give you the opportunity to discover these things and move forward with fierce confidence.
When it comes down to bookings, better branding attracts better business! It's as simple as that. If you're feeling like you need a clean slate and in-depth experience to help you move forward with your business at the pace you want, I can help. I develop unique brand identities, websites, and content strategies for small business owners.
How have you targeted your branding to suit your ideal client/customer? Are you considering a brand identity redesign? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thanks for dropping by! I'm Caileigh and I create killer brand identities and offer coaching for creative entrepreneurs with gumption. When I'm not helping people build profitable businesses, I document love stories as a fine art film photographer.