While branding appeared to be a buzz word a few years ago, today, it’s very clear that branding is here to stay and it’s not just for great big companies and their products. It’s for business owners like you and I as well.
While everyone has a brand, most people do not understand the power of branding as the precursor to building a business. The truth of the matter is that for most small and micro business owners, a brand, in and of itself will not generate revenue. That’s where a clear business plan comes in.
But before I get a head of myself, let me back up and define both a brand and a business for you:
A brand, according to Marty Neumeier, “is a person’s gut feeling about a product service or company” and I’d like to add that my definition of a brand adds, “a brand is an intentional strategic message, promise and experience created to serve others through your significance.”
As I like to say, branding is how you become known in the marketplace. And you have to become known before you will be found and ultimately paid. Your ability to create a compelling message and deploy it consistently to your ideal clients is the key to building a brand that can become bankable.
Keep in mind that a brand is not your logo, website, business card or other visual representation. Your brand is a message. And because we all have a brand whether we are intentional about it or not, you need to begin to take it very seriously.
But, with all that my brand has become because of my commitment to creating an experience, it does not overshadow my fiscal responsibility to build a solid, thriving business. I think that far too often entrepreneurs focus on one and not the other, but you can focus on both and enjoy the benefits there of.
A business on the other hand is a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service for the purpose of generating profit.
Branding does not guarantee the generation of income; business does not guarantee the exposure and opportunities to expand your reach. That is why you need to do both. Trust me, many entrepreneurs learn this lesson the hard way.
Here’s an example of what I mean. When I wrote my first book, my “brand” got me on television and in magazines, etc., but those appearances by themselves did not yield any financial returns for my business. I had to have a strategy in place to leverage each appearance so that I would benefit financially. See what I mean by having both?
This exact topic is what I was talking about a few years ago in my weekly videos:
In my opinion to ensure that you build a brand and a business you have to define, own, unleash and leverage your personal and professional brand. Allow me to break down those four steps for you a bit now:
Step One: Define Your Brand: Defining your brand is about clarifying the reasons you are different from those who technically do what you do. I often invite my clients to think of 5 words that emotionally convey who they are and how they serve their clients. What would your five words be?
Step Two: Own Your Brand: In order to own your brand, you take those five words and create confidence-boosting brand mission statements that illustrate your value and the experiential transformation you provide. I should mention that in the ownership phase, you can look for a visual representation that resonates with your brand. Yes, I’m talking about a logo or an icon or avatar that will speak to the experience you will create. Think about what you want your ideal client prospects to see and immediately think of you, your message, and your unique selling proposition. What statements convey your brand’s mission? What visual would make a great icon for your brand?
Step Three: Unleash Your Brand: In the unleash phase, it’s time to make the concept of your brand real for others by focusing on the experience they will gain by being affiliated with you. Here is where you focus on your message in greater detail. You want to ensure that your message is experiential, education, emotional and based on the true, top of mind problem that they are experiencing right now. In this phase, you also begin to think about the methods you’ll use to deploy your brand message so that it gets seen by those you would like to see it. Can you validate that your brand hits all four components? Which methods will you use to get your brand message out there? (Hint: Social Media only counts as one way.)
Step Four: Leverage Your Brand: Leveraging your brand is largely about ensuring that at all times you are positioned to gain spiritually and financially from your brand. Leverage is about building a brand with character and equity that allows you to get consistent benefits. It means you have a strategic profit plan that will allow your brand to earn consistent income. It’s about building a brand and a business at the same time. Leverage is about developing the strategy that you’ll use to turn a person who sees your brand into a lead via a lead generation tool like free download, special report or white paper. It’s also about ensuring that you’ve thought through what will happen once they opt in and you’ll leverage a strategy to share content and value before you ask them to make a buying decision based on what they’ve learned about your brand. How have you prepared to leverage your brand? What is your profit plan?
Now, I want to hear from you…what’s your two cents? In my expert opinion, doing these four things as you build your brand will help you to also build your business. What else have you learned about building both a business and a brand that will add value to this post?
If your brand is not positioned to fund your business, I can help you. We’ve created several consulting options to help you get what you need quickly to build a brand that funds a business.
©2016 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.