You have a business name, now what? Follow these four steps on how to build a brand for your new business that will set you up for success!
It started with a little inkling that you could start a business. That you loved something enough to monetize it. You even have a business name that you’re damn proud of.
How do you build a brand? How do you turn this business name into a recognizable, trusted brand that generates revenue?
Choose an ideal client
Because you’re just getting started, you won’t have much to go on, so it’s best to start with assumptions and update as you learn more about your customer. The point of picking an ideal client and not doing a blanket, “I work with everyone” is so that you can focus your marketing and messaging efforts. Also, it’ll help position yourself as an expert in that specific space.
All that being said, you do not have to stick with your ideal client forever. You’re not marrying them – you’re just deciding who you most want to work with and going all in. Give yourself three to six months and if it’s not a good fit, pivot.
I started in the blogging space and targeted bloggers for an entire year before pivoting my offerings. My business has only GROWN. It did not implode the minute I decided to change my focus and I am willing to bet that yours won’t either.
Determine your brand values
Similar to personal values, your brand values are what guide decisions. They are the North Star of your brand and help you stay aligned as you grow, change and evolve. In addition, they are what your audience will connect with and build trust with.
Values show your community what you stand for and what you hold sacred. They tell your community a lot about your brand’s personality and what it deems most important.
The best part about brand values is that you don’t need clients or business to determine what yours are. And, more than likely, they’ll stay fairly consistent regardless of the changes and pivots your business will face as you grow – in fact, they should be the filter that you run all decisions through to make sure they’re aligned with what you want your brand to stand for.
Get clear on the problem you solve + your unique solution
Businesses exist to solve a problem. People buy because they want a change. They’re experiencing some form of discomfort and they want to get to some version of success. They’re at ‘Point A’ and you have the solution to get them to ‘Point B.’
When you can clearly identify where they’re at, you can better communicate where you want to take them. Think of each potential client as if they’re following a treasure map and you supply the checkpoints that lead them to the buried treasure.
The easier you can make the map, the easier to understand whether or not they are a good fit for your offering. Also, by better understanding who your ideal client is, you can adapt and update your unique transformation based on what they’re wanting.
For example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer who is just getting started. You think you want to work with busy corporate moms and you think their biggest problem is that they don’t know what types of exercises they should do throughout the week. So, you create content all around how to string together different exercises to create a weekly workout program. However, after working with one or two clients, you realize their biggest problem is finding time to devote to an hour-long workout. So, you change up your content and start sharing exercises they can do with their family and quick workouts that take no more than 15 minutes.
See the difference when you’re clear on their number one problem and your unique solution? Your better able to speak to their specific needs with a message that resonates with what they’re wanting to achieve.
Create a style guide and stick to it
A style guide is your visual reference document that houses standards for your visual brand.
I know it’s hard to stick to something because there are so many cool fonts and colors and styles to choose from, but I promise it’s worth the effort.
Consistent visuals help your community identify your brand and build trust with your content. Every day we’re inundated with messages and graphics and videos and podcasts – there is no shortage of content – so the best way to visually differentiate ourselves is to be consistent with our brand identity. That way, our community can know within a few seconds if the piece of content is coming from us and whether or not they want to pay attention.
The best part is that you don’t need to work with a professional designer to create a style guide. They’re easy to DIY and can be pulled together in a Word document or a free program like Canva.
What should you include? At minimum, this should be on your guide:
- Primary logo + color variations if available
- Color scheme (four to six brand colors)
- Font recommendations (heading font, sub heading font, body copy font, specialty font)
- Photography editing style (do photos lean blue/cool or warm/yellow?)
Building a strong, recognizable brand isn’t something that happens overnight. However, when you start with a strong foundation, it’ll be that much easier to strategically grow with intention.
All my best,
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