We’re walking through three common brand mistakes that hold back business owners from achieving their version of success.
The idea of building a strong brand can be an ambiguous, frustrating and time consuming process. However, there are three common brand mistakes that I often see (and have made myself) holding back business owners from achieving their version of success.
Not getting clear on your ideal client
Does the thought of zeroing in on a specific person you want to work with bring up all sorts of negative and scarcity-focused thoughts? You may be scared that you might make the wrong decision, that you might pick an audience you have no business picking, that there are not enough clients in that group for it to be fruitful, that you need more practice before you can call yourself an expert in that area… the list goes on and on.
But, we often forget that the line in the sand can be wiped away and changed. An ideal client doesn’t have to be forever. The idea is to make a decision so you can provide a service tailored specifically to that ideal client’s needs.
When you can paint a picture of the perfect-for-you client, you’re able to speak to them in a way that wouldn’t be possible if you were trying to attract everyone. And by speaking directly to their specific needs, you’re able to serve them better, thus building up that know-like-trust factor faster.
I understand the goal is to get clients, so you don’t want to turn anyone away. Especially when you’re new. But here’s another thing we forget: picking an ideal client doesn’t mean we have to turn others away. You don’t have to say ‘no’ when someone inquires. What you’re doing is adjusting your communication to attract a specific type of person; you’re positioning your brand as an expert for a certain category/space/industry/style/etc. so that when someone who fits the profile comes across your brand, they know without a doubt you can help them.
It’s worth repeating: 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.
Want more information on selecting an idea client? Click here to read all the details on gaining clarity around your ideal client.
Spending too much time on your logo
When I say the word ‘brand’, more often than not, a logo is what comes to mind. Especially when you’re in the early business-building stages.
However, a logo is one piece of the brand puzzle. It’s an identifier of your brand. If it’s strong enough (think Apple or Nike) it can make you think, feel or act a certain way. However, it’s not the ONLY element of a brand. Think of the logo more as the lead in a play; it serves a very important role but it is nothing without the support from the rest of the cast.
Because we think the logo is the brand, we usually place a large emphasis on creating something perfect. It makes sense, of course. Having an eye-catching logo is the goal. But, there comes a time when creating that perfect logo, especially if you’re new, becomes a distraction.
We can place so much pressure on ourselves to get something that is PERFECT. And, it ends up taking a large amount of our time. We tweak and update and change… and tweak some more. Nothing feels right and before we know it, a week or two has gone by and all we’ve done is attempt to find the perfect logo.
A logo isn’t the be-all-end-all when it comes to your brand. It’s the beginning of a journey. It’s what can build brand recognition. But, it’s only part of the story. It’s so easy to think that your logo is the most important part of your brand and get lost in the minute details of perfecting it. But, a brand is so much more than a logo and is made up of visual and written elements that, over time, can foster community, build connection, influence thoughts and make people act.
If you’re just getting started, your time and attention can be spent elsewhere on things that actually move the needle. Because, at the end of the day, your logo isn’t going to book clients. And, if you’re a newer business owner, you’ll probably want to change once you start working with people and gain clarity on how you want your brand to be experienced.
Want to read more on what else is included in your brand? Click here.
Not focusing on your client experience
When I was just starting, my only goal was to get paying clients. All actions circled around answering this question: how can I get more clients coming in
I imagine most people have a similar thought process and while yes, it’s important to get paying clients, what often gets overlooked is what to do AFTER the potential client shows interest. Have you spent as much time on what happens after someone signs up for a consultation call as you have for getting them to that point? I sure didn’t. I thought that the hardest part was getting someone in the door.
But, here’s the thing. Customer experience is one of the best investments you can make for your business and brand.
Unfortunately, it’s not always the sexiest of topics to discuss. Lead generation is a fun thing to think about. Workflows and systems? Not so much. However, when it comes to creating a strong brand, customer experience plays a big part. Especially when you focus your efforts on providing a great one.
As a business owner, your goal is to serve your clients to the best of your ability. The more clients you serve, the more ability and knowledge you have. And that improved ability then gets transferred onto the next client. It’s a beautiful, repeating cycle that often gets overlooked because you’re immediately onto the next lead generation tactic.
Not sure where to start? Check out this post with a few ideas on improving client experience as a service provider.
Find yourself making one, two or all three of these brand mistakes? Not to worry – it’s common and you’re definitely not alone. Building a brand is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself permission to try things out, to get things wrong and to adjust if you’re not moving in the direction you want.
All my best,
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