How to Brand Yourself When Just Starting Out a New Business?
“How do we get started branding when just starting out at a business?” This is the question I often get asked by so many people. It is the most common and most demanding challenge businesses face in their initial phases. So I’m going to share what has worked best for me in my branding journey, for myself and for my clients. This is some good part of my knowledge and experience gained over a comprehensive period of time. Dig into it and jot down all the points that will help you improve on your weak areas in your business branding.
Before we start let me put something very straight here.
If you are just starting at your business you do NOT need to invest hefty amounts of money for your branding. Period!
If you find someone trying to convince you to invest heavy amounts, or for that matter anything, into your business in the name of branding in the very beginning of your business – just STOP right there. Do not listen to them. This I’m saying when you haven’t really made good sums of money or haven’t impacted lives of scores of people. If you have only made like 1K or 2K from your business as yet, you are not ready for investing in a brand designer.
Being an enthusiast brand architect who herself loves to design and create brand names, I would still never recommend investing in branding at the very start, and beginning phases of a business.
[bctt tweet=”If you are just starting at your business you do NOT need to invest hefty amounts of money for your branding. Period!” username=”brandingpotions”]
So when do you invest that kind of money?
You invest in branding when you have made enough clients and have made enough money in your business and you can easily spare a good sum of money for branding yourself. I call it investing in your business because it really will impact your business and how people perceive you and your brand – your product or service or whatever it is that you are offering to your clients.
It will help you stand out from the crowd and will help people hear your voice through your brand. Branding will help you on your website, on your social media or even if you have a brick and mortar business. You will start to stand out of the businesses in your niche and attract your ideal clients towards you so you don’t have to chase them.
Coming to the point of this post which is How do you brand yourself when you are just starting out?
So you are not going to invest in branding but then how are you actually going to brand yourself?
You need to KNOW who you are – always remember people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.
You will literally find a ton of other business doing the exact same thing you are doing, providing the exact same service or product you are giving. So what really is going to make you stand different and unique is your WHY!
If you are short on budget and don’t have the money or the energy to drain out on freelance sites just to brand yourself, you will find the content of this post a hell of a help.
2 Steps to Branding yourself
These are the two directions, the two fields you will have to work on to create that brand identity for your brand. Following them, you will get clients to want to buy from you and build that trust between you and your clients. So what are those two steps?
- Get your message correct
- Know your colors
First Step: Get your message correct
#1 Know your WHY!
So going into the details of both of these steps. A lot of the times I get asked by fitness coaches, designers, and many other people how to create a brand for themselves.
The first thing I tell them, and which is correct for everyone out there, is that there are a lot of fitness coaches, there are a lot of designers, there is a lot of everyone in the market. The exact same idea as yours has been in someone else’s mind too. Even if you think you have come up with a very unique new idea – 80% of the time it has already been implemented somewhere. So in order to stand out in their league, the business need to know why are they what they are.
Ask yourself why are you a business coach? Why are you a designer? Why are you a developer? What value do you bring to people? So if you ask me,
I am a brand architect and I help businesses stand out from the crowd.
#2 Have a unique voice
What I’ve seen numerous times different brand architects do is that they are following pretty much the same brand strategy over and over again for different clients. This I’ve seen with my own eyes because when I was following a lot of the ‘big-names’ in the branding industry I came to this shocking realization.
Many of them were using similar layouts, the same fonts, similar colors for drastically different brands. So much so that you could literally tell this was designed by that specific designer but you couldn’t tell if it actually spoke of the brand itself. Their work represented them and not their clients.
My point here is that people should stand out being who they really are. In their own unique voice. This needs work.
[bctt tweet=”People should stand out being who they really are. In their own unique voice. This needs work.” username=”brandingpotions”]
#3 Have your message crystal clear
That is why I emphasize on you focusing on your message. So that when you hire someone to do all your designing they don’t represent your brand in terms of who they are but they represent you in terms of who you are.
You ought to know what is the exact area that you are helping your clients with or what exactly is the change they are going to get from you. Most importantly, how are you actually different.
#4 Jot down your unique points
There is this course I once took which included an exercise for finding out your uniqueness. This will really help you find yours too.
Turn off the WiFi on your phone/laptop/tablet, or better still put the airplane mode on. Find a silent room for yourself and lock yourself in – you need no distractions. Take deep breaths to calm your mind and body. Next, take a paper and a pen or anything you are comfortable writing on.
Start writing whatever comes to your mind regarding YOUR uniqueness. What this can include, but doesn’t limit to, is any compliment you got in your childhood from a teacher, a friend, family, a senior, anyone.
One thing my teachers used to say about me was: Unaiza is very efficient. I wrote that down. My brother used to call me a bookworm. I wrote that down too.
There will be many things about you that either someone else says or feels about you or you think about yourself.
Make an extensive list from childhood to the current day. This will make you feel confident about yourself. Also, it will help you identify your brand message. You will come to realize those silent qualities about you that you previously did not know.
For me it was honesty, I realized I could not do without honesty. Have that list with you at all times. Look into it time to time and keep adding to it. When you come to face a time you are extremely low about yourself, it will help you muster the motivation to move out of the sad pessimistic tent you are living in.
My list at the moment has 68 unique things about me. So you can guess that it ain’t that bad at all, you will have your list coming your way too. Just give it the time and energy it requires.
Second Step: Know your colors
#5 Have a vision of the world Your brand will create for your client
So let’s come to the design part. You don’t need to figure out your images, website, fonts, graphics and everything right in the beginning of your business, these will come through time, but one thing you must really know is your colors.
The quickest way to get to know your colors is to close your eyes and concentrate on the world around you and think about how it should look when your message has been implemented.
So consider me your client and you made a significant change in my life through whatever you provide, imagine how that will change my world. Is it bright in there? Is it very luxurious? Is it something that brings a lot of hope around me? Is it very fresh or energetic?
Hold that vision in your mind because you will be getting your answers in that meditating state. It might be hard for some of you to concentrate and focus so hard. But in any case just keep all distractions away and focus on breathing and your brand only.
#6 Discern the colors from the vision
If your vision was bright hold on to that. If it was all fresh and energetic bring all the colors that come to your mind when you think about freshness and energy. Write the colors down, look for some complementary colors that can go along your perceived colors. Do not stress out in the process. For starters keep things simple.
I haven’t studied business, never went to a business school but these are the things I knew when I started and they helped me tremendously.
When I entered the design industry my only passion was to deliver something of worth to my clients, something that makes them stand out and I always knew my colors.
#7 My colors and brand
I want to provide uniqueness to my clients and my work should make their brand more luxurious and appealing and so I have chosen purple and golden as my personal brand colors.
Your brand speaks for you, your message speaks for you and more than anything people recognize you with your colors. My first $4k in the first 4 months was due to the mere fact that I knew my brand so well and I knew what I was giving and how I was giving that. People could reflect on it and find value in it.
The point of sharing this with you is that THIS really helps. Know your colors and know your message well.
- Know why you are doing what you are doing.
- Have a unique voice for your brand. This voice should be different for every business you have.
- Have a unique crystal clear message for your clients. This is going to be your business message, the message your brand is going to convey to attract the right clients.
- If you don’t have a business message, jot down your unique points and then think over them. You will realize why you are doing hat you are doing and how you can bring value with it.
- If you don’t have your brand’s colors in mind sit back and visualize the world your brand will create for your clients after they have used your service/product.
- Hold on to that vision and try to discern colors from that vision.
- Once you have decided on your colors see if your colors are complimenting your brand right.
Branding is a whole lot of science. There are many more things that you should be doing to create your brand image. If you wish to know what are my Best Working Solutions I use for Branding get a copy of my free handy-dandy ebook.
It includes the exact 9 steps I make sure I follow for all of my clients to brand their business. Follow this link and take some time to go through it. It will definitely help you improve your brand image.
If you learned something amazing today you got to share it with someone who needs to know about this. Spread the word, save some bucks and save a ton of frustration over how to brand yourself while the newbie stage lasts.
Do subscribe to my YouTube channel for more on branding. You can watch this entire talk on YouTube too.