Far too often these days we see people taking a passion and launching a business, it’s exciting, you want to make money, and so suddenly you become a walking, talking billboard allll about your offer. We have all seen this from getting added to Facebook groups we didn’t want to be a part of to random friend requests from strangers quickly followed up with a message about some product that we might not be interested in. Lately, I’ve been really focusing on the importance of why we need to build brands and not just businesses.
A business is just an organization that markets a product/service/opportunity. Now a brand on the other hand is: the image and personality the business applies to it’s offers. Think with me now: why do brands hire celebrities as spokes people? Because they KNOW that they can’t just sell a product and see results, they have to give the product or service an image, a personality.
They have to build trust, build rapport, and create connection. If your feed is only business and marketing messages, you’re likely alienating anyone that isn’t CURRENTLY interested in the offer – therefore reaching a way more narrow audience that has no reason to follow you if not isn’t the right time for them.
When people hear “brand” we immediately think of the visual components: logos, colors, fonts, and websites, but when you dig really deep into what a brand truly is, it’s more about the vision, the voice, the personality behind what your offer is.
Brands can PIVOT:
How many of you can without a shadow of a doubt tell me that you’re going to be doing the same exact thing you are a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now? Building a brand allows you to pivot. How else could a wedding photographer from small town Wisconsin teach courses, launch a podcast, sell watercolor prints, partner with brands, and heck, even book out a Hawaiian condo. People care about ME and not just what I’m selling.
When I first started out as a photographer, I wanted to be the right photographer for every single engaged couple. I spoke to engaged couples generically, I bent my brand to fit their needs, and I molded myself into what they needed… when I started to realize I only needed to be the right photographer for 20 couples a year is when everything changed. I knew that if I was only marketing to engaged Wisconsin brides still needing a photographer, I’d only be speaking to a very small audience. I needed to reach their friends, past clients, future clients and beyond and the way to do that is through a true brand.
Brands can make IMPACT:
When you have a brand, it’s multi dimensional, your brand can make a bigger impact than just a business because it has a heart and personality behind it. When you have a mission or a vision, it’s easier to share it because your brand voice resonates with people and creates a deeper meaning to behind your work.
If you have a personality and a voice and a true beating heart to your brand, not only will you make a greater impact but you will invite people to be a part of that impact. So many businesses rely on donating a portion of their proceeds (which is amazing) but they never invite the consumer to see the loop being closed or to see the true impact that is being made. When you have a brand, you have the ability to more personally invite people in an impactful way that takes them on the journey and grows your cause even more.
Brands earn their ability to SELL:
When a true brand is built, you can absolutely adopt the jab, jab, jab right hook method that allows you to unapologetically sell when the time comes. Why? Because the content you are sharing and serving with the majority of the time gives you the right and opportunity to sell due to the fact that you’re speaking to the right audience without alienating those not currently ready or interested in your offer.
If you’re a business, you’re marketing every single day with ads and marketing messages that will only translate for those who are ready to hit “purchase” but if you’re a brand you’re building a relationship through serving, serving, serving every day so that when the time comes to SELL, your audience is eager to take part in your offer.
Far too many entrepreneurs focus on building a business and not a brand, but hopefully today’s episode shows you the power in true branding beyond just the visual. When you partner a strong visual presence with a clear voice, a beating heart, and a true recognizable personality, you will truly make a greater impact and see bigger results!