Establishing a solid foundation for your brand and business is the first step. Always. This is what everything else is going to build off of, so if you don’t have a solid foundation, you’re going to set yourself up for failure from the get-go. And obviously we don’t want that, we want to set you up for success!
In my mini-course, Blissfully Branded (get on the waitlist here for when enrolment opens this fall!), this is the first big, meaty module – Research and Strategy. I walk my students through how to set a really strong foundation, before they start creating their beautiful brands.
You can have the most “beautiful” brand in the world, but if it doesn’t speak to your ideal audience, your business isn’t going to succeed. Because how could it, if your brand doesn’t connect with your clients or customers? You’re not going to get their attention, and aren’t even going to have the chance to start building relationships and turn them into excited customers and clients.
Here’s an overview of the different areas of your brand and business’ foundation that you need to establish from the get-go:
Who are you?
While this may seem like an easy, basic question, it’s anything but! You need to figure out who you are as a business before beginning any kind of branding work.
You’re going to have a real hard time creating a strong brand if you don’t know what you’re creating a brand for. Go beyond “I’m a graphic designer” or “I’m a photographer” or “I’m a blogger” and really take some time to explore who you are, and who your business is.
Part of knowing who you are is also knowing what services or products you’re offering/selling. I talk about this in my Five Branding Mistakes blog post – don’t try to do everything under the sun all at once! You can’t do it all and do it well.
Tip: Establish what service you’re going to offer or product you’re going to sell.
Bonus Tip: Write down your top three core values.
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Who is your audience?
If you don’t know who your audience is, how are you planning to connect with them, build relationships, and turn them into paying clients or customers?
It’s also important to know who your audience is, because as I’ll talk about in the next section, this can help you stand out from your competitors. Maybe you offer the same service, but have totally different audiences. That’s key to know, because it’s going to influence your branding and how you reach your audience.
You might even find out that your competitor isn’t really even a competitor since you’re not talking to the same people. Let them have their audience, and you’ll create meaningful, awesome relationships with yours!
Tip: Get specific. What is your audience like? What are their desires, fears, core values?
Who are your competitors?
This is essential to determine because it’s going to allow you to see exactly how you’re going to stand out in your industry.
In today’s day and age, every industry is saturated, and that’s okay. But it does mean you have to work harder at figuring out how you’re going to stand out and be different. You need to be aware of who your peers and competitors are, who’s trying to connect with your audience.
A little sidebar – community over competition, always! Just because they’re your “competitors” doesn’t mean you have to have a competitive or scarcity mindset. There truly are enough clients for everyone! If someone doesn’t work with you, that’s totally okay! It just means they weren’t the right fit, and there’s a better client out there for you. I truly believe this wholeheartedly!
Tip: List your top three competitors and what their strengths/weaknesses are.
What are you envisioning?
We all have an idea of what we want our brand to look like. Whether you can make that vision a reality all on your own, or need a little help through a course (Blissfully Branded – get on the waitlist!) or hiring a professional (ready to chat?!), you have an idea in your head already. And that’s a good thing, it’s a great starting point to use!
There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want. It’s just a matter of making sure that vision aligns with who your business is, and who your audience is. You want to make sure your brand portrays your business, and connects with your audience!
Tip: Create a mood board on Pinterest! Start curating images that bring to life what you’re envisioning for your brand.
Ready to establish your foundation and create your brand? Be sure to snag your free Branding Blueprint below!
I hope you feel confident enough now to establish your brand and business’ solid foundation! And if you already have a business, it never hurts to come back to this kind of exercise and do it again to make sure you’re on the right track! Come back to the basics and make sure your foundation is rock-solid!
Stay tuned for Part 3 in my Building Your Brand Series, where I’ll be sharing why you need a strong visual identity!
Tell me in the comments below, what’s your business and who’s your audience? I’d love to know!
Ready to start creating your dream brand for your business?!
Download your free, nine-page Branding Blueprint!