To succeed in your microbusiness, 4 things have to happen: you have to offer something relevant; the people searching for it have to notice you; the people searching for it have to engage with you and the people searching for it have to do business with you. Your brand is at the center of each and every one of those steps.
Depending on who you’re talking to, the word branding can be well received or met with rolled eyes. No matter which camp you’re part of, if you’re in business, you have a brand. Building a strong brand is an essential part of shining your light through your microbusiness, and in this post, I’ll explain what a brand [really] is and why it matters to you.
What is a brand?
Let me start this part by saying what a brand should not be. A brand should not be some gimmick contrived in a cold boardroom. It should not be a fake persona meant to mislead people into buying from you. Your brand is your essence…. your vibe. It is the experience your consumer has when she interacts with your business. It is the energy around your business. A brand should be true and real, and it should be compelling to the people who are aligned with your essence and values (this is a big clue to finding your niche, or them finding you!). When you realize this meaning, it’s clear that branding is not just for large corporations. In fact, it seems especially fitting for soulful microbusiness owners because it’s a personal thing.
You already know a thing or two about building a brand.
Even if you’ve never given a second thought to building a brand for your microbusiness, you have a brand in your personal life. So really, you already understand something about authentic branding. Has a friend ever bought you a gift because she saw it and immediately thought of you? That’s having a personal brand. Has someone ever mentioned that an outfit or décor style was “so you”. That’s having a personal brand. For example….
I have dreads. I wear long, loose dresses and prefer no shoes or flip flops, when feasible. I don’t wear makeup and I carry a crocheted bag. Most people can probably look at me and figure out that I am a bit of a hippie. They might not be surprised to know that I unschool my children or that we make our own hand soap and like organic food. All of this is part of my personal brand. It’s an honest outer reflection of my authentic inner self. The same idea lays the foundation for the branding of your microbusinss.
So what does a strong, authentic brand do for your microbusiness?
Analogy time. Let’s say you have a friend coming over for dinner and it’s dark outside. She’s never been to your house before. She has the address and will likely be looking for your house number when her GPS says she has arrived. What are you going to do to help her find you? Turn on the porch light, right? Right. That’s what a strong, authentic brand does for your business! It’s like flipping on the porch light so the people looking for what you offer can find you.
Your brand helps you stand out and be remembered.
If the colors of your website, your fonts, your way of approaching your work, your offerings and etc. all reflect the truth of your business, your community will be much more likely to know you when they see you. That feeling of finding someone and reading their stuff and thinking, “Yes, this is one of my people” is amazing. When your authentic brand essence is front and center, your community can recognize you. With all the marketing noise on any given day, standing out in truth is a huge part of client attraction. Your community is also more likely to remember you when they realize they’ve encountered someone with compatible energy, someone who gets them. If your community doesn’t notice you, how will they ever read your words, buy your stuff or otherwise interact with you?
In The Soularium Circle, I teach a step-by-step process to build your unique brand. In fact, Brand Essence is one of the 4 Vital Client Attraction Paths that I teach in The Soularium Circle. Soularium Circle is scheduled to open for registration soon. If you’d like to be notified when our community opens, please contact me here.
2-Minute Takeaway (Journal Prompt): What 4 qualities do you want to be known for?