What is the one thing that sets your business apart from the next?! Your branding! The word is thrown around a lot, but what is it reallyyyy..? Design right? Well yes, but there's more to it than that. Your branding is essentially your full business personality which includes:
- Your look -- your logo design, website, and the types of graphics you share
- Your values -- what is important to your business as a whole
- Your voice -- how you express your business through your website copy, blogs and social media
- Your experience -- how you treat your customers/clients including processes and customer service
Slap them all together and wha-lah that is your branding! In today's ever-crowded world it's even more important to nail down your branding strategy so that your business leaves a lasting impression. And what is one of the most important things that ties your pretty logo and website together with a nice bow? Your brand's voice!
What is your brand's voice?
There's a lot that goes into the behind-the-scenes of creating a brand and it starts by really nailing some big picture questions about how you want people to see and relate to your brand. I went through some of these questions in my guest feature for The Gem and I think they are totally worth repeating for this post. When you're first deciding on your branding (or repositioning) here are three main questions to ask yourself:
What do you want to be known for?: Are you the raw and honest entrepreneur who isn’t afraid to share the good, bad and ugly? How about the make-up artist who is dedicated to sharing informative posts on finding the best green products and why they're important? The first step to identifying your brand voice is establishing your purpose.
What do you want your brand's tone of voice to be? Now make a list of 3 words you want to define your writing personality. Are you funny, witty, professional, blunt, or bubbly? Tone of voice is a really important factor that will drive your content so take some time to reflect on how you want to position yourself.
What will help set you apart? The reality is there are a ton of us doing the exact same work -- and that's okay! There's more than enough space for the all of us, the question becomes, what sets you apart? This question will likely go back to your business plan and offerings, but it's also important from a branding perspective! The way you connect and build your customer/client base through content marketing is such an important part of building your biz.
These may seem like simple questions on the surface, but these are big decisions you'll really want to take into consideration. Creating brand guidelines outlining these key traits can be really helpful in keeping organized and also to share with people you hire or collaborate in the future too.
Who is your ideal customer or client?
Equally as important as sorting out your tone of voice and how you'll write your content is identifying your ideal customer or client. You can have great guidelines for your brand personality and voice but if you're not connecting with your ideal customers/clients then you're probably not going to get the results you're looking for.
So who are they?! Who do you want to appeal to and what type of content would resonate with them? Do they want to read serious articles that are written in a very professional tone or do they prefer to be approached in a personable low-key manner. By this point, you know that Bold & Pop's angle is writing in a super serious tone, right?! Haha, only kidding! #Realtalk though. Do some research. What other brands are your ideal audience into? What type of media or books do they read? What types of hashtags are they using on Instagram and what can you learn from the tone of voice in the captions? Take some time to do a little research. That can also be internal too. Depending on where you are in your biz journey, take a look at your analytics and see which types of blog or social media posts have had the best response.
This one may take a little trial and error and tweaking along the way, but the important thing is to try and write for your ideal audience. Because if you write for your audience, you have a better chance of connecting! And not going to lie, working with your dream clients is well, a dream!
Embrace Your Voice
Now that you have a purpose and have thought out how you would like to present your brand... EMBRACE IT! When you start a business everyoneeeee has an opinion on how you should do it. Do this, don't do that... The truth is you're probably going to read or hear from a lot of people on their tips or advice and a lot of it will be unsolicited. Here's your permission to throw that out the window! Not to say that other people don't give good advice... I just want to remind you to trust your plan and trust your gut!
When we first started Bold & Pop some people told me the name was too girly and it would be limiting... and our colors were too bright.. but we didn't listen because that was something that made us happy and ultimately that would help set us apart! I actually had someone who I really respect tell me I should never use exclamation points in business emails if I wanted to be taken seriously. Were they right? For a lot of businesses sure, but we put so much time into our branding and really honing in on our ideal audience and who we wanted to work with. Guess what?? Those people love exclamation points as much as us! Because hey, the work we get to do with our clients is super exciting and that is 100% worthy of exclamation points in business emails.
My point being, stay true to your branding and just go for it because when you fully embrace your voice magical things happen! ✨