When I created a ‘proper’ brand and launched More than words® it did wonders for my business. I’d always known that building a brand was good for business, but it wasn’t until I did it that I experienced all the benefits it brings:
- it’s much simpler to articulate what you do
- it quickly demonstrates the value you add to your audience
- it makes lead generation a lot easier!
- your reputation means that more people approach you for advice and support
- it gives a professional polish to your business
- you feel really proud of what you’ve created
The biggest branding mistakes
I’ve been through the branding process many, many times throughout my career, so before we talk about how to build a strong brand, let’s take a moment to ensure we’re on the same page by running through what a brand is not…
A brand is not:
- a logo
- a colour
- a font
- a snazzy strapline
- some professional photography
- a list of company values
- a mission statement
A brand is a consistent experience that you deliver within every touchpoint.
Yes, the term ‘experience’ is bounded around a lot nowadays, but it truly is what a building a brand is all about. If you want a strong brand that means something to someone, you need to make an emotional connection – which means you need to make your audience feel something.
I’m a copywriter. But then so are thousands of other people in the UK. So why do my clients buy from me? Because they know I’ll genuinely give them more than words. As my client, they’ll receive:
- copywriting skills and domain knowledge to ensure their copy really resonates with their target audience and commands action
- the marketing skills, knowledge and experienced I acquired in the decade prior to becoming a copywriter
- my passion for small business, my ideas and my desire to always give more to help them succeed
- introductions to my network of other talented freelancers to help plug the skills gaps with agency-grade work at more affordable prices
The 1st step to a strong brand is knowing what you stand for
In reality, it’s one of the most challenging and yet most important things to get right. Your messaging underpins everything you do and every single word you write.
Taking the time to carefully plan where you sit in the market, how you’re different and why people should take notice of you, will create the long-term consistency that strengthens your brand value.
If you haven’t already created a messaging framework for your company, it’s a wonderfully enlightening exercise that helps you bring people together and create something that’s genuinely meaningful to you and your audience.
Once you’ve had a chance to think about the answers and asked your team for input, the fun really starts. Get all your favourite stationery – pens, paper, highlighters, post-it notes, whiteboards – and start piecing it all together.
Eventually, you end up with a set of values that feed into your ‘why’, which feeds into:
- the services you offer
- what makes you different
- your value proposition
And, ultimately, helps you create that powerful organising idea that beautifully encapsulates everything you have to offer.
Take the time to create a messaging framework and you have the perfect foundation to build a strong brand that becomes an asset to your company.
With your messaging framework in place, the next stage of creating your brand becomes far simpler and much more exciting.
By sharing this document with a graphic designer, they can quickly see what you stand for and will be able to start crafting the visual identify that draws the eye of your target audience.
Don’t know any decent graphic designers?
Then drop me a message. I know some fabulous freelancers that specialise in branding and I’d love to make an introduction.
First published on www.alicehollis.co.uk