This post is the first in a series of eight posts focused on building a successful personal brand online. The eight topics that I’ll be covering are below and I’ll link to these articles as they go live so that you can follow the entire series.
- Brand Foundations / Brand Strategy (This post)
- Ideal Client
- Signature Offer
- Brand Identity
- Marketing Strategy
- Client Experience
So what makes a successful brand? I’m going to cover these topics in this series but essentially a successful online brand is clear and consistent.
Clear on their audience. Consistent on their messaging. Clear on their signature offer. Consistent in their visual identity. Clear on their marketing strategy. Consistent in their visibility.
Creating a strong brand starts with the foundations. I like to use the analogy that if you try and build a house without laying down the foundations, it just won’t work. The same goes for your business. This is often called a Brand Strategy.
Your brand strategy is the foundation on which all of your branding and marketing efforts are built.
Without a solid brand strategy, all of the effort you put into your branding and marketing will fall flat. This is why having a solid brand foundation is the first step in building and growing a flourishing online brand.
These four steps will help you define your brand’s position in the market and are essential to building, growing and scaling a successful personal brand online.
1. What is your why?
The first step in defining your brand strategy is understanding your why. Why are you in business? What motivates you to get up every day and work on building your business?
Truly understanding why you are running your own business is what will help you move forward and keep going when things get tough. It’s what drives you to be successful.
2. Map Out Your Vision
Having a vision for your business gives you something to work towards and get excited about. It gives your business a bigger purpose.
Having a vision statement will bring you more success than not having one. It’s not something you should write once and then forget about though. Print it off and put it somewhere you can see it. If you have a team, remind them about it frequently so you are all on the same journey.
When making plans for your business, ask yourself, does this help me in working towards my vision? If it doesn’t, ask yourself why. Is it that your vision is changing or is it that it just simply isn’t a good fit.
To map out your vision, I encourage you to dream big. What is your vision for your business in the next three to five years? If you could jump to the future, where would you want your business to be? Allow yourself to dream bigger than you ever have before.
I encourage my clients to think about the bigger picture when they are working with me as it’s important that the brand that I support them in creating, not only works now but works three years down the line.
For example, if I have a client who is currently working 1:1 with clients but wants to introduce group programmes and/or courses into her offerings within the next 18 months, I ensure that everything we create supports that growth and direction.
A fun exercise that you could do when mapping out your vision, is to create a vision board. Print out pictures, pull cutouts from magazines and create a visual board that you can see at all times. Think about the lifestyle you want to lead as well as your business vision.
3. Set out your big-picture goals
Your goals should break down your vision into smaller more manageable chunks. When mapping out your goals, I recommend doing this for the year. Plan yearly goals that support your bigger vision for your business.
You’ll then want to further break these down into 90-day and monthly goals to make them easier to achieve.
Goal setting is not a step that should be missed and as with all of this, it’s not something that should be done once and forgotten about. You need to constantly revisit your goals so that you not only remember them and keep them fresh in your mind. You may find that they change along the way too and that’s okay.
4. Define Your Values
Your brand values are uncompromising guiding principles that articulate what you stand for in your business. They should be the primary driving force behind your brand, business and decisions.
When creating your brand values, you should ensure that they are genuine and true to your business. Your brand values will help you connect with your ideal clients and set you apart from the competition.
Your ideal clients will share your brand values and they will resonate with them. A good place to put your brand values is on the about page of your website.
Values define what is most important to you and your business and they should be used to guide and influence any choices you make. Defining your brand values isn’t something that should be done merely as a checklist exercise. They should be carefully thought through and infused into all that you do from your message, to your offerings, to your marketing and so much more. By keeping your core values at the forefront of your business, you will ensure that your business is moving forward in the right direction.
Join the waitlist for the Brand, Market, Flourish group coaching programme
If you like this post, I go into this and a whole lot more in my group coaching programme – Brand, Market, Flourish. Join the waitlist and be the first to hear when the next round opens plus recieve an exclusive early bird offer!
During this high-touch programme, I’ll walk you through the process of building and growing your brand from start to finish.
With fortnightly Q&A group coaching calls where you have direct access to me, a private community, access to my video trainings, workbooks and resources, you’ll feel confident and excited that you too can grow a sustainable and successful online brand.