Understanding your brand. The basics.

One of the most difficult things for business owners - whether it's a one-to-one coaching practice, a restaurant, or a tech company - is bringing their brand into focus. 

It's hard for ALL of us. Why? Because we're inside the picture which means we can't see things with objective distance - like our customers do.

But we must. And it's the first thing I help my clients with by assigning my Brand + Biz Clarity Online Workbook.

A clear brand is the difference between a website that looks nice and a website that helps you make money doing what you love.

Your brand is so much more than your logo. So. Much. More.

What is a brand anyway?

It's your essence. Your DNA. It's why you do what you do. It's how you show up and serve others to make the world a better place. It's the words on your website, emails, and print materials. It's the way you answer the phone. It's your energy level when you're working with clients; and it's your tone of voice when talking to coworkers. It's the message on your voicemail. It's how you participate in conversations (hopefully as an empathetic listener, not an arrogant blabber-mouth). It's your business' personality at its core. 

In other words, it's the soul of your business.

When it comes to your website, I believe your brand is the compass for your business' trajectory.

In other words, it's the direction your business is moving.

Don't dress for the job you have. Dress for the job you want.

Your brand should convey the business you want. And the business you want should always be expanding and course-correcting. Your brand needs to flex along with it without getting all loosie-goosie.

Let me show you what I mean:

When I started working with Chef Vanessa Musi she explained that her website just wasn't working. Her previous designer had used her logo and her color palette, but there was something off and she couldn't figure out what. Plus, it wasn't performing. She wasn't closing business.

After taking her through my Brand +Biz Clarity Online Workbook the problem became clear. Her brand was not aligned with her business goals.

Her website looked fine. It was constructed nicely. Links worked and the navigation was fairly clear. The problem was her website didn't reflect the essence of what she does, why, and for whom - with absolute clarity. It also didn't concisely convey how she was different from other consultants and coaches.

She told me her goal was to work with world renowned companies like Williams-Sonoma. To support that trajectory her website needed to position her as what she really is - a unique world-class pastry chef. The visuals on her old site screamed barista not BOSS.

Her new site is contemporary. Clean. Classy. Every word has a purpose. There is a natural flow to the navigation - and it all flows to one place - a phone call with her.

Now she has a relationship-building strategy with lead opt-in that not only gets newcomers on her list - but also takes them by the hand and walks them through the process of getting linked up with her on social media - without leaving her site so she can continue building relationships with her audience where they are already hanging out - on Facebook and Instagram.

We removed clicks and fluff and confusion. 

And I'm happy to report, her new site started generating results FAST. If you care to read more about that simply click here.

The most ironic part of Vanessa's rebrand is that we didn't even change her logo. The logo wasn't the problem. Her logo is gorgeous. The rest of her brand wasn't woven together consistently.

Five powerful questions to help bring your brand into focus:

  1. What outcomes do your customers want?
  2. What obstacles currently block them from those outcomes?
  3. What do you do to help them remove those obstacles?
  4. Why do you do this?
  5. What is unique about the way you do this?

The answers to these simple questions can illuminate a lot about your brand; and ultimately inform every element of your website so you convey the right things, to the right people for the right reasons - which will ultimately help you create a thriving business you love!

Here's to doing more of what you love! :: high five! ::

Be sure to visit Chef Vanessa's website if you want that amazing brownie recipe. She is on a mission to change the world, one health-conscious pastry at a time. Now that's a brand worth getting behind! www.vanessamusi.com

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Deana Ward

Simple & Soulful Creative, Lincoln, Nebraska

Simple & Soulful Creative is a Squarespace design studio that helps solopreneurs + small businesses clean up their messaging + launch gorgeous (easy-to-manage) websites.

About The Author

Deana Ward is a Squarespace website designer, copywriter, and consultant who helps soulful entrepreneurs align their brands and set up efficient business systems—while guiding them to take simple, tangible steps toward their professional goals. Her warm, personal approach goes beyond website design. It includes one-on-one training, accountability, and idea decluttering—which empowers her clients to get up and running so much faster than going it alone.

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