Are you running a service-based business and believe your branding is all about your logo, tagline and brochures? While these are important elements of your brands ‘touch points’ when I refer to your business’s brand what I am talking about goes much deeper than your stationery and tagline.
So what is a brand? Your brand is your reputation; it’s the promise of value you offer a client and the immediate thought that a prospect and/or client has when your business name is mentioned.
While it can take time and commitment to build a strong brand, it is well worth the effort if you want to build a thriving business.
Here are 3 signs that your service-based business has a weak and incoherent brand:
1. Your ideal clients/prospects are not investing in your services
Sending out weak, mixed messages will only confuse a prospect and a confused mind says ‘no’. If you are unsure of what makes you unique, what sets you apart from your competitors, and the value/benefits you offer your clients, then your brand communications will be ineffective in showing your prospect why they should be investing in you and not your competitors.
2. You feel on the verge of marketing burnout, exhaustion and desperation
What often occurs when businesses are not generating the results they desire is that they increase their marketing efforts. However, the problem is not the amount of marketing being done but the fact that their marketing message is confusing and not speaking to the needs of your prospects, which leads us back to our previous sign of clients not investing.
3. You struggle to charge what you’re worth
A business owner with a weak brand will often find it difficult to charge a premium fee because they fail to demonstrate the value, benefits and results clients will achieve through hiring them. For this reason the level of income the business generates is often considerably lower than a business with a strong reputation and brand.
Here are five benefits of building a strong, authentic brand
1. Position yourself as an expert
Having a strong brand will enable you to position yourself as a specialist to build a reputation as a credible authority in your field. Showcasing your knowledge and expertise in your articles/blog posts and through sharing your success stories and that of your clients is important.
Q: What are your strengths and talents? What makes you unique and sets you apart from your competitors? What stories can you share to showcase your expertise?
2. Charge a higher fee due to increased perceived value
It’s a well-known fact that experts and specialists are able to charge a higher premium for their services because of the perceived value.
When I first started the career coaching arm of my business some 15 years ago and compare it to where I am now, through building my brand and positioning myself as an expert I have been able to increase my fees by over 12000%. I would never have been able to achieve this if I had a weak and incoherent brand message.
Q: What’s the value you offer clients? What solutions can you offer them to help them overcome their issues and problems? Are you writing about this convincingly in your marketing materials?
3. Create a powerful, clear and consistent message
Having a clear understanding of your brand and your brand message will ensure that everything you write, including your articles, blog posts and social media messages continues to portray a clear and consistent message.
When planning my content I know the topics I write/speak about (including branding, marketing and mindset) will help service-based business owners in getting noticed, hired and paid what they’re worth. This is a consistent message that I continue to share with my community therefore building my reputation as an expert in my field.
Q: What are the topics you are an expert in? Do these topics relate to one target market? Is your target market interested in this topic? How frequently will you connect with your audience?
4. Attract your ideal client
A strong brand and brand message will enable you to attract and speak directly to the needs of your ideal clients. It’s vital you understand the problems and issues your clients are experiencing and demonstrate that you have the solutions to support your clients in overcoming these problems once and for all.
My ideal clients are service-based businesses that have amazing value to offer their clients however continue to struggle with generating the level of income they desire. My clients can see that I provide a solution to their issues in my article/blog posts and videos/podcasts and when they’re ready to take action and generate the level of income they desire they know where to find me.
Q: Are your communications attracting your ideal client? If not, is your message focused on the needs of your target market? Are you explaining the benefits and results your clients will achieve through investing in you?
5. Create a unique brand that is difficult to copy
While your competitors may try to emulate what you are doing, it will be difficult to maintain because an authentic brand is one that is unique to you and very difficult to copy and maintain in a believable manner.
Q: What makes you unique? What qualities and characteristics do you possess that have enabled you to generate amazing outcomes and can become your promise of value to prospects? Remember, these things are unique to you and will become an important element in building a strong brand.
To start building a powerful and authentic brand, ensure you identify your unique qualities and strengths; communicate a clear and consistent message that speaks to the needs of your ideal client; and continue to showcase the value and benefits your clients will achieve through investing in you.
If you would like to define and build a strong client capturing brand check out our Unearth Your Brilliance Branding Program, or keep an eye out for our upcoming ‘Business & Money Mindset Breakthrough’ Coaching program.
Terrific post with information any entrepreneur can run with!
I found a few valuable tidbits too…
Thank you for your strong mission of quality,
Glad you found this helpful Keri!
Just caught this great article Annemarie. I love your point about attracting the ideal client with your brand. So long as you’ve spent the time to clearly define your target market and ideal client, you can then design your brand all around what appeals to them and the needs you fill. Unfortunately, no everyone has as clear an understanding of their target market as they should. Sounds like you have yours nailed!
Thanks Sharyn, appreciate your comments. Yes, this is certainly an area that entrepreneurs struggle with! Once they have defined it though, their business can sky rocket because everything they do is so focused, and on-purpose!
great post thanks a lot for this great article
Another great article! I can always count on learning something valuable in your posts, Annemarie. Thanks!
Thanks Cyndee – glad you are enjoying the articles and finding them helpful!