How Defining Your Brand Can Make Marketing Easier
by Tammi Heals from Shadowcat Creative
Do you ever feel like marketing your business is a chore?
That feeling when everyone else is releasing a new blog, Instagram live, freebie, podcast, group or download every five minutes when you’re sat there trying to conjure up the words for Friday Facebook post with a slightly squinting selfie?
Well, spoilers – it doesn’t have to be this way.
And even more, the secret is something you already have – your brand.
So how do you harness the power of this Brand that you already own?
Well, let’s start with defining what brand and marketing actually are.
Your brand is every single touchpoint from your business that a potential customer or collaborator comes into contact with.
It’s your website, your social feeds, your google results, your face, voice and words at networking events. Every. Single. Thing.
Your marketing is communicating your business to the world, it’s your presence and your voice. Without marketing no one will know that your business exists.
By tuning into your brand and aligning your marketing to it, it makes everything feel easier.
Let’s break this down so you can see how this works.
Knowing why your business exists is a great, if not essential, start to defining your brand. When you fully embrace and channel the reason you do what you do, you can start to use that to create all sorts of goals.
For example, if your business purpose is to educate families on their environmental impact to raise a more enlightened next generation – then your goal could be to inspire X number of families to make a change in the next year.
How does this help with marketing?
Well, if you want to inspire X number of families to make one change, then by posting content around the changes they can make, the impact that has and ways they can adapt their lifestyle is a great place to start. By choosing eco-friendly communication channels like your website to host videos, you are leading by example. Channelling your why to influence your content means you already have a clear idea of WHY you are marketing your business – to achieve that goal you have set.
Your Brand Values
You know why your business exists, next up is deciding what values you hold at your core to facilitate the way you exist. These aren’t simply words you choose that sound like something your customer wants to hear, but principles and beliefs that shape the way you do business. They should influence your policies, your customer experience and the way to communicate with your audience.
For example, if you are a business coach who wants to break down the hustle culture to help women feel empowered in their business without burnout – your values could be transparency, education and balance.
How does this translate to marketing?
By weaving your values into what you say and how you say it, you are attracting customers who also value the same. By working with like-minded people, you will naturally feel more connected and hey, we all love to work with people who share what is important to us.
In the case of our business coach, by creating content that addresses the topics that are often left unsaid and sharing open opinions on the subject, that value of transparency is being shown in action. So much better than saying ‘here at X we believe in transparency’.
Choosing platforms or formats that help articulate your value is also key. If you want to be viewed as open, honest and no-fluff – use video and make eye contact with your audience through that camera lens. Value Education? Then understand that people learn in different ways and then offer content in written, video and even audio.
Show don’t tell is key when using your values for marketing purposes.
Your Visual Identity
This includes your logo, colour palette, photo style and subject matter, patterns, themes and more. Having a clear, unique and consistent visual identity that reflects your business, not only makes it easier for your audience to connect with you, but it makes it easier for you too. As humans, our brains don’t like surprises when it comes to money so being wildly inconsistent with how your business looks will start those alarm bells ringing and make wallets snap shut everywhere you go.
How does this translate to marketing?
By having a visual style that is consistent wherever your business is, builds trust with your audience through brand recognition. For you as a business owner, it means you don’t have to spend hours working out what something will look like. Instead, you know your colours, image and graphic style and can whip up a piece of visual content in half the time. No more stressing over which green is right – using your brand colours solves the problem. Don’t know which image to choose? Check in with your overall visual feel and it will make the decision for you.
Defining your visual style takes the guesswork out of the creation process. To make it even easier, consider investing in some branded templates for your key platforms.
Your Brand Messaging
Your brand messaging is the key talking points you use again and again to communicate your business values to achieve your why (see how this all works together!). Your tone of voice can fit in here too. Not only do you then have a consistent set of messages, but you have a consistent way of saying them.
How does this help with marketing?
Having writers block is no longer limited to the caffeine fuelled authors hunched over typewriters of yesteryear. Now thanks to the joy of being a business owner, you too can find that words disappear when you need them most.
Being clear on your brand messaging gives you prompts and even the specific words you need to connect with our audience in a way that supports your overall purpose AND makes them feel safe to invest their money in you.
By using your tone of voice, you humanise your brand as one individual to another (ie you to your potential customer).
Even if you have no marketing strategy, keeping your messaging consistent will make it feel like you do. You will never run out of things to say.
Your Marketing Platforms
Yes these are part of your brand too – remember from way back in paragraph one, your brand is EVERY TOUCHPOINT. This includes the channels you choose to promote your business through.
How does this make marketing easier?
By choosing the platforms you enjoy being on, you will show up for your audience with all that fiery energy they need to feel from you.
If, for example, you choose to use Facebook and know that you secretly hate it – what are the chances that it will be left by the wayside the minute you are busy with something else? And how does that serve your audience? Well – it doesn’t.
BUT if, for example, you love writing about what you do/offer, then a blog may be perfect because you are more likely to show up consistently with the right energy because you enjoy hanging out there.
Choosing the channels that work for you as a business owner that effectively communicate your values, means you can spend less time on areas you feel resistance in. Instead, you can focus your energy where you enjoy showing up and your audience will respond to that.
There are so many more aspects to your brand that can make your marketing, and business on the whole, feel more enjoyable and be profitable, but I hope this gives you a taster of where to start.
Did you notice the key words popping out in this post: connection, consistency, YOU.
Your brand is the foundation for every connection with your audience. Consistency takes the guesswork out of everything. Choosing what works for you is the way to unlock both connection and consistency for the benefit of both you and your audience.
Make it easy for yourself by understanding your business, paying your brand a little attention and choosing the way you want to show up and you’ll soon see that translate into leads, clients and sales.
Tammi is a Personal Brand + Marketing Consultant over at Shadowcat Creative, where she helps service-based business owners define their brand and build their business their way to achieve success.
Tammi hosts The Brand Lounge podcast – check out episode one Brand vs Marketing for more like this blog post. Available on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts (the-brand-lounge.captivate.fm)