Happy Thursday! As we start our journey into online content, branding and social media, there are a lot of questions that you’ll likely want answered, but before you can utilize these answers to your best benefit, there’s one you need to answer for yourself and that is: Who Am I as a Brand?
I asked this question at a recent PB Protege presentation and it led to a 45-minute discussion with a small group of incredibly talented professionals who knew how to identify their companies in terms of job description, but had a lot of trouble moving beyond industry keywords. It’s easy to see why this posed a serious problem; if a business owner doesn’t truly understand who they are as a brand, how can they have the confidence to go out and sell it effectively? You can be the most talented artists in the market and offer the highest quality products and services, but if you don’t fully know and respect your own brand, you risk sending an unintentional message (and serious embarrassments) that can absolutely impact your ROI and your reputation. What most people don’t understand is that there is a big difference between identifying your brand and marketing it and you can’t do the second effectively without taking that first step. Today, I want to help you do that by challenging you to go beyond your basic tagline (i.e, “I am a florist that offers unique designs”) by asking few questions to help you get you going. Take some time to answer them in your social media notes notebook (you have one, right?) and revisit them over the next few days until you’re comfortable with and confident in your answers.
What is our mission/ purpose? Share this in three lines or less.
Who is our preferred client? Be as specific as possible, down to unique personality traits, preferred social media platforms, income, etc.
How do we connect with our clients currently? How effective is this? Be honest with yourself about this one. If it’s ineffective, say so.
What exactly is our expertise? How do you do this differently than everyone else?
How worthwhile is our product? Think about your ideal client and your competitors. How does your product and services compare?
What is our current reputation in the industry?
What are our three areas of opportunity?
Why is our specific brand essential to the marketplace?
What are five words that truly define our brand?
What are five “industry buzz words” that I do not want associated with my brand?
Really challenge yourself by responding “So what! What else?” to the first few responses. The more you push yourself to truly dive into your values, your talents, your true essence as a brand, the better equipped you will be to represent it in its most authentic form. See it more intimately than simply something you have created and are in the process of building and you won’t be just another florist showcasing “unique” flowers or another planner with pretty “tablescapes”, you will be an innovative artists who creates their own space in the market and welcomes the right clients and followers into this space.
Brenda Della Casa is the editor-in-chief and social media strategist for Preston Bailey Designs.
Photo by Lauren Cosenza for Sky Gibson post on DIVAlicious.Nyc