I’m often asked branding questions from other women in business. A lot of these questions sound something like, “How can I brand myself?” or “How can I get my brand out there?”
Though these questions are valid and essential for success, they really aren’t the first questions you should be asking. If you really want a brand that stands out and attracts a ton of business, stop thinking about your brand and start thinking about the experience you create for your clients, your audience, and your super-fans.
Let me share my personal story to illustrate exactly what I’m talking about.
I started my company in 2001. The first thing I did was create a cash flow forecast and some makeshift version of a business plan. Then I found an office to rent, I hired an assistant, and I spent sleepless nights designing a logo and a website.
On opening day, I was ready. For what, I’m not sure. But with a fancy phone line and swanky logo, I was bound to be a success… Boy, was I wrong.
Within about three months, I laid my assistant off, moved to a closet-sized office, and got another full-time job while I figured out what the heck I was doing wrong.
You see, I thought a brand was representation of my business. I thought it was all about my logo, my fancy office and my website. I thought my brand was me.
But it’s not about me at all. It’s about my audience and the experience I wanted to create for them.
So, I stopped thinking about what my business was supposed to look like and instead explored what it should feel like for my clients.
I want my clients to feel clear and confident. I want my work to simplify their career pursuits so much that they feel confident about actually achieving their wildest dreams. That’s the experience I want to create for every person who reads my blog, connects on Twitter, takes a class, or hires me privately.
For me, it’s all about clarity and confidence.
Once I got clear about the experience I wanted to create, I had to then clarify who I wanted to create this experience for.
I brainstormed what I call my Marketing Magnet: the one person I most want to empower with some serious clarity and confidence mojo.
Here are a few questions to answer in order to clarify your own Marketing Magnet:
- Describe her favorite hobbies.
- What are her biggest fears?
- Who does she admire most?
- Where does she shop?
- What are her deepest dreams?
- How does she define success?
- What skills are her weak spots?
- Describe her communication style.
- What’s her favorite color?
- What five songs dominate her iPod?
The secret to defining your marketing magnet is to avoid over-thinking and allow your heart’s inspiration to guide you.
So, I like to treat my Marketing Magnet brainstorms as creative writing exercises. It’s just a chance to play with and clarify the person I want to impact most (whether she’s real or fictitious).
After I described the experience I wanted to create and clarified precisely who I was creating it for, ‘branding’ myself became a very different experience.
Instead of thinking about me, my message, and my business plan, I thought about her goals. I thought about solving her problems. I thought about speaking her language.
Then, I brainstormed all the ways in which I could create incredible goodwill with men and women out there in the world who match my Marketing Magnet.
The result? Accidental Branding.
No more worrying about my logo, my office, or my messaging. When I knew who I was connecting with, all of that other stuff fell into place automatically. The results have been a fluid brand that makes a massive impact on thousands of people each year, generates more than $700,000 a year in revenue and feels totally fun and authentic to boot!