A lot of people think that a brand is colors…logos….fonts…a fancy website…
Pretty much all of the aesthetic things that make it look “pretty”.
While the visual identity of a brand is important, focusing on that first, is like putting the cart before the horse.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve likely heard me say…
and this is a perfect example.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen creative entrepreneurs, paralyzed in perfection, just waiting to launch their product until their “branding” is dialed in.
Whether it’s an online course, coaching program, or even releasing a new song, I see countless creators using excuses like “I need a better website.” or “I need to get new pictures taken”... “I need to have the perfect fonts/colors”
… this is bullshit, this is an excuse, this is wrong. Let me explain.
Your brand, at its core, is your reputation.
It’s how people feel when they hear your name.
It’s the emotion that is evoked from your audience when you open your mouth to speak.
It’s the trust you build with your people, with your soul tribe, because you are in integrity.
Because you are authentic.
Because you do what you say, and you say what you do.
It’s your expertise, it’s your ideas, it’s your personality.
It’s the stories you tell.
The metaphors you use.
The pop culture references you make.
The style in which you deliver your content.
Are you serious?
Are you vulnerable?
Are you funny?
None of these are right or wrong, just examples of what makes you stand out above the noise.
Speaking of standing out…
That’s exactly what a brand does for you.
We are living in a world of endless information, where people are drowning in a sea of “how to” content spewed by “experts” and “gurus”and more and more people are stepping onto the scene everyday with their new information product.
So maybe you’ve caught yourself saying, “man, I really want to make a course, or start a coaching program, but the industry is sooooo saturated!” - And you’re not wrong. It is saturated.
But, this is why it’s so important to build your brand, and not just try and sell courses, coaching, or any product for that matter.
Your brand is what makes people come to YOU specifically.
So HOW do we build our brands?
It’s simple.You have to know your intention.
Why do you do what you do?
Who are you called to serve?
Why is that important to you?
Teddy Roosevelt said “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”. It’s true.
When I started Produce Like a Boss, I could have easily been discouraged by the thousands of music production brands out there, with their large audiences, huge facebook groups, and booming youtube channels.
I mean who was I to compete with Berklee?
But if I had paid attention to that I never would have started.
So, instead of drowning in imposter syndrome, I decided to share my story.
I started by telling people that learning how to produce was super complicated and frustrating for me because I am one of the least tech savvy people you’d ever meet.
I also shared how many of my mentors said I wasn’t a “real producer” because I didn’t have a fancy home studio.
Trust me, I didn’t say these things to earn any clout, I was just being me!
Now, to be honest, I didn’t know at the time that this was building my brand, or that this was good copywriting or storytelling…
…I just knew I had to speak my truth.
And it turned out that my vulnerability and honesty was very relatable. It made people say “Holy smokes, she’s talking to me!”
So to build your brand, you must get very clear on your WHY and your message.
While this is simple, it is not easy.
In fact, the more I expand as I’m developing my personal brand, the deeper I dive. I’m talking countless hours of journaling, writing, asking myself really meaningful questions, all of it.
This inner work has brought me to tears, in a good way!
There’s nothing like sitting down and putting pen to paper to express your authentic, true self.
Not the self you think people want to see, or the self you think will make people accept you or want to buy from you. All of that is an illusion.
I’m talking about your true self.
The self that unapologetically speaks their truth, shows up in service, and breaks themselves open in a way that gives others permission to do the same.
They say entrepreneurship is the best personal development tool, which would make sense that I have found my identity in this. I mean, I am a personal growth junkie, so of course I’d become a serial entrepreneur!
Ok so let’s recap what it means to build a brand.
1. Branding is your reputation - which is a combination of your personality, purpose, values, expertise, vibe, and creations.
2. Your visual brand identity are the visual components to your brand, i.e. logos, fonts, colors, websites, pictures, etc.
3. Get clear on your WHY and your MESSAGE before focusing on your visual identity.
Because it is only once you know who you are and who you actually serve that you will have the clarity to know how to represent that visually.
If you’d like a guide on how to get clear on your brand messaging, I’ve created a worksheet for you which you can find download here:
Answering these questions will help you to identify who you are, what you stand for, and help you to identify what makes you unique.
Take as much time as you need! If you feel “chill bumps” or “tears” you’re on the right path!