Not to oversimplify, but branding is simply having a cohesive look and a cohesive message. Put another way, it’s the packaging and communicating of what you do, whom you serve and how you stand out from the crowd in a way that sticks in the mind of your ideal client. You want your audience to remember you, right? Branding is a way to help achieve that recognition.
The benefits to branding are numerous.
- It enhances your professional presence
- It provides a “snapshot” of your services to clients
- Boosts your revenue
- Helps you define your professional direction
- Helps you stay focused and “on message”
Here is the basic information you need to help you brand your company:
- Your vision/mission
- Clearly defined niche
- Your target audience/ideal client
- The solutions your offer
- The uniqueness/strengths of your services that differentiates you from others
If you’re not clear on the above, you will have a difficult time creating an image or message that is cohesive and will attract people to you.
William Arruda, brand expert extraordinaire, says that an effective personal brand should have the following characteristics:
The Secrets of Successful Personal Branding
- Correct. A successful brand reflects the personal attributes, or qualities, of its creator.
- Concise. The brand can be captured in one or two sentences describing its creator’s unique promise of value.
- Clear. It’s sure about what it is—and what it is not.
- Consistent. Its promise of value to customers, managers, peers, etc. never changes.
- Constant. It’s always visible and accessible.
- Compelling. It’s appropriate, interesting, and relevant to its creator’s target audience.
- Clever. It’s highly differentiated and unique. It sparks intrigue among its target market and separates its creator from others with similar skills and abilities.
- Connected. Its creator participates in the appropriate communities and is part of a strong network of partners, colleagues, and customers.
- Committed. Its creator is “in it for the long haul.”
- Current. It’s based in today—with room to evolve tomorrow.
Gary Wood, MCC, director at Christian Coaches Network reminds us, “We are God’s brand. In the midst of building our businesses and casting an image of ourselves and our company to the public we do well to be reminded that we have already been branded by another. We carry God’s brand into all we do and as such we operate our businesses in a way that is reflective of Him.”
So what’s your personal brand? Begin to visualize your business and what you hope it to accomplish through your coaching services. Then answer these questions.
- Your vision. Example: “My vision is for women to be able to coach themselves through limiting thoughts.”
- Identify at least one niche area: relationship, wellness, leadership coaching, etc.
- Identify at least one target audience: women, men, leaders, overweight people. Example: “My target audience is women residing in the US who want help overcoming internal negative messages and behaviors that no longer serve them.”
- What solution do you offer? Example: “I offer a step by step process for uncovering and resolving mental and emotional roadblocks.”
- List of uniqueness/strengths you bring to the table. Example: “Ingenuity, uniqueness, methodical, philosophical.” These strengths will be inherently reflected in everything about your business–from the designs you choose and the products you offer.
Once you’ve gained clarity on the above, it will be easier to determine the following:
- A company name
- Colors and fonts
- Your initial marketing message that relates the value a client will receive.
- A consistent look (colors, designs, fonts) in all your marketing materials (stationary, business cards, thank you notes, e-mail templates, client welcome kit, brochures, etc.)
- Your voice mail message
- Your Web site
Happy branding! For more help on clarifying your brand or starting your coaching business, visit www.coachingshift.com or www.marketinghelpforchristiancoaches.com. November 17 is the kickoff of our new business building program, Building from the Foundation UP. It’s the perfect, affordable resource for new coaches who are struggling to launch their coaching businesses.