You know that moment when you see things in your business for exactly what they are? When everything lines up for you and you understand JUST how things work? When you really GET something? When all of the sudden it occurs to you that you’ve been after the wrong customers, or messaging from the wrong angle, or branding yourself entirely the wrong way?
When you say, “A-ha! OMG! Eureka!” and you smack yourself on the forehead?
You know when you have those moments of clarity about your business?
You shouldn’t be having them.
Call me blasphemous, call me a stick-in-the-mud, call me a cynic. But clarity in your business should be an all-the-time kind of thing. If you want to succeed in business – and I mean really rock it – you need days, weeks, years of clarity. You need to LIVE in a place of clarity.
In every moment you should be able to ask yourself, “How is what I’m doing in this moment serving my ultimate goals (long or short-term)?”
“That’s crazy!” you say. “Who can be clear all the time?”
Business owners who strategize and then follow their strategies. That’s who. They can be clear just about all the time.
Now, I’m not saying you’ll never be faced with a problem that has no readily apparent solution. Or that you’ll never, as we say in marketing, “Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes,” or “Throw it against the wall and see what sticks.” After all, business is life and each of us – if we’re truly workin’ it – makes a lot of decisions in a day. Sometimes we’ve gotta shoot from the hip.
So I’m not talking about knowing exactly what to do in every moment.
I’m talking about knowing WHY you’re doing what you do in every moment.
And you can call me crazy, but I promise you that having a seriously well-developed brand will get you a long way toward that end.
“Oh, sure,” you say. “Having a great logo is going to give me clear direction? Being consistent with my fonts is going to provide me with clarity about how to succeed?”
Not. At. All.
Logos and fonts will not help you have even a single moment of clarity. But logos and fonts do NOT make a brand.
And if you learn anything from me here on this blog, or in my webinars or in my online courses, this is the thing I hope you’ll learn:
Branding is not about logos, colors and fonts.
Branding is about the way you make people feel.
Because people who FEEL good about you and your company buy things from you.
And the way you make people FEEL is deliberate.
Now, here’s the part where you call me inauthentic. You say that feelings can’t be genuine if they’re manufactured.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Step away from your role as a brander for a moment, and step into your role as a parent or a boss. Imagine that you’re going to have a conversation with someone. Imagine it’s going to be unpleasant – that you have to address a change you’d like to see. That you’re going to have to give tough feedback, but you want your child (or your employee) to know that you truly care, that you have his best interest in mind, that you’ll be there for him through the change, that you’re not angry.
How would you manage this?
You’d think carefully – in advance – about every word you were going to say. You’d take your son’s personality and fears and hopes and dreams into account. You’d get advice. You might even practice. You’d strategize the conversation before you ever had it.
Does that make it disingenuous? Does that make in inauthentic? Absolutely not.
In fact, the idea that you would consciously choose your words to maintain connection means that you’re fully committed to the relationship.
Let’s move back to your business.
Your brand is an ongoing conversation with the world.
The visual aspects of your brand are only one very small component of that conversation. Your brand also takes a position in terms of price. It takes a position in terms of quality. It takes a position in relation to the other players in the market. Your brand makes promises. It has values. It’s driven by a long-term vision. And when you take all of those things into account, you develop messaging for the brand in a super strategic way. You decide what you’ll say, to whom, in what tone and in what setting long before you say it. And even more importantly, your brand strategy should determine how your business behaves – in every single interaction, in person and online.
Your brand should drive what you do. All day, every day.
I find that small business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs make the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to branding. And every single one of those mistakes comes from a misunderstanding about what a brand really is. Business owners underestimate the process. They underestimate the power and importance of branding.
If you’re relying on moments of clarity – or if you feel wholly relieved or motivated when one occurs – it’s time to step back and start again. It’s time to get strategic.
And if you want to learn more about what mistakes you may be making, and how to follow a strategic formula that attracts clients and leads to sales, then join me for my free webinar: 7 Brand Mistakes that Cost You Clients – The Flub-Proof Formula for Brands that Convert.
I’ll take you step-by-step through the branding process.
Moments of clarity in business are overrated.
Every-day clarity? That’s where it’s at, my friend.