Think back to middle school. Can you remember how you felt?
Whether you struggled with fitting in or with wanting to stand out, those pre-teen years are infamous for identity searching (see: embarrassingly trying to do everything we can to look cool.) Why? Because we don’t really know who we are then.
Then you figured it out (mostly). You grew up and became an entrepreneur. Now, as a business owner, you see your brand going through a period, not unlike the dreaded awkward pre-teen stage.
You’re asking yourself: Should I niche down? How do I pick a niche anyway? What is my brand identity? *angsty screaming* Who even am I?
Take heart. If your future brand could come visit you today, this guide contains the advice and tips your baby brand would need to hear from them.
Your brand identity ultimately encapsulates the way your brand looks and feels. Think of it as your brand’s style, the “packaging” or “outfit” that you wrap your goods or services in. Essentially, it’s comprised of all the little components you pour so much of your heart into, things like:
These elements all work together to leave an impact on your audience, build your credibility, and communicate your unique approach. This perception of your brand is your brand identity.
If you’re afraid of niching down, of rejecting clients who you could possibly serve, of limiting yourself and your resources with a niche brand identity, know this: you’re already on the right path and it’s just going to keep getting clearer all the time. Over time, the fog will lift and what may seem unlikely right now will one day become as clear as day.
Embrace who you are and what you’re already good at.
You already have something to offer. You just need to figure out how to best communicate that. Ask yourself:
Imagine your dream customer.
The clearer the image of your ideal client gets in your head, the easier it will be to find them. Ask yourself:
Make your core messaging super clear and easy to understand.
A good first impression goes a long way. If you resonate with them and what they care about, you’ve already begun to establish your credibility. Your job is to help your dream customer to see why you’re the best choice for them and then continuously build on that trust.
Remember that your brand identity is separate from your own.
Sure, there may be a lot of crossover between you and your brand, but everything YOU love doesn’t need to be a part of your brand. For instance, if your favorite color is hot pink but your dream customer has a modern and minimal sense of style, it would be a good idea to stick to the black and white aesthetic and leave pink out of it.
Most of all…be patient with yourself.
Clarity comes with time. I promise you no brand – in the history of ever – has bloomed overnight.
Change is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
Your brand is evolving at the same rate as you. Your goals and priorities will change, your ideal client will become clearer, and you may decide to pivot or niche down in a new way. Congratulations, you’re evolving!
Listen to your customers and your family members (who might notice things you miss). Are they saying things that help you know which direction is the right one?
Check-in with your gut. Ask yourself: What type of clients light me up? Which ones drain me? What type of work leaves me feeling fulfilled? Which type leaves me with regrets? What part of my service/products do I just love talking about?
In the beginning, you can’t always afford to hire people… but when you’re ready, let the experts do what they’re good at. You’ll be able to move along much more quickly and you can focus on the things you’re great at.
Outdated visuals are going to keep attracting the wrong leads. Updating your visuals (logo, graphics, photography) is one of the best ways to start appealing to and resonating with the right leads. You want photos and visuals that reflect your growing clarity.
If you tried something and failed or quit? No worries! You’re now a data scientist, and you’ve now collected more data that will simply help you get to the next stage in business.
Don’t have to have it all figured out right now? You don’t have to! The Heartfelt Brand Photography Experience is designed to help you gain the clarity you need.
When you book your brand shoot, I promise to:
Lastly, if you feel like your brand identity is strong but you’re still struggling with bookings, the next step may be to revisit your client experience. Check out this blog to audit your client experience!