The Key to Kick Butt Branding

Kristen Domingue (Business Heroine Magazine)

I just got off the phone with one of my new clients. She is a health coach, and she is also a social worker. She’s AMAZING at loving people; at absolutely caring that they get well and stay well. She’s not afraid of people with severe mental illnesses. And she can navigate the system to help them get their needs met like a pro.

We just started together and I gave her today’s assignments:

1. Go get 10 people to complete your survey about what’s unique about you.
2. Complete your Brand Clarity guide so we can get a sense of who you are, your desires, and what you are excellent at.

I explained how each of these things worked, how to collect the data and what she needs to do to get the most and the best quality responses. At the end, we had a few more minutes left and we did some general Q + A. She asked some great questions.

In particular, she wanted to know about marketing, networking and how she should pick her niche. She had an idea about people she could serve and wondered if I thought it would be the right fit for her.
And it hit me.

She wanted to know what strategy would get her brand out there before she was clear about what her brand is. She was on the right track thinking about her niche, but the right market for you as a personal brand will only become apparent when you know who you are. (Like REALLY know.)

I explained to her that it would make more sense to figure out who she is first i.e., what special gifts she already brings to the table without even thinking about it. Then figure out who can benefit most from these gifts and who she enjoys being around. I explained that I’d rather set her up with a market where she can just show up and be herself and have people get value just from her presence.

Because the other option is to have her pick a market now, contort herself to fit who she thinks she should serve and what they want, only to be burned out on working with those people later.

“Oh – so like a ‘needs assessment’?” she asked.
“Exactly,” I said.

While this is a subtle difference, it’s a major game changer for all of my clients.
There are 3 major components to the development of your personal brand.

We are currently creating her Brand Clarity.
This is about:

▪ Who you are
▪ What you want
▪ What makes you different
▪ How people see you
(Notice how this is ALL about YOU.)

The next step is what I call Brand Alignment.
This is about:

▪ Your market
▪ What they want
▪ What their hopes and dreams are
▪ How they perceive their problem
▪ How they want to solve their problem
▪ How they want to receive what you’ve got
(Notice how this is all about THEM.)

The final piece of the puzzle is Brand Strategy.
This is about the marketing activities you do to get your brand out there:

▪ Blogging/vlogging
▪ Networking
▪ Branded live events and talks
▪ Your promo/marketing calendar
▪ Your content/editorial calendar
(Notice again, that this is also about YOU, and what YOU do.)

It’s SO easy to go from Brand Clarity to Brand Strategy. Most branding experts will only do one or the other – brand clarity (biz development) or brand strategy (marketing).

But without Brand Alignment we are still missing a crucial piece of the puzzle: the people who buy our stuff. When we skip Brand Alignment, we make the mistake of  alienating the people who can pay for our services because we’ve built a brand that’s all about us and what we love (and maybe a few people who want what we’ve got.)

Brand Alignment is all about Contribution.  It’s putting 100% of your attention on understanding someone else’s dreams and problems from their point of view.  It’s about understanding their hopes so well that you want it as much as they do.  It’s about magnifying them in your mind to the point of dwarfing your fears about putting yourself totally out there to set them free.  You know when you’ve hit it because fears about what people think about you pale in comparison to your unshakable belief about the difference you can make for people.  You are driven to make a difference for your tribe.

When you’ve found your tribe, you’ve got a brand that is in alignment with who you and where you can make a difference.

And your Brand Strategy becomes exponentially more effective. Tracking your conversions, knowing how to network, market, where to give talks, whether or not you should write an e-book, etc., will become 10 times easier.

For now – I’m curious, what have you found that works for you when it comes to creating Brand Clarity?

What tools have you used, books have you read, quizzes have you taken? I’d love to be able to share more tools about brand clarity with the ignite! community.



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