Solo Entrepreneurs’ Unconventional Guide to Discovering Your Brand: Part 2

Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Branding, Business, Creative | Comments Off on Solo Entrepreneurs’ Unconventional Guide to Discovering Your Brand: Part 2

A page from my Vision BookThe last time we talked about “branding,” I shared with you some new ideas about what it “is” and what it “isn’t.” I find that perhaps the biggest misconception about “branding” is that your logo is your brand. Your logo is part of your visual brand, but your brand is so much more than your logo.

Your brand is the culmination of every, single little interaction your clients have with you. That’s everything. From your visuals all the way to how you answer the phone and the memorable “thank-you notes” you send. Everything matters!

A solid brand takes time to develop. It takes time to find out who you enjoy working with the most and which types of clients cause you grief. It takes time to find out the unique ways you best serve your ideal clients. It takes time to develop the “whole enchilada” of the customer experience you want to provide. It takes time to develop your own “secret sauce.” And once you discover it, you’ll never stop refining it.

However, there is a starting place that doesn’t change – and that’s the core of who you are – your core values and your gifts and talents + the unique way you show up and serve the world. This “core” becomes your guiding light in all forms of your brand. This is your “personal brand.”

I find the more you focus on personal development and finding out how you “roll” in the world, the easier it is to discover your authentic brand and build a business/life you really love.

This is where the “unconventional how-to’s” come in. I’m pretty sure you’re not hearing about these methods from conventional sources.

3 Unconventional Ways to Discover Your Authentic Brand:

1. Vision Boarding – At the beginning of this year, I started a vision book as part of the process outlined in the book “The Right-brained Business Plan” (available on the sidebar or from any big book store). What I discovered was amazing! As a visual, creative person, it was much easier for me to define my core values and my ideal clients through vision boarding.

For those of you unfamiliar with vision boarding, simply cut out inspirational pictures and words from discarded magazines. There is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to your selections. Whatever sings to you. Then you group the visuals together around themes that are important to you. I recommend starting with the things that you’re having difficulty defining in traditional ways – like your core values or your ideal clients.

2. Creative Visualization – I find that creative visualization is a powerful way for me to “get unstuck” and re-focused. “The Right-Brained Business Plan” has a terrific sampling of the power of creative visualization in the visualization exercise. Visit the website and sign-up for the goodies. You can also do a Google search on “creative visualization” and see what it’s all about.

3. Your Brand as a Metaphor – Think of your brand as a metaphor. Then build your brand around that metaphor.

For example, your brand could be like a 3-ring circus and you are the ring master running the show. The circus is fun, exciting, colorful, quirky and off-beat. You can find cotton candy, carnies, strange creatures and games at the circus. The circus moves around a lot and you never know exactly what to expect. Can you envision all the cool things you could do with this metaphor to incorporate it into a brand if it were a fit for you?

That’s all for today. I hope that this article provided you with some fresh insights into branding and how you can discover yours. I plan to share lots more in my latest creation coming out in a few months. If you found this helpful, click here to sign up to get a sneak peek when it’s ready PLUS receive a sweet pre-order discount too.

 

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