Personally, I hate flinging the word “branding” around. I think it gets flung around way too often by people who really don’t understand the concept well enough to do the flinging. That may sound truly odd coming from someone who calls herself a Brand Coach, but it’s truly true!
The thing that drives me crazy about my job is the fact that most people don’t understand branding or know what a brand is. So here I am, on a silver platter, ready to educate you, kind bloggers on why you absolutely should care!
Let’s get down to basics.
What is a Brand?
A brand is a really hard thing to define. It’s a hot mix between identity and experience. To build an amazing brand means the personality, voice, messaging of a business (or blog!) which then creates a curated emotional experience for your readers. This experience is purposely designed to make your readers feel something, and when they feel something they will begin to grow a lasting connection with you.
To help you wrap your head around a brand, it’s often helpful to think of it like a person. When you first meet a person they make you feel a certain way – comfortable, happy, anxious, wary; they dress a certain way – logo, website, design work; they talk a certain way – accents, repeated words, slang, tone of voice; and they behave a certain way – belief systems, values, experience. This all forms their identity which either makes them memorable or not.
Your brand is the same, except this doesn’t come so naturally and requires you to get strategic with your brand which in turn, will attract your dream readers to your blog.
Why Should You Care?
Your brand is one of your biggest blog assets. When you carve out this amazing identity and personality for you blog you know what sets you apart. You know who you’re targeting. You know what they want to hear. You know what to say to them. It makes marketing a heck of alot easier and it ensures you’re spending your marketing dollars effectively – on those you care about most!
You should also care because a brand executed perfectly means dreamy readers are attracted to your blog. They will remember you. They will care about what you have to say. They’ll recommend you. They’ll love you forever.
Symptoms of a Brand Identity Crisis
So, how can you tell if you have a Brand Identity Crisis? Here are just 6 ways, although there are so many other symptoms!
- You don’t know what makes you special (your niche, your points of difference)
- You struggle with your tone of voice
- You don’t know what to say in blog posts or social media posts
- You don’t have an elevator pitch
- You would prefer to eat soap than explain what your blog is about
- You get super jealous of other bloggers who are just doing AMAZING things
Why is this Stuff so Hard?
As with most things in the shiny business world, you have to be prepared to push through fear and self-doubt.
Is my work good enough to publish live?
Is it good enough for my Dream Reader to read?
This is where fake-it-til-you-make-it kicks in. Also, mantras on fluro pink Post-Its are helpful. Don’t let your negative thoughts get the better of you. Believe that you are there. Believe that if you work hard enough, you’ll get to a place with your brand and blog that you’ll be the envy of other bloggers. Believe that you are worthy, that your message is important and needs to get out there.
How To Solve It
- Start with WHY here.
- Understand what makes you special and different.
- Who are you talking to? In a dream world, who would you just LOVE to read your posts? Who do you want to help? What do they need? What do they want to feel? What do they struggle with?
- Get consistent, with EVERYTHING. Colours, fonts, your writing style, your image style, your brand messaging, your social media posts. Presenting one clear, consistent brand to your Dream Readers will create trust and loyalty over time.