If you ask 10 different people on what the definition of “branding" is, you’ll probably get 10 different answers.
Today, I’m going to share with you my philosophy on branding and why it’s essential not only in your biz but overall life.
What is branding?
- core beliefs and values.
- personality and unique traits.
- tone and voice - the way you say things and what you say.
- friends - the people you choose to surround yourself with.
- messaging, copy, and taglines.
- color and font palette.
- visual elements like graphics and illustrated elements.
- homepage, social media, and everywhere else you exist online.
- past, present, and future. dreams, goals, fears, and all.
In short, it’s everything about you and your audience.
Everything you are, say, or do either supports your brand or takes away from it.
It should help your people (clients, customers, community) understand you, what you offer, and why they should choose you over someone else.
If you’ve ever walked down a grocery store aisle, you know how many brands and companies out there make the same product.
So, how do you choose one?
There’s often more than one factor that sways our decision, but here are a few common factors involved in every decision:
- word-of-mouth (from friends, family, people online)
- social proof
If you’re a one-woman show (or even if you’re not), your brand is constantly evolving, because you are constantly evolving.
So it’s okay if it’s not perfect.
Branding helps build the bridge between you and your people.
It’s how you show people that you’re committed and this isn’t just some one week hobby where they’ll never see or hear from you again.
Show them that you’ve put time, energy, and intention into this.
It’s how you communicate with others -
- what they can expect from you,
- where they can hear from you (social, email, blog, etc.), and
- why you’re doing it (your story makes you, you).
The truth is, there’s a lot of noise out there and a lot of short attention spans. So how do you capture and keep someone’s attention? By showing them you’re worth paying attention to - by helping them make their lives better.
It’s a big world out there, so how can you set yourself apart from everyone else?
The short answer is through branding.
But I’ve never been one for short answers.
So here’s the longer version:
- in alignment, because it will shine through.
- transparent, because people appreciate the truth.
- vulnerable, and that’s how deeper connection is built.
- yourself, because there’s no one quite like you.
- your story and what you believe in.
- your core values and what you support.
- your past, because we’ve all gone through some kind of hardship.
- your personality, because “like attracts like”, right?
- what feels good to you.
- the things that make sense to you.
- the inner work and asking yourself the hard Q’s.
- whatever it is you need to do to grow.
All of the things I’ve mentioned above will help you grow your brand.
Because when you understand yourself and why it’s so important to do what you do, you start to show up for others in a bigger and more impactful way.
How does your brand make people FEEL?
Okay, let’s talk about feelings. Because I’m totally a feelings kind of person.
And if you’re here reading this, I’m pretty sure you’re one too.
I mean… you are reading this on a site called Wholehearted Woman, after all.
When people look at and interact with your brand, how do they feel?
Is it a good or bad feeling? A feeling they want more or less of?
Have you ever talked to someone who made you feel really good about yourself? Confident, like you can conquer anything.
And when you talk to someone else, you have a completely different experience. You walk away feeling discouraged and doubtful about yourself.
brands are like people.
Every brand has its own personality.
Some brands are more soft-spoken, but they make you want to look twice because you’re intrigued. While others seem to feel more sociable and charismatic.
And we’re all attracted to a certain type of person.
Some people are more drawn to words like… intuitive, feminine, authentic, soulful. (Hey, that's us!) While others are more drawn to words like.. bold, powerful, daring, impactful.
It’s exactly why when introverts see that someone else is also an introvert, that’s the first thing they mention.
Because that’s who they connect to and resonate with the most.
What’s your brand personality, and how can you communicate that in your branding?
Remember, your brand doesn’t have to be or look like every other brand out there. Those brands already exist.
It’s time to think about what makes your brand unique, and branding is an awesome non-ending opportunity to do just that.
There are many ways to communicate with others, but here are the two main ways:
1. Words -
This blog post you’re reading right up is made up of many words. How are you feeling? Inspired? Bored out of your mind?
Either way, words have the power to make you feel something, which is why it’s so important to use your voice and infuse your personality into it. Is it going to resonate with everyone? Probably not. But, it is going to attract the right people who want to hear your message and work with you.
Fun fact: You don’t have to be a wordsmith to use your voice.
2. Visuals -
I don’t think I need to tell you how important visuals are. I mean, that’s why Instagram is so successful, isn’t it? Because we loveeee looking at pretty pictures. I know I do.
It’s aspirational - it’s what you want for yourself / your own life.
The thing with visuals is that it can either help you or harm you.
Can it actually harm you and your brand? Yes, it can. Or maybe not. I’ll let you decide on this one, but let's be honest, we've all judged a book by its cover before.
Here’s the thing:
People are constantly making first impressions on how we present ourselves.
As someone is scrolling through your website and Instagram feed now, they’re telling themselves a story.
Maybe it’s a story of how they want to learn everything there is to know about you, or maybe it’s a story of how they can find someone else.
Whether it’s through words, visuals, video, audio, or some other form of media, you want to make sure it represents who you are, how you feel, what you do, and how you can help them make their lives better.
So ask yourself if the messages you want to send and the feelings you want to evoke are coming across in your branding.
By the way, I’m launching a design shop for soulful, creative women.
If you have a personal brand and you’re a content creator, service provider (photographer, coach, consultant, etc.), influencer, blogger, etc., then this is for you.
Look, I don’t know everything that there is to know about branding. And I’m not going to pretend I do, because that’s not my gig and I don't.
But I do know that branding is about providing a good experience for other people and helping them feel good about themselves. So I just wanted to share with you on what I know about branding and building a meaningful relationship with the people who choose you.
Hi there! I'm Molly, the founder of Wholehearted Woman.
Be the person you needed when you were younger and share your story, because you're the one who someone else needs today.