The 3 Biggest Branding Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)
You know that branding is an important element of your business that positions you for success. You know that it’s through your brand that you can stand out online and show up as an expert. What you might not know is there are three very common branding mistakes that businesses make that could be holding you back from a spectacular brand.
A brand is your reputation as it’s perceived in the mind of the market.
Yep, it lives in your ideal client's MIND. That means you already have one, but whether it’s the one you want or not is the question.
You control and shape your brand through your marketing, which is every interaction someone has with you, your company, your products, your people and your content. These are brand touchpoints.
And that marketing? It needs to be communicating your brand message - the words and feelings that set you apart.
So now that we’re on the same page with some that terminology, let’s dive into the 3 Biggest Branding Mistakes - and how you can avoid them.
Thinking Your Ideal Client Avatar is Enough
Ok, we all know that we need to understand our ideal client or target market, right? And you’ve probably heard every business coach out there encouraging you to define your ideal client avatar (ICA), which might look something like this:
“My ideal client’s name is Mary. She’s a married mother of two kids under the age of 5 and a golden retriever. Mary lives in a Chicago suburb, drives a Lexus, and has a secret obsession with the Target dollar bin. Between play dates and pilates classes, Mary tries to keep up with her book review blog, and she’s tired of not having any time for herself.”
Do you know WHY you’re encouraged to have an ICA?
When you’re creating content, you want to imagine that you’re speaking to ONE person. So I totally get why so many people encourage us to paint this picture of our ICA like Mary. It gives you a vision of a single person that you can talk to so that your content is more Relatable.
The problem is…
It doesn’t tell you how to actually talk TO your ideal client.
There is so much more you need to understand about your ideal client so that you can attract your DREAMIEST clients. You need to understand the very specific pains, problems, and struggles she’s having. You need to dive deep into the results, benefits, and transformation that she’s after (even deeper than what she can articulate for herself). You need to know what she values - and your dreamiest clients value the same things you do.
So don’t stop at the ICA. Make sure you know what matters most to her.
Starting With Your Tag Line
I get asked a lot: “What do you think of my tagline?”
The truth is, I have ZERO opinion of your tagline. Not a good opinion. Not a bad opinion. ZERO opinion.
Why? Because your tagline (or what we call your Brand Position) is the most one-of-a-kind element of your message and it has big shoes to fill.
It is meant to represent and embody EVERYTHING you stand for...in just 3-5 words.
People have really short attention spans, and you need to give them something that is really easy to remember. It needs to tell them the ONE BIG THING you do and is boiled down from everything you know your message represents.
In my process of creating your messaging foundation, Brand Position is step 5 of 7. That means it comes near the end. So if you start with your tagline, you’re doing it backward.
Do the work to dive deep into what makes you Relatable and One-of-a-kind to your audience, and from that, you’ll be able to create a truly compelling tagline.
Not Being Focused Enough
This one admittedly makes most people very uncomfortable. (Multi-passionate entrepreneurs, hear me out.)
It is HARD WORK building a business and being known as an expert to your market. It takes time, money, and energy to establish and maintain that expertise. When you try and do too much, it makes that work even harder.
No doubt you’ve heard the phrase “Jack (or Jill) of all trades. Master of none.”
If you want to be the MASTER, you need to focus. You cannot be all things to all people. When you do...your message gets diluted and it’s not powerful. And that makes it harder for people to actually remember you as someone they want help from.
Imagine that you’re sick. If you have some mild symptoms you’re probably fine going to your general practitioner. Quick, easy, get a prescription, and you’re on your way.
But now imagine you’re REALLY sick. You’re probably scared. You want to get better NOW. And you want a specialist who deals with this day in and day out and knows all the best ways to heal you. You don’t have time to waste with someone who hasn’t seen this problem in years. You want an expert. (Ok, now let’s let go of the vision of being sick and think only happy healthy thoughts!)
This is what your clients want, too. When they are tired of the problem they’re having that is keeping them up at night...the problem that YOU can help them solve...they are going to seek out an expert. A specialist. A MASTER. Be the master for them.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can never do other things. (Multi-passionate entrepreneurs...stay with me!) You’ll be able to expand your current brand or start other brands over time. But especially when you’re starting out, focus your time, money, and energy into the one thing you want to be known for, and go all in. OWN IT. Stake your claim.
This will allow you to build your reputation (your brand) more quickly and easily, attracting those amazing clients, and setting your business off on strong footing.
Because what it all comes down to is standing out in the market and getting your message heard. It’s easier than ever to start a business, which means there is a lot of competition out there. (Psst. Competition is not a bad thing. It means there’s a market for what you do.)
But when you’re clear about who your ideal client is, focused on what you can do for them, have all the elements of your messaging in place to make it easy for you to create compelling content… you not only stand out...you not only get heard...but you Make Your Message ROAR®.
About The Author >>
Meet Karie Price
Karie Price is a Brand Messaging Coach helping ambitious service-based business owners find and own the words to stand out, be heard, and Make Your Message ROAR®. With more than 20 years of experience in branding and business analysis, she guides her clients to uncover and master their Relatable, One-of-a-kind, Actionable, and Reliable message, so that they can boldly and confidently own their place in their market.
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Now that you know how to avoid making these common mistakes in yoru brand, you can start to tackle the design part! And if you're timid about creating your brand, I have created a handy checklist for you so you don't miss a thing! All in the spirit of creating a cohesive brand, babes!
I’m Alex, the Branding Coach + lady behind LCC. I’m so glad you’re here. Settle in, get comfy, and get ready to learn some serious biz tips from top biz babes from around the world! Learn more…