5 Reasons Why Your Brand Isn't Working For You and How to Fix it.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
1. You have an amazing idea for a blog or business but you are just starting out so you don't really have the funds to hire a designer so you attempt to DIY.
2. You've had your blog or business for a few years now but you aren't seeing any real growth. This leads to questioning yourself if you should even bother continuing, which results in your passion and motivation to dissipate?
3. You can't make up your mind with your brand elements. Your colour palette changes every week and your logo every month.
4. Or you straight up don't know where to begin or what the heck branding even is.
If any all of the above statements sound familiar than the hard truth is your brand isn't working for you and it's time to reevaluate and find out why.
Below I have 5 reasons why your brand isn't working and how to fix them, so keep on readin'!
1. You don't fully understand your brand
A lot of the time people will come up with a genius idea for a blog or business and want to get started right away. Signing up for a Wordpress or Squarespace account, buying a domain name, and writing your first blog post is all too exciting.
The problem with jumping in right away is you are missing out on the most important step, brand discovery.
It's one thing to start a personal blog where you don't plan on monetizing it and you don't really care about bringing in traffic. If that's the case whip up your blog banner and call it a day. However, if you want to make some cash money, bring in the masses, and create a 💯 brand experience then you need to take some time to figure out your brand.
The best place to start is brand discovery. What is that you ask?
Brand discovery is when you dig deep into the behind the scenes of your brand. It doesn't involve designing pretty visuals, or deciding what colours to use, it's about discovering your brand's personality.
Take a look at the questions below, this is a good starting point for your brand discovery journey.
1. What is your brand's tone of voice?
For example is your brand friendly, warm, playful, serious, corporate, loving, etc?
2. What are your brand keywords?
For example, handmade, organic, natural, earthy, etc.
3. What are some of your businesses values and beliefs?
What does your business believe in? Good work ethics, providing the best customer service, etc.
4. Any goals you might have for your business?
What are some short-term and long-term goals for your business? Do you want to make your first $1000 in a month, or maybe you want to hire a virtual assistant six months from now?
Answering the above questions open and honestly will help you understand your brand and what your business stands for. This will also come in handy when it's time to design because you will understand the vibe and style you're after.
2. You don't know who your target audience is
You've probably heard how important figuring out your target market is a million time by now, but guess what that's because it is. The more you can narrow down your audience the easier it will be to sell to them and create content that is specific to their needs.
A good way to figure out who your ideal customer is to create a customer profile.
Let's say your run an all-natural, organic body product store online. An example of your customer profile might be:
32-year-old female named Sally. Sally works at an office job and loves to come home and unwind by taking a bubble bath and drinking a glass of red wine. She is more conscious about her skin now that she is in her thirties and is willing to pay more for products that are natural and organic. In her spare time Sally likes to read, catch up with friends, she enjoys hiking and running, and also loves to treat herself to a manicure and pedicure every once and awhile.
Bam, just like that you have your ideal customer written out and you know who to target your products to.
Obviously, not all of your customers are going to be 32 and named Sally but she will keep you on the right track of the people you should be targeting. You now know that you probably shouldn't put effort into targeting your products to 21-year-old college students who can barely afford to eat, or men who like going hunting and fishing on the weekends. Make sense?
3. You are not putting in the work to grow your brand
Even if you managed to create the perfect brand it doesn't mean it's going to bring in traffic and money. A big chunk of having a brand is putting effort into promoting your blog or business, making sure you're using SEO to boost your ranking on Google, and creating an amazing brand experience for your audience.
I'll be honest, when it comes to promoting Forth and Create it's my least favourite thing to do. Not only is it time-consuming but it takes a lot of work to get yourself noticed. Thankfully there is a few time-saving tricks so you can focus on creating killer content and products.
My favourite social media tool is Hootsuite. I'm not ready to commit to paying for a scheduling program just yet so I use their free plan. Every Sunday night I fill my Hootsuite up with 80% of other people's content that is relevant to my niche and the other 20% is content I share from my blog. Sharing a good amount of other people's work brings in more followers and increases your chances of them returning the favour and sharing your content with their readers.
As for SEO I always make sure I tag my images with relevant keywords and my posts are 700+ words. Yoast is a great SEO plugin if you're on Wordpress. Unfortunately, for us Squarespace users it's a little more difficult. I recommend checking out this article HERE for Squarespace SEO tips.
A big chunk of growing your brand is creating a memorable brand experience for your audience. For example If you own an online store maybe you could include a handwritten note, or add in a few extra goodies. If you are a blogger maybe your opt-in freebies are so good you could charge for them. It's about going above and beyond to make your audience fall in love with you and your content.
Take some time to think about how you could create a memorable experience for your audience that will keep them wanting more.
4. You lack consistency
Plain and simple your brand haaaaas to be consistent. If you want a memorable brand that people will recognize outside of your site then guess what, you can't go changing your brand every month when you get bored. This means:
- Your Logo design
- Your Pinterest graphic templates
- Your colour palette
- Your font palette
- Your tone of voice
- Targeting all the wrong people
- Your brand manifesto
- And so on
So how do you avoid being inconsistent?
- Take your time in the brand discovery stage. I'm totally serious about this. The more you discover your brand the less likely you will want to keep changing it because you've already done so much work to get to where you are.
- If you are designing your own brand then take your time in this stage as well. Don't whip up a logo in 10 minutes and call it a day. Take as long as you need to design your brand. Your first idea should never be your final decision.
Say it with me now..."Don't rush the process!"
- I get it, if you are just starting out you likely don't have the funds to pay a good designer. However, if you do have some cash set aside for your business it's never a bad idea to get help with your brand. Think of it this way, if you pay good money for your brand you are a lot less likely to want to change it. On the other hand, if you are paying a "designer" you found in a Facebook group $100 for logo then you get what you pay for.
I know how hard this is, as a designer I'm always looking for something new to try on my site but it's only doing more harm than good. If you have to DIY your own brand then check out some of my past blog posts for guidance.
5. You are setting the bar too high for yourself
If you are new to this whole blog and business game then be easy on yourself. Don't compare yourself to bloggers who've been in the game for years. It's so hard to look at someone who has a huge following, who is making a ton of money with their business, and who is always pumping out great content that draws people in, and think, "what in the heck am I doing wrong?"
Comparing yourself to them is what you're doing wrong.
Focus on your own work, and drown out the rest. You will do yourself a huge favour by ignoring what everyone else is doing. I had to stop going on Twitter during the day because I would find myself looking at tweets from successful bloggers and thinking, "why didn't I think of that?" or "why is he or she so much better at this than me?"
It's totally fine and encouraged to have a few people you look up to. This will keep you motivated but also keep you on track. The only two people I follow religiously are, Melyssa Griffin and Mariah Coz. Why? The content they pump out is always super helpful for my business so I know it will only be beneficial if I attend their webinars, read their blog posts, or pay for one of their courses.
Wowza, this might just be my longest post to date but I have so much to share when it comes to creating a brand that works for YOU!
Now if you're sitting there and thinking, "now what do I do?" then check out Create Your Brand.
I poured my heart and soul into this book, and to be honest, I should probably charge more for it but I totally get being on a budget and wanting the best of the best resources.
So for only $14 you can get my 7 module, 55-page ebook, Create Your Brand.
This ebook and workbook will guide you from beginning to end to help you create your brand.
Check out these super sweet testimonials...
"This was such an incredibly detailed workbook, it covered everything I could've come up with to design my brand/logo. She left no stone unturned. It really gave me many angles to come from and inspired me! Highly recommend!" - Danielle McQuillen
"We all know effective branding is essential for your business or blog's recognition and growth. Forth and Create's Create Your Brand workbook is a beneficial guide for brand discovery. The second half of the workbook was personally helpful as I contemplated various logo designs. The workbook's simple but insightful explanations on color theory and typography (who knew serif and sans serif aren't just random font names but terms to understand the appearance of the typeface?! I certainly didn't) was the aid I needed to finalize my blog's logo design. " -Nastacia House | Rerouted Endeavors
If you are interested in learning more click the image below to visit the sales page. You will get an in-depth look into each module and view sample pages.