Poll any group of marketers and they will tell you, the hardest thing (company, person) to brand is yourself. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, how great your team is, or how hard you try, branding yourself will be one of the most difficult tasks you undertake. Why? Because you are (at least I hope you are) passionate about your business. This means that you probably have a hard time being objective. Whether it is looking at a new logo option, editing your tagline or even creating the copy for your website, you want it to be perfect.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. When it comes to branding, the first step should be admitting that it can’t be everything. Too many times we sit with a client who wants to talk about a branding project and thinks that their new logo will somehow convey everything there is to know about their business. It won’t, and the truth is they don’t want it to – even if they don’t know it. Your brand is all encompassing, no one thing you do is going to depict everything you do. It’s a building process and consistency is key.
Your brand should be evocative. From your logo to your website to your social media to your store, you want everything to give customers the same enticing experience. When you brand yourself, there is often a compelling need to give customers everything all at once (all the details, rationales, and justifications), even though you know as a customer, that isn’t how you want to be approached. Again, this is where your passion can be a pitfall.
You have likely experienced, I know we have, something we refer to as paralysis by analysis. You worry about every little detail and make so many changes that you never make a real decision. Pro Tip: You will never think your branding is perfect, even if your customers do! Don’t be afraid to make a decision. Taking action is key. Nothing changes if nothing happens – make something happen!
So how do you move forward? If you aren’t a marketing professional, or even if you are, I would suggest you at least talk to one (or multiple). If you run a frame shop you would argue that you can frame pictures better than anyone can do on their own, and you are probably right. The same is true for marketing. If you aren’t a professional marketer, why would you not enlist the help of one? Marketers are professionals who can provide objectivity and their experience, which if heeded could lead to positive change.
So take action. Make a call, send an email, schedule an appointment. Talk to at least one professional marketer. What are you waiting for? ‘I’m sure you’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t do it sooner.