Building Your Brand

Building Your Brand

Posted on July 14, 2020 by

Building Your Brand

Are you running a business or is it a part time job or hobby? Do people see you as an authority figure or a trusted and respected company? The difference between a business vs. a part time job and a regular business vs. a known trusted business is branding! Your branding is what makes you stick out from everyone else!

As you think about who you really are, also think again about what type of client you want to attract. Who do you want to work with? I want to attract people who respect me both personally and professionally.

If someone gets upset that I only have evening appointments one night per week or that I don’t handle all aspects of my business but have people on my staff who will contact them, then they aren’t the clients I want.

If I have a client who is not solution-based and insists on complaining and seeing the bleak side of things, then they aren’t the clients I want. I truly am very careful about who I allow into my programs because I know that one Negative Nelly can spread like a deadly virus that wipes out a population.

I’ve learned the hard way that clients who are the most difficult in the beginning will continue to be that way. They’ll demand every ounce of my attention, have little or no regard to my family time, and call at all hours of the night and on weekends. They are showing that they do not respect me, and they are not like me. I respect the business owners and professionals I work with and I also require mutual respect. I have boundaries and I respect other peoples’ boundaries.

These are the clients I want to attract.

This is important: Be who you want to attract, attract who you want to be. Don’t scramble to reach the masses. Reach the people you want to work with. Less is more and more is less, simpler is sweeter. Your job as a Community Market Leader is to develop lasting relationships with people. Your brand does that. It introduces you to people and forms a relationship before you ever meet face to face. When I make educational videos, I show that I have a lot of knowledge and that I’m well-educated. Then I add my bloopers at the end. People get to see my crazy, funny side. They know I’m human. They learn to trust me because I’m giving them value without asking for anything in return, and they like me because I’m a human being, just like them.

All of this is part of my brand.

They learn to trust me because I’m giving them value without asking for anything in return, and they like me because I’m a human being, just like them. Part of my personality is being positive and it’s something I value. I show up with a smile and enthusiasm every day. I don’t freak out when something unexpected happens but accept it and move on. Am I always feeling like that? No. Am I human? Yes. Do I have bad days? Yes. But I work to shift a negative mindset quickly so I can show up with a positive attitude.

People respond positively to positivity.

You get what you focus on and I know if I continue to focus on positive outcomes, then I get more of them (this is almost as important if not more than any other aspect of your business). By the way, if being positive is not in your personality, that’s something that will have to change. You don’t have to be the bubbly, enthusiastic kind of positive I am.

But no one wants to work with a Negative Nellie. Nobody wants to entrust their financial future, their child’s education, or their most difficult personal issues to someone who is constantly doom and gloom. A client wants to sit across from a business owner or professional who is confident that he or she can help that client with what they need and want.

You might not have a lot of energy as I do. Maybe you’re more stoic, analytical, and incredibly smart. That’s a strength. Focus on it. Also, people love the enthusiasm.

The more enthusiastic and passionate you are about what it is that you do and who you serve, the more business and clients you will attract. Two of my coaching clients who are both loan officers are very different yet they’ve both been very successful using these strategies.

One is easy-going, fun-loving, and dedicated to her church. Another is more driven and serious, though also fun in her way. What they share is a positive, upbeat, can-do attitude that is so important. And they both say that what has really increased for them through this program is their confidence. They know their potential clients already trust them and see them as an authority.

Your brand is also about your value:

a) the value you give and b) the core values you hold. One of my core values is giving back, and every part of who I am expresses that. Like many of the local businesses and professionals in this book, I do a lot of charitable work. I also feel a responsibility to give back in terms of helping train others in my industries, to help them become more professional and more successful. Another of my core values is in my morning affirmations: “I want to positively affect every life that I touch.

I want to make sure that my clients feel special, that they know I’m listening to them, and I make time for them.” Think about values that are most important to you. As a Community Market Leader, the value you give is what you do differently. You’re an entrepreneur, you treat your business like a business, and you treat your clients with the respect they deserve. You put your all into everything you do, you give them your best, and you are a pro.

That is the value you give.

My team and I have a rule in our office that we always want to be better, and we want to strive for excellence. That’s what we do. It shows in our brand, not just as an empty promise, but in everything we do and say. When I created Homes by Krista, I made sure that I always gave my utmost. I always went above and beyond. Guess what? Word traveled fast. And guess what else? Clients could see that before they met me because, in every single thing that I produce, I give value.

I have the same attitude in my coaching business.

I’m determined to help my students succeed and am constantly looking for new ways to bring out their best. I’m dedicated to being authentic with them, and sometimes that means that I have to be willing to get in their face or give them a kick in the butt.

What value do you bring to the table?

What qualities represent you, your business, your business model, and what you produce for your clients? What benefits do you give your clients that are different from your competitors? As you become what I call a “Community Market Leader” and start to dominate your market, part of your brand will be just that: You’re a community leader who dominates his or her market. You’re going to be seen and known everywhere. So, part of your brand will be, “Wow, I see that person everywhere.”

Make sure that your brand is really clear and really you before it starts showing up as you everywhere. When you’re thinking about your brand, start with how you want your community to react to you, how you want them to receive you, how you want them to relate to you, and how you want to build trust with them. Really think about your strengths, personality, and the value you bring.

Once you are clear about all those things, only then is it time to look into logos, business cards, and the colors and photos on your website. Don’t make the mistake of trying to create these pieces first before really knowing your brand. If you are new in your business, you still need to develop your brand. It’s not set in stone and it probably will change. Even so, you want to start standing out from the pack. What I don’t recommend is that you try to promote yourself as having more experience or knowledge than you actually have.

Being dishonest will come back to bite you.

People come to you as a professional because they need help with something important. Be clear about your skills and knowledge. Instead of presenting yourself as highly experienced and knowledgeable, you can say something like this: “I am a relatively new landscape architect. But let me tell you what makes me different than any other landscape architect: I am innovative and I’m doing things differently than the people who have been in the business for fifteen to twenty years. I’m up to speed with how climate changes might affect your landscape and how to design for that. I’ve been trained in new and more efficient watering systems.

And because I’m just building my reputation, I will be 100% dedicated to making sure you are thrilled with what I put together for you.” If you were approached in that way, wouldn’t you respect it and be attracted by it? Dale Carnegie wrote a classic book called How to Win Friends and Influence People. In it, he points out that people like to do business with people that they like. And prospective clients are going to like you if they can see that you’re ethical, dedicated, determined and that you sincerely have their best interests at heart. People do not always choose the first service provider they interview, whether it’s an attorney, a therapist, or an architect. If you get a foot in the door, don’t waste it. Be likable, be honest, and have integrity. Give them as much value and knowledge in that first appointment as possible. Don’t be stingy with your knowledge. This is all part of your new brand.

Building Your Brand

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