How To Develop Your Brand Strategy: For Creatives & Entrepreneurs
Branding! Branding! Branding!
You hear it everywhere and know it’s important but do you actually have a Brand Strategy in place?
Well, first of all, let’s break down both words:
The definition for Strategy is a bit more straightforward but I will do my best at finding a good definition for Branding.
According to Entrepreneur:
“Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”
According to the Business Dictionary:
A method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.
The art and science of planning and marshalling resources for their most efficient and effective use. The term is derived from the Greek word for generalship or leading an army. See also tactics.
Side note: if you need a more thorough understanding of the word Branding then keep reading this post and check out my “Branding 101: For Creative Entrepreneurs” blog post). You can also download my six page free “Branding Worksheet” below.
New here? I wrote these blog posts to help you out in your biz:
One thing I want to point out before moving on is that Branding is a long-term strategy! I mean if you’re not willing to put in the work to build a strong brand then entrepreneurship is not really for you anyway, right?
Coming up with a business and services/products is the easy part… anyone can do that but building a strong brand that wins customers over and sets you apart is where the real works comes in.
Think of your brand as the foundation of a house -- without the foundation then everything else might stand for a bit but not for long! You have to make sure you build a strong foundation in order to have a business that withstands anything.
How do you actually go about building your Brand Strategy though?
I’ve broken it down to six straight-forward steps so let’s get right into them:
1. Ideal Client
I know you’re probably of seeing this one but you’ve got to know who you’re talking to. Think about it, how would you go about building a business let alone a brand if you don’t know who you are serving.
Here are some questions I’d suggest asking yourself:
City or suburbs?
What is their living situation?
What Industry are they in?
Where do they live?
Where do they shop?
Why do they shop there?
How do they get their information?
What keeps them awake at night?
What are they afraid of?
What are their top three daily frustrations?
What social media platforms do they use the most? Why?
What are their hopes and dreams for the future? What does their ideal life look like?
Does your business offer something that solves a pain point or does your business offer something that is a luxury product/service?
2. Your why + purpose
Why is it that you do what you do? Why did you start your business in the first place?
You’ve got to know your why before you help people get closer to theirs.
What is the purpose of your products/service? Not the features or deliverables but the transformation you will create through your products or services.
3. Your Core Values (What do you stand for?)
We all had core values instilled in us when we were just children and as we got older we began forming our own through our life experiences so what are yours?
Ask yourself what do you stand for as a person? Yup, as a person! Don’t even think about your business because if you’re a creative/entrepreneur then chances are you are your business! You may add services, pivot, start a new business but your core values will mostly remain the same.
Now that you have your why, purpose, and core values it’s time to develop the story around your brand.
Your story is = Why + Purpose + Core Values
All good branding is done in a form of a story because it helps communicate what your brand is all about by taking your audience on a journey, connecting with them through emotion, and helping differentiate you.
Step # 5 is all about effectively presenting your brand and what it can do for your audience through your:
Social media channels
Being clear on your story (your why, purpose, and core values) will allow you to develop messaging that communicates it in a way that:
Last but not least it’s scheduling it all out! What good is it if you do all the hard work of developing your brand but then don’t communicate in a consistent manner. You can’t do it for one month then expect to get any long-lasting results.
You’ve got to show up in a way that is authentic and consistent. Your audience wants to hear from you and they expect to hear from you consistently.
Hey , I'm Jessica!
I am the designer and owner behind JNL Media Co.! I help creative entrepreneurs & small biz owners create a beautiful Squarespace site that converts. After almost two years in corporate I left so that I could pursue my love for design + marketing and help other #girlbosses do the same through their business.
Obsessions: Traveling✈️ , Fitness💪🏼, and Writing ✍🏼
Location: Currently living in