Branding is a huge, HUGE part of growing your business. It can make or break your business in terms of its connection with your audience and your overall reputation. Today, I want to share with you 7 rookie branding mistakes to avoid. When you’re just starting out in business you may or may not know any of these (and you may have already committed this dreadful branding sins), but don’t worry! We’ve all done one and likely more of these.
What I’m sharing with you today is PERFECT if you’re just starting out and you want to get off on the right foot. Branding should not be overwhelming or leave you with “paralysis analysis.” Oftentimes, it can stop women business owners from moving forward, when the advice doesn’t fit naturally with who you are and what you want your brand to be about.
The biggest takeaway from this is that you DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT! Just be yourself with a little more poise and polish. Build your business with wisdom and grace.
You’ll be fine. Pinky Promise.
Remember this – branding sets you and your business up to connect with your audience instantly! It also builds your reputation and authority. These common branding mistakes can be avoided with just a little more thought process and pause, as you are building your business.
Here are My Top 7 Branding Mistakes To Avoid:
Branding Mistake #1 – Not Understanding The Basics About Branding
Many people think branding stops and ends with a logo, tagline/slogan, and cute colors. It’s really more than that. Branding is about who you are, what you represent, and how you are perceived to your clients and the public at large. It includes your style, voice, and physical appearance.
To put it simply, branding is about your image. Your very public image, at that.
Think holistically about who you are and what you represent as a person and company. Go beyond your logo and tagline (or slogan). Think about the kind of conversations you would have with someone at a coffee shop or dessert bar. In that relaxed, unpretentious space what would you talk about? This is what needs to come out in your branding, especially if you are looking to become a personal brand.
Branding Mistake # 2 – Color Palette And Theme Not Cohesive
Colors do matter when it comes to branding. You can’t just throw your favorite colors together and think it will resonate with your audience. (It just doesn’t work that way.) Colors have meaning, while the wrong color combinations can actually repel potential clients and fans from you and your business – the right colors can draw them in like a bee to pollen. That’s what you want!
While it’s fine to start with your favorite color, you will want to research color combinations that compliment that color. You also want to research color meanings and their mood barometers. Because the last thing you want to do is pick colors that trigger depression (no bueno), instead of happiness and joy.
Branding Mistake #3 – Failing To Understand Your Audience
This is a BIG one right here. So many businesses simply do not know their customers very well. They’ve never spoken to them, hung out with them, or even asked them questions to get an idea of who they are, they needs and desires, as well as their opinions. If you want to speak the language of your clients and potential clients, then you’ll have to spend time getting to know them (and letting them get to know you.)
Ask. Ask. Ask.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
Respond. Respond. Respond.
Yep! It’s just that simple.
I know this sounds really simply and not fancy. It is! Literally, treat your audience as a courtship. Think of how you would want to be treated if a man were courting you for marriage. Talk more about them and to them, than you do yourself. You’ll learn so much VALUABLE information about your audience. From here, it makes product creation and sales so, so, so much easier.
Branding Mistake #4 – Not Building Consistently
If you’re not consistent with building your brand and staying the course, then it’s going to be hard to be a household name in your niche. You can’t dibble and dabble with this part. Either you’re all in or you’re all out.
Show up everyday, be you, stay true, and don’t flake off. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect when you show up, either. (Remember, I said that earlier?) However the more consistent you are with showing up the more recognizable your brand will be and the more your audience will get to know, like, and trust you.
Check out my Facebook Live video on the #1 Gamechanger for your Brand!
The #1 Game Changer For Your Business and Brand!
Posted by Angelica K. Duncan on Thursday, April 7, 2016
Branding Mistake #5 – Thinking It’s Etched In Stone
There’s a belief that you have to stick and stay with your brand for a long time in order to have a lasting impact. While on a certain level that may be true. However, when you are just starting out that’s not necessarily the case. Here’s why I find this problematic – it gives you no room to grow and evolve as a person or business. You end up pigeon holing and typecasting yourself.
Give yourself grace. Know that your brand will grow and evolve as you do. When it’s time to make a branding change you may want to do so gradually, so it’s not super noticeable. I’ve also seen businesses rebrand themselves completely by having a big branding reveal party. This makes it fun for your audience! Either way you do it, just be free in knowing that it’s ok to change.
Branding Mistake #6 – Overpromise. Underdeliver.
This problem is also very much a client care (customer service) issue. By not doing what you say you will do, you will hurt your brand and eventually business, in the long run. Yes, life happens. However that should be the exception and not the rule.
Underpromise and overdeliver. I’d rather see you promise to do a project one way and then overdeliver on the results. This way you’ve raised the bar and level of expectation in the hearts and minds of your clients and audience.
Branding Mistake #7 – Overthinking You Brand And Not Being Authentic
Many business owners are always “on brand,” especially those of us who run online businesses. While this may work in the beginning, it eventually comes across as over the top aka “doing too much.” The mistake here is that you don’t seem authentic and real to your audience.
You don’t have to have flawless, super glammed up pictures on social media. Yes, you should look your best. Just know that it’s ok not to. Let people see the real you and fall in love with that person, instead of the “branded person.” (They’re fake anyways and carry a huge burden to be someone they are not. #nofun)
One of the most important take-aways I want you to get is this…
…as you are just starting out with your business, you want to set the stage and a lay a foundation for who and what you want your business to be known for. If you keep this in mind, as you are building your business, much of your branding will come very naturally. (And it should.)
If you’ve made some (or all) of these branding mistakes, in the early stages of your business – no worries! Fix it and move on! No guilt. No shame. Keep building!Branding is more about rapport and reputation. It has nothing to do with perfection. Click To Tweet
Now that you have seen some common branding mistakes, what’s one change you’ll make this week with your branding? Think about how that will improve your reputation and give you instant connection and authority with your audience.
I’d love to hear from you! You can chime in, by clicking here.