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How to brand my business to stand out from the competition if I’m a coach or online entrepreneur?

I’ve heard this question in my group and in other groups for so many times. So, how to brand my business to stand out from the competition? Here is what I think. You probably have heard already that you just need to be yourself and follow your passion. Maybe, somebody has told you that you need to define your “Why”, your “Core Message”, know your “Values”. But the truth is that without a system or roadmap all these are pieces of the giant puzzle. And if you have no idea what you build or how to create it, it’s challenging to achieve success.

When I started my current online business, I already had 17+ years of experience in branding and advertising. I’ve opened and closed several online and offline businesses before and knew what to do. But even then it was a tough job to stand out from the competition. Here are three things that you need to start with, to create a brand for your business that stands out from the competition if you are a coach or online entrepreneur.

First things first, define your audience.

Who do you want to work with? If you are a coach and your business only moves around personal communication, it’s important to work with people who are a good match. You will add more passion to your calls, and they will get better results.

Second, once you know who your clients are, start looking for signs of a problem.

Research in groups, forums, check blog comments, any places where people share their struggles. Interview people from your audience and existing clients. Find out how they formulate the problem. It’s easier to sell when you have a solution to the issue that already exists. (It may sound easy, but it require some time and attention)

The third part is to create your offer.

The easiest way to stand out from the competition is to develop a very simple freebie that addresses the issue that you found and propose a discovery call or breakthrough session after your prospects downloaded it. (There are plenty of other ways, but this one is good to start). This freebie will give you a validation that you are on the right track. Post your freebie in free groups on Facebook or LinkedIn or on other social media outlets to get feedback. You may also create several freebies on the same topic (video, presentation, checklist, e-book) that lead to a discovery call. Once you see which one converts the best you can start advertising it.

A brand is an image in customer’s mind, created by a customer based on the experience of product/service, data from various information channels and the feedback of other users/customers. That means to stand out from the competition you need to create a very consistent customer journey between your promo posts and ads to the look and feel of the landing page and a freebie itself. People may not know the difference between a good design and bad design but if they ever downloaded anything from established brands they can compare. And they will compare a few things. The value and ease of information, the uniqueness of it, how passionate and experienced you are and look and feel. If you can create a holistic picture in customers mind and they felt good about your freebie and communication, they would like to get more from you, and once they work with you and GET RESULTS, they will recommend you all the time.

Conclusion.

Make a consistent communication around a problem that your prospects are experiencing right now. Do not think that people in your mailing list or group are just numbers, they are individuals and have to be treated accordingly. Talk to them, build a connection, ask questions. Give them the reason to back and promote your business.

If you want to create a consistent communication, freebies, and check 9 steps branding roadmap that I use to work with my VIP clients become a member of Brand + Photo School.

Re-branding — a plastic surgery for your Brand.

When my clients ask when to start to brand their company, I always ask them if they have already made any sales. Many new entrepreneurs want to invest in perfect logo colours and a site even before they have an idea about what they will sell. They believe in success (which is amazing), but they don’t have any sales. In such a situation they quite probably will end up investing even more on rebranding.

Let me also add a small remark. When we talk about rebranding a personal brand, it’s a very different story, because you do not change what you are. An alteration of few details here and there, will not make you another person. You are what you are. In business branding, the situation is different as you can change anything you want. But first, let’s talk if you need to change it at all.

There are many reasons for rebranding.

  • Brand doesn’t reflect your personality.
  • The brand look is outdated.
  • The company was sold. And so much more.

All reasons are good, but let’s look at the pros and cons. The great part is that you will have all fresh new brand. The bad part is that your customers will have to change the image in their mind, they will need to rearrange all ideas about how your brand looks, feels, and behaves. It’s an additional stress for the buyer and guess what, yes, they choose not to take a complex path. They throw the old image from their mind, and they may decide to trust you again, or they may decide to forget about you, it’s up to them. As the result, rebranding costs devaluation of the brand and reduction of customers.

To make these issues less harmful for the brand, marketers use brand positioning statement in a smart way. As you know, you have three core elements of the brand positioning statement. The market where the brand operates, the target audience and the point of difference. So marketers choose to change only one element at a time. That means that clients will have their habitual connection to your brand, and they need to adjust to just one element.

For instance, if you sell “innovative personal computers for creative people”, you may change only one aspect to — “luxury personal computers for creative people” or “innovative computing devices for creative people” or “innovative personal computers for office workers”. In all these options only one aspect has been changed, and the two others remain constant.

But what when you just want new colours and fonts. Some time ago I was writing about the main elements which the customer remembers about your brand. Those are colours, fonts and the treatment of the images. If you change it, all clients will stop recognising you. That means you need to double the effort to advertise your business with its new brand. You will not only spend money but a lot of time, almost as if you started all over again.

So before you jump into rebranding think about three things.

  • Do you have enough of time and money to perform the transition from the old to a new brand?
  • Do you have an important reason why you are doing it so that customers can accept the change flawlessly?
  • How can you do it with minimal changes and maximum benefits?

If you have the answers and the strategy, go for it. The brand is an evolving entity, and we need to help it grow and change as much as we can.

How your brand different than competitor’s brands in the same niche?

Listen the audio from the class.

Is your business already a brand? Is it look and feel different than competitor’s brands in the same niche?

When customers want to purchase a product in your niche, they often start from research. When they find your business and those of your competitors they look upon three things: Service, Quality and Price. They shortlist two or three companies based on these criteria.

In the next step, they compare a few chosen businesses in detail. At this stage, they decide based on the USP (Unique Selling Proposition). If your proposal is better, you win the chance to impress a new customer, but sometimes it’s just the way to the next step.

When a client needs more clarity, he starts looking for the relevance of his core values. Many customers may start from the step three. But nevertheless, let’s look at these values carefully.

The idea, Values, Philosophy, Cause, And Brand Positioning, must be defined when you start to build the brand. Based on this, the visual elements will be created. Clearly, if you only use the red colour one or two fonts and a recognisable logo, your audience will be able to recognise you, but they will still respect you for the ideas behind your brand.

So what does your brand need to do to be different than the competitors brand?

  • First, the Idea, Values and Cause.
  • Second, Unique Selling Proposition.
  • Third, a proper balance between Service/Operation, Quality and Price.

All three have to be clear to your Target Audience, and different than those of your competitor’s.

Have a nice day and be different 🙂

Check All Audio Series:

  1. When to start your business branding?
  2. Does your brand know its customers?
  3. Is your brand different?
  4. Your customers need to know what your brand all about
  5.  You need to become your brand

How to give correct brief to the photographer

In creative work such as photography, design, and advertising, 60-70% of the good result depends on a good brief. If a client knows how to give a good brief and what exactly he wants – wonderful. The ability to assign a task and give references to a photographer and further to give the ability to create – priceless. So, here are a few ideas about giving the right brief and get awesome photographs for your brand.

To achieve the photography which works, you need to create a perfect brief. Tell about your brand in detail, the mood you want to create, describe brand personality and values. What is the purpose of this photoshoot? Where are you going to use these pictures? Is it online media, print or outdoor? When you are giving the brief to photographers, please be sure that they understand it.

What you need to focus on, while creating a brief?

  1. Brand personality has a lot of advantages in communication. Once you have defined the brand personality, then it determines the language, rhythm, humor, design, image treatment etc. Describe this through a brand personality to a photographer.
  2. It’s important to be consistent across all communication channels. And, to be consistent for a long period of time is, even more, important. It refers to sharing the same values in the same language for a long period of time. If you already photographed something for your brand, share the samples with your photographer. And, try to follow the similar style.
  3. Show respect to your customer. When you are hiring professionals to make great-looking images, you in a way show respect to your buyer. Choose a photographer who delivers a result. It’s better to wait for an able specialist rather than rushing and ending up wasting money for pictures which can’t sell.
  4. Be different – in a highly competitive market, you need to stand out. Good brand photography will advertise better than anything else. You will use it in an advertisement, social media packaging etc. Analyze the market first before hiring a photographer. Otherwise, customers mistakenly may associate your photographs with some other brand.

Give freedom to the photographer
When you brief your photographer, have a brainstorming session with him on ideas, execution, and discussing references. Be certain that both of you understand each other. Then give the photographer a freedom to create. If you want to get really good photos, videos or design, freedom of creation is crucial.

 

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Hope now you will get better photographs from professional photographers you hire. If you like to know more about how branding and photography can help your business, join the tribe and get all good information before it appears in social media.