Do you ever have trouble figuring out just how to express your brand?
I try to give you lots of strategies, but sometimes I wonder if I’ve done enough to help you find YOU. Because that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about twisting yourself a thousand different ways to see where you can sqqqqeeeeeezzzzeeee yourself into the market.
There’s no need for squeezing, tweaking perhaps, but no squeezing.
In fact, if you have a good handle on your brand voice, there’s little need to pay much attention to the market any…………………………Are you with me?…………….(crickets chirping….)………………………(“Are you out of your mind, Heather!!!!!! Of COURSE, I have to pay attention to the market.”)
Actually, you don’t. You don’t have to know what Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Briggitta, Marta or even Gretl are doing. You just need to focus on YOU and YOUR AUDIENCE.
If you expend copious amounts of energy looking to the left and right, you are NOT spending time doing the deep work you you need to to create a truly epic brand.
I have to admit, it takes guts of iron and a strong commitment to listen to what your authentic is saying, but there is no other way. It’s way too easy to get swept up in other people’s energy. The shiny-object-syndrome isn’t just about products and ideas, it’s also about IDENTITY.
“Oh, she looks amazing, I wonder what designer she’s wearing.” or “He is killing it, who does his Facebook ads?” or my favorite “I love how cool she sounds, I think I’ll start using the word ‘shazam’ too!”
You can certainly get ideas and inspiration from outside sources, but more often than not, we try to nourish our souls by drinking the cool-aide made in someone else’s kitchen instead of, oh I don’t know, setting a beautiful table for ourselves and feasting on our own creativity!
If reading this is starting to make you feel a little panicked, that’s actually a good thing. It means your monkey mind, your ego, is fearing for its life. You’re about to make it irrelevant and it’s not happy.
But don’t go hating on your brain, it’s just doing its job. However, listening to your ego will make your brand BORING and that will be death to your brand.
It takes a certain amount of discomfort to get comfortable expressing your originality, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty intoxicating. It’s like that first week in college when you realize no one is coming to tell you you have to go to bed or eat your broccoli.
If you’re feeling a little shaky and not sure how to tap into your authentic voice, here are a few strategies to help:
1. Go on a social media diet. It’s incredibly distracting to see what everyone else is doing. I think it’s almost impossible to find your voice when you’re constantly bombarded with information. Not that other people’s brands aren’t important or even helpful, but you have to be really strong not to be influenced by all the noise. It’s like going to a party a month out of re-hab, not a good idea.
2. Write, write, write. It doesn’t matter where or how, but get your words out. The more you write, the more your opinions will flow and the more ideas you’ll have. Write every day if you can. You don’t have to show it to anyone at first, but the more you do it, the more fun it will become and eventually, you’ll be really excited about sharing.
3. Use a thesaurus. Are you mildly agitated or are you wicked angry? Maybe you’re so livid you could burn the house down with one irate glance. See what I did there? There are sooo many ways to express the same thing. Find your way and play with the options.
4. Go with your first impulse. Most of us are so conditioned to second-guess ourselves, we we don’t even recognize our initial feelings about things. Make it a practice to pay attention to your first desire. Practice in small ways to start. Next time you go out for ice-cream, don’t hem and haw over the 30 flavors, pick the first one that speaks to you and be done with it. See, how nice I am, giving you a road back to you true heart’s desire AND giving you permission to eat ice-cream? You’re welcome:)
5. Refine. The first four tips are about letting go to allow for flow. NOW is the time to reign it in. This is where the real differentiation happens, where the high-value is created. There is a huge difference in prestige, talent and income between the top 10% of the people and the top 1%. Be meticulous with the details. What is the extra touch that makes something distinctly yours?
Finding your brand voice is the path to happiness and greater profits in your business. It can take a little effort to get there, but the rewards are absolutely exponential.
If you’d like help refining your brand, apply here for complimentary consultation by CLICKING HERE=>Brand Star Strategy Session