Create a Successful Business pt 2
This is part 2 in the series Create a Successful Business which explores the 5 foundations we dig deeply into with the Marketing with Heart Program, either On-line or in person.
Once you have developed your Guiding Star, which is the first of the 5 foundations you need for a long term successful business you will begin to have the clarity you need to define your branding and refine your offer. I say begin because this will always be a WIP (work in progress), the joy of having your own business is that it can shift and change as you do, but that needs to happen within clear boundaries otherwise things can get messy. (You can follow this link to part 1 if you need some help developing your vision.)
Moving onto your second foundation, Your Offer, this is the heart of what you do. You may not have reflected too deeply on this especially if your business has evolved from a passion. You may simply be offering your services the way you think you should. However by grabbing a pen and paper and brainstorming this topic you might be surprised by how it helps both your clients and your business.
Start by thinking about who exactly are your perfect clients? Describe them in detail, really get to know them, what they desire and what keeps them up at night. This is the only way you can make sure that what you offer them will work for them. Think about what the benefits of your work is for them, how your work will help them. We often get caught up in all the features or the cleverness of what we do, but it is the outcome that matters.
Once you are clear about how you can serve those beautiful people or businesses you want to serve you can start to figure out how they can find you. To stand out in crowd and look professional you need to consider the third foundation, Your Brand.
Branding is one of those areas that many people focus on first. Name, logo, colours, design … The fun arty stuff. It often feels like the first step in starting a business but can instead become a frustrating project, taking up time and resulting in something that doesn’t really authentically reflect your business. (Interesting aside, this may vary from your own, personal authenticity).
Taking time to reflect first on Your Guiding Start and Your Offer will inform the creation of your branding and will mean that you end up with something that authentically reflects you and your work, avoiding an expensive do-over down the track. Important when you consider this will be reflecting who you are for years to come!
What is Branding really? Your professional face. The way people can identify you and how you can stand out from the crowd to your perfect client. Once you create your professional face it should feel congruent all the way from the name and logo to your website and stationary and into your office and even the way you dress and work with people. Imagine wanting a massage, perhaps you have a sports injury and want a remedial massage but you also want it to be relaxing so you google and find someone who seems to offer a spa sort of environment and seems well qualified in remedial massage as well. Score!
You arrive and it is bit tatty on the outside but you don’t worry too much, that is just the outside. You go inside, expecting candles and quiet spa music and instead there is row of chairs with several well thumbed ’Who Weekly’s to read. You might start to feel a little concerned but you hurt and you want that massage and the therapists credentials looked pretty good so you sit down to wait.
Then out comes someone who doesn’t look much like the inviting picture you saw on the net, dressed in a pair of board-shorts and a t-shirt, hair still crusty from a morning surf …. Maybe the website said they had excellent qualifications and you love the beach yourself however you may well be starting to feel a little uncomfortable….
By this time some of you will already have left the building, but many will stay and give it a go, you hurt and are already here. If the massage is brilliant or you live in a place with few options you may well be sold, however if anything is much less than perfect you probably won’t go back.
If instead everything had been congruent from the spa logo and language on the website to the signage and frontage, to the waiting room and therapists appearance you would be more open to the experience, more forgiving of anything less that 110% perfect (who’s perfect anyway – really!) and more likely to go back. Maybe for years.
There is nothing wrong with being a surfer massage therapist or a clinical remedial therapist. Working in a quiet luxury spa or in a funky shack or anything at all, as long as you can identify your perfect clients and that when they find you, they can see that you are exactly what they are looking for!
Consider your logo as the face of all that you do. If you have designed it yourself get a professional graphic designer to have a look or tidy it up to make sure it will translate into all mediums. (Just Google logo bloopers to see some great blunders!).
Think about what it is you want it to reflect, decide on your colours and how you want things to look and keep that congruent over every medium you do. Don’t swap and change to be more creative on every brochure, it makes it hard to recognise you. A professional can also help you get templates in place so that your congruency is across all your stationary as well. The investment is worth it!
Next time we will explore the language you need to master to get great results in your marketing. If you want more info in the meantime have a look at my on-line program or feel free to contact me about how I might be able to support you to grow your business.
Copyright © 2016 Gay Landeta Create the Life You Want To Live. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be used without the prior written consent from the author.