I was chatting to a florist friend of mine recently; she asked me what type of photography I was doing and I explained that I specialise in Personal branding. I love nothing more than helping people create visual content with meaning and a story behind it.
She loves colours and is full of live. I said to her that I could see her in a magazine style photo shoot, moving in a colourful dress with flowers in her hands. And she replied, "I want to be plain and neutral, like other florists. Nothing fancy; I don't want to show myself, it's just about the flowers". It made think that personal branding is a difficult concept to understand. I'm 100% convinced that it’s the future, even if the idea hasn't crossed over into the florist world.
Having a personal brand will set you apart. Not only for working with your ideal client but also from the brand story. Unfortunately, when I asked my florist friend about her story, she couldn't say. She works very hard to chase clients when opportunities present themselves and hasn't got an ideal client in mind.
I would love to help her find her 'WHY' and her ideal customer. But, I have to acknowledge that for some people, the concept is too alien and I get that. To be honest, I was told the same story about working with an ideal client, defining my brand, over and over, and you know what? I didn’t want to narrow myself into a niche, or just speak to one client. No way, it was far too alien for me as well. I would promote myself as a photographer, ready to take on any job until I realised that this strategy was getting me nowhere and you know why?
Because there’s a million photographers out there and if you're just another photographer you might as well be out priced by another one. And clients will see you as interchangeable as a result. It took me a while to understand that! I finally got it and it changed my whole perspective and the way I work. Not only that, it was so mind-blowing to understand that I want to help other entrepreneurs with their branding story! If you’re not entirely versed in branding, I will give you five reasons to start working on a brand story.
1. It’s a new way of marketing.
There’s been a massive shift in marketing and the old way of promoting yourself no longer works.
- There’s so many of us doing the same thing, how can you stand out?
- You want interaction, for that you need to know to whom you’re speaking to, otherwise your message will just be lost like a bottle in the middle of the ocean.
2. The right communication.
You’re talking to one person, not a 100 or 1000, just 1. For this person to connect with you and choose you over the competition, you have to make it very clear that you have the perfect solution to their problem.
3. Visual content with a purpose.
Again I will insist on visual content, not just any content but content related to your brand, vision, ideal client. Don’t forget that potential clients will make an opinion about you in 3 seconds when they stumble on your website. Visuals that stand out and speak about your brand will encourage them to read further about you.
4. You make it clear that you understand your ideal client.
The language you use and the way you write should be from your ideal clients perspective. Based on the solutions you provide for their problems, rather than telling them how awesome you are. It’s not all about you!
5. Working from the story.
Creates consistency across all the touch points when a client experiences your brand if you’re clear about the story, your why, and who you’re speaking to. Your strategy will be consistent across all your marketing and create clarity for your ideal client to choose your brand instead of another.
i.e Brand stories make us choose Chanel cosmetics rather than Maybelline. When you buy a Chanel lipstick you’re also buying the brand story.
Still unclear about where to start from creating a unique brand? Get your free 10 by step guide here!