It was overwhelming for many to have to find all these individual freelancers and they didn’t want to pay for the lights to be on at an agency charging a premium. While I wasn’t the only one to spot this opportunity, I approached it inmy unique way. I built relationships with a few key freelancers and started quoting on projects as a single team. My clients benefited from maintaining communication with me while I facilitated meetings with the other team members they needed. And providing that single point of contact was vital for a lot of clients to create brands that were contributing to the bottom line right away. Review your top 3 competitors. Find the spots that are missing from what your customer needs and I can bet that you’ll find your brand’s ‘sweet spot’ (unique value). HERE ARE SOME OFMY FAVOURITE QUESTIONS TO BRAINSTORM YOUR BRAND VALUE: How can you make that unique to your business? • Can you do something different on social media? • Is there a combination of skills or services that are distinct? • Is it your different experience that sets you apart? • Do you have some special connections in the community? • What’s unique about your process? • Is there a price point difference?

Every business owner I know has struggled at some point with consistency. However, this is something that can make or break your brand strategy. A business can have the most fantastic logo in the world, but if they’re not showing up consistently with their brand, they could be hurting their image. While there are some splendid movements toward bodypositivity andnot judgingabookby its cover, we are unfortunately not quite ‘there’ yet. Many people online will still judge a company by how its brand is executed and immediately decide if they want to work with that company or not. First impressions are incredibly persuasive. Branding today is not just a logo and a font choice anymore. It’s how your logo is applied consistently across your business cards, brochures, social media graphics and website. It’s the type of writing ‘voice’ you have for your company coming across as you want it on all platforms. Consistency in your brand is especially apparent in how often you’re showing up online; if you’re posting in your blog randomly through the year, you won’t be bringing in an audience that keeps coming back for more. SO, WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO SHOW UP CONSISTENTLY? • Have a brand strategy in place for how you will show up as a company culture online and in person • Have a brand style guide available to everyone for how your collateral and social media graphics are designed • Have a style guide created for the copywriting you want for your brand • Hire an assistant for showing up in social media regularly • Have an inbound content strategy set up to be producing content regularly When I’mworkingwith a client, I help them todevelop a brand strategy and style guide so their team can implement their branding appropriately, but this kind of consistency shows up in all major brands.

When you walk into an Apple store anywhere, you know therewill be someone togreet you at the door and direct you further into the store. It’s written into their store policy where employees should always be standing to help. It’s strengthened by the free genius bar analysis they offer. It’s present in the consistently high-quality computers they build. It builds trust without anyone ever having to ask for you to trust them. 6 — PUT IN SOME FACE TIME And no, I don’t mean the FaceTime app. As I’ve said before in this article, bringing authenticity into your brand in 2019 is about bringing yourself into your brand. Meeting someone in person is an invaluable way to make a strong and lasting impression on them. Seeing a photo of you on Instagram is in no way the same as meeting at an event and sharing a story or a joke with people you want to be working with. Take some time each month to list out the events that you can attend. Bonus if those events have the people you want to be working with but try not to let that limit you. Think about the kinds of connections that will get you referrals. What kind of brands would you love to collaborate with? Who would you like to get a guest post with? It’s hard to determine how a brand you envy became so well known, but I would wager that a huge part of it came from powerful in-person connections.

Youmay have heard the termor hadentiremeetings around creating a ‘Unique Value Proposition,’ but how does that translate into your brand? Keeping in mind that your brand is a sum of the relationship you have with your customers, bringing something unique into your brand goes beyond the traditional ‘Unique Value’ that you’ve heard before. Think about all the things that are unique to your company. Maybe it’s the process you use to bring your customers from point A to point B. Or perhaps it’s a unique guarantee of money back. For some, it might even be about the unique problem that you solve for your customers. When I went into business, a common issue I found my clients having around their brand was needing to talk to so many people. THEY NEEDED: • Photographers for professional headshots • Video of their events to help promote sales • Graphics for their social media • Website design and sales pages 4 — FIND YOUR BRAND’S UNIQUE VALUE OR ‘SWEET SPOT’

Try to list as many as you can before you decide which one to create a brand strategy around.




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