The limit, in fact, does exist.
In Part 1 of this little “Defined by Shyne” miniseries, I broke down exactly what brand strategy is and how it functions in your business with real world examples and analogies. I also mentioned that it’s okay to DIY your brand strategy at times, but there are some sticky limitations that can only be solved with the help of another person (preferably a brand specialist.)
Like I mentioned in Part 1, nobody is more of an expert in your experiences/beliefs/philosophy than you. True. BUT you might not be an expert in articulating those things, or articulating them specifically in a way that produces action from your ideal clients. Because ultimately, that’s what your brand is supposed to do: use what makes you YOU to attract your dream clients.
So, in the spirit of RAND TRATEGY (brand strategy without the BS), let’s just get right to the juicy stuff!
A lot of people who come to me think they know what their brand is, they’ve been in business for years, and they’ve been able to make sales just fine…BUT when I hit them with a couple first-page questions [in my imaginary mental brand-building workbook], they’re speechless…
Can we all agree that you can be successful at making money without having true clarity around your brand’s identity/DNA/essence?
Ok good. Now that we’ve left our egos at the door, we can really do something!!! Your brand isn’t just: a list of personality traits, color codes you put in C*nva, or using the same star shaped GIF on all your IG stories. Your brand is like a living entity, a way of life, a CULTURE. It’s vast and nuanced and rich and deep. You should know exactly what your brand would be like if it were a person. You should know what it would do in a certain situation. You should be able to read a message or social post and say, “This isn’t right because of xyz” or “This is too ____, make it more ____.” You should have a crystal clear, intimate understanding of the feelings, beliefs, and ethos around your brand if you really want it to work for you.
When you do, your business becomes easier in a sense. You don’t have to worry about “getting people to buy” or hustling for sales, because people just GET IT. But how can your ideal clients get it if you don’t even fully get it?! Know what I mean?
This isn’t meant to shame you or “should” all over you. I just want you to realize there’s so much more to your brand, and if you don’t underestimate it, it can be your greatest power, a power that transcends even your business itself. Or for some, like influencers, your brand is so valuable that it IS your business.
The issue is that, when you’re DIYing your brand, it’s hard to reach this level of clarity alone because you don’t know what you don’t know. You may not know what questions to prompt yourself with in order to get to that deep understanding about your brand. You may not know how to pull those gems out of yourself. Like counseling or coaching, sometimes all you really need is someone to talk things through with so you can uncover new gems.
Cool, so let’s say you really get it. Honestly props to you for getting this far. But your brand doesn’t exist in a silo/vacuum, so we can’t stop there. You also have to communicate your ultra-crystal-clear brand if you want it to WORK. Again, the problem with DIYing is that you may not know HOW to communicate all of that stuff effectively. See, you don’t have to be perfect or be a copywriter to do this well, but you have to be able to (1) communicate clearly and (2) understand how to get people to do/feel something. If that’s not your forte, DIYing might actually be holding you back from sharing your bomb brand with the world.
One of my personal superpowers is my ability to listen carefully to you and then turn everything in your head into clear pieces of messaging that are easy to understand, authentic to you, and powerful at evoking a response from your ideal client. That’s the power of brand strategy tbh, it not only refines all of the jumbled thoughts into a direct way to communicate BUT it also ensures that whatever you’re communicating will ultimately go back to attracting those dream clients.
I’ve said this hundreds of times before: a strategy is just a PLAN. If you have an ideal client, a competitor analysis, or whatever “brand strategy” assets you think you have, but they don’t provide a plan for what to do, how to behave, and how to communicate with your audience to reach your goals; then you probably don’t have a brand strategy. To me, that’s just a longgg “About Us” PDF that doesn’t really help you do anything and doesn’t really do the work it should. Again, brand strategy’s main purpose is to attract loyal ideal clients by highlighting what makes you YOU/different/super extra valuable. If whatever elements you got from a copywriter, designer, coach, marketer, etc. don’t actually guide your actions, it’s all worthless.
What good is an ideal client profile if you don’t know what to do with it?
What good is a messaging guide if you don’t know how to use it and turn it into effective marketing?
What good are core values if you don’t have them baked into every part of your business to make you unique and integritable?
You feel me?
So, it’s clarity and communication, but it’s also action. And the reason I suggest getting a specialist to help you craft this plan is because you may not be a business consultant and you honestly just might not know HOW to make a proper plan to reach your goals. Maybe you don’t know what to do to position yourself as ____, maybe you don’t know how to differentiate your product or go to market. You don’t know what you don’t know (I sense a common theme here 👀).
As a visionary leader, you don’t have to know everything. But as someone who wants to build a community of people who get it, you do have a responsibility of stewarding your vision well - and that includes bringing the right people and resources into your vision to help make it happen.
Don’t let your ego or fears or doubts keep you from impact.
Click here to learn more about how our studio can help you remedy all 3 of these sticky situations. Let’s build you a bulletproof brand that actually means something to people! I would love to serve you and help you turn your dream brand into your reality.
P.S. thanks for reading! My love language is words of affirmation, so if this helped you, please send me an email or DM on Twitter to let me know!
P.P.S. we're always open to gifts/donations if you'd like to support more of these educational endeavors. Feel free to buy me a coffee :)
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