To answer your question right off the bat: No. This isn’t click bait.
I’m dead serious. If you want to become a stand out brand and rise above these noisy timelines and feeds, you need to answer these three questions. These three questions will force you to do one thing very well that all entrepreneurs need to do: Focus.
To drive sales, attract customers, tell stories and create experiences you need focus. Want coffee? No questions asked, you’re headed to your favorite place. Want Mexican tonight? You already know the menu. Booking a trip? You know which airlines to avoid and who’s most likely getting your business. Those brands fulfill the need of an activity you want to do or need done. Is your business doing the same? Or are you handicapping your brand by muddying the focus of it?
Let me let you in on a secret. Less is more. Psychologist Barry Schwartz estimates that choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed; not happier but more dissatisfied. And Brain World Magazine wrote an article on why an increase in choices decreases our happiness. Chipotle, despite the recent outbreaks, soared and became insanely profitable due to their approach to a cleaner, more streamlined menu. Its allowed them to speed up food preparation and cooking, and with a menu as simple as tacos or burritos with only a handful of meats and topping options available, it revolutionized the fast food industry and has gotten older players to start doing the same.
From scientists, to psychologists, to a restaurant who’s doing it right, it’s proven we don’t like clutter. We don’t like noise. And to avoid becoming part of the clutter and noise I need you to answer the following questions. Because once you’re clear on who you are, what you’re doing, and why it matters, you can effectively take these key points and use them for design, branding, and marketing strategies.
Who are you?
The simplest questions always seem unnecessary, but they’re important. I promise.
Who are you?
You may be saying “I’m (Insert Name). Duh?” Of course you are. But make it a statement. Make it a declaration that this is who you are and you aren’t changing. You believe in something. You have values, you thave core beliefs and principles. You’re not just stating your name. You’re making a declaration for all of these things and that needs to be communicated with your audience.
Answer this question by:
- Declaring who you are
- Declaring what you believe in
- Stating the values, core beliefs, and principles you have
Your goal is to:
- Become a brand that is human to your audience. Brands are living, breathing things and the best ones become lifestyles. By declaring who you are and what you believe in, your audience and customers have something to affiliate and associate themselves with. This helps create brand ambassadors and enables the most powerful form of marketing to have ever existed: word-of-mouth.
What do you do?
Don’t get into cherry-picking twenty things you’re doing just to make your business “look” bigger than what it is. Too many brands like to boast that they do X, Y, and Z; 1, 2 and 3; and A, B, and C. And me, the person in need of certain services, ends up leaving the site to find someone who will fulfill that one need I’m looking for without all the clutter.
It’s true. We are wired to cut the noise. We don’t like mass amounts of information thrown at us and our brains work to only notice what’s different and what stands out. Pick a single niche focus to concentrate on.
For my comic publishing startup, we make superhero comics. That’s our single, niche focus. What we’ve been able to do is extend that focus. We made a podcast talking, teaching, and sharing what we know about making superhero comics. We wrote an incredible lead magnet for our email list, an e-book on how to create iconic superheroes for your comic. We plan to launch a blog later this year and write about making superhero comics. Much later this year, I’ll start vlogging and showing people what goes on behind-the-scenes as we make our superhero comics and develop content. We’ve also planned to do courses and develop more e-books on making superhero comics. You see how that single focus on what we do is able to extend into different outlets, channels, and areas to monetize on?
You can do the same thing.
I’m a brand identity designer who solely works with entrepreneurs. So I blog about branding and entrepreneurial insights; I’ve created both brand identity design services and have brand coaching. I’m also launching two courses on branding this year: the 7 Day Branding Bootcamp and Learn Branding.
A single niche focus allows you to extend it into other areas and do two important things every entrepreneur needs to dto:
- Share and give away value to your target audience, aka, Content Marketing
You share and give away value to build authority on your single niche focus. If you’re the expert, everyone is coming to you. And if everyone is coming to you, there’s an opportunity to monetize on your expertise with products and/or services. But you only get that far once you’ve defined what it is you do.
Answer this question by:
- Determining what potential customers and your target audience will come/have been coming to you for
- Determining what provides the most value
- Determining what activity, need, and/or want your brand wants to become associated with
Your goal is to:
- Define the activity your audience is coming to you for. What’s the entry point? It’s as simple as coffee, lotion, carpet cleaning or video editing. Then define how this is fulfilling that need/want. Bonus: See how you can extend this into the two categories we talked about above:
- Content marketing (to share and give away free value)
Why does it matter?
If your brand all of a sudden left the market/industry, does it affect the industry in a big way or do things remain the same?
Saving the best question for last here.
This is going to come at you and your brand like a ton of bricks. It’s one of those introspective, soul-searching questions that’ll make you ponder life, but it has to be answered. You have to understand the value and benefit you not only bring to the landscape of your market and industry, but more importantly, your clients.
Once you figure out the why, then it becomes easier to start marketing and branding strategies around it.
Answer this question by:
- Defining the value you bring to your customers/audience. What are they getting from you they can’t from a competitor?
- Outlining the benefits and not the features. The market is shifting. We go after benefits and not the laundry list of features. You’re answering your customer’s question: What’s in it for me?, and selling the results.
- Asking yourself: If I stopped doing business, what does it affect? Who does it affect? And is my business improving the market enough for anyone to care?
Your goal is to:
Define your value and stake your claim to it. This is how you become a brand worth remembering. When you become invaluable, unmatched, and a benefit to your audience and customers, that is how you stand out.
Now put it all together
Once you answer the questions above, what we can then do is format them into a value proposition and sales pitch for your website or any social media marketing. Take a look at the examples below.
We do [X = What You Do], but the difference is [Z = Why Does It Matter]
Ex: We do carpet cleaning, but the difference is we bring chemical-free cleaners into your home.
We’re the ones that [Z = Why Does It Matter].
Ex: We’re the ones that can guarantee your kid’s safety by using chemical and GMO-free products made of plants and natural cleaning agents.
By answering who you are, you make a declaration of your values, principles, core beliefs, and what you do/do not stand for. It’s a statement of confidence and courage. Answering what you do allows you to specialize in a single niche focus and build authority, credibility, association, and trust around that focus you can use to content market and later monetize on. And in answering why it matters, this gives you the opportunity to create a brand that differentiates itself, adds value, and becomes a benefit to your audience.
Print out the worksheet
I went a step further this time. I want you to actually do this.
Print the worksheet. Sit down. And write your answers out.
Yes. You can type them, but there’s something special about writing these answers out. Your thoughts, your feelings, and your emotions get channeled through the pen as the question is being answered and processed. It’s easier to hop on the computer, type something up, and leave it alone. Writing it down requires you distance yourself from distractions, sit, think about it, then develop it. It’s okay if you jot down five different answers and scribble them all out. You’re working through it and that’s all I want you to do.
When you have all three questions answered, your next move is to determine how you can apply them to your brand and marketing strategies to start attracting clients, customers, and the right audience. But don’t figure this out alone, especially if you aren’t sure on how to do it. If, and only if you’re ready to get down to business for an intense 45 minute coaching session to plan these next steps out, schedule a coaching session with me and let’s do this thing.
Once you’re comfortable and you have your final answers down, your next move to is figure out how to use these answers to benefit your marketing and brand. It’s one thing to have them written down, it’s another to implement them into your business and see how they work. But don’t figure this out on your own if you don’t know how to do it. And don’t spend hours of your time researching it when you have a business to run. You can spend 45 minutes with me and have an actionable plan ready to implement the same day.
Become A Stand Out Brand Worksheet
Rise above the noise of thousands of feeds and timelines by answering these 3 simple questions.