I get quite a few inquiries from entrepreneurs who say they need branding. Makes sense, since I do call myself a branding expert.
When I hear someone say, “I need branding,” I get excited. I have this preconceived notion (especially after visiting their website) that what they need is a visual identity, or help in finding clarity in what they stand for in their business, or perhaps coming up with an expert title and tag line — something that involves many moving parts.
But then I come to find out that what they really are asking for is something as simple as a business card, or someone to write their web copy for them. This is all part of branding, but those are the done-for-you services associated with branding.
What branding is and is not
Branding is a process. It’s a big picture item. It’s looking at everything you stand for in your business: the problem you solve, who you solve it for, how you deliver your product and services . . . then developing a look and a voice that reflects who you are and speaks to the clients you serve. It’s positioning you in the marketplace.
If you hire me to create a business card, you’re really hiring me as a graphic designer. If you hire me to write web copy, you’re hiring me as a copywriter. That’s fine, but the reason I rebranded to specialize in personal branding is because I saw so many business owners taking the piecemeal approach rather than jumping in and creating a full package that positions them as the expert.
And it’s in the packaging that I serve my clients best — by getting to know them and what they want to achieve. That’s where the vision comes in and the real magic happens.
Sure, you can tell me what you want on your business card and I’ll do it for you, but you’re not getting my vision — you’re getting a nice design.
I get it. We’re all trying to keep costs down. But, in the long run, you’re just throwing money away if you don’t just jump in and get the darn thing done right from the start.
And think of it this way: if you’re trying to attract clients who will pay you the big bucks you have to be that type of client, too. When you nickel and dime, people will do the same to you.
It’s an energetic.
Don’t take this the wrong way. If all you want is a business card, I’m here for you. Just tell me that’s what you need, and I’ll get it done. But if you tell me you need branding, right away my mind is soaring to the mountain top with the highest light stand, because that’s where I want to position you: at the top of your game where you shine bright. And it takes more than a nice business card to do that. It takes the total package that’s called branding.
Because before you get to the top, you have to go deep.
I’d love to hear your definition of branding, since it seems to mean different things to different people. Please comment and help me with my research!
Carol Ann DeSimine is a Branding Expert and Visibility Strategist and the Creator of The Sizzle System of Personal Branding, a 6-step plan that guides entrepreneurs through the process of creating a brand that gets them seen, gets them heard, and gets them clients. If you’d like a no-obligation 15-minute brand review, set up a time to chat here.