As an entrepreneur, it’s exciting to start earning money for doing something you don’t view as work. If there’s something I know about you already, it’s that you have a passion and love what you do. However, when running a business it’s important we don’t get caught up in becoming a business. There is a major difference between growing a brand and operating a business.
A lot of people have the misconception when they hear the word “brand”. They think of a logos, colors, fonts, and websites and it’s true — your brand is all of those things. But. It’s much more than that! When perceived correctly, your brand has a personality. Your brand has a voice, it has a message, and a mission behind what you offer.
A business is just an enterprise where goods and services are exchanged for one another or for money. A brand is an image, personality, and voice behind a business that makes you feel connected to it. Brands are what give businesses the ‘like, know, trust factor’.
If you’re just a big walking billboard talking about your business and you’re not connecting and offering value to your audience then you have a business, not a brand. We, as entrepreneurs, have to create a trust between us and our audience. We have to create a genuine connection.
Have you ever followed someone on Instagram and notice they have multiple streams of ways they make their income? They are a wedding photographer yet, sell photography marketing courses, sell presets, sell educational guides but it’s all under one umbrella. That, my friend, is because they’ve created not only a business but a brand. When you have that ‘like, know, trust factor’, people begin to invest in you; not what you’re offering.
Have you ever thought about your future, like what you’ll be doing 20, 30 years from now? What if you physically can’t do your job anymore? When you create a brand and have the ability to pivot you can look further into the future and create a business that serves your life.
When your brand has a personality and a voice it can make a greater impact. When you care about something greater than your day-to-day business and have a mission to make an impact others will follow. Businesses can’t connect with their audience and make them care like a brand can. Brands can take a message and have it resonate with their audience; making a greater impact.
As a brand designer, I have watched my clients take a passion, build a tribe, make their tribe truly care about that passion, and all together start a movement.
When you create a brand that serves it’s easy to adopt a ‘give, give, give, marry me’ business model. You’ll spend your time serving others and giving away knowledge and resources for free but then when it comes time to sell you don’t have to feel gross about asking your audience for their support. They’ll graciously pull out their credit card for a number of reasons…
For one, you offered them so much value (for free) that they’ll think what you want them to pay for is a hundred times better. But also, it’s human nature when someone helps you that you’ll want to help them back.
If you spend your time serving your audience and growing a relationship with them when it comes time for you to ‘sell’ they’ll be eager to take part in what you have to offer.
I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs spend their valuable time of trying to grow a business and not a brand. If you take your time and thoughtfully grow a brand you’ll be more successful and have a more enjoyable time doing so. When you have a personality, clear message, and voice you’ll see a bigger impact and better results.