What's Your Brand Promise?

 

the four things you need to think about before answering


Have you ever sat down and really thought about what you, your business, and your brand stand for? Have you ever thought about who exactly is it you want to connect with, how do you plan on really serving them, and what your promise to them is?

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I’m asking about the things that go deeper than just promising a certain amount of images or a time frame. The photographs you create, and the time a client spends with you, has the potential to mean something on a deeper level. Very few photography brands are only selling photographs. And the sooner you realize the more intangible things you provide, the sooner you can use your brand message proactively, and stand behind a brand promise that means something.

Understand your ideal client

If you don’t know who you are talking to, then no one will ever listen. Having an understanding of your ideal client is really important, because it allows you to understand the person on the other side of everything you do. Every blog, social media post, site copy, etc, is meant for someone. A potential customer. If it’s not, then that is likely one reason you are feeling so frustrated.

Knowing as much as possible about your ideal customer means that you have the ability to tailor all those things directly to them, and then you know who you are talking to. You’ll know what to say. And you’ll be able to stop trying to be all the things to all the people, and instead just be one really great thing to a few people. You don’t need all the clients. You need just the right few clients.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is your ideal client like? Where do they live, what do they do for a living, where do they shop, how do they spend their time?
  • What is their family like?
  • What do you, as a brand, need to do to gain the trust and respect of those potential clients?

Understand their problems

We often talk about the problems that keep our clients up at night, and how if you can solve those problems, your business will thrive. And that’s absolutely true. But do you know what else keeps people up at night? Their dreams.

Some business solve problems, some business stoke dreams, and some do both. Because often, isn't a dream just a good problem? And if you can offer the solution to get from dream to accomplishment, you’ve provided a service just as valuable as anything else.

No one stays up at night worry that they don’t have professional photographs of their family. So if you follow the traditional advice and only try to solve your clients problems, you’ll quickly feel stuck. But people do dream about their family legacy. About beautiful things to have in their home. And especially if you work with families, parents definitely dream about holding onto right now. Those are problems you can absolutely solve.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are your client’s big dreams or goals? How can your brand help them make a step towards achieving those goals?
  • What do your clients value? Where is the overlap between what you value and what they value?
  • What matters most to your clients?

Understand your brand voice

Your brand voice is just the way you portray yourself or your business online or in person. It’s the style of writing or speaking you have, and it’s a really important part in helping your brand feel like a real person, and when it’s consistent it builds trust and familiarity.

Put simply - it’s just the way you write and speak about your business. People to tend to overthink this one, thinking it’s complicated or that writing is too difficult. But really all that matters is that you understand your tone and how it represents your business, and then utilizing that tone consistently across all platforms.

And just be yourself. If you try too hard to be something you aren’t, your tone will feel forced and unnatural, and it won’t connect the same way. Often the best version of ourselves is the one that is simply authentic.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are three adjectives you want associated with your brand?
  • What feeling do you want someone to have after reading or hearing something from your brand?
  • If your brand was a person, how would they speak? What type of personality would they have
  • What type of emotions do you want to inspire?

Understand your brand message

When you can pull those things together, and then take the next step in identifying what you do, who you do it for, and what your promise is, you have a brand message. Your brand message is ultimately the thing that tells a potential customer how you can serve them. And it’s why the branding process should be about so much more than just fonts and a logo. Those things are important, and nothing will make your business look less professional than a poorly done logo or website.

But at the end of the day, those are just visual representations of what you do. And if you don’t know what you do, who you do it for, and why that matters, then your business will always struggle.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who do I serve?
  • What value do I offer them?
  • What’s my promise to them?
  • How do I back that promise up with tangible proof?

When you start to understand these things, that’s when you’ll find that you’re developing a clear, consistent brand. And you’ll find that you’ll always know the next step, because you know exactly who you are speaking to, how to speak to them, and what your promise is. And once you’re there, things become so much clearer, which is an amazing feeling.

I know that sometimes you can do the work, answer the questions, and you still just want an outside voice helping your sort all this stuff out. If you want to talk more about your brand and how I can help you find clarity, create a strong brand voice and message, develop logos and collateral, and create a website that does what it’s supposed to: converts visitors to followers, and followers to clients, click here to find out more about my two week branding + website package. I only have 5 openings left for the second half of 2018.

And as always, these things only work if you put in the work and make it happen. I hope you schedule a little time this week to put pen to paper and write down the answers to these questions. Some of these questions would make a great theme for your morning brainstorming lists.

And I promise that if you do this work, you’ll gain an invaluable understanding about your brand that will trickle into all parts of your business.