This post is for you, one-(wo)man-show hustlers, first-time business owners and bloggers with the dream to turn their hobby into a business. And it will get personal. I am going to tell you how a wrong decision almost let me drop the ball and give up on my dream of working for myself.
If you’re one of those mentioned above branding or not shouldn’t even be a question. The advantages of branding are incredible. I know many of you are hesitant if branding is really necessary and you are not convinced it is worth your time and effort. This is why I am going to talk about my experience today.
When you find yourself in a new situation
Starting this blog with the intention of going into business for myself was something I wasn’t really prepared for, but who is? And in this first phase of my new adventure, I didn’t spend a minute on branding. Yes, me. The one who is working in design and branding for more than a decade. Writing this now, makes me again realize how ridiculous it was.
The worst decision of all time
If you ask me now why I completely ignored branding my blog and business, even if I should have known better, I can give you a couple of reasons. Maybe some of those sound familiar to you.
- First of all, I was in complete overwhelm mode because creating a business and blogging was something I wasn’t experienced in. I read a lot and tried to implement everything simultaneously on my blog which turned into a form of procrastination. Spending too much time on planning and creating but never taking action.
- Part of the problem was also that I didn’t believe in myself. Thinking I can probably never make this business work, I didn’t want to put too much heart and effort into it. It was like setting yourself up for failure before even starting.
Sometimes you have to hit bottom before it gets better
Because of the lack of a brand and a solid foundation I got completely lost. If you have no direction and you act without intention, you might as well do nothing at all! What I was doing was not only harming my business, it was also draining my energy and killing my passion.
That’s when Meera Kothand came to my rescue. If you don’t know Meera you should check out her blog. She teaches solopreneurs how to rock email and digital marketing and she’s absolutely fabulous at what she does. Well, I was lucky to get a website audit from her when I was about to reach point zero, considering to give up. What was really amazing about this audit, besides the points of improvement she found on my site, was that she told me to take a look at what I am doing and especially why I am doing it. This was a real a-ha moment for me. I hadn’t realized that I was so busy just doing things that I completely forgot to think about why I was doing it. And it became clear to me that I had absolutely no direction. What I obviously needed was to go back to start, build a brand and then take it from there. It’s never too late.
Everything makes sense now
I took a step back afterward and started to build my brand and a strategy for my business. This had such an immense impact on me and my business that I decided to tell you about my experience today and hope this gives you the motivation to do the same for your business.
A new perspective
It also gave me a new perspective on my client work because, honestly, branding yourself or your business is not easy. I struggled a lot during the process and now understand why it seems so easy when you look at it from the outside (like I do when I build a brand for a client) but is so difficult when you are on the other side – when it is your brand. It took some time to create this brand of mine and I am still evaluating and making adjustments but it was totally worth it.
Why you need a brand for your biz or blog
There are so many advantages for your business in building a brand but here I want to point out in which way branding helped me and maybe can help you too.
Branding helps you to get recognized
I was spending every minute I could spare on my business without any result. Only when I started to implement my branding, people started to show up and actually be interested in what I do.
Branding makes your business look professional
In hindsight, my blog must have seemed like Pandora’s box to the few visitors who came here. This not only looked unprofessional but it also confused them and probably made them leave and never return. By being clear about your values and the message you want to spread, you can get your audience to trust you.
Branding makes your daily work easier
Now that I have the clarity of what my brand stands for and where I want to be headed with my business, I also know what kind of blog posts I need to write, what to post on social media, and what kind of services I want to offer to my clients. Daily tasks, as well as big decisions, become so much easier.
Branding gives you a direction
You definitely want to set goals for your business. Branding not only helps you to figure out what these goals are it also provides you with the tools you need to reach your goals. The most important of all tools is consistency. Read more about why consistency is important in this post.
Branding helps you to find your target audience
Before building my brand I was literally targeting everyone with no effect. Branding helped me to focus on my ideal audience and guess what, I was seeing results immediately.
Branding helps you to get to know yourself
This whole branding thing had a huge impact on me. I figured out what I really like about my work, what I am passionate about and what I want to do with my business.