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5 Surprising Reasons Why Your Brand May Be Suffering [+ How To Fix It]

Here are 5 surprising reasons why your brand may be suffering, and how to fix it to create a memorable brand instead

I get it. You’re not a designer, but rather an online business owner. Your main focus is on running and growing said business. Since you don’t have the funds to outsource branding to a professional, designing a DIY brand is the way to go.

Thing is, you don’t know where to start, what branding elements you need to come up with, and you just can’t make up your mind on your color scheme, on your brand’s logo, and on the fonts you should pair.

If this sounds like you, my friend, your brand may be suffering, and it may be time to take a step back, reevaluate, and come up with an action plan to kiss those things that aren’t working goodbye, and create a memorable brand instead. Here are 5 surprising reasons why your brand may be suffering, and how to fix it.

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1. You didn’t take the time to brainstorm who your business is as a brand

Even before you put cursor to screen, purchase a domain, and start creating your blog and website, you need to brainstorm who your business is as a brand. You need to plan out what your brand and business means to you and to your visitors, so that you can stand out from the competition, and attract your dream audience.

To figure out your business’ brand, you should answer some guiding questions:

What’s your business’ mission?

In other words, what’s your why? What’s the big reason why you’re waking up each and every day, and putting in the work to grow your online business? What do you want it to do for you? What do you want it to do for your visitors?

Here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing: get e-mail subscribers, make bookings and sales, teach something, or inform your visitors about an event or your services. You will consolidate all of your efforts into creating a brand that reaches that goal.

What are your business’ values and beliefs?

These are the values and beliefs that drive your business forward. If you don’t know what those are for your business, Google ‘mission, vision, values, and goals’ of any big corporation you respect (like Zappos, Amazon, and Apple).

This is the basis for what you do and why you do it. Some of your brand’s core values and beliefs may include good communication, focus on simplicity above complexity, general ethics, and openness to new ideas.

What’s your brand personality?

If your online business were to become a human being, what would its personality be like? Would it be friendly, or would it be reserved? Would it be playful, or would it be formal? Would it be corporate and serious, or would it be warm and loving?

The same goes for your brand’s tone of voice. If it were to become a human, how would it communicate online? Would it spell out every word in full, or would it use abbreviations? Is the use of emojis a no-no, or a necessity? By humanizing your brand, you’ll have a better idea of what it’s like.

What are your brand’s keywords?

Think of 3 words that you would use to describe your brand and your business. What would those be? Techy, empowering, memorable, dynamic, playful, fun, timeless, modern, fresh, creative, formal, hipster, or maybe something else?

Also think about 3 words that you want your visitors to use to describe your brand, or even 3 words to describe how they should feel when they join your tribe. You can also think of this as how your business differentiates itself from the competition. What makes your business stand out? What makes you unique and a better match for your ideal visitors than your competition? What makes you special?

Once you’ve figured out who your business is as a brand, it’ll be much easier to bring your brand to life with colors, fonts, a customized logo, and other brand elements.

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2. You didn’t define who your business’ ideal audience is

Although the business is yours, you should be creating it with your ideal audience in mind. You need to clearly define who your target audience is, what their pain points are, and, most importantly, how YOU can help them overcome those pain points.

The best way to understand who your ideal audience is, and what their pain points are, is to come up with an ideal audience avatar that clearly states all the defining characteristics of your target audience.

Just as you humanized your business to come up with your brand personality, you need to humanize your ideal audience as much as you possibly can. The more you’re able to narrow it down, the better.

For instance, your ideal audience avatar can be 27-year-old Jane. Jane just had a baby (her first!), and although she recently quit her corporate job as a Marketing Manager to stay at home and take care of her newborn, she still wants to contribute to her household income. She values spending quality time with her growing family, and so she dreams about starting her own online business that allows her to make money from home. Thing is, Jane isn’t particularly tech-savvy, and her greatest struggle is to create a website as a non-techie online entrepreneur. She’s looking for someone to help her get her dream site online, in a step-by-step, easy-to-follow, and affordable way, that also makes sense for a total beginner.

You see? Just like that you created your ideal audience avatar. Obviously, not everyone in your target audience will be a 27-year-old named Jane. But you now know that you won’t be targeting a 50-year-old male who’s still in his corporate job, or even a 27-year-old who loves all things tech- and code-related.

For more information on how to define your ideal audience avatar, make sure to read How To Create An Audience Avatar To Attract Targeted Traffic, and to fill out the form below to download the FREE Ideal Audience Avatar Worksheet.

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3. Your brand is inconsistent

Now that you know who your business is as a brand, and who your business’ ideal audience is, you can go ahead and create your own, unique brand. Thing is, when you have your brand elements set, such as the colors you use, the font pairings that you’ll include, and have come up with a logo, you should keep that consistent across all platforms. In other words, set it and forget it.

That’s why you should plan your brand elements out in advance before adding anything to the page, so that you don’t get the urge to change things around in a few days, weeks, or months to come. Think about it this way: Facebook’s color scheme is blue and white. If they suddenly change it to red and black, you’ll not associate it with the same business.

Therefore, you need to define a number of brand elements that are recognizable across the board. Those are your:

  • Logo

  • Color scheme

  • Fonts

  • Tone of voice

  • Form and shape

  • Social media templates

Out of all the brand elements on this list, designing a DIY logo is the hardest. Here are three blog posts that’ll help you out with this:

Don’t rush this process of defining your unique brand elements. Take as much time as you need, so that the desire to modify them in the future is minimal, if not nonexistent.

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4. You’re comparing your business’ brand to others

If you’re just getting started with your online business, don’t go hard on yourself and compare the brand that you came up with to that of others, especially if they’ve been in the game for years. Focus on your work, how you can help your ideal audience overcome their pain points to achieve their goals, and ignore what everyone else is doing.

What you can do if you can’t stop yourself from comparing your business’ brand to that of others is to figure out the strategy that they use, and see how you can incorporate that strategy in a way that’s unique to your own brand and business. What you’ll come to notice is that what makes them stand out is not their social media following, or even the money that they’re making, but actually the fact that they’re consistent, and keep showing up for their ideal audience day in and day out.

There’s a reason why you look up to a certain business or influencer: you know that whatever it is that they put out, be it a blog post, a webinar, an e-mail broadcast, or a social media post, will be helpful and inspiring, and help you achieve your goals. That’s why they’re memorable, and, as such, why their brand is too. Do that for your ideal audience, and you’ll have your own memorable brand in no time.

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5. You’re not taking the time to promote your brand and business online

If you don’t go out of your way to take the time to promote your brand and business online, no one will know who you are and what you do. You may have created a stunning brand for your business, full of unique brand elements, but if you don’t formulate a plan to create a memorable brand experience for your target audience, you’ll soon be forgotten.

You create said memorable brand experience by showing up for your audience in a way that makes them feel like a part of your tribe. This can be as simple as addressing your ideal audience by a particular term, like babe, marketers, boss, and VIP. This makes them feel special, and like they’re part of a community of like-minded individuals working towards achieving a same goal.

It also means that you need to be visible in all of the online places your ideal audience frequents. Get your content out on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn), make sure your content is optimized for search with keywords, get your ideal audience to subscribe to your e-mail list by giving them an opt-in incentive, and nurture your relationship with them on all of these touchpoints, without sacrificing the quality of what you offer.

A simple way to define this concept is to go above and beyond for your audience, so that they fall in love with you, with your business, and with the content you create. They need to be so amazed at what you’re doing for free, that they should think, ‘there’s no way you’re not charging for that!’. As such, you’ll keep them coming back for more and more.

So now that you know the 5 surprising reasons why your brand may be suffering, and how to fix it, it’s time to take action. Make sure that you download your FREE Ideal Audience Avatar Worksheet and leave a comment below with the one thing you plan on doing to guarantee that you create an irresistible and unforgettable brand for your online business.

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