Your brand is everything when it comes to business, especially scaling it.
I’ve collected some myths that I’ve learned from clients and social media over the years… It’s time to bust them for good.
To start, let’s go over what the brand actually is.
A Brand is a promise of an experience. This is the mantra we live by while developing brands for our clients.
A brand is more than just how your business looks on the outside. Here at Employed By Life Online, we practice the 3 Pillars of Branding: Identity, Design, and Perception. Each of these pillars supports your business from beginning to end and they’re present whether or not you’ve actually built them.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, I’d love to chat to help you get on track.
1. “Your brand is for your client, not yourself.”
Oof! That one hurt typing it… This is very false!
When a brand is designed to appease the client and not the provider, it creates an uneasy feeling: imposter syndrome.
The provider probably doesn’t feel like they’re being truthful to the client. In essence, they feel like a sham.
Developing your personal brand should be aligned with your personal preferences. Doing this creates a feeling of authenticity from you, the provider, releasing uneasy feelings when interacting with clients.
It’s important to be yourself when providing services, especially high-end services like coaching, consulting, copywriting, and even designing.
If you can’t be yourself in your business, you can’t be happy. It’s really that simple. Everyone deserves success with a smile because if you aren’t happy, are you truly successful?
2. “Choose colors based on the color wheel of emotions/representations, not your favorite colors.”
Wow, really? False!
I’ve personally heard this one for so many years. It’s one of the more common misconceptions I’ve had to clear up with my clients.
Although some guru out there has claimed that we buy solely on the color of the product or we sleep better when our walls are blue/brown, this is not true for service providers.
Going hand-in-hand with the previous myth, choosing colors has nothing to do with what your clients want. Your brand should accurately represent YOU as the provider of the service, not your clients (which probably all have different favorite colors anyway).
While there are guidelines on choosing a color for your website, it’s important to make the color palette something that resonates with you, not your clients.
Look at big brands in the same industry.
For example, Pepsi (blue) and Coca-Cola (red) have completely different colors. They’re in the same industry but are still highly successful. I bet their colors weren’t chosen from the emotional color wheel.
3. “Your logo should inspire trust, loyalty, and give people the feels.”
False. This statement confuses me to the fullest.
Your logo doesn’t have that large of a job!
It’s your brand that should inspire trust, loyalty, and give people the feels – not your logo.
The reason why branding is so important is that consistent branding becomes familiar to the mind. When your marketing is consistent in design and language and your logo is present in ALL marketing, your brand becomes a representative of trust.
People buy from those they trust. And the more a person sees your brand (which could be your logo, name, colors, or mention from another site), the more a person grows to trust you and your company.
Let’s face it, the internet has made us all skeptics (even I’m a huge skeptic myself). The first time you see an ad, click on it, and read the sales page – do you buy it immediately?
On this same note, it can take a person several years to purchase from you (no matter the industry you’re in). That’s because they have to progress through the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is just the method by which people need to learn more in order to make a buying decision.
Personally, if it’s less than a hundred dollars, I don’t do much research, but when it’s over a hundred in the offer… I wait. I let the ad follow me around on the internet, I do research on the company, and analyze whether or not I actually need the service. Then I decide if I trust the promises the company is giving – thus my decision to buy or not is made. This is my buyer’s journey.
It’s important to have a consistent brand for the sake of your buyers. When you have consistency the moment you begin selling, your odds of landing clients sooner is greatly increased because of the buyer’s journey. Everyone you come in contact with will begin to develop a perception of trust (or distrust) of your brand (and you, if you’re the sole service provider) over the years!
4. “Branding is all about the way your business looks.”
False. False! False!!
I see brand designers saying this and it hurts my soul! They’re only looking at the surface of the brand and nothing more.
The truth? Your brand is represented in ALL areas of your business.
This is where branding gets confusing. A “brand” is an abstract concept, not any one thing. It’s a compilation of many things such as identity, perception, and design. Even marketing campaigns a part of your brand.
Branding has so many different elements. As previously mentioned, we develop the Identity, Design, and Perception of your business, which we call the 3 Pillars of Branding. Each of these 3 pillars also covers hundreds of other aspects as well, such as copywriting and marketing.
For example, if you only have a design that’s fancy and looks expensive, but your messages and language (copywriting) is conveying cheap and inexpensive – it becomes a conflict of interest and confusion for the buyer.
This is why we do full-service branding here at Employed By Life Online. We take our clients, business owners just like yourself, from the start of developing a personalized, authentic brand, all the way down to daily marketing like emails and social media posts.
We take the stress out of brand development and clarify the path in which you must walk – all on your terms with your own authentic voice, messaging, and personality.
5. “Your tagline must include your brand values.”
That’s the last place you’d want them, especially if you have more than 3 words in your values.
Don’t get me wrong – it can include them. But it’s not the most ideal place for them.
Your brand values are best served sprinkled across your website (especially your “about” page) and marketing.
As an example, I’ve added a piece of our values in this very article. Did you see it? (Hint: it had to do with “success with a smile”) ?
Your tagline doesn’t have to represent your brand values. It could be something about your services or your industry.
A tagline should serve the purpose of complimenting your company name. If the company name is your personal name (this is sometimes called personal branding), then it helps to elaborate more about your industry and profession.
There’s a wide variety of ways to do a tagline, but forcing your brand values into it is not recommended. Do what fits best and tells your prospects more about you or your company.
Bonus Myth: “Your brand doesn’t exist to make you happy.”
This misconception came up when I was networking with a brand designer. One of her lead magnets stressed this point. It made me sad that she believed that.
Here’s my thought on this: If your brand doesn’t make you happy – are you a happy business owner? I guess you could be but I highly doubt it.
This strategy may work for retailers, but when it comes to personalized services from entrepreneurs and freelancers… Authenticity is the key to success.
So let me ask you a question:
If your brand is purple, uses a cheerful voice, charges premium prices, and produces amazing results for your client, do you think a person that hates purple will refuse to hire you?
No. It only means the client doesn’t like purple. Nothing more. In fact, they can still be a dream client.
The problem with this ideology is that it’s trying to please everyone and not the person it’s representing. That’s the biggest mistake of today’s marketplace: everyone trying to cater and please everyone else.
This just leads to feelings of imposter syndrome, resentment, stress, and overall unhappiness that go along with each of those negative feelings.
So what was accomplished? Nothing.
Instead, focusing on a brand that pleases the person it represents (you as the service provider) is the most important aspect of business.
Remember, your brand should make you happy and have overwhelmingly good feelings of success and accomplishment.
Your Brand Unveiled and Truth Discovered
So many people, not just my own clients, are confused about what branding actually is. It’s my goal to eliminate jargon and shed light on branding, it’s importance, and how it’s a key factor in scaling any business.
Have a question about branding I didn’t cover here?
I’d love to hear about any branding from you! It’s my mission to free innocent business owners from the guru jargon of branding and help them discover the hero’s path. After all, we’re all the heroes of our own stories. Own it. Share it. Become it.
What are you waiting for? Let’s chat.