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I was originally going to name this post, ‘What To Do When Your Business Lacks Direction’ but that is rarely the case. My businesses have never lacked direction – I’ve always known where I wanted them to go… in all 130,256 different directions (okay slight exaggeration there but you get my point). And I notice the trend among others too.
I have come to realise more and more the importance of focus.
As bloggers we talk about our ‘niche’, as business owners we have our ‘target market’. We all know the importance of having a clear idea of who we are talking to, who are marketing ourselves towards and what it is that our business represents. However without keeping tabs on this, it is easy to venture off the pathway and head in all kinds of directions.
I’ve recently had a massive brand overhaul. I had known for a while that my brand no longer represented the direction I wanted my business to head in but I was too scared to change it. I figured I could just keep incorporating the new ideas into my current brand and everything would be okay.
But it wasn’t.
I was trying to appeal to the breastfeeding mothers, the stay at home mothers, the NICU mothers, the mothers of toddlers, the young mothers, the older mothers, the young twenty somethings, the corporate climbers, the daydreamers, the entrepreneurs, the wives, the girlfriends, the single-and-loving-its, the health and fitness conscious, the lovers of food and the bloggers.
I was trying to be everything to everyone. I wasn’t able to be clear on my brand ideas because I was trying to fit them into the old brand style, as well as trying to make them fit to the new direction I wanted to go in. My business was starting to look messy and I was failing my brand.
So change had to happen.
I spent countless hours researching branding and brand identity. I had already started asking my audience what they wanted from me and my brand, now I had to start giving it to them in a clear and intentional way. I brainstormed ideas of future products, webinars, blog posts, courses and at the centre of it all, made sure I was abundantly clear on my brand’s core idea.
And now you get to see what it all looks like. The Daily Femme is designed for Entrepreneurial Lady Bosses. For women who want to keep a sense of self while being an entrepreneur, career woman, wife, mother and friend. For women who want to know how to make the most out of their business and their life. For women who want to take it all on and succeed at everything they do. For the everyday woman. For you.
Not everyone who has a brand heading in a bunch of different directions needs a major brand overhaul. My case was a bit on the extreme end of the scale. Sometimes all we need is a little more focus.
The key elements I’ve found that you need in order to achieve Brand CLARITY –
C – Your Core Idea
Your brand needs to have one core idea. What is it that your brand does? What does your brand want to represent? This needs to be able to be conveyed in one sentence.
L – Love Your Brand
You need to love what you brand represents. If you’re not sure, if you aren’t 100% behind your brands core idea, then you’ll always be trying to add different elements to it. What is it that you love about your brand? What do you love to talk about, teach and learn? Always keep in mind the things you love about your brand and incorporate them in everything you do.
A – Your Audience
Having a clear idea of your audience is essential. Who is your niche/target market? Rather than creating a product or information and then finding an audience, look at what your audience wants and needs, then create a product and information to suit.
R – Research Your Audience
How is it you know what your audience wants and needs? You ask of course! I struggled with this for a long time, I didn’t think I’d actually get any answers from my audience and I believe my audience was too small to start this kind of engagement. But I was wrong. This point in particular shaped a lot of where my brand is today. You need to know what problems your audience face. What are their struggles? What are their achievements? What do they like? What don’t they like? What motivates them? What inspires them? What problems to they need solved and what questions do they need answered? Find all of these answers and then shape your brand around this.
I – Your Ideas
Most of us have a whole bunch of ideas for our brand and business. This is your chance to write them all down and explore them a little more. Then work out if your ideas fit within your core idea, your brand and your audience. If they don’t then put them aside. If they do then they are the ideas you need to work towards. There’s no point wasting time and energy on ideas that don’t match your brand. You need focus and you need consistency.
T – Your Timeline
Not only do you need to know what you want from your brand, but you need to know when you’re going to get there. Of the above ideas and your current projects on the go, create a timeline of when you’d like them finished. This is so important, it means that your projects won’t end up in the ‘someday I’ll finish it’ pile and you can make sure everything you’re doing for your brand is moving you towards your brands bigger picture.
You can even create a set structure for your brand as well. For example, I’ve been playing around with what days I should be posting and how often. I’m now testing out posting every second day, sending emails every fortnight and have developed a timeline for when I want my next two eBooks completed and released, as well as timelines for other big elements of my brand.
Without a doubt there is a lot more to creating a well defined brand however I’ve found that if you keep in mind the above ‘Brand Clarity’ then you’ll always be making decisions that are inline with your overall brand identity and have a clear focus on what you want to achieve and when.
Y – What is Your Why?
This is possibly the single biggest question you will ever need to answer for your brand. This is the ‘why’ for your brand – this is the ‘why’ for you. It’s the entire reason you’re doing all of this. It’s why you work so hard, it’s why you sacrifice social outings and lunch dates, it’s why you get up early and stay up late, it’s why you do everything for your brand. Once you clearly identify your ‘why’ you can ensure that it is incorporated into every aspect of your brand.