Do you find yourself struggling to figure out exactly what your “brand” is? Do you look around at what other successful spiritual entrepreneurs are doing and wonder if you should “model” your biz after theirs?
Worse yet: do you feel like you’re just not unique or interesting enough to stand out?
Take a deep breath, pardner and repeat after me:
Branding is NOT rocket science.
It’s simple as ABC. Or: look, sound, feel.
Your brand should represent YOU. Which means it should look like you, sound like you, and give people a real feel for what you’re all about.
Bottom line: creating a strong brand requires that you know yourself, inside and out – and present yourself to the world as you are. (Well…not all of you. There are some parts the world does NOT need to see.)
Using myself as an example – when you come into my online world, it’s pretty easy to get an idea of how I roll. My lingo is straightforward, uncomplicated, and I use copious amounts of slang. I write about business, various tarot subjects, and pop culture (including my latest celeb crush). My obsessions are front and center (rap music, food, etc.). The colors I use are consistent: purple and turquoise with a splash of gold ‘n gray. Why? Those are colors I love and they send a message of spirituality, with a pop of fun – but serious when need be.
When you meet me, what you see is what you get. (Although I probably use more curse words in public than I do in my writing because I want to keep it PG for the younger tarot set.)
I never try to be anything but me. Which helps potential clients self-select. Either they want to roll deep with me – or move on to someone who matches their unique groove.
As you develop your brand, remember these three keys:
- Look: your site should reflect your tastes. Find colors and palettes that best convey your personality. For me, it’s purple and turquoise but you may prefer orange and a blast of cobalt blue. If you’re an earthy tree hugger, you might jam on earth tones. More of a mysterious Theda Bara type? Go deep red with loads of black and lots o’ gothy images. (Psst…if you find yourself getting a bit too “influenced” by your colleague’s style, stay off their sites. Get inspired elsewhere.)
- Sound: the web copy and blogging should sound like you, which means you don’t want to adopt what you assume is a “professional” tone – unless that is how you naturally converse. Feel free to use your slang, your verbal quirks, your “real” voice.
- Feel: how do you want your clients to feel when they visit your business or check out your work? What vibe do you want to convey? What might they take away from visiting your site – or meeting you in person?
BUT you’re not doomed to stay in one-note for-evah.
Your brand can evolve over time. Because you change and so may your tastes (I’m not still wearing those thigh high patent leather boots I rocked in the 80’s!). Even so, the essence of who you are will should always shine through. (Psst…if you’re constantly rebranding every few months…or weeks…that’s going to confuse your audience.)
Know what you’re all about.
Be INTENTIONAL. Deliberate. Bring your whole self forward. Evolve that brand as you do.
Those are my thoughts but I thought it might be smart to get another opinion, so I reached out to branding expert Jeanna Kadlec of Girlboss Woo.
A little bit about her: Jeanna Kadlec dropped out of an English Ph.D. program to start Bluestockings Boutique, the first-ever lingerie boutique geared to the LGBTQIA+ community. She recently founded her second business, Girlboss Woo, which brings intuitive brand strategies to soulful creatives. She’s on Twitter at @JeannaKadlec.
1. What is the most important thing to consider when creating your brand?
Jeanna: Yourself. You are the foundation of your business. If you’re not grounded and centered, your business sure as hell won’t be.
Creating a brand tends to consciously happen when we start a business or get ready to launch a major project, though we each have a personal brand (even if we don’t think we do). Get the “you” part of it straight first. Don’t think about your audience. Don’t think about the money. Don’t think about the logistics. Think about you and what you want out of your brand, and what kind of brand would feel spiritually healthy to you.
It all starts with you. If your head isn’t screwed on right, if your spirit isn’t in alignment with yourself – then it’s gonna be a rough ride. Speaking from experience.
2. What is your advice for anyone who is looking to rebrand their business?
Jeanna: Don’t be afraid to get back to basics and do some deep personal digging. Before you get to the visuals component (which I think is what most folks usually think of when they hear “rebrand”), get back to your vision. Your “why.” Do some serious self-evaluation and detoxing. Why are you looking to rebrand? What about the business feels “off”? (It’s not just the font you’re using in your logo.) What about the business hasn’t been fulfilling you lately? What needs a change of direction? And how does that align with your life purpose and values, now?
3. How can you get your brand to stand out when there are so many people doing the same thing as you?
Jeanna: Consistent, high quality, targeted content. It’s a boring answer, but an honest one.
Consistency immediately separates the wheat from the chaff, particularly online. When it comes to high quality, targeted content, think about how well your content matches your audience. Also think about how you’re packaging your website and visuals – is it clean, modern, inviting? Or GeoCities-style clunky?
One other thing — talk to people. Business success does not happen in a vacuum. Get on social media and reach out, if only to connect with other business owners and hustlers. And keep producing that high quality content, consistently. That’s how you become someone other professionals refer their people to.
4. What is the one piece of branding advice that people should ignore completely (ex: my most hated was the guru who told people to “stalk their competition” and “model their biz off a successful peer”)?
Jeanna: My advice is pretty simple: don’t listen to everyone’s advice. (Or, to put it another way: don’t try to copy everyone else’s strategies.)
There are some very smart people with some very good ideas about branding that will not work for you, whether because of industry differences or the fact that your business is at a different stage or the fact that X person had experience doing Y, or had a bomb-ass network, which really helped them get ahead of the curve. You literally cannot implement everyone’s advice, and it is madness to try and do so. Again: speaking as someone who used to do that.
That said, it can definitely be overwhelming when starting a brand, or rebranding, to figure out what to listen to and what not to. This is where networking on social media helps — finding your tribe, who you connect with, whose advice you want to listen to.
5. What is the one thing you’d like to see more spiritual businesses doing with their brands?
Jeanna: Niche down. So many metaphysical entrepreneurs are doing rad work — but it’s not clear who their target audience is. (And “[this generation of] women” is not a target market.) I 100% hear that folks don’t want to turn customers off or away, but you cannot serve everyone and should not be trying to. A brand only strengthens through going more niche — and it also fills you up, because you find your tribe.
Big thanks to Jeanna for those great tips!
So there ya go. Branding 101. Keep on being you – because that’s what the world wants to see.
Wanna work on your brand? I’ve got this wee workbook just for you: Look, Sound, Feel – A Quick Guide To Branding Your Spiritual Biz. It’s totally free. Click on the Download button below to get yours. You’ll have to put in your email address but don’t worry – you’re not added to any creepy list. This is my gift to you, no strings attached. Enjoy!
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2016