A New Year. A New You!

With the changing of the year, many of us business owners make resolutions for our businesses to be more visible, tap into new ways to attract our ideal customers, and ultimately, bring in more money.

Planning usually begins with pulling out our big chart paper, placing it all around the room and becoming “The Mad Scientists of Plan Making”. The hope becomes, with all of this planning, that when the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve, our plan has us singing, “I’m coming out. I want the world to know, got to let it show.”

Making The Most Of Your Planning

You can see the end game with your plan, but did you include a brand plan to help make your business appear more visible and reflect that client work you want to ultimately get more of  – work in your “Zone Of Genius” and the audience you want moving forward?

Quite often, planning leads to a Brand Check-In to see if you are On-Brand to create the brand you envision, or if you need a Brand Reboot to attract more of those Zone Of Genius projects to become the influential brand you envisioned in your brand resolution planning.

Put Your Brand Plan Into Action

Here are some easy ways you can check in with your brand to ensure that your brand aligns with the plan you have put into motion.

1. Review You

Review your past year’s client work. Are you attracting the type of projects and clients you desire? Are you saying yes to the work that is the ultimate core of your business – the work that you absolutely love to do? Or, is this review showing that your service offerings have branched into doing more and more work outside your key zone of genius?

I ask this because it is easy to do, you love your clients and want to help them all ways that you can. Because of this, sometimes you say yes to things you can do, but don’t really like to do and your marketing starts looking like a hodgepodge of what you can do and not of what you love to do. Ultimately, this starts making your brand look vanilla and not representing the influential brand you had hoped to be.

If you aren’t loving either 90% of what you do or 90% of the clients you are attracting, then you need to seriously review your online and offline branding and marketing, and make changes where required to attract more of your ideal clients.

2. Review Your Customer

You know the type of customers you have been attracting – who your audience was. Does this audience need to change to attract the type of customers and projects that fit within your Zone of Genius?

If your audience needs to change, the best way to do this is get into the heads of the audience you are trying to attract. In essence, you will want to know who they are, where they hang out, what they do for work. Give them a persona, complete with a name.

Once you know who your Ideal Customer is, you may need to do a bit of social stalking to see what trends they follow to know what their social story is. This will also show you the expectations they have for your brand and how to create a connection that allows your Ideal Customer to want to learn more from you.

3. Refresh The Language

Take a look at the language (verbiage) and offers currently on your website, other online platforms, and in your offline marketing. Compare that to the research you found when looking at your ideal customer’s social story. Does your language and offers sound a little vanilla? Do your service offerings speak to your Zone of Genius Services? Do you need to review services that you no longer wish to offer … the ones that have you hating your work. Or, do you need to re-work the language on your website to speak to your ideal customer in a way that they can understand what you are offering and how your solutions can help them?

Remove the offerings that no longer serve the brand you are building. Refine the language of the offerings you are keeping to speak directly to your ideal customer.

4. Update The Look

Review all of your online and offline branding and marketing touchpoints. Do they tell your brand’s story? Are the visuals that tell your story ones that your ideal customer can relate to? Is your website mobile friendly (this is really, really important)? Is your customer’s shopping experience compelling them to abandon their shopping cart and not complete the sale before check-out?

Just as you have a personal style, your business brand has a style as well. The style tells the story. Your audience will view your brand visually first before they read one line of written content on your website. It is your brand’s visual style that will draw your audience in and take them to the step of reading about how you can solve their needs. Unclear visuals causes confusion in your audience’s brain. And (you may have heard me say this before), a confused mind says, “NO”.

If you are ready for a visual re-fresh and don’t know where to begin, create a Mood Board using Pinterest. Mood Boards help to form your brand’s point of view visually, and is a key tool that you can share with your graphic designer to help develop your brand story. You can see an example of a Mood Board on O’Daniel Designs Pinterest Page.

5. Add You Into Your Brand

Many times, the brand you are building is an extension of you. And, the audience you are hoping to attract has similarities to the friends and ideal clients you already have. When you are updating your brand, don’t be afraid to add a bit of you into your brand. This will help you be less vanilla and help attract the ideal clients you are trying to attract.

Don’t be afraid to add a bit of excitement to your branding and marketing and help form your brand’s personality. Branding is a deeply personal experience. Sometimes it can be like taking your heart, throwing it over the fence and following it over to find a new group of friends … who just might happen to be the ideal customers of your dreams.

Watch Your Brand Flourish

Planning can help you get create the brand you envision – a brand that showcases you as the influential brand you imagined.

By creating a plan and seeing it through, in no time the world will know that your brand has come out, because you have showed all you have to offer in your Zone of Genius to attract your ideal customer.


Gina O'Daniel

Gina is an award-winning designer and brand strategist with over 30 years experience in the design industry and has worked with small start-ups to large corporations both nationally and internationally to ensure their logos, business sets, marketing materials, signage, display advertising, social media design and website work together to ensure brand identity and maximize the company's image potential and profit.

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