‘I just took a full month off and went to my country house to do some spiritual work on my business. I can’t recommend it highly enough!’
You don’t have to delve too far into the Facebook solopreneur world to stumble across a FAHBULOUS business owner who recommends stepping away from your business, paying someone to run it for you and escaping to the country/beach/Bali for a month of cleansing your business aura.
This is all excellent for business owners who have the time/money/support but for the rest of us we’re just trying to figure out how to find time to eat lunch AND dinner today.
Running a business is bloody hard work, isn’t it?
You’re trying to find customers, engage those customers, sell to those customers without actually ‘selling’ to them, running your accounts, staying on top of social media and marketing and that’s before you’ve even started on customer enquiries.
It’s like trying to round up a herd of drunk kittens.
So when well-meaning business gurus suggest ‘taking time out’, you kind of want to reach through your computer screen and slap that mojito right out of their smug, well rested, manicured hands.
If you’re time poor (i.e., A regular person) and you need some super quick and effective branding strategies to give your business a bit of kick start without having to take any time off from the other important things, here are a few things you can do this week…
1. Tell a story
Write the words ‘tell a story’ on a piece of paper and stick it to your computer. Every time you go to post on your blog, Facebook or Instagram make sure you’re telling a story. Customers want to feel a connection to you and your product. I know that sounds very touchy-feely but its storytelling that will get you ahead in the game. If you sell essential oils, in your next post tell a story about the smell of lavender and how it reminds you of the ‘good’ soap your mother kept in the back of the bathroom cupboard. If you sell your services as a business coach, tell a story about how you managed to turn your business around by hiring your first business coach who then inspired you into doing business coaching. There’s a story behind everything, and it’s often more interesting to your customers than you think. Why do you think those articles about 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Insert Popular Movie always go viral? Everyone loves a back story and a sneaky bit of trivia.
2. Clean up your language
Language is a tricky thing, particularly in business when you have a motive (get those sweet $$$) but it’s essential to plan and be deliberate with your language.
Here’s a super quick but beneficial activity that will help you nail your online business manner.
Here’s a bunch of words.
Fresh, eye-catching, colourful, vibrant, fun, rebellious, dark, progressive, humorous, feminine, masculine, cute, sturdy, comforting, soothing, precise, warm, inviting, fanciful, artisan, corporate, professional, transparent, modern, spiritual, elegant, charming, delightful, romantic, sarcastic, calm, informative, snappy, colloquial, inspiring, sweet, empowering, funny.
Go through and circle the five words that most closely match your desired message and branding. Write these on a piece of paper and pop it somewhere you can see it. That way you’ll be reminded of your tone every time you got to write something for your business. This saves you from what we like to call Carrie Bradshaw-ing. Have you ever binged watch Sex And The City and then found that you’re starting every sentence with ‘I couldn’t help but wonder…?’. This little activity will you keep your tone on track and stop you from accidentally parroting the tone of the last person’s post you saw online.
3. Create a mini-checklist to go over every time you post
Once you’ve sorted out your language, come up with a little checklist to go over before you post, making sure every post is on brand.
- Is it telling a story?
- Does your language fit within your chosen five message descriptors?
- Would your grandma be embarrassed if her book club saw it?
- Is this post entertaining, educational or empowering?
You can come up with your own, but this is an excellent place to start. If the post doesn’t meet your branding criteria, ditch it!
4. Choose one thing
You can’t get everything done every day, and if you try, you’re going to go bonkers. Choose one thing this week to concentrate on, like comment more on other people’s social accounts or commit to posting to Instagram five times this week. Just do that one thing this week, and next week add something else. It’s all about incremental additions.
5. Update your email signature
Seriously, when was the last time you updated your email signature? Would the answer be ‘never’?
If your email signature still boasts your ex-employer from 5 years ago, it’s time to tighten that up! It doesn’t have to be a big ol’ song and dance; it just needs to be a simple sentence explaining who you are and what you do.
Kate Smith, chief Belly Scratcher at Pampered Pooch Groomers
If you’re after even MORE branding strategy tips, sign up here for our 21 Day Brand Boosting Challenge. Every day you get a new quick and easy tip to help boost your business. At the end of 21 days, people will be saying ‘Did your business get a haircut?’ And you’ll be like ‘Yes! Thank you for noticing! It’s also taken up pilates.’