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What Coaches and Thought Leaders Need to Know About Branding

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What Coaches and Thought Leaders Need to Know About Branding

When you decide to start a new business or give your current business a fresh make-over, it’s really tempting to get a shiny new logo designed and say that you’ve done your ‘branding’.

In this article, I’m going to show you why branding is actually so much more than a logo and other things you can think about when it comes to branding yourself as a coach or thought leader.

Your brand is the intersection between your ‘Passion and Purpose’, the ‘Customer Experience’ and lastly your ‘Brand Elements’.

The ‘Brand Elements’ are what we normally think of when we think about branding: the logo; fonts; colours; personality traits; brand essence; key messages; and tagline.

But what’s really at the core of branding? What’s it actually all about?

I love to bring people onto my podcast to go even deeper on the business topics that coaches and thought leaders need most. And there are two outstanding individuals whose thoughts around branding I want to share with you today.

“Branding is mostly about relationships.” – Sam Riley.

Sam Riley of the Accelerant Group knows a lot about marketing and branding. When I first interviewed her about personal branding, she said, “If we could stop hiding behind that brand and actually reach out and get to know people, that’s when our business will actually take off. It’s when we go more into that personal space and get to know people.”

I love these thoughts from Sam because I had a period in my business where I wasn’t connecting with a lot of people personally. I was relying on things like my website and social media etc., to get my business out there. And while these elements are absolutely essential, the thing that really helped my business to fully bloom, was to step out from behind the screen and to start going to and running more events.

Suddenly connecting with people in person, getting to know them, and showing them some of my Zone of Genius meant that my business started gaining serious momentum.

Action step: Are you actively connecting with people? 

“Whether you’re branding or not, you’re still branding.” – Kevin Huhn.

For Kevin Huhn, a business growth strategist, branding is all about the touchpoints a business has with every human that it comes in contact with – not just customers, but competitors (I like to call them colleagues), suppliers, and even the business owner.

And whether you’re consciously cultivating relationships and touch points or not, you’re still branding. Kevin says, “Every business has a touch point for every human being that comes in contact with you. If you think you’re branding, you go, ‘Okay, I’m branding’, or if you go, ‘I don’t have time for this, I’m not branding’, you’re still branding. You’re sending out a message to the marketplace.”

I love this because it so simply encapsulates the idea that, how we are in our business day-to-day and the people we interact (or don’t interact) with form part of our bigger branding exercise. So, the choice is yours whether you consciously do it or not.

That’s why I insist on having your branding aligned with your ‘Passion and Purpose’. It becomes an effortless exercise because it’s so deeply ingrained in who you are and how you choose to ‘show up’ in the world.

Action step: Ask yourself if your branding is really aligned with your ‘Passion and Purpose’ and how you want to ‘show up’ in the world?

In summary, branding isn’t just about your logo, colours and fonts, etc. While these are all important for creating a consistent business brand, what matters most is the relationships you’re building with others and how you ‘show up’ in those interactions.

What do you think? Do you agree? Share in the comments below.

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  • Kathy Divine
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    Yes, yes, yes!

    That’s why I tell my clients the importance of conscious personal branding. Whether they are aware of it or not, they are portraying themselves to whoever they are in contact with, either online or in person. And everyone is watching, more intently than we realise.

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