Happy Monday, friends! As both a brand designer and a small business coach, branding is a topic that I cover on a daily basis with my sweet clients. Whether they’re searching for ways to incorporate more heart into their current brands or they are stumped on where to even begin, they all want to know how they can take things to the next level. Branding is such a key component of your business’s success, and it’s important to ensure you’re not only putting your best foot forward both visually and verbally, but also that you’re doing so in the most authentic way possible.

So today I’m sharing my top five tips for creating a heartfelt brand that anyone can incorporate into the way they do business! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’re just getting started, I encourage you to check out these steps to building a stronger, more intentional brand today.

1. Lay a Solid Foundation

What is your brand’s purpose? What mission do you seek to accomplish through your work? Ask yourself why you do what you do, and don’t settle for the easy surface answer! Intentional brands are made up of meaty, hearty answers that don’t always come easily. In order to reap the benefits of a one-of-a-kind brand, you have to first be willing to do the work. Keep in mind that at the heart of every Why, every core, there is a story. Embrace your brand’s story and use it to connect with your clients!

2. Give Your Brand Core Values

With a clearly defined Why in place, take a step back and examine what beliefs and ideals your brand holds dear. Draw on them as you devise a set of core values for your brand! These core values should be actionable, foundational and non-negotiable. These values are going to serve as your brand’s internal compass as you navigate the waters of small business ownership, so be sure to set beliefs in place that can fuel your work and give your brand a mission.

3. Identify Your Dream Client

All of these foundational efforts won’t pack a pack if they aren’t directed at the right people. Consider who your dream client is and make it your goal to reach them through your marketing efforts and messaging. Profile this person, understand what they value and how that relates to your brand. Study their dreams and brainstorm ways to help them bring those dreams to life! And above all else, consider how your business can either solve a problem they’re facing or can add value to their lives.

4. Create Messaging They Will Adore

In everything from website content to official marketing campaigns to social media posts, be succinct and consistent through your brand voice. Share content that not only speaks directly to your dream client, but also adds values or enhances their lives. Don’t share content simply for the sake of sharing content. Loyal followings are born out of relationships where true value is being shared on a regular basis. Invest in sharing your brand’s story throughout your messaging. In your messaging, you have the opportunity to create an open dialogue with your audience, so focus on creating one that draws them in and give them something to get excited about!

5.  Focus on Building Relationships

The goal of the authentic brand is not to make millions or encompass great personal fame. I firmly believe that authentic brands exist to change their clients’ lives for the better. So how will your work change lives? Your clients are so much more than a sale or money in the bank. They have the potential to turn into friends, colleagues and cheerleaders for your brand! In an effort to make the most of these opportunities, constantly ask yourself how you can refine your client experience in ways that makes the entire encounter more enjoyable, more valuable or more memorable for those you serve. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about the legacy we leave through our work. So focus on creating a legacy that loves your clients, and those around you, fiercely and well!

By Bonnie Bakhtiari for The School of Styling



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