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A little while ago, I sat down with my partner Dale and thought about our alternate lives. If I had stayed a teacher. If we were in the same place. Or about to apply for new jobs. And honestly, the thought made me cringe. I can’t even imagine a life where I’m reporting to someone else, my ideas being silenced, and little to no opportunity for travel and freedom the way I define it.
But lemme tell ya, that was not an overnight shift (though I wish it could have been).
There was one singular thing that threw a metaphorical wrench in that loop… *drumroll in the distance* Growing. A. Brand. I know, not as exciting as fairy dust, but I’d say equally as magical.
In the age of social media and virtual influence, everyone is a personal brand. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that at every turn, in every field, someone has found a way to promote their craft. And in a time when nearly every market feels saturated, it can seem a bit impenetrable. Trust me, I know. But your secret weapon, the ingredient that will set you apart and keep you an authority, is having a standout brand.
What is a standout brand, you ask? Let me tell you.
In the words of my good friend Olivia Austin, a brilliant Brand & Web Designer (among other things), “A standout brand shows your personality, speaks directly to your ideal client, and converts your audience into actual clients.”
For your brand to be standout, there is so much more involved than simply offering what you sell. And while yes, that is an important part, it’s closer to the bottom of the list than you would think. Here are some things you could be doing wrong (and some simple solutions to fix them).
This is the most important first step – because everything that comes after this will be scaffolded on top. So even if it’s tempting to skip it, take the time to sit down and write out your brand values, your purpose and your mission. I talk about this a lot, but I cannot stress it enough. Until you have a clear value system and reason for the work you do, you’re not going to be able to create messaging, and by default, a brand that stands out.
A few journal prompts: What impact are you determined to create with your work? What is your work? How do you approach your speciality differently than your competitors? And why is this work important to yourself, to your ideal client, and to the broader community? Think big picture about the ripple effect you create with your work.
There’s a reason we spend literal weeks diving into market research, conducting personal interviews, and surveying the customers of our clients here at the KC Copy Studio before we even write one word of copy for their project → connecting with your target audience is essential to brand growth.
I’m not just talking about who they are, but what their struggles, desires, and efforts look like every single day. Write out a list of those. Then write your solutions alongside them, and what the transformation will look like once they work with you. Map out such a clear trajectory, from obstacle to solution, that working with you becomes a no-brainer, take-my-card choice.
Call me nerdy but I think this is where the fun really starts to kick off. So much time is given to visual aesthetics when it comes to creating a stand out brand but more often than not, without compelling messaging infusing your personality, that much-desired audience connection falls flat.
Which is why the KC Copy Studio specializes in creating personality-driven messaging that truly connects readers with brands.
As a copywriter, deciding your tone and message is like creating a whole target reader persona. What kind of lingo does she use? Is she cutesy? Sharp and direct? Sensual and luxurious? What are her priorities? What core principles does she always come back to? From your website copy, to social media, to your email sequence, your tone and message should feel authentic and consistent, creating familiarity and closeness with your
readers future clients. Figure out what’s important to her, what she sounds like, and merge that with your brand values and personal preferences to find a sweet spot to run with.
Now once you’ve narrowed in on your voice and foundational messages – we can get visual. Whether it’s your social media accounts or your website (or all of the above), the visuals you’ve handpicked to represent your brand say something. Color theory and psychology come into play. Marketing to your target audience as well. But consistency is going to determine recognition. If you are constantly changing fonts, colors, and messaging on a whim, that lack of consistency destabilizes your visibility and recognition. Think long and hard about the visuals you choose and stick to them. Slight adjustments aren’t going to destroy your brand, but that sense of recognition builds trust, which ultimately equals sales.
You know that one friend who works an incredible job? The one who’s always reaching for a new promotion, raking in a bigger bonus, and every time you go to brag on them, the inevitable question is asked: So, what do they do? And you actually don’t have a clue. As many times as they explain their high-tone and complex role, it goes swiftly through one ear and out the other.
Trying to promote your business with unclear messaging is a bit like that. In regards to your friend, we are her biggest fan, and our understanding of her role doesn’t really affect that. But with your brand, the harder it is to explain what you do – or the more you try to include EVERY last detail in your copy so *really* get the value across (the No. 1 mistake I see in sales copy), the less likely you are to convert your reader).
That being said, the more established you are in your field, after you’ve set yourself up as an authority, it’s much easier to expand your messaging and speak to different avatars in different segments of your audience. But when you are still developing and growing your brand, it’s very important to hone in on the two-four cornerstones of your messaging and really focus on polishing and nurturing your audience through those.
This should start with your website (which should be your best salesperson, leaving no room for questions about what you do) and flow into your email marketing, social presence, and public events.
Shifting your focus to the fine, foundational details is what will take your brand beyond average, I promise. A little more time spent sharpening those, and you’re on the road to a successful, standout brand.
To hear more about this topic, and my incredible conversation with Olivia, check out episode 24 of the Freedom Found Podcast. There, we dive deeper into her origin story as an entrepreneur, and how she carved her space in a saturated market, crafting her own thriving brand.
And find her private Branding for Entrepreneurs training, alongside step-by-step modules to grow your brand and develop your messaging, inside of Elevated Brand Accelerator.
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