You Can’t Sell It Unless You’ve Defined It

Every day there is more fear and uncertainty in our lives. With so much to worry about, it is easy to go into reaction mode in your business or career. Whether you’re trying to keep your business afloat, or you’re scrambling to find a new job or side hustle, it’s important now more than ever that you stay focused on your brand so that you can clearly communicate what sets you apart.

Not sure where to begin? I’ve got you covered. Today’s post is the final installment of a three-part series I created to help you clearly define your brand before you get to work on sales and marketing. If you’re a job seeker, this process applies to you as well. I always say, you have to know yourself before you can sell yourself. If you haven’t read through step 1 in my post Building a New Business or Career? Start With This Branding Basic and step 2 in the post Brand Building is All About the Benefits – Here’s How to Define Yours be sure to read through those now.

Your final step is to define your brand attributes. If you are an entrepreneur you need to do this for yourself and your business, product, or service offer. If you work for someone else or you’re looking for a job, you should do this for yourself. Your brand attributes are the things about your brand that are unique to you. I know it can be difficult to define this for yourself, so I’ve created a simple exercise.

  1. To get started, think about the people you’re involved with day to day, your family, friends, a romantic partner, professional relationships. How do these people perceive you? Write down what comes to mind.
  2. Now write out what value you provide to others in your relationships.
  3. Finally, how do you want people to perceive you? This can be different for different audiences. For example, customers, employees, a potential new boss, colleagues, etc.

Review your list and compare your responses to question 1 and question 3. Think about your goals for your brand right now, whether it’s a new service you’re selling or a new job you’re after, you want to make sure that how you want to be seen and how you are seen are aligned. Think about any changes you might need to make to the way you manage yourself or your business and make those changes now. Nothing diminishes the value of a brand more quickly than selling something that is inauthentic to you. Your audience will catch on eventually, and they’ll feel cheated when they do.

Once you’re clear on what you offer and how you are perceived, you’re ready to jump in and start selling. Make sure to take the time to identify your target audience. Who needs and values what you have to offer more than anyone else? Are you targeting families where both parents work full-time with an online tutoring service? Are you a financial planner who wants to help small business owners navigate the current economy with more confidence? Whatever you’re selling, you want to get really clear on your target audience’s pain points, and then tie them back to the unique value you provide.  

Congrats! You can now get out there and build your brand with confidence because you know you’ve done the hard work of understanding your value and thinking through how it can positively impact other people’s lives or businesses.

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