Being an entrepreneur means a lot of trial and error, and believe me… I’ve had my fair share of doing things wrong over the years when it comes to brand strategy. The beautiful thing about entrepreneurship is that those failures turn into learning moments that shape us and help us become the best business owners we can be.
That being said, I love to share some of the mistakes I’ve learned along the way in the hopes that it can help someone else. As I’ve refined my brand strategy service and client process, here are the biggest mistakes I’ve learned along the way:
Before I nailed down my system for brand strategy documents, I just sent what everyone else was sending. This included a quick summary about their brand, their ideal client, and some insight into their brand values in the form of “brand words”. Does this sound all too familiar to you?
Looking back, I realized that this “brand strategy” document was completely self-serving. Nowhere in the document did I actually solve any problems for the client. The only point of this was to let the client know that I understand them, and by no means was I providing them with any new discoveries about their business.
Since those first presentations, I’ve come a long way. Now I always deliver a set of 6 key things that the brand strategy absolutely must contain in order for the client to get new insight and see real results!
Throughout my first strategy sessions, I wasn’t specific enough. Hint: having the brand’s values be “authentic” or “kind” isn’t a strategy. It’s just expected in this day and age. The brand strategy and brand’s values need to be unique and not shared by all of the other brands that exist in the same space. But when unique, core values can be established and are critical in defining businesses.
Another myth I busted early on was the idea of following the competition. Being aware of the competition is healthy. But simply following along with trends isn’t considered strategy and it won’t serve your clients in the long-run. The overarching goal of these sessions is to really dig in and get specific in order to find the brand’s unique identifier. If you’re too focused on what everyone else is doing, the brand’s unique selling point will get lost in the shuffle.
Before I hit “send’ to my clients, I do a “simple strategy test”. This ensures that the ideas presented are specific, unique, and clear to follow for the client.
It was challenging to find people willing to pay for brand strategy when I first started offering the service. I knew deep down how worthwhile it was and realized that I wasn’t able to talk about the benefits of brand strategy in a clear and convincing way. If I couldn’t explain the benefit myself why would anyone pay me for it? face palm.
As I kept doing sessions and seeing the impact on my clients, it all started to “click” for me and it became easier to explain the benefits of branding strategy in a way my clients actually understood. Once I became more confident and clear about the service, I noticed my clients getting more excited about it and the overall holistic approach to branding.
It feels pretty vulnerable to share all of my mistakes like an open book, but I want to help you avoid them too. Some of these mistakes took years to learn, and I’d rather share them in the hope that someone else could benefit and not waste years figuring it out on their own.
If you want to learn more about brand strategy so you can provide more value to your clients and book dreamy clients that truly value your creative thinking watch my free training. Inside the training I show you the same framework that helped me 10x my prices and book dreamy clients that truly value my creative thinking. You will learn why I stopped sending my clients a questionnaire, the number one most crucial element of the brand strategy, and how to stop getting vague answers from your clients during the strategy phase.