Imagine for a second what it would actually be like to be carried “wherever the wind blows”.
…Are you imagining?…
If you’re the über carefree, spontaneous type, you may love it. Free travel! New adventures! One with nature!
If you’re the planner, type-A, more controlling type, you may just think that’s a stupid, unrealistic cliché.
Whichever side of the spectrum you fall on in life, going “wherever the wind blows” is not great for your brand or business. Why not?
Because it’s hard to follow a brand that lacks a consistent, core focus.
You may have heard this described by other business strategists as “finding your niche” but I believe it goes deeper than that.
It’s something I’ll get all fired up sharing with you because I’ve experienced it first hand.(Remember why I did a huge rebrand a few short months ago!?)
Maybe you’re like me – I’m a multi-passionate person, so I’m quick to want to dive in and talk about #allthethings. That’s great for small talkin’ over the holidays or for posting on my personal Instagram//blog, but as a business? Not so much.
Your consistency will build trust, reliability, remembrance, and authority with your audience.
Your core focus delivers a clear message that’s easy to get behind and can effectively convert prospects to clients, window shoppers to buyers, or bench warmers to gamers.
It basically says:
This is what I can do for you. This is why it matters. This is how I’ll do it. You in?
Now, that doesn’t mean your brand or business can’t adapt, implement new strategies, or start offering new products or services as you grow and learn.
But it does mean that you need to strive for being known for ONE main thing.
You need to stay rooted.
For example, I am predominantly a writer – a copywriter for creative entrepreneurs to be exact. Yes, I also offer content marketing & branding/design services but that is my core wheelhouse. I want that to be clear from the get-go. That’s my marketing focus, because whatever you talk about the most, you attract.
So how can you concretely approach this?
HERE ARE A FEW ACTION ITEMS:
1) Simplify your website’s homepage.
Have you ever landed on a website and immediately clicked off because there was just so. much. going. on.? Yea, me too. Options are good. Option overload is not good. Your website shouldn’t serve as a digital space for anything you’ve ever done and everything you’ve ever wanted to do.
If you’re struggling to keep things crisp & concise, it might be time for a second website…or to go back to the drawing board and work with a designer &/or copywriter.
2) Ensure your blog doesn’t have a crazy number of categories.
If it did, I’d doubt you were an ‘expert’ in any one of them. It’s like when a restaurant has literally everyyything on its menu and you’re kind freaked out because you’re like, “Can they really do all of this well? Like…WHAT IS THIS PLACE!?”
(If you’ve seen that scene from the New Girl with Schmidt in this very situation, you’re my new best friend.)
Shoot for 5-6 total, cool?
3) Check to see if your Instagram profile/bio is clearly speaking to what you can do for your followers/community.
…And then look at your feed and ask yourself whether the two correlate. Are you being consistent with the type of content you’re posting? Or does it tend to get a little random?
My “Pro Tip” (what I do here with all my clients) is to write out the top ~4 types of content you’ll post on your feed – (i.e.: client work, office decor, coffee/lifestyle photos, tips/quotes). Then, don’t waver from that!
Here’s a current screenshot of mine as an example.
I also love GoLiveHQ’s. They do this beautifully!
4) Narrow your audience.
I know there’s fear with this one because steering away from marketing to “anyone & everyone” makes you think you’ll make less money, but I can assure you, it will make you more. You don’t have to go from all to nothing in an instant, by any means.
Work on getting more specific with each client or job you work on. Even this can be a process of refining, extracting, trial and error. You’ll start to learn – “Wow, THIS type of work with THIS type of client lights me up” and “THIS kind with THIS client…well…doesn’t.”
Make it work for you. It will get easier and easier to write or create content when you have a better idea of who you’re speaking to and what exactly you can do for them, with clarity & confidence!
It’s often not a lack of motivation, but a lack of clarity that holds us back.
5) Create a Brand Dictionary/Voice Style Guide
This is another thing I work on creating with all of my clients. We all have style guides for our design elements, fonts, colors, and logos, right? So why wouldn’t we create them for our words, best phrases, and “that’s so me!” statements?
The beauty of a style guide is that it’s ready to share with any new hires, contractors, designers, etc. that you might work with. No more back-tracking, time-wasting situations where you’re trying to communicate your brand and how to “sound like you” even if it isn’t “you” that’s always writing it.
Really, it’s pure magic.
<< Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in a template of sorts for this and I’ll work on creating one for you! I was hesitant to do it before I knew your interest-level. ? >>
Alright, before I get too long-winded (no pun intended) and cut into your cocoa-sippin’, gift-wrappin’ time, you get the idea. I’ll elaborate on this in more detail later on!
But first – I’d love to hear your thoughts – do you have a niche or particular clientele/customer for your business? Are you against it or struggling with how to do so? Let me know in the comments below!
Yes! I would definitely be interested in a template for the voice style guide… I’m hearing a lot about it and am trying to come up with one, but a template or guide that would walk me through it would be epic!! 🙂 Thanks for another great post.
Great – good to know! I’ll work on that. 😉 Thanks, Lois! I really appreciate it and am glad to hear it! x