Brand Alignment from Inside-Out: Part 1
In my work, I talk a lot about alignment. Having the showiest, sexiest brand isn't always necessary, and it's certainly not the most important aspect of creating your brand.
Brand alignment is the crucial component for a successful brand. Alignment with your values, with your authentic style and way of working, with your ideal audience, with your energetic state of being.
Of course brand alignment calls for professional imagery, content, and a strategic online presence, but before you can get to brand alignment you must have business and personal energetic alignment — especially as a solopreneur.
For the next three days I will go into the nitty gritty on how to achieve brand alignment. It might take some surprising turns and lead to you ask yourself some interesting questions about your own business and brand, so I hope you'll join me on this journey!
Brand Alignment Concepts I'll Share This Week
In day 1 we will talk about all the ways that our lack of brand alignment can show up in the world. This will help you clue into some of the behaviors that might be indicators that your business or brand need to be adjusted.
In day 2 we will discuss ways to step around brand and business ambivalence. I'll share some of my favorite reframes and tools for moving forward when I feel stuck.
In day 3 we will talk more about alignment and how it can add so much juiciness to your brand and business. You'll learn why a brand needs room to breathe just as you need space to travel along your business and brand journey.
Sound good? Let's get started!
"No One's Buying It"
Have you ever had that experience where you met someone at a networking event or a party, they told you what they did, and you thought to yourself, "Huh, I'm not buying it"?
Not only are you not convinced that what they have on offer is fully legit, but you are literally "not going to buy it." What's the root of such a feeling?
Usually it stems from the fact that we either:
A) don't think the business direction is well-formed or clearly communicated,
B) the person lacks confidence in themselves or their idea, or
C) the person's boredom with their own business is showing, even if only subtly.
And, let's face it, who hasn't been at this place in their business one time or another? There's nothing worse than hustling just to pay the bills and going into a client attraction opportunity feeling like you're not even sure you want the business in the first place. Or worse yet, being plagued by imposter syndrome and having that sabotage all your efforts to express your deeper passion with a potential client!
Business Boredom = Bad Branding
Your brand is actually the culmination of all the touch points of your business in the world and these kinds of interactions can have a negative impact on your bottom line. Who wants to work with someone who is bored or ambivalent about what they do, the product they offer, or the clients they're serving?
There can be any number of nuances and combinations of a lack of clear communication, focused business direction, or business ennui that can sabotage a business endeavor.
Let's look at the ways this can manifest in your business image through common client and audience touch points. Signs of Business Ambivalence
- You don't get back to new prospects in a timely fashion.
This could be a symptom of overwhelm, but overwhelm can be a product of procrastination (stemming from lack of interest or focus) or an overloaded schedule (stemming from a poor business structure or again, lack of focus in what you do that is contributing to burnout.)
- You rattle off your elevator pitch by rote when asked what you do, or the opposite—you ramble without focus.
You can be really clear about your offer and explain it without passion. (Yawn.) Or you can have no clue how to tell someone what you do. (Points if there's passion, but no good if they have no idea why they should call you!) Or you could be so afraid that you look like an imposter that you just don't shine. (I'll tell you now — this one hits us all at some point or another, so take comfort in its normalcy and try to simply let it go!)
- You underperform or fall behind consistently on your work, missing the days when you felt on point with quality products and great customer service.
Again, overwhelm can be a culprit here. As illustrated above, overwhelm isn't always just about having too much work on your plate. Maybe you're not feeling challenged or are no longer engaged with your idea. We all go through periods of feeling off! Maybe you just aren't attracting the kind of clients that are truly aligned with your work. If you have experienced a period of boredom or dissatisfaction for a year or more, consider that there may be deeper issues to address.
Your Personal Energy = Your Brand Energy
When you are an independent business owner or solopreneur, you are often a key component of your own brand image. Creating professional, clearly-communicated materials is very important to growing your business. Your own alignment is even more important if you are interested in creating a compelling, successful brand.
In my 20 years of experience in this industry, I have evaluated a lot of brands and websites. In all my travels, I've come to associate unclear, unfocused and poorly branded materials with unclear, unfocused, and uninspired businesses or business owners.
Sometimes the brand issue stems from lack of budget or resources, and other times people are so successful in their business that their brand simply lags behind. Most of the time, though — even in a case where someone is too busy to keep their brand vibrant and alive — there is some kind of mis-alignment at the root.
I part 2 we look at ways you can get out of that feeling of ambivalence or mis-alignment and find your way back to business and brand clarity! Continue below.