Branding Your Consulting Business

The core question in creating your brand for your business: what do you want to be known for? You definitely don’t want to be known as someone who bites off more than you can chew. Keeping the promise of your brand is crucial. In this week’s episode, Samantha Hartley shares her illuminating strategies for building a successful brand.

Part One of ‘Strategies for Building A Successful Brand’

Some small businesses don’t use the term brand. There are companies that talk about brands multiple times in a day. Not just referring to specific individual brands, but actually to the job of what a brand was doing, what it was communicating, whether this action we were taking was in alignment with the brand.

But things have changed a lot over the years. One of the things that millennials have brought us is a generation of influencers. It’s not only millennials that are influencers. But before them, we didn’t have as much personal branding work.

“Work with a broader audience or a specific niche.”

Personal brands can be created for your career, for influencers, your business, and more. A brand creates expectations of what that identity is going to be and the experience that you’re going to have. How does that apply to you as a consultant or building a consultancy? You can decide what you want your business identity to be, and you can make that and then communicate it.

If you don’t, it will be created anyway, accidentally, but you won’t necessarily be able to control as well or influence what that identity will be. So, you definitely want to take control and create your brand with intention.

Niche and specialty are also aspects of the brand that you can work with and incorporate into your brand. Specialty is that thing you do, which you’re amazingly good at. It’s a subset of all of the aspects of things that you could do.

Second is the niche, meaning the audience you are targeting. Let’s say, food companies or food manufacturers. For instance, if you are a crisis communications PR person for food companies, that’s a particular niche.

It’s highly advisable to focus on your work. It makes it really easy for you to get known for a specialty. You can see how you stand out from all the other PR people. When someone calls you, they’re going to know precisely who you are.

If you’re a marketing consultant, narrow that down to your specific work. For example, business growth for female consultants. You can stay a generalist and work with a niche, or you can be a specialist who works with a broader audience than a specific niche.

Part Two of ‘Strategies for Building A Successful Brand’

When deciding what you want to be known for, think of popular brands that you know. When you think about those brands, and you bring them to mind, what are the words that you associate with them?

What are the experiences that you associate with them? One of the ways that you can decide what you’re going to be known for is by looking at perfect clients.

Who are the perfect clients that you’re going to work with?

What are the problems that you want to get known for solving?

What kind of solutions do you bring, or specifically how you do that?

How you present solutions is a thing you want to be known for. What’s also important is setting an expectation. Your brand is a promise that the work you do fulfills.

The work that you do is actually delivering on that promise. It’s fulfilling it. We decide what we want people to expect from us. You create boundaries in your brand. You don’t want people to expect certain things from us we don’t specialize in.

“Foster creativity, innovation, and collaboration.”

There may be a lot of folks struggling with business growth, power dynamics, succession planning, and other concerns. Are you the first person they can ask for help from? Why should people come to you for help? Look into your own background. Look at your own skills.

Look at who you’ve loved helping in the past. Think about what you can do for them. Your brand is you on your best day. A lot of us can rise and be amazing on certain occasions, but we can’t really sustain that every single day. What’s the word that is truest to your nature?

When you’re working on your brand think about the promise. Think about the outcomes that you can promise. How you want to act as a brand. Think about the best results you get when you work with perfect clients. Be able to make a big promise.

You can act in integrity with that promise. Because you have achieved those results before. Thinking about the biggest, boldest promise that you can make on your best day. When you have been rigorous about selecting a perfect client. That’s a promise that you can make because you know that you can deliver on it without any doubt.

You must have a certain amount of authenticity and a lack of compromise. Foster creativity, innovation, and collaboration. But remember that there can be no creativity, innovation, and collaboration without vulnerability. You can fulfill your brand promise without being perfect, but you can’t without being real.

You can talk about things that make people uncomfortable, which helps them to get results. You’re going to be dressed the way you dress and not the way everybody else is dressed. You’re going to use language that makes it real. Whether that’s going to be acceptable to everybody in the room or not, they should just expect it. How are you going to express that in your business?



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