Since we’re almost at the halfway point of 2017 (can you even believe it?), this is a great time to refocus. Maybe you’ve drifted from your January goals, and you’re beating yourself up for being off course. Maybe you thought you’d be further ahead than you are, either in your business or personally. Now’s the perfect time to pause and reevaluate. There’s nothing magical about January 1, so if these first 6 months have left you discouraged or just a little “meh", let’s course correct, ok?
There’s something you need to remember because if you’ve been around here a while, you’ve definitely heard this before. Whether it’s January 1 or July 1, there’s one step you can take that will make the best impact on your brand and your life.
Keep reading to find out more.
The best thing for your brand
Remember that your branding goes beyond just the visual branding of logo, fonts, and colors. It’s your client’s entire experience – how they feel and what they think about your business and YOU as the business owner. So if you’re not sure what to do next, here’s one solid step to get you back on track.
What’s done with intention is done on purpose or deliberately. It has an end goal in mind. If you really want a brand that stands out from your competition (and the noisy online world in general), then your purpose must be two-fold:
- to represent the heart and soul of your business in the most authentic way, and
- to attract the attention of your most desired clients, those you can serve best, who can’t wait to work with you.
This requires a solid understanding of both 1) your business and 2) your clients. This is so important! You cannot and should not be all things to all people. You are YOU – with all your amazing strengths and talents – relating directly to HER – meeting her needs and struggles in a way that draws her in and leaves her singing your praises. Once you are clear on these two areas, everything flows easier. The way you write. The images you choose. The colors and fonts you use. The interactions you foster.
If you’re struggling for clarity in these areas, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Your heart-centered business
- What are your top 3 strengths?
- What are your 3 core values?
- Given the above, what 3 words best describe the feeling or tone of your business? Use words that are unique, specific, and creative. (For a list of descriptive words, feel free to access my Descriptive Word Bank here, the same one I use with my clients.)
- Are these the feelings that your current brand evokes? If not, what can you change to strengthen this?
Your ideal client
- What’s her personality? You can use the same Word Bank from above.
- What brings her joy?
- What frustrates her?
- What does she need that you can provide?
Is there a gap in your business brand? If so, where? What needs to improve so that your clients are excited to work with you and vice versa. Maybe your on-boarding process is disorganized. Maybe your graphics are out of whack. Maybe it takes you too long to answer their emails. Whatever the gap, write a simple plan for how to get this back on track over the next 1, 3 or even 6 months.
If there’s no gap and things are humming along well, how can you ensure that continues to happen? Or what can you do to up-level and provide even greater service?
Getting intentional about who you are and who you serve will help you laser focus on the next step to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
This is also true for your life
Do you ever find yourself just bumping along, checking things off your list but not making real progress, comparing yourself to others, and feeling worn out. Yeah, me too. Sometimes this comes from circumstances that are beyond our control. Life throws us a curve ball and we have to readjust. But sometimes the spinning and overwhelm are the result of our own choices, or the lack of making a choice at all.
Just as your brand benefits from being intentional, so does the rest of your life. Intentional living is about living ON purpose and WITH purpose. It takes us beyond just bumping along to being excited to get up in the morning and step into what’s ahead of us. But it requires being clear about your personal values and priorities in every area of your life – family, work, rest, faith, service, health, recreation. Only then can you make choices that align with those values, make time for those priorities, and integrate them together.
Sometimes this will mean saying “no” to distractions that clamor for attention but aren’t really important. Sometimes it means saying “yes” to something that scares the crap out of us or inconveniences us even though it’s the right thing to do. Perhaps instead of multitasking, it would be better to intentionally focus on just one thing, just one person, for a time. It might mean stepping back (whether for 15 minutes or several hours), thinking things through, and getting stuff on paper. It might mean talking with a friend or a coach. Whatever works best for you, please do it. Get intentional; make choices that fire you up and move you forward.
Some questions to think about:
- What is one thing that is important to you that you have not made a priority recently?
- What can you do to deliberately carve out time for that in the next two weeks?
- What is one thing you can let go of that doesn’t align with your priorities?
- How would your life be different if you could make either or both of these changes?
Life’s too short to just bump along, missing out on what matters most. You have immense value and gifts that are meant to be shared with others. And you will share best from a place of wholeness and following your purpose.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. How have you been intentional in your business or personal life?