Branding mistakes are easy to make. This is especially true when you’re still learning how to build a stand out brand that clearly talks to your ideal customers and clients. Don’t fret, I’m here to expose 5 fatal brand mistakes I’ve seen people make so you can avoid them altogether.
5 Branding Mistakes To Avoid
1. Thinking that branding means a logo
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, your brand is not your logo (although logos certainly are important). Your brand starts to form the moment you open your business, start an influencer account, or offer a product. Your brand is what people say and think about your business. It’s an identity and you have the power to shape it through messaging, visuals, and being uniquely you.
Branding is the active process of crafting this identity and story. Branding should find your business personality traits, core values, and mission in order to leverage them for messaging and convey them in visuals. It is a conceptual act that can help you stand apart from your competitors.
2. Not having an opt-in to build your email list
There are many ways to build client relationships, but offering free value is an effective way to position yourself as an expert and begin to build a connection with your potential customers. This can all be done with a freebie AKA The Opt In.
I have four freebies on my website and each one offers free value to potential clients and customers.
- The Brand Quiz – identifies brand personality based on psychology and archetypes
- 5 Keys to a stand out brand
- 4 free brand marketing strategies
- A brand road map for beginners
I want to have paying clients of course, but I also know not everyone is ready to invest in a branding package or custom website design at this very moment. While they save and build their business, I want to help! Why? Because I have totally been there as a struggling business owner. I also hope that when they are ready for branding or design work they will think of me because I helped them out (or even send my name to someone they know).
Bottom line, people need a reason to give you their email and people need to see that you know your stuff. Don’t make this common branding mistake and miss out. A freebie is a perfect way to start building the foundation for individuals to become your super fans.
3. Positioning your business as the hero
This branding mistake is all too common. In fact, Donald Miller dedicated a good portion of his book Building A Story Brand to explaining this concept. Your business is not the hero, but your client is. They are the hero of their own story and you are put there as the guide. If you position your business as the guide then you’re inviting your client and customer to find the tools they need for their quest.
Ok, let’s take that analogy out of the Hero’s Journey for a moment. Your business is the solution to the customers’ problems. This means your language and messaging should speak to them about how you can help. It’s not about what you can do or when you were founded – it’s about what you can do for them and how you can help them. Keep the customer or client at the center of your brand story, because they are the hero, not you.
4. Not sharing exactly how to work with you
Really? Is this a branding mistake? Yes. Trust me, people need to be told exactly how they can work with you. They need to be called to action in more than one way on your website and platforms.
For example, I could have a button on my site that says ‘Services and Packages’ and expect that if people want to book one they will contact me. But instead, I have “Tell Me About Your Project” and a step by step list of exactly what working with me looks like. This is placed on my site in multiple locations. In addition, I share these steps on social media in a few different ways. This is calling individuals to action, or their next step. It is telling their brain how to respond.
5. Lacking consistency on all platforms
Having a cohesive brand that is consistent on all of your platforms is essential. One of the worst branding mistakes you can have is to have a different persona or even color schemes on every platform you use. It is truly confusing for the customer.
Here is an example. You gain a new follower on Instagram. They came across one of your funny meme’s with bright poppy colors and noticed your feed looked fun. After seeing 3 or 4 more of your posts, they decide to check out your website and use your service. When they get there, the site is full of neutrals and expert help. It’s nothing like your fun vibes on the gram. Confusing.
It’s important that your customers are met with consistency because this builds your relationship. When they have that trust, they are more likely to engage with your brand. Your brand guidelines and brand strategy help to provide a structure so that you can implement a consistent brand across your platforms.
My Major Branding Mistake And How I Turned It Around
If you’ve caught yourself doing any of these brand mistakes, it’s ok. You still have time to turn it around. I’ve even had to do it myself. Believe it or not, there was a time where I wasn’t a brand expert nor did I understanding the psychology behind branding (ha. ha.). I was a creative, an artist, a maker, but I was making brand mistake number four.
I had a website that started by introducing myself (eek, that’s branding mistake 2). It listed my services describing exactly what I can do. Of course, I had a contact button, but I did not direct customers where to go or tell them how they can work with me. I often wondered why my site wasn’t converting. I did good work. I made beautiful designs. None of that mattered if people didn’t know how to work with me.
Now my potential clients can follow these steps:
- Define- They tell me about the project and I send a contract/proposal
- Develop – I create and they have one less thing to worry about
- Assess – We do a mid-way review as I want to be sure the client is always happy
- Refine – I make any requested changes and deliver
Now there is a mini road map for clients so they can understand what the big picture of working with me looks like. Are there more steps for the work we do? Yes, but these are like the major milestones and craft a means to an end for a potential customer.
Ready to Put Branding Mistakes Aside?
Let’s work together to craft a stand out brand with a strategy so you can avoid these common branding mistakes. Tell me about your project. (See what I did there?) 🙂
Rooting for You!