Imagine you’re at a networking event. You approach a business owner and ask him what he does. This is how he replies:
“Hi, I’m Tim! I’m a digital marketer with 15 years of experience in websites, SEO, SEM, social media, graphic design, sales funnel development, communication and marketing. I help small and medium-sized businesses market themselves online through social platforms, Google AdWords, and on their website with organic and paid SEO.”
WHOA there, Tim. I’m very impressed but I’m still not sure how you can help me. I’m going to back away slowly now…
To become a small business owner, you need passion, skills, and ideas. But what do you do when you simply have too many? (Here’s a hint: word-vomiting them all over your listener is not the answer.)
When we try to communicate too much at once, our brand’s message can become lost. Here are two strategies you can use to manage your brand’s passions without overwhelming your audience.
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Branding Strategies for the Multi-faceted Business Owner
Option 1: Choose a Focus
Just because we can offer every service doesn’t mean we should. Choosing a focus can help you offer the best services for your business while also building your reputation as a subject matter expert.
How to Choose a Focus
Start by listing off all of your services and split them into two columns. Under one column, list the services that you absolutely LOVE to offer. These are the things that get you out bed in the morning. In the second column, list the services that pay the bills. These are the ones that make your business sustainable.
The goal is to find a focus that fits under both columns. If you focus on a service you’re passionate about but that doesn’t pay the bills, you’ll be happy for a short while but may find you closing shop fairly soon. On the other hand, if you choose a focus solely based on how much income it can bring you, you may find yourself burning out from a lack of passion.
How Choosing a Focus Impacts Your Brand and Business
Choosing a focus helps you:
- Clearly communicate what you offer;
- Attract more clients for the services that are joy bringers and bill payers;
- Become a subject matter expert;
- Build brand authority;
- Achieve brand memorability.
Option 2: Find a Common Theme
If choosing a focus isn’t in the cards, finding a common theme between your services can help your audience understand what you do with minimal mental effort.
How to Find a Common Theme
Brainstorm what each of your services means for you and your audience. For each item up for consideration, ask questions like:
- What problems does this solve?
- What tools and strategies are involved?
- What is the end result?
- What skills are required?
Find the strongest recurring theme – this is your new focus!
How Finding a Common Theme Impacts Your Brand and Business
Finding a common theme helps you:
- Clearly and concisely communicate what you do;
- Encourage conversation;
- Promote brand engagement;
- Form strategic alliances based on your message.
When in Doubt, Choose Conversation Over Complication
As a small business owner, you’re a wealth of passion, skills, and experience. All of this is valuable to your audience, but remember that everyone has limited patience (and attention spans)! By choosing a focus or finding a theme, you can promote conversation, keeping your audience engaged and focused on your message. Now that’s good for business!