You’ve worked hard to create a strong brand presence, but you’re not seeing the results you want. It’s frustrating when you put so much effort into branding and marketing only to see little return. You know that a clear, consistent message is key to success, but somehow your brand is getting muddled.
If you working hard to deliver a consistent brand message, only to find that your target audience just isn’t getting it? You’re not alone. Here are five common mistakes that can muddle your brand messaging – and how to avoid them.
Watch the full video or skip to the show notes below!
MISTAKE 1: Not Thinking Through Your Umbrella Brand
No matter if it’s your business name or the name of your offer or even a lead magnet, it’s important to be strategic with the name and tagline as part of your brand umbrella.
The easiest way to visualize this is your business name at the top of the umbrella and everything else falls underneath: coaching programs, your offers and content pillars.
Let’s talk about the business name first. For example, when I first started my business, I worked with a branding expert to create the name “Mind By Design” since my primary focus was speaking and coaching on performance mindset. I spent a small fortune with a trademark attorney (it was declined) along with paying a graphic designer and web developer to put Mind By Design online. My topic focus changed so it was a waste of time and about 20,000 dollars.
For accounting purposes, I needed a name so went with JL Enterprises and then realized that didn’t sound right when being introduced at a conference. I quickly realized that my biz name didn’t relate to my brand so it caused confusion with messaging.
TIP: Just because you like it doesn’t mean it’s available so doing a quick search for the Secretary of State for your state AND a domain search will help you avoid headaches in the long run.
Your business name could easily be your name with an Inc or like I did with Layman Collective LLC because the word collective sparks the idea of community and relationships.
The second part of your umbrella brand is your programs and courses.
Question: What is your business name and do your offers/programs relate?
Sometimes visually putting this on paper will help you more easily map out your umbrella brand.
MISTAKE 2: Fuzzy Taglines
If you want people to know exactly what it is you do and how you can help them, your name and tagline need to work together to communicate what you do and/or what benefit your target customer will get from working with you. Think two types of taglines:
- Main tagline for your company = value statement
- Individual taglines for your offers = transformation statement
The main tagline should be catchy and attention-grabbing but most importantly, it should be clear and concise, providing a snapshot of what you do in a way that’s easy to remember. This will also help make it memorable. Individual taglines for offers should be in line with your main brand messaging so that there’s consistency.
A great example of a simple but compelling tagline is from Tru Niagen which is a supplement company: Live Better. Age Better.
Your target audience is busy so they need to understand what you do and how you can help them quickly. A well-crafted tagline will do just that.
MISTAKE 3: Trying to Be Everything to Everyone
The next brand muddle is a lack of clarity. Trying to be everything to everyone doesn’t help you to be unique and it makes your message confusing. When you’re clear about who you serve and what you offer, it becomes much easier to create messaging that resonates with your ideal client.
If you’re not clear on your target audience, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Who do I enjoy working with the most?
- Who are my best clients?
- What types of clients bring me the most fulfillment?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a much better idea of who you should be targeting with your brand messaging.
>>> Be sure to listen to a recent podcast episode: How to Go from Confusion to Clarity and get a “hell yes, I need that!”
MISTAKE #4: Lack of Consistency Across All Channels
Another way that brands get muddled is by not being consistent with their messaging. Have you ever gone to an industry expert’s Facebook page but then you visit their Instagram, LinkedIn, or even TikTok and they look and sound like a completely different person?
It’s important to have a clear, consistent message across all of your channels – from your website to your social media to your email list. If you’re not sure what your brand message is, sit down and brainstorm the core values of your business.
- What do you stand for?
- What are your unique selling points?
Once you have a solid understanding of your brand message, make sure that all of your communications reflect that.
Your potential clients should have the same experience no matter where they encounter your brand – social, website and even in person (old photos for headshots)! That means that your messaging, tone and visuals should all be consistent. Not sure where to start? Here are some additional questions to ask yourself:
- What is the overall feeling I want my brand to evoke?
- What colors represent my brand?
- What fonts will I use for my website and social media posts?
Answering these questions will help you to create a consistent visual identity for your brand.
My favorite platform to create brand visuals including lead magnets and complete workbooks for my paid programs is Canva. Yes, it takes time to choose your templates and create a color pallet that matches your logo/brand aesthetic.
Remember, your brand is more than colors so be sure you combine a clear message with the visuals. When your brand messaging is clear and consistent, you’ll start to see better results from your marketing efforts.
MISTAKE 5: Not Engaging Your Audience Where They Are At
Your target audience is going to go through a number of different stages as they move closer to becoming a client. It’s important to engage them at each stage of their journey so that you can continue to nurture them toward working with you.
The first stage of the journey is unaware. This is when your potential client becomes is completely unaware they have a problem. They may stumble across your social platform or meet you at a website. What they find may spark interest to stay engaged with you.
The second stage problem aware. This is when your potential client becomes aware of the problem they need to solve. For example, they might realize that they need help with their social media marketing but they don’t know how to do it themselves.
The third stage is solution aware. This is when your potential client starts to look for solutions to their problem. They might do a Google search or ask for recommendations from friends.
The fourth stage is YOU aware. This is when your potential client evaluates their options and decides whether or not they’re going to take action. If you’ve been consistent with nurturing and follow up then they will be more inclined to work with you and become a paying client.
It’s important to engage your audience at each stage of their journey so that you can continue to nurture them toward working with you. If you’re not sure how to do that, here are some ideas:
For the problem aware stage:
- Create content that address the problem your target audience is facing with a CTA.
- Make sure your website and social media channels are optimized so that people can easily find you and get more information when they’re searching for solutions to their problem.
For the solution aware stage:
- Share blog posts and other helpful resources (like a lead magnet) that will help your target audience learn more about their problem, provide tips and a clear next step.
For the YOU aware stage:
- Offer a free consultation or discovery call so that your potential client can get to know you and see if you’re a good fit for them
- Say you are offering a free workshop. Offer a limited-time bonus for your paid program.
By engaging your audience at each stage of their journey, you’ll be more likely to convert them into a paying client.