1) Define your personal brand
This isn’t an epic essay that defines every nuance of your branding. Just take a little time to define:
* your brand values – what’s important to you? what do you believe in?
* your brand personality – how do you present your message and values?
* your brand iconography – are there a few key colors you want to stick to? what’s your style? Do you need or have a logo and fonts?
Hopefully these are quite simple questions to answer as you’ve aligned your brand with who you are and you’ve now got a high level brand blue print:)
2) Niche your message
It’s so hard in business to not to try and please everyone. The fear of losing potential customers because you’re not pitching to everyone all of the time is very real. But usually a message that tries to speak to everyone is wishy washy and doesn’t directly speak to anyone. Taking the time to do your ‘know your ideal client avatar’ exercise of choice is usually* well worth it. (Or short cut: just think of a favorite existing/past client). You then construct all your marketing as if you were talking directly to them.
You’ll want to discuss your product/solution and how it benefits them. Always about them. Also think about how you would talk to them the first time you mentioned your business (aka cold audience who may not even be aware of the problem you solve) versus how you’d talk to them after you’d had a number of conversations about your business (aka warm audiences, who know what they want but need convincing to buy from you, not a competitor). You want your ideal client feeling like you know them and can help them and its only you they’re interested in working with.
* I say usually because some avatar creation workbooks have you creating some obscure info that isn’t really useful!
3) Tame them socials
Keeping on top of the myriad of social media platforms we’re expected to be on can be so overwhelming. Then add in business groups and local groups and perhaps you run your own facebook group and there’s just so much to do! And if you’re not in a position to be able to outsource some of the work then you know that feeling of scrabbling and throwing up something that isn’t consistant or leading your clients to conversions.
I recommend picking the two social channels that you feel are the most successful and enjoyable for you. Are you a video guru so its FB lives and youtube all day? Or you’re all about the imagery and get a heap of traffic from Insta and Pinterest. And then nail those two channels. Work out if you can outsource the scheduling or any graphic creation to further reduce the overhead. Schedule a couple of hours a fornight where you batch create the content for those channels for the next two weeks, taking the time to ensure your content is aligned with your brand blue print and the messaging you just niched.
When two channels are manageable, then you can look at existing on a more (especially if you can reuse or repurpose content) but ensure you’re going to get more enquires for the time you commit, you’re not just distracted by something new and shiny!
4) Check your workflow
Taking the time to write down your process from a client reaching out to initiate a sales conversation through to delivering and potentially archiving the work can be worthwhile.
Often we’re down in the trenches completing step 17 of 42 and taking a step back to review the entire process can highlight bottlenecks & inefficiencies that can be fixed plus highlight potential tasks that can be outsourced. And documenting the process also ensures we don’t miss steps when thing get busy.
It might also show which sales channels and communication methods are generating most of your customers so you can better focus on growing those (and drop something else that might take your time for little return)
and 5)Update your photographs!
Okay – so we all saw that coming. But having a set of professional photographs that you love is so worth it. You stand out from the competition, you’re excited and proud to create and share marketing, you’re not wasting time or money using stock photographs with a library of your own to chose from, you’re socials look schmik, the website looks great, you’re profile pics show you’ve got this and you’re personal brand, messaging and images are all in alignment! It’s win win win.
Short headshot sessions start at $150 and personal branding photography is only $290 per hour (including all the images). So stop putting it off and just book the shoot!
What are you doing to grow your business this year?