We can tell you this from helping lots of businesses succeed:
The best brands are the most specific brands.
The brands that don’t appeal to everyone.
The brands that know who they are and who they aren’t.
We know we’re not the first people to tell you this. But we also know that it’s wisdom that a lot of businesses still ignore.
Why is this?
What Stands In the Way of Clarity
Yes, reaching the kind of clarity you need for a memorable brand and business is exhilarating. But it also brings a sense of loss and a sense of risk.
Closing doors hurts, even when you know you need to.
Maybe you realize that you love about 30 percent of what your business does but the rest is slowly crushing you with boredom and frustration. You know that in five years, you’d love to spend all your time on the stuff you love. But you’re scared to give up the other stuff because it brings in money.
Or maybe you’re nervous about narrowing your focus because you can’t bear to give up any of your passions. We entrepreneurs are like that! We have lots of goals and aspirations and we tend to go after them all at once.
Specific = Successful
For all of those reasons, it might seem a little safer to not narrow your focus. To not let go of the stuff you really don’t like, but that brings in money. To not put any projects on the back burner (because what happens if you pick the wrong ones?)
But while this feels better now, it’s ultimately going to hold back your success.
…your brand has to give prospective customers an instant understanding of who you are…
That’s because your brand has to give prospective customers an instant understanding of who you are, what you do and why they should choose you. If you’re not clear on makes you different, you’ll end up with a muddled, forgettable brand.
Being specific also allows you to establish yourself as the expert — the very best product or service in your field. With so many choices out there, customers want the one that’s the perfect fit for them. They’re wary of companies that do or make a little bit of everything.
Finally, your business has to work for you over the long term. Doing work or taking on clients you’re not crazy about might be manageable right now, but it’ll feel pretty crappy in a few years.
Who You Are and Who You Aren’t
To focus your business, we’ve got a few tips.
First, reject any belief you have that there’s nothing different or special about your business. Believe in your expertise and your experience. They are valuable. Even if you don’t realize it yet, you’re not just another travel blogger, online boutique, consultant or life coach. If you’re having trouble with this, ask customers, clients or past colleagues what they found most valuable in working with you or buying from you.
Next, get clear on what you want to be doing and what makes you money. What is the best use of your time? We did this ourselves at DesignGood by clearly defining the types of service packages we offer, the price points where we want to work and the types of clients (serious and proactive!) we want to work with.
If you know how you want to refocus your business, but cash-flow anxiety holds you back, set a deadline for making changes. Then jot down the clear steps that will get you where you want to be. This can be very motivating!
Don’t feel like you have to go it alone through this process. You eat, breathe and sleep your business, so it’s hard to get a big-picture view. A perspective from someone else is incredibly valuable. This is one way we help our clients. Our Brand Discovery Method gives clients greater clarity and focus. And that’s even before we deliver their new website or other projects. Call us to talk more about how we can help.