Avoid brand "do-over" syndrome in your business


When you are a fresh-eyed, brand new entrepreneur, you’re excited.  You’re a little nervous.  And you’re slightly daunted by this new world you’ve stepped into.  It doesn’t matter if you have 15-20 years experience in a corporate job or if you’re diving straight into creating a business based on real-world results you’ve gotten or a large Instagram following you’ve cultivated; this is new ground for you, and that means there’s stuff to learn.

I’ve been there myself!  After leaving my marketing/branding job at Disney a few years ago, I was astounded and amazed at all the new things I needed to learn to start and grow my online business.  

I had a few “do-overs” when I was starting out (not to say you can’t have them along the way as you grow, too, but they tend to be more painful in the beginning when maybe you’re not earning the income you want yet).  

I created my first lead magnet, then scrapped it and started again.

I launched my first website. Then, 3 months later pulled it down to reassess and took 4 months to get a clearer, more focused website back up. 

I took a first set of “brand photos” from a friend, not a brand photographer, and because I couldn’t articulate the essence of what my business needed, those photos barely saw the light of day.

Tweaking and evolving is normal as you grow, it’s this beginning phase that feels especially overwhelming, and it’s overwhelming because you’re not yet clear on your brand strategy.

BRANDPOLISH BLOG by HILARY HARTLING: Brand Strategy and Tips for Entrepreneurs, 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Clarifying Your Brand

Here are 5 Ways To Avoid Time-Consuming (And Potentially Money-Draining) Mistakes When Launching Or Clarifying Your New Business:

01 - Don’t Create Your Logo / Colors First

Many people tend to think in this order: 1 - I’ve decided to start a business, so 2- I need a logo first.  It’s actually Strategy that informs Design, so my recommendation is that you step back, define your brand and then take that brand strategy and translate it into your brand style.

02 - Don’t Hire A Brand & Web Designer Before You’ve Worked Out Your Brand Positioning & Messaging

A pretty website won’t do anything for you unless you’ve taken time to identify your ideal client and clarify your message. 

HILARY HARTLING BLOG: MISTAKE #2 Brand & Web Designers, Don't' Hire When You're Not Clear On Your Brand

And, I promise you, your web designer will love you much more if you’re buttoned up with messaging and copy and overall strategic direction before trying to work together!

03 - Don’t Target Everyone

You think - hey! I do this thing that could benefit EVERYone!  The only thing that does is water down your messaging so it doesn’t resonate with anyone.  Niche your audience to a select group of people you’d love to work with and write copy that can specifically speak to their struggles and desires.

If you think you’re leaving money on the table and just can’t seem to narrow your audience focus, this will become a do-over for you, but it’s ok, sometimes that’s the process you need to really figure it out for your business.  Don’t worry!  You’ll figure it out.

04 - Don’t Offer #AllTheThings

One to two offers - I’m talking service-based businesses specifically right now - is all you need.  If you overwhelm people with too many offers, they either won’t know what to come to you for (because it’s too varied) or they won’t know what to start with (your client journey isn’t clear).

What’s the ONE thing that could really help your audience that you do BEST?  Start there.  Make some money.  Learn about your audience from your real clients, and tweak and grow from there.

05 - Don’t Wait Too Long To Find A Mentor or Coach

You can find amazing mentors for free by tuning into podcasts with great information and freebie how-to downloads that can really help you focus your business and create great strategies to grow.

If you find you’ve done all the DIYing you can, it’s time to actually hire a business coach, a brand strategist…whoever you specifically need to help get you over that hump and to start attracting your ideal clients on the regular so you’re making some decent money.  

And don’t hire just anyone…be strategic and hire the best fit for what you need help with most.  I could write a whole post just about this! (guess I should!)

Having been there and done that, I can tell you that getting crystal clear on your brand messaging and strategy FIRST is the right answer.  Start there, and the rest will fall into place because you’ll have a cohesive brand you know how to implement across your business and with your clients.

Good luck!

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