The thing that can be hard to explain, even when I get the language right is that branding—especially the personal kind—is a process and that process happens from the inside, out. Closely related are the words self-employment and self-made, meaning that mastery of self, is an important part of the equation in achieving success. Or as my first coach used to say, “Doing business is like a personal development seminar.” Because in this digital economy where transparency, authenticity and visibility are the new black, yourinterior planning, in other words your vision, values, mindset and emotional mastery, is everything.
I know. You’re convinced your branding problem is a nuts and bolts aesthetic issue and you just want to zhush your website and get a geek to tweak your SEO. It would be so much faster. So would buying an online ad or paying for advertorial in a magazine, right? (I’ll save my thoughts on those things for another post.) But is it a guarantee that oodles and oodles of clients will start beating a path to your door? For the sake of argument, and your resistance, let’s just say that they do.
Are they the right kind of lead? Do you have an intake process that sets boundaries? What happens when they get you on the phone? Do you know how to tell a story that commands a premium price? Does that price sustain not only your team but you as well? Are your team members actually supporting you? Can you say no to clients that aren’t a fit? Are you investing at least 10% (to 30%) of last year’s earnings into strategic marketing that works? No? Is your business structured to scale over time? Well?
There are a lot of moving parts to running a business and there a lot of moving parts to building a brand, and even though I feel you because I’m on the impatient side, what I’ve learned working with hundreds of designers is that there is no quick fix. Taking your business to the next level is a process and the timing of the unfolding of that process has everything to do with just one variable: you. So are you ready to commit to the process?