BRAID CREATIVE & CONSULTING
branding | visioning | marketing
that blends who you are and what you do
Here's Why You Can't Afford to Be Vague | Braid Creative & Consulting

get specific in your brand

Most of us as individuals have big hearts and a big vision for our brand and our business that doesn’t exclude anybody from the discussion (or our services, product, or offering). In fact, we work with a lot of leadership development professionals, coaches, educators, and purpose-driven organizations who have all but eradicated the word “or” from their vocabularies to embrace the tone of “and.”

The word “and” opens up the dialogue to new ideas, collaboration, and expansion. The word “or” implies a choice that needs to be made. “And” is super dreamy, but when it comes to differentiating your brand, you are going to have to make some “or” choices. When you can proactively choose who you are and who you’re for, only then can you truly reach the audience your business is built to help.

A good brand is easy to understand

If you’re still having a hard time embracing the idea of getting narrow, think of it less as “being vague vs. being specific” and more as just being easy to understand. For example, imagine you’re getting your teeth cleaned and your dental hygienist asks what you do for a living? You tell her and her reply is “huh, what’s that? What does that mean?” That’s okay because it’s just small talk, right? Probably to distract you from the fact that you’re in a dentist chair. But if you’re telling a potential dream client what you or your business does, and they don’t understand what it is … that’s a branding problem.

how to get specific in your brand message

Getting aggressively narrow

The fear of eliminating a potential customer from the conversation (or *ahem* marketing plan) might feel entirely counter-intuitive. So we want you to hear this little bit of tough love: you can’t afford to be vague if you’re trying to differentiate your brand, attract your dream customers, and close the deal. Your desire to reach more people by being everything to everyone is actually negatively impacting your ability to reach the customers you can best help. It’s the brands who are willing to go out on a limb and be specific that are making money for themselves and creating impact for their communities. It’s the specificity of their brand that builds instant trust, credibility, and buy-in from their dream customers and brand evangelists.

you can't afford to be vague in branding

TRY THIS: Imagine your brand through the eyes of just one person – your dream client. This can feel aggressively narrow, but just remember it’s an exercise in specificity, even if you just make a few changes to speak to “them” more clearly. Audit your entire website—from your sales page to your contact form—through their eyes. Is it easy to understand what you do? Is it clear you’re for them? What’s missing? Then go through your social media feed and even your physical space if you have one. Does it strike the tone that appeals to them? What could make them feel more at home in your brand – in person and online? What kind of impression are you leaving on them?

Once you audit your brand through the lens of your dream customer and their first impression, you’ll start to see how getting aggressively narrow isn’t as exclusive as you may have thought. For example, let’s say your dreamiest potential client loves cacti (because who doesn’t?). Her feed is filled with photos of cacti and brunch. So you start bringing more cacti into your space to make her feel more at home in your space. Now this cactus is not going to completely repel that one guy who needs what you have to offer but couldn’t care less about succulents. Or you might find that more people love cacti than you gave them credit for. P.S. The cactus is not just a cactus: it’s the words, colors, photography, and style you use to talk about your brand.

Want to get these articles straight to your inbox? Be sure to sign up for the Braid Creative newsletter:

SHARE THIS +


What Is Your Client Saying About You? | Braid Creative & Consulting

your client's point of view

One of the best things you can do to attract more dream clients is to tap into how your existing or past clients talk to other people about you. You can learn a lot about your own brand by getting out of your own head and into the point-of-view of someone who loved working with you. How you talk about yourself will become a little more simple, less jargon-y, and more specific about what you do and how you deliver.

what does your client think about you

TRY THIS: Imagine that you’re working from a coffee shop. You have your back turned toward most of the coffee shop customers; you are laser-focused on your work until you overhear your name. You recognize the voice… it’s of one of your past clients! She’s telling a friend about what it was like to work with you. Don’t worry – it’s only good things:

  • I loved working with [your name]. I hired her to help me with _______.
  • [Your name] was amazing at ___________ and ____________.
  • You have got to hire [your name] to help you with _______________.
  • [Your name]’s style is kind of ______________ and _______________. But they’re never ever ____________________________.
  • I hired [your name] for ________ but was surprised when I left our engagement with __________________ and _________________.

As you’re filling in the blanks, be sure to use your customer’s words as if they’re actually describing to a close and trusted friend what it’s like to work with you. This exercise is going to help you get specific about how you deliver and position yourself to future dream clients—from your in-person conversations to your newsletter and sales page language and messaging.

P.S. We’re going to be sharing more on how to get more dream customers in our free branding mini-training this Friday.

communicating with dream clients

>> RSVP YOUR SPOT HERE <<
A recording will be available at the same link.

SHARE THIS +


The Dream Client You've Never Had | Braid Creative & Consulting

finding dream clients

The number one question we get when talking about positioning and branding yourself to attract your dream client is: “But what if I don’t know who my dream client is?”

Whether you’re transitioning career paths, pivoting to try out a new offering or service, or entirely new to your creative career – you might not only be wondering “how do I get more clients?” but trying to figure out “who the heck is this client, exactly?”

how to find dream clients

So, I’m going to give you my best advice for identifying the dream client you’ve never had.

Before we dig in – I want to tell you that we’re going to be hosting a free mini-training where we’ll be deep-diving on getting more of the clients you want on Friday, March 31st. Save your spot here >>

who are your dream clients

To attract dream clients, you have to be clear about who you are and what you’re offering.
If you stumble over telling people what you do and are vague about what you deliver after they hire you, you will confuse any potential customers or worse… attract terrible fits. It’s important that you are able to articulate what you deliver and for whom – on your website, social media profiles, and in your content and conversations.

Who isn’t your dream client?
Sometimes it’s easier to identify what you want by getting clear about what you don’t want. So let’s begin by identifying who isn’t your dream client.

  • In my experience, my not-so-dreamy client usually asks me if I can do things that I don’t do – early in my career I was tempted to deliver more in order to close the deal. “Say yes, I’ll figure it out later!” was my go-getter mantra – (but afterwards it never left me feeling like the expert I wanted to be.)
  • They want me to convince them to hire me – every client likes to feel reassured they are making the right choice, but when a potential customer needs a lot of persuasion or asks me defensive questions, I see it as a red flag. I’d rather simply explain what I do, and if it’s a fit, they feel confident about hiring me without needing much convincing.
  • Working and communication style – there are smaller red flags that someone isn’t a dream client. It’s not always the case, but we’ve found when someone doesn’t like to work or communicate in our preferred methods, they’re not a dream client. These working and communication styles can be VERY nuanced and take trial and error to identify.

Now, if you really don’t know who your dream client isn’t, it might be a good idea to collect information as you go. Say yes more than you say no, and take note of what works and what doesn’t along the way.

identifying dream clients

Who do you already know that fits the profile?
Even if you’ve never worked with your dream client, you probably already know who they are. Write down a list of everybody you know (I recently read that we have the capacity to hold 150 names at any given time in our minds – so aim for 150). As you read through that list cross off anyone who is an instant “no.” For anyone that is left, begin asking yourself:

  • What does this person have questions about?
  • What is one thing that would make them feel really good?
  • What is their number one source of stress?
  • What podcasts are they listening to? What shows are they watching?
  • Where do they shop for groceries? Where do they buy clothes?
  • What do they value more than anything else?
  • What irritates them?
  • What inspires them?

It’s a lot of work, but once you begin to analyze the dream client you already know, you will begin to see common threads and make patterns out of what your potential dream client struggles with and what they desire. And the more you can speak to your dream clients’ exact stresses and desires, the more they will trust that you can really see them for who they are – and the more they will want to hire you to solve their problem, coach them to the next level, or buy your product that will deliver what they really need to know.

Now, write that person a helpful email (but publish it to your entire audience).
Once you know exactly who your dream client is, go ahead and write them an email. Read it out loud. Does it sound like something you would actually say to that specific person? And if you were to actually share this content with your dream customer, what kinds of follow-up or clarifying questions would they ask next?

how to work with dream clients

Be sure to include that next-level information in your email too – that’s where the secret sauce is. Now… publish this email as a blog post or newsletter that goes out to your entire list! It might feel too specific since you were just writing it to one person but – I promise – that’s the content that resonates with hundreds.


>> Free mini-training: GET THE DREAM CLIENTS YOU WANT<<
Join Tara & Kathleen for a live webinar on March 31st at 12PM central
Save your spot here
(A recording will be available at the same link you RSVP)

SHARE THIS +


THE BRAID BLOG from TARA AND KATHLEEN
Braid Creative & Consulting is branding and visioning for creative entrepreneurs and purposeful businesses. The Braid Blog is where we share weekly insights and resources for getting clear about your vision and voice, sharing content that attracts your dream client, and creating the brand positioning you want to be known for.

Learn more about how to work with Braid here >

RECENT POSTS
CATEGORIES

VIEW ALL BLOG ARCHIVES >

 


 

blend who you are & what you do,

share & sell your creative expertise,

attract your dream customers,

& make your business vision real

This ecourse is for creative people like designers, photographers, stylists, lifestyle coaches, wellness professionals, yogis, foodies, writers, bloggers, and creative consultants. Whether you’re just starting out, or have lots of experience, our step-by-step guidance will help you create a brand and business vision that feels more clear, confident, and like the true you.


 


 

LETTERS for CREATIVES

Want more? Sign up for our exclusive weekly email letters from us, Kathleen and Tara, for insights and advice from our own personal and professional overlap – as sisters, business owners, content sharers, and creative entrepreneurs.

Thank you for signing up for our Braid Letters. Keep your eyes peeled on your inbox and in the meantime like us on Facebook.

 


 

BEING BOSS PODCAST

Listen to the Being Boss podcast with Kathleen Shannon & Emily Thompson for candid stories, insights and tips on how to be boss in work and life.

© Braid Creative and Consulting
Website Development by Indie Shopography