The top excuses for putting off branding
My husband and I run a second business together for his work as a landscape photographer.
As a photographer, he has a bajillion gigabytes of photos on his laptop and various hard drives. We have had a few scares over the years of almost losing his library of stunning photos.
It would be devastating to lose his life’s work with some amazing shots. They include waterfalls in Iceland, lions in Kenya, and rare glimpses of northern lights. Most of them he could never recreate.
So we bought a subscription to an online backup software a few years ago to keep everything stored in the cloud.
The problem is, after we moved to Sandpoint two years ago, we didn’t have Internet for a season and were using our phones as hotspots, which are limited in data. Then, when we got Internet, it was too slow to keep up with regular backups. If both our computers were backing up in the background, our Internet became unusable.
So we turned the ongoing auto-back ups off. And with this particular software, if you go more than 30 days without backing up, it thinks the drive has been deleted and deletes your backup.
That is, of course, what happened to my husband.
Now, he has 72,000 files to back up and no way to do that at any realistic speed.
We have all the excuses why we haven’t dealt with it:
We can’t back up 72,000 on our Internet
We can’t sit in a coffee shop for a week.
He works from home now so he can’t bring it to work anymore.
They are good excuses. But they also have led us to a spot where we are risking his whole photographic library to one glitch or disaster.
That’s the problem with excuses. They may be valid. But they won’t actually solve the problem. And the longer we go, the bigger the problem gets.
I see this with businesses and their branding.
They have various (and understandable) excuses for putting it off, but the longer a business goes without a brand, the more problems this will create and the bigger the opportunity costs get.
Here are some common excuses I hear as to why businesses put off branding.
1. “It’s too expensive.”
If you have gotten a quote for a brand design, it often isn’t cheap. When businesses are starting out this cost can feel frivolous. They tell themselves they just need to get some traction, earn some money, and then they can hire a brand designer.
I get that it might not be possible to hire someone to do it for you in the beginning. That’s ok. You don’t have to.
There are ways of effectively branding your own business that will at least get you ahead of no brand at all. At bare minimum, you could google branding and at least do some brainstorming on how to establish a brand that fits you and your business.
Or better yet, you could take a branding course, which is a fraction of the cost of a brand designer. (I’m launching my course, The Amplified Brand Nov. 8, which provides a roadmap through this process.)
The thing is, bad branding is expensive too. You could be missing out on attracting your dream clients and instead end up with a client roster that drains you. Or no clients at all.
The reason good branding is expensive is because it has a many-fold return on that investment.
2. “I just need to sell first.”
Most service providers just want to get their name out there and start selling their services so they can make some money. Then, they will come back and create a brand later, they reason.
But “later” often turns into never. Without a brand, you risk building the wrong audience, attracting the wrong kind of client and blending in with all the other people who do what you do.
The thing is, selling becomes easier if you have a brand that attracts your dream client and helps you stand out.
3. “A brand is just the cherry on top.”
Some business owners view branding as more of an embellishment. It’s like the whipped cream and cherry you top your cake with after you bake the cake.
That’s not actually the case.
A brand is the platter the cake sits on. Without it, it is hard to have a firm foundation to build from.
With a good branding set, your business will grow faster and stronger with less work.
4. “I don’t know where to start.”
I get it. Branding can seem abstract and ambiguous. A lot of service providers aren’t even sure what it really includes.
That’s where getting some guidance can help. I have a free branding masterclass coming up on Nov. 8 and 9, and if this is you, I’d love for you to join the waitlist.
This masterclass will give you the place to start - with deciding the three pillars that you will build your brand from.
There are a lot of branding courses out there that teach the strategy behind branding. They walk you through positioning statements and core values and all of that.
There are also brand stylists who will help you pick colors and design a logo and the other aesthetic parts of your brand.
But I combine both. You need to spend time on the strategy before you create the aesthetics. You need to understand some things about your target market and yourself as a business owner first. But the aesthetics are an important part of forming good first impressions and building credibility with your audience too.
Together they form a knockout brand that differentiates you.
If you need help getting started with your brand, join the waitlist for my masterclass, Stand Out Brand. I’ll notify you when registration opens in early November.
I’d love to help you quash all the excuses and not finish 2021 without having a solid brand that helps you book out.