Here are some reasons why you might not be working on your brand.
- It’s important but not ‘urgent’. A nice to have not a must-have. You’re not ready … yet – it can wait.
- You’re too busy working on your clients’ work – that’s what you do and that’s more important.
- You feel like it’s a luxury or an indulgence to put your clients work down and do something for your own brand.
- Your brand is OK, it can wait.
The thing is, if you don’t ever find the time to work on your own website, brand, or whatever it might be, or keep squeezing it in and doing it in a haphazard fashion,
you’ve really only at best, got yourself a business and at worst – bought yourself a job.
Over the last 12 months, I’ve been struggling to complete my website. Squeezing it in has been so difficult and my thoughts have been mostly with my clients, but I realised more and more, that if I don’t make time to work ON my business – I’ll be less likely to have a business at all. I think it’s one of the most common complaints I hear from my clients and colleagues is a lack of time to focus on their own branding and marketing. That’s why I wanted to talk about it here.
I have brilliant designer friends who do AMAZING work, one has no website or the other has an old website – too busy doing amazing work to spend time working on their own portfolio! I have associates whose brand really doesn’t reflect them – and they know this – and they know that if they had a brand and a website that more reflects them better, and more clearly depicts what they do – it would help them raise their prices to achieve what they’re really worth. I know so many business owners that are just full up doing what they do – creating, teaching, coaching – changing people’s lives – that they just let their own marketing and branding slip by the wayside until they can get around to it.
- They’d rather be doing ‘what they do’ than marketing on their own stuff.
- They’re also avoiding it because they’re not too sure where to start.
- And mostly they just don’t have time to think about it right now. Maybe next week, or next month.
I get it, I honestly prefer working on my clients’ work rather than marketing my own. The trouble is, without focusing on your own branding, you’re really only as good as your last job, or last project. You’re not building equity and you’re missing out on a whole lot of opportunities.
So how do you put your own work in the to-do list and actually get it done without feeling guilty that you should be working on your clients’ work, or just being too darn tired to find the time?
How do you shift your thinking from running your business to building your brand?
The answer is to learn how to build your brand while running your business – integrate it into your weekly pattern of activities, because building your brand is part of building your business.
How does BUILDING YOUR BRAND differ from
RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?
I think we all want to know we are building something for the future. If you’re always living from client to client – hand to mouth, you’re not actually building on the work and developing a brand that can one day support you.
There comes a time when you’d like to sit back and reap the rewards from all the hard work you’ve done from your face to face with clients and constantly delivering quality results for them.
If you can carve out the time now to build your brand, the rewards will pay off in the future.
Running a Business looks like this…
- Full days just keeping your clients happy, no time to even think about your own branding or marketing.
- Squeezing in new business development, with a haphazard approach to marketing and sales, hustling to get your next contract. Living off word of mouth and hoping that the next client will come along at the right time.
- Days of endless doing, struggling through the day to day task of keeping up. Living off a to-do list and being relieved when you’ve just got through it – but never really feeling like you’re ahead of it.
- Keeping people happy. Accepting what comes along because you don’t have the time to think and forward plan to select the kind of clients you’d like to work with.
Building a brand looks like this …
With a bit of time and focus on developing a brand that speaks to your clients, you could instead have yourself, and your business in this position…
- Developing a pipeline and flow of leads that are attracted to your brand, not just to you.
- Crafting your future. Enjoying your work knowing you’re building something for the future that will keep you engaged, inspired and making a contribution. Taking the time to rest and step back to assess how your business is supporting you and where it’s taking you.
- Making the time to plan and foresee the kind of work you’d like and sending out the right kind of messages to attract them. Allowing for flow days where you are crafting, shaping and growing your own brand.
- Enjoying your work more as you allow time to let fresh ideas flow for your own business as well as your clients.
Your brand will work for you when you put the time into working on it.
5 Simple Tips to give yourself some space to build your own brand.
- Put yourself in the ‘WIP’ list as you would a client. Treat yourself like a client and put yourself first!
- Value yourself and your brand as much as you do your clients.
- Think about the future, what a strong brand will mean for you, your family, your lifestyle.
- Don’t push things ahead on your to-do list more than twice that relate to your own brand or marketing.
- Make it enjoyable, rewarding and fun. Make space and feel good about building your future!