Keys to separating your business brand from you:
1. Think about how big you want your business to eventually be. If you’re planning to stay a one-person business, then your business’s brand can probably be closer to your own personality than if you’re planning to grow your business and eventually hire employees. If you are planning to hire people, make sure that your employees will be able to demonstrate the brand characteristics you choose. Check brandbliss.
2. Look at other businesses in your industry and how they present their brands. This can help point you in the right direction for your brand and also help you make sure your brand will stand out. Look at the things they talk about and how they talk about their businesses.
See which business’s materials and brands you’re most drawn to and the lessons or suggestions you can pull from their materials and repurpose for your own. Just don’t copy them exactly, or your brand won’t be unique. Look at the pictures they use and the words they describe their businesses with-both elements contribute to your brand.
3. Figure out which of your personality traits are most valuable to your business. The best way to do this is to think about your target audience and the reassurance it needs to go from being interested in doing business with you to making the commitment.
Some of these traits are likely to be those expected of any business worth working with-fair pricing, good service, and the list goes on and on. So you also need to think about the factors that differentiate you from your competition. You also want to focus on factors that make you appealing to the people you want to hire you.
This is a pretty tall order, but try out your brand on your target audience and see what resonates with them before “carving it into stone”-which, in the case of your brand, means before you print any marketing materials. Test your ideas out with temporary materials or by incorporating them into an elevator pitch at your next networking event. At the very least, call up some of your best clients and run your ideas by them.
4. Consider creating a logo as the face of your business. If you use a photo of yourself as the primary graphic for your business, it suggests you’re always going to take personal care of all client accounts-which isn’t a message you should send if you’re planning to grow your business or hire subcontractors or assistants. Using a photo also brings in the vanity aspect again. “Look at me, I’m here to do business with you.” may not be the best message to send.