By Ashley Slater @nibbyink
Ibegan my career in marketing when I was wandering through my wayward twenties. I had an interior design degree, but by way of the recession, I ended up working my way into real estate marketing. I was surprised to discover a niche helping agents find their voice, and came to understand that practice to be formally known as personal branding. Now, I help all kinds of business owners, but specialize in creating unique branding for creatives.
What is branding? Branding is perception. It’s the package of details and elements that communicate who you are and how your business stands out from the crowd. Branding is evident in the usual places – a business card, website, social media post or a mission statement, but it’s also apparent in the way you speak to a client, how you write a proposal or even something as simple as a gesture or handshake. Branding is ultimately how you distinguish yourself.
A good brand is built with precision and intentionality. It’s not accidental, but the hard-won result of doing the work and answering all of the tough questions in the beginning. That work affords the ultimate gift to your business over time, and that reward is clarity!
Clarity is the magic wand. This wand removes the gray fog of uncertainty. When it comes time to make those BIG decisions about where you’re going and what you’re doing, it allows you to easily say yes to the right opportunities (and simply let the wrong ones fall away).
We overcomplicate the branding process all too often. There are too many distracting options when you’re looking to brand. If you’re feeling stuck or just don’t seem to have the time, a second set of trained eyes can make a world of difference in weeding out what is non-essential.
A designers job is to distill large amounts of information into smaller pieces. We do this by listening first and then defining a concept. By sticking to one phrase as a centerpoint, you can use that as a guidepost to strategically steer your business like a ship that will carry you far into the future.