The 12 Inspiring Personality Types Of All Great Brands

brandsnack - the 12 inspiring personality types of all great brands

The 12 Inspiring Personality Types Of All Great Brands

January 16, 2018

“Who are you to tell people about personality? You don’t have one!”

Thanks mum.

Rock-solid support there. I think that may be the last time I keep her up-to-date with how the business is going.

So it’s a good thing that when it comes to branding, there are a number of predefined personality types that each and every one falls into.

If I had to wing it, this article might not be the most helpful as she most insightfully points out, but as there are, you’re in luck! And I’m gonna tell you all about them.

A personality is one of the most vital components of your brand. Just like it is in a person. You wouldn’t want to hang around with someone that’s dull and completely un-stimulating. You wouldn’t trust someone that thought microwaving spoons was a good idea. You wouldn’t introduce an angry, neanderthal-esque bloke that liked to punch cats, to your friends and family. Or maybe you would. I don’t know your friends and family.

Ultimately we all form emotional connections with those that are similar to us. That entertain and inspire us.

And that’s exactly what your brand needs to do!

Do you REALLY know who you are?

Your personality is one of the pillar foundations of your brand’s entire look, feel and tone of voice. It’s the blueprint of how you present yourself to your audience.

And there are many businesses out there that don’t know WHO they are!

If you don’t know who you are, how can you expect others to? How can you expect anyone else to understand and connect with you?

If you don’t understand the personality of your brand (and how it relates to that of your target audience’s), then your brand will be a mish-mash of contradictions and inconsistencies. The way your brand looks won’t be the same as it sounds. The way it behaves will be different depending on the direction of the wind.

As soon as you lose consistency, you’ll either confuse your audience at best, or put them off entirely.

And that’s less than ideal for a profitable business.

We’re all human!

There’s a weird misconception that because the personality belongs to a business, it’s something completely different to that of a person’s. That it’s so much harder to create.

Let me tell you something…

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE.

You want people to emotionally connect with your brand like a best friend right? To see your brand as a kindred spirit to their own – a reflection of their wants, goals and motivations.

So why complicate things? Why make your business LESS human?

Brands are people too. They should have values, an outlook on life, a sense of humour, a way of talking, a way of presenting themselves to others.

The closer your brand matches the personality of your intended audience, the more appealing and trustworthy it will be.

The 12 brand personality archetypes

A lovely little Swiss man by the name of Carl Jung introduced the world to the idea of personality archetypes over a century ago.

He presented them as universal, underlying character traits of each and every person on this planet. Completely unbound by time, distance, culture, religion etc.

Traits so deeply ingrained in all of us, they evoke strong emotions and behaviours.

They have been used for pretty much everything – from literature and film in popular culture to rather more serious psychological applications.

Some smart cookie also slapped them all over brand building. And whaddya know? It works. Because like I’ve said, brands are people too!

So here are the 12 brand personality archetypes to get your mind thinking.

And remember, everyone has a dominant personality type, but we also can show minor traits traits of others. Usually no more than 2 though. Otherwise you’d be a bit of a mess.

1. The Innocent (promises simplicity)

Innocent brands know that their audience want to be spoken to as openly and honestly as possible – no gimmicks, guilt or heavy-handed tactics.

They offer simple solutions, have straightforward values and don’t overcharge.

They come across as simple, trust-worthy and pure. They associate themselves with nostalgia or childhood and high morality, using simple, natural imagery.

They differentiate themselves from other brands with poor reputations. They need to constantly strive to stick to their ideals however.

2. The Sage (promises wisdom)

Sage brands know that their audience are looking for new sources of information and want to be challenged to think in new ways.

They offer expertise or information based on scientific findings and hard facts.

They trust their audience to grasp difficult concepts and understand intellectual in-jokes. They use complicated words and symbolic imagery across their content.

They differentiate themselves from others of lesser quality or performance. They need to find a balance between becoming too dumbed down or patronising however.

3. The Explorer (promises freedom)

Explorer brands know that their audience crave journey and adventure, preferring to discover the world for themselves.

They help people pioneer, to feel free and to carve out their own individual paths.

They come across as sturdy and rugged, new and unknown. They embrace the spirit and excitement of exploration.

They differentiate themselves from other brands that are conformist or for the regular guy/girl. They need to prevent themselves from being seen as too rigid or corporate however.

4. The Rebel (promises revolution)

Rebel brands know that their audience crave the unconventional, they strive to be different and break the status quo.

They disrupt, destroy or shock to get their message across and appeal to those that are disillusioned with society. They are the alternative to the mainstream.

They either help to retain values that are being threatened by new, emerging ones or help pave the way for completely different ways of thinking – breaking with normal conventions.

They differentiate themselves from brands that keep within the lines. They have to be wary of ‘selling out’ or becoming too popular however.

5. The Magician (promises transformation)

Magician brands know that their audience want to be transformed into a better version of themselves. They need to feel they are growing wiser or more influential.

They focus on the individual, make things happen and promise to transform their audience through their content, products and services. To expand their consciousness and spirituality.

They are generally very user friendly, making the complex appear simple and charge medium to high prices for their services.

They differentiate themselves from structured brands without a ‘soul’. They need to live up to their transformative promises however.

6. The Hero (promises triumph)

Hero brands know that their audience want high quality and efficiency – they want a job done to the best it can be.

They create strong products and services that help people do tough jobs exceptionally well or be all they can be.

They want to make a major impact on the world and solve major social problems. They promote goodness and morality and usually have a clear opponent they want to ‘beat’.

They differentiate themselves from brands that struggle to live up to their promises. They must always make sure they are the best rated/valued however.

7. The Lover (promises passion)

Lover brands know that their audience appreciate aesthetic appearance and design. They want to be more attractive in the eyes of others.

They promote physical and emotional attraction, helping people ‘belong’, find friends, partners and generally have a good time.

They are usually mysterious and glamorous with an emphasis on sensual pleasure and how the audience will feel – lust and aspiration.

They differentiate themselves from brands that are self-important or overconfident. They cannot look cheap or too business-like however.

8. The Jester (promises entertainment)

Jester brands know that their audience appreciate the unusual, surreal and the playful – especially making light of the seriousness of life.

They want to bring fun and joy to the world through play, interest and humour. They use outrageous imagery and often tease their audience affectionately.

They help people have a good time, give a sense of belonging and are usually targeted at younger people.

They differentiate themselves from brands that take themselves too seriously. They need to stay away from the bitterness of reality – customer complaints, legal action etc.

9. The Regular Guy (promises belonging)

Regular guy brands know that their audience wants quality and dependability. They prefer the familiar and emotionally invest in brands they trust.

They have solid, ordinary values, are easily approachable and take pride in their down to earth approach.

They help people with a sense of belonging and offer everyday functionality through an honest image.

They differentiate themselves from premium, elitist brands. They need to work hard at not letting greed overtake them however.

10. The Nurturer (promises support)

Nurturer brands know that their audience want to be recognised for their effort and don’t like to be patronised. They are emotionally driven and don’t like aggressive, in your face tactics.

They help their audience respect and care for themselves and others through support and connected communities.

They usually aren’t in it for profit and like to pass on any competitive advantage just to help. They offer compassion, generosity and protection above anything else.

They differentiate themselves from uncharitable brands and need to stay away from being harmful or exploitative.

11. The Ruler (promises power)

Ruler brands know that their audience are naturally dominant and want reaffirmation of their own power and stability.

They provide high-status products and services to enhance those feelings of power and organisation. They use high pricing to maintain a level of exclusivity.

They present themselves as the leader in their field and speak with confidence and authority. They have a strong, solid image – very polished and very masculine.

They differentiate themselves from ‘pretender’ brands – those that aren’t the real deal. They would be hit hard if they were perceived as weak or had to concede defeat to a rival.

12. The Creator (promises innovation)

Creator brands know that their audience have the time to be creative, enjoy pushing boundaries and moving into the experimental and novel. They are difficult to appeal to though – it takes something truly special.

They promote self expression by giving their audience choices to tailor their products/services.

They hold innovation and artistic design in high regard and position themselves as the key to unlocking creativity.

They differentiate themselves from ‘by-the-book’ brands that lack imagination. They need the capacity to maintain authenticity and innovation however.

Nice to meet you

Well there you have it. The world in 12 people.

We all show dominant traits of one of these, and therefore so should the brands we build to resonate with people.

Branding is all about psychology. It’s about creating an emotional connection with people to build respect, trust and loyalty.

And you need to be human to do that.

No-one falls in love with a brick wall. Actually that’s a lie. There’s this builder I know, but that’s going way off topic…

Once you know the personality of your brand (and your audience), everything else flows from it.

It’s only then that you can start being strategically creative in your visual design and content.

And it’s only then that your consistency will lead to success.

Which personality archetype does your brand most closely resemble? How does that fit with the audience you’re trying to attract? Slide on over to the Facebook group and let me know!

15 Fascinating Ways To Make Your Brand More Addictive

brandsnack - 15 fascinating ways to make your brand more addictive

15 Fascinating Ways To Make Your Brand More Addictive

January 11, 2018

Hi. My name’s James and I’m an addict.

I’m addicted to a lot of things in life. Drinking dark, rich coffee in the morning. The occasional cheeky chocolate biscuit with a cup of tea while watching TV in the evening. Relaxing in warm summer sunshine. Playing and listening to the piano. Exploring new places and seeing new things. Spending time with my children.

These are some of the things I live for. That make me happy. That keep me coming back for more and always have me thinking of them.

What if you could create a brand that had the same effect? That made people feel so good it became part of their lives, their consciousness?

Sounds a little bit unbelievable right? How can people be addicted to a brand?

But it’s not that far fetched. Think about those that are addicted to McDonalds, Coke, Disney, Apple etc. These are the big brands and the ones that everybody recognises, but there are a million and one other, smaller brand out there that have the same effect on people.

And yours could easily be one of them!

In this article, I’m gonna take you through the 15 things you need to offer your audience to make them addicts of your brand!  

Addictions aren’t always physical

When we think about addiction, images of cigarettes, alcohol, recreational drugs and the like come to mind. Things that can cause an actual physical dependence. Something our bodies physically can’t go without once hooked on them.

But that’s just one type of addiction.

The other type, and the type that branding falls under, is psychological. The perceived need to use or engage in something. A mental or emotional attachment to a behaviour.

Funnily enough however, both types set off the same regions in our brain. So we FEEL the same way whether we have a physical or psychological addiction to something. If we go without either, the same pain receptors in our brain spark up.

Very powerful stuff then!

Addictions aren’t always bad

We’re taught through life that being addicted to something is bad. That too much of something is never a good thing. That it will damage your health and relationships etc.

Drugs are usually the banner child of addiction as they are physically incredibly addictive substances and usually lead to self destruction.

But that’s right at the worst end of the scale.

When it comes to psychological addictions, we usually become attached to thing we love. That make us feel good.

Certain music, foods, TV shows, environments (think clubs or spas etc.) or people.

I’m addicted to my friends because they’re amazing people. They make me laugh, support me, inspire me and are always there.

As a brand, you want to be your audience’s best friend.

You want to get them addicted to your brand’s personality and everything you can offer them.

Motivate and reward

Addictions are based on a cycle of motivating people to behave a certain way and then rewarding them for doing so. This positive reinforcement leads to repeat behaviour. And repeat behaviour leads to habit.

And that’s where you want your brand to be. A habit to your audience.

When they want to find out something around the niche that you serve, they automatically come to you. When they want something done, you’re the only option that comes to mind.

You want to get to a point where your audience don’t have to think. They just do. And that ‘doing’ always involves you and your brand.

To get to that point then, you REALLY need to know your audience. What they want and like. Their pains, frustrations, goals, needs etc. Everything about them, what they want to achieve and why.

Your motivation needs to be a promise to them. An offer of extreme value that’ll help them overcome their barriers and reach their goals.

Your reward must then be instant after they’ve taken action (clicked through to a blog article, signed up to your email list, bought your book/course etc.). Any delay and you risk breaking the cycle.

Your reward to them isn’t just delivering on your promise, it’s how you do it that’ll create that emotional connection.

And that’s what these 15 points are all about! The way you reward your audience.

So let’s start!

1. Surprise them with the unexpected or unusual

Go where your competitors don’t and always aim to over-deliver. Teach them more for free, blog more, give them something no-one else will or can.

2. Energise, excite and motivate them

Use enticing colour schemes, imagery and descriptive text to inspire and build anticipation. Show them the ideal. Where they could get to. And that it’s achievable. Describe in detail exactly how they can make their desires a reality.

3. Give them a sense of self-worth, achievement and pride

Feature them in testimonials. Put them on a pedestal within your emails, community and newsletters. Always strive hard to progress them. To make them better people.

4. Give them confidence in themselves and in their ability to do or be something

Make things as clear and easy as possible. Create step-by-step processes and explanations that anyone can do and understand. Make them smarter, more beautiful, more healthy etc.

5. Identify and empathise with their pains

Show them that you understand their troubles. A great way of doing this is answering the questions they have before they even ask them. This is a major trust builder. If you know your audience, you’ll know their reservations. Address them from the get go and don’t leave them with any lingering doubts.

6. Relieve them of their stresses and discomforts

Give them solutions to their actual problems, not what you think their problems are. This is a very fine, but very important distinction. Let your audience tell you exactly what’s bothering them. Ask them, go to forums, Facebook groups etc. Don’t decide for yourself.

7. Make their lives better through kindness without asking in return

The more you give away to people for free upfront, the more loyal those people will become. And more likely to move onto your paid services. If your audience know you will always be there to give them what they need, they’ll never need to go elsewhere.

8. Respect, appreciate and value them

Treat people right! Don’t rip them off, con them, abuse them. Always be fair – with your time, content, views, communication and prices. Have a conversation with people, no-one likes to be on the receiving end of a one-way lecture.

9. Make them happy, entertain with novelty and humour

We’re all human – use your tone of voice, copy and imagery in all of your content and communication to make them smile. A simple smile brings with it a nice endorphin kick. Keep doing that and people will become addicted to it.

10. Satisfy them by delivering on your promises and their expectations

Know what your audience expect of you. Do it. And do it more. This is another reason why a comprehensive understanding of your audience is vital!

11. Inspire them with new ideas and fresh outlooks

Be a source of knowledge around your subject and niche. Know and understand the trends and golden examples. And share them with those that follow you.

12. Captivate them, trigger their senses

Through your storytelling and your brand look and feel. Create an entire sensory experience that they will relate to and fall in love with.

13. Urge them to explore, learn, understand and better themselves

Teach them. Through your emails, blog, videos, courses etc. Your ultimate goal is to make them the expert.

14. Give them the hope and belief that things can change for the better

Give true examples of success and be specific. Use case studies, social proof, quantifiable results etc. We all want to know that something is achievable and not just another pipe dream.

15. Build their anticipation

Be timely, be regular, and be consistent in your promises and delivery. People can only look forward to something that has a concrete date attached to it, otherwise it’s just a vague concept.

From brand addict to brand habit

By using the above techniques throughout everything you do in your brand, and every touchpoint you have with your audience, you can easily build an emotional attachment with them.

You can make people feel good! And we always want more of the things we love.

We become addicted.

And from addiction comes habit. The unconscious act of doing something, no matter what.

Some people will only ever drink Coke. They say it tastes different. It’s the real thing. No other cola compares. But there’s nothing different in the taste. It’s all sugar and water. But they’re addicted to the brand. To the image it represents and the way it makes them feel.

Others are addicted to reading tabloid newspapers. The ‘news’ is pure nonsense. But for some reason it makes them feel good. It appeals to their emotions.

If you can make people fall in love with your brand, you’ll become one of their life’s addictions.

Do you use any of the techniques above in your brand? Have you seen an increase in more loyal customers? Jump into the Facebook group and let me know! I’d love to hear how they have helped your business.

10 Life-Changing Ways To Build Confidence

brandsnack - 10 life-changing ways to build confidence

10 Life-Changing Ways To Build Confidence

January 10, 2018

You know you see those people in life. They just seem to effortlessly ooze confidence.

Not in an overbearing way, but in a cool, calm, collected (and wholly envious) way.

They make it look so easy!

How can they be so confident? What’s their secret?

Confidence is a key part of being successful with your brand and your business.

People are drawn to confidence. They respect it. They see it as a sign of quality and stability.

And that’s because the majority of people aren’t confident in themselves, their business and their abilities. They may show a rather irritating false bravado. But that’s just a cover up. To compensate for a lack of true confidence.

None of us are born confident. We all have our insecurities. But there are ways to build confidence and turn it into a habit. So I’m gonna take you through the 10 best ways I’ve found to really boost your belief in yourself and what you do.

To make sure your business and brand are the best they can be.

Overcoming fear is tough

That little voice inside your head that whispers little negative thoughts at everything you do.

“Hmmmm. I don’t think they’ll pay that much for this.”

“That’s just boring, nobody will read that.”

“That looks awful, they won’t take you seriously.”

The fear of disapproval, rejection, failure can weigh heavy on our minds. Even if we’re top professionals. We know deep down that we’re amazing at what we do. People actually tell us that we do excellent work!

We still get impostor syndrome. We still think it’s luck that’s got us where we are. That we’re just on the verge of being found out as a fraud.

Fear is completely irrational, but somehow seems to trump the good thoughts!

But think about this…

If you aren’t able to talk about yourself and what you do in a positive light, no-one will.

YOU need to start it. Others will then follow. You’ve done all of the hard work getting to where you are now. You just need to shout about it!

You don’t have to be an ass!

Confident self-promotion is not about being an arrogant twat! It’s not about hammering people with barrage of thoroughly annoying sales pitches.

It’s about informing people and letting them know that you have something of value that can help them.

You need to constantly tell people about your business. If it’s valuable to them, they won’t mind how many times they hear it.

If you got a dollar every time you received an email from me, you wouldn’t mind a million of them right? (small caveat – this is not part of my business plan, however much I would like to do that. It would break me!)

You will eventually become sick of the sound of your own voice. Sick of writing the same emails, the same content over and over again. But you need to keep to it. Remember that you may have seen everything over 1000 times, but your audience may have only heard it a few times.   

Repetitively put one message out there. You won’t see results from saying something just once. And if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, then do you really believe in what you’re saying?

The more someone hears you talk about something, the more you’ll be perceived as an expert in that topic.

Don’t worry what your message is. As long as it’s tailored to your audience and they like it, it’s all good!

Having confidence in you, your brand, your business and what you offer is vital.

If you truly believe you’ll help people, that’s a great foundation for epic levels of confidence.

1. Know who you are

How can you expect others to love what you can’t explain yourself?

You need to know why you exist. What your values are. What you believe in. What you’re willing to do (and not do). What your vision is.

You need to be clear on your story and your personality. What sort of character you are.

Keep in mind that you and your brand are two separate entities. Elements of you may cross over into your brand, but you need to make sure they have a place being there. That they resonate with your audience.

You may be a photographer that loves travel and baking. Your audience, love travel also, but could care less about baking. Leave that bit out of your brand.

Know what you’re willing to let people know about you.

When you’re clear on everything that makes up you and your brand, it’s time to…

2. Have a plan

You need to know where you’re going. You need to have direction and purpose.

Having goals and a route to achieve them are huge boosts to overall confidence levels.

Don’t be afraid to commit to things, it’s the only way you’ll ever see progress. Once you have a plan, and you have valid reasons backing it up, stick to it!

Consistency is the key to success.

Doing the same work over and over, constantly repeating the same message will be boring, but seeing results come step by step off the back of it will build your confidence and your brand.

Make sure you’re always building momentum. Always building habit. Regularly do until it’s ingrained in you.

Don’t leave anything to chance. Don’t chase silver bullets. Misplaced hope and loss of control are two major barriers to building confidence.

3. Keep your goals small but steady

Do you know what you’re gonna be doing in 12 months time?

No?

Good!

No-one should. That’s a stupidly long time and very difficult to plan for.

Break your plans down into smaller, more achievable chunks.

We work best in 90 day segments. Much easier to picture, plan for, keep track of and evaluate.

Think of the big goal you’d like to achieve at the end of 90 days and write down all the tasks you need to do to get there. Then choose the most important task and break that down into sub-tasks. 

Once you’ve done that, list the sub-tasks that you want to complete by the end of the first month. And finally, break it down one step further to the most important sub-task and the actions you need to complete by the end of the first week.

At the beginning of each new week and each new month, you can look over it, see where you are with your tasks and prioritize new ones. If everything goes to plan, you’ll reach your 90 day goal and then start a new 90 day goal. Simple!

Keep you goals small but steady. Make sure they’re achievable. And always build on them every day.

Running up a slippery mountain slope will may keep you going for a while, but you’ll soon get tired and slide down. Carving out a small step each day might seem slower, but you WILL get to the top. And that’s where you ultimately want to be.

4. Create an image you’re happy with

We’re all fickle creatures by nature. We pretend we’re not, but we are. It’s the way our brains have evolved over the last 6 million years.

We take in what we see and make a split second judgement call on it. Is it safe? Is it dangerous? Is it interesting or not? Is it something I should be using my efforts and brain power on or conserve for something else?

Since the dawn of time, this has helped us stay away from danger and expand our knowledge.

In the modern day however, it’s become even more refined. At first glance, we instantly make a subconscious decision on whether we can connect with something/someone. Whether we trust it. Believe in its quality and potential to add value to our lives. Whether we share the same values and outlook on life. Whether we can truly build a relationship with it.

It takes only 0.3 seconds for someone to like or be turned off by the way you and your brand looks.

That’s a hell of a lot of psychology going on in a short amount of time!

So you need to make the most of it.

By understanding the psychological traits behind the use of colour, fonts, imagery and design, you’ll be more confident in WHY you look a certain way and HOW it’s designed to attract your audience. Making sure the way you look truly reflects the essence of you and your brand is so important.

With understanding comes trust. With trust comes faith. And with faith comes pride.

Having pride in how you and your business looks will shine through to others. It’s a highly respected trait in people – and incredibly infectious.

5. Never stop learning

The more experience and knowledge you have in something, the more confidence you’ll have around it.

Whatever it is you want to be known for, want to be seen as an expert in, keep learning about it.

Learn how to do something more. Learn how to do something better.

That’s why you need to be in a niche you love, because you need to learn for the love of it.

The more you know, the more you can help your audience. And the more they know that, the more they’ll keep coming to you for help.

It’s a rather delicious cycle. A cycle that goes a long way to building confidence, not only in yourself, but confidence from others in your brand.

6. Never stop giving

This goes hand in hand with the previous point.

The more you learn, the more you give.

Be kind. Be generous. The more you give without asking in return, the more respect you’ll get from people. And the more respect you get, the more confident you’ll become.

Giving is the first step to reciprocity. And it’s a funny thing. The more you help your audience for free in the first place, the more they’ll feel obliged to return the kindness – through direct sales, word of mouth etc.

By helping people, by teaching them, you’ll in turn learn more. You’ll become more of an expert.

If you want to learn more about something, teach it!

7. Relive your wins

These should be your rocket fuel.

Your wins are so important. You need to hold on to them.

Get a notebook and write down your wins for each day, week, month and year. No matter how small they are.

What this does is build up a habit of positivity. A change to your mentality.

The world can be filled with a lot of negativity. Especially negative people that don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve, or share your vision. Going out on your own as a freelance entrepreneur can be a very lonely place sometimes.

So don’t be ruled by negativity. Turn every win into trophy.

Read back over them when you’re feeling down and remind yourself of the great work you’re doing. Of how far you’ve come.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you confidence levels will change from this. 

8. Request feedback

Ask for feedback from those you trust and who understand what you’re trying to achieve.

The opinions of anyone else don’t matter.

I’ve had all manner of people throw their 2 cents in about launching my own branding business. Mainly from people that have never even thought about being their own boss or that even know what branding really is.

Choose the advice you act upon wisely.

But always ask for it.

Take the positives and run with them. Take the negatives and act on them.

Make sure you’re being the best you possibly can be to your audience. Helping them better than anyone else can or will.

At the end of the day, nothing is a better builder of confidence than seeing others love what you do.

9. Don’t be afraid to fail

I’ve failed. A lot.

Wasted money on things in my business. Gone down routes that weren’t progressing me to my goals etc.

There’s no shame in failing. There’s only shame in not trying.

Failing isn’t an ultimate result. Failing is the first step to improving.

We learn from our mistakes – never be afraid to learn.

And always build to be brilliant.

When you fail, find out what you’re not doing so well at and improve. Learn from it and make it better. Stay consistent and don’t give up.

No-one’s right 100% of the time. Just make sure that the next time is better than the last.

10. Smile

And finally, one that we all can forget sometimes – smile!

We all know the saying ‘smile and the world smiles with you’. And how true that is.

Smiling is infectious – we connect with a smile more than anything else. It’s a sign of safety, trust and friendliness. We’re instinctively programmed to react positively to a smiling face.

So the more happiness you show, the more happiness you’ll bring out in people. And that releases dopamine in the brain – the highly addictive feel-good chemical.

When we feel good, we feel confident.

So smiling is a highly overlooked, but extremely effective way of building confidence in others and ultimately in ourselves.

Make confidence a habit

Confidence is not an inherent trait. It’s a skill we learn by putting in place habits and processes.

It’s a skill that underlies the most successful people and brands.

You can develop more of it and in turn make others have more of it toward you.

It just takes a few mindset changes, but the actionable tips in this article will go a long way to helping you get there.

And once you’re confident in who you are and what you do, anything’s possible. You just gotta make it happen!

How confident are you now?

In yourself, in your brand? What do you struggle with? How do you manage your fears? Hop over to our Facebook group and let me know! I’d also love to hear if any of these suggestions have helped you!

The Top 5 USPs You Already Have In Your Business

brandsnack - the top 5 USPs you already have in your business

The Top 5 USPs You Already Have In Your Business

January 9, 2018

I’m gonna start off this article by sounding a little hard-nosed…

In business, if you don’t bring something different to the table, you have no place being there.

Harsh, but true.

You need a way to stand out from your competition. Something that will attract people to you over anyone else. If you don’t know what that something is, then you’re in trouble!

Some businesses are incredibly lucky little buggers by having a patented product or feature. Or sole access to a market.

That’s extremely rare however. For the rest of us, what you’re offering will be available from multiple businesses, multiple freelancers. You’ll be offering a commoditised product or service that will essentially be the same across the board.

So you need to find a way of differentiating yourself by other means. And your brand is a great place to start!

I’m gonna take you through what a USP actually is and how you can find your own for your business.

Massively important stuff. Let’s do it!

Not everything’s a USP

Think about it this way. If your competition won’t say the opposite of you, then it’s not a USP. For example:

“I make great websites” vs “I make shit websites”

“I do everything with a smile” vs “I do everything looking like I want to slap you”

“I give great customer service” vs “I give awful customer service”

Beginning to see the pattern?

Granted, if every other web designer out there in your niche makes shit websites, and yours are great, then you have a differentiator, but not one you can bet your house on.

It’s not something that’s hard to do. It’s just a question of when someone else will come in and do it too. Then what do you have?

You need to think long and hard about what it is you can offer that no-one else can or no-one else will.

Being unique is only half of it!

Being unique in itself doesn’t guarantee success. Ask the guy selling glass dartboards.

Having something that no-one else does isn’t any good if your audience don’t find it of value.

You therefore need to have something that your competitors can’t or aren’t willing to have and that your audience actually wants.

Having one without the other will either leave you standing generic or pointless.

So let’s have a look into the places where your difference can really come from. The parts of you and your brand that can set you apart.

1. Your story

Start with your story. The single, most basic unique thing you have that no-one else can copy!

Tell people why you got started and how. Tell them the journey you’ve been on to get where you are today.

Tell them why your story matters to them. If you can make your story relatable to them, so that they can see their own lives, pains, goals, journeys in you, then they are much more likely to trust and follow you.

2. Your values

What do you stand for and take pride in? What are your core beliefs and business morals?

We relate to and empathise with people that share similar values to our own. Think about your friend circles. I bet you all have common outlooks on life.

Your values are very powerful. They say a lot about you, your dependability and your trustworthiness.

Combine these with your story and you’re really starting to form something that’s solely yours.

3. Your personality

A hugely important part of what makes you unique.

The WAY you do business. The way you look, feel, act and talk to people.

We fall in love with addictive personalities. Make sure that your brand’s personality is true to who you are, but also relatable to your audience.

You’ll have your own take on how you put things, your opinions, the amount of energy and passion you have. The amount and style of humour you might inject in your content.

People form relationships and bonds with people, not companies. So you need to make sure that your business has its own personality, its own style, its own tone of voice.

As freelancers and startup entrepreneurs, we are usually the face of our own brands. So you’ll need to get comfortable being in the spotlight and being the ambassador of your business.

If you’re not willing to be the face of your brand, then you’ll need to find someone else that can. Faceless and nameless just don’t cut it anymore.

Your personality should be divisive!

You’re never gonna be everyone’s cup of tea. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can focus all of your attention on those that matter. Those that love what you’re about.

Don’t worry about those that don’t get on with you. As long as you’re being true to yourself and your intended audience, that’s all that matters.

4. Your vision

Where are you going? What’s your ideal look like?

You’ve gone into business for a reason, how are you ultimately trying to make the world a better place?

And I don’t mean a focus on global warming or saving the Amazon Rainforest (although if you are for this, then amazing!)

It doesn’t need to be that grand. But how are you trying to make a change in your audience’s lives?

When people know where you’re heading, they’re more likely to join you on the journey.

Your destination is another way to differentiate yourself from those around you.

5. Your promises

You can instantly set yourself apart massively by what you promise your audience. HOW you deliver your products and services.

Money-back policies.

Loyalty bonuses.

New, helpful content every day of the week.

Inspiration from across your niche delivered to their inboxes weekly.

The options are endless. You just need to pick something that your audience can’t get anywhere else.

A singular promise on its own is OK, but can easily be copied by someone if they really wanted to. But once you combine multiple promises that are unique to your business, your competitors will have a much harder time following.

Carve your own path

Don’t follow those of your competitors.

Look at what they do and do it better. Look at what they don’t do and do it.

The fastest way to differentiate yourself and become no.1 at something is to create the category. Really think about an area of the market that isn’t being served.

Narrow down! That’s an incredibly quick way to creating your own category. Get real specific over who you offer your services to and tailor everything to them.

And remember, sometimes just doing something will set you apart. Going the extra mile and starting something, putting in the effort will already put you above those sitting on the sidelines still thinking about it.

Maybe not glass sporting goods…

What’s your USP?

Like I said before, charging more isn’t a privilege of the mega corporations. Anyone can do it following these 5 principles.

How do you set yourself apart in your niche? Have any of the above tips sparked off the beginnings of great ideas? Join us in our Facebook group and let’s have a good ol’ chat about it!

5 Brilliant Ways Big Brands Charge Big Prices

5 Brilliant Ways Big Brands Charge Big Prices

January 4, 2018

Money, money, money, money…mooooneeey!

Gotta love The O’Jays!

On a comical level, the funk-twang baseline always rolls into my head whenever I think about money. A lot of people say that money’s an unnecessary evil, the root of all evil, something else most likely to do with evil.

And that’s a bad way to look at it.

Money’s a catalyst. And we all need it to progress.

Granted, if you’re doing something only for the money, then you’re in business for the wrong reasons. But in order to grow and deliver a service our audience and clients deserve, to live a lifestyle that means we can dedicate time to our professional relationships and personal relationships fully, then money helps.

And your pricing is the quickest way to that goal.

The big brands do this well. Apple, Disney, Coca Cola – name any of them. But you don’t need to be a big brand to do it! You just need to make sure your brand follows a few simple things that the big guys get right.

So in this article, I’m gonna show you how your brand and your pricing relate to each other. And some great tips you can start acting on right away that will allow you to increase your prices (without your potential clients having a moan!)

Setting the bar too low

A lot of startup business owners, freelancers and fledgling entrepreneurs start off with a price for their products and services. Usually way below what they should be charging for them.

There are a couple of reasons for this – first, they don’t have the confidence just yet in what they do to charge more. Second, they don’t get their base costs right. And third, they don’t project forward to an income goal.

And what happens when we set our prices too low?

We end up having to take on more work or sell more products just to get by.

We run the risk of cash flow issues.

We scrape along breaking even (or worse)

And we also devalue what we offer, and people won’t trust your ability to help them.

You can’t just increase your prices

At some point, you’ll realise that you’re not charging enough. That you should be earning more per product/service sold.

So you raise your prices.

And one of two things will probably happen. You’ll see a drop off in sales. You’ll start being subjected to the lamentable moans and groans of people that aren’t happy about it.

If you’re going to raise your prices, you also need to make sure the perceived value of your products and services matches the price you’ve set.

You need to convince your potential clients that the price is fair. That they should be more than happy to pay it.

And you know what? It doesn’t matter if you’re going from $1 to $2 or $10,000 to $20,000, the principal’s the same.

You need to justify your price.

So here’s a few tips on how you can do just that!

1. Make it profitable for you first!

I know you want to help you customers at the best price possible. To give them the best deal and make them happy.

But your pricing needs to make sense for your business and your goals. If you can’t make your business profitable for your first and foremost, then you won’t be helping your customers for much longer at all. Your business won’t be sustainable.

To begin with, you need to have an idea of your running costs. What do you need to make to break even per month, quarter, year?

Now you know what you can’t go below.

From here, most people will start the fine balancing act of certain price levels with potential customer numbers – “if I charge $200 for each product and get 10 customers each month…” and so on and so forth.

Don’t bother with that. It’ll drive you insane, and you’ll spend most of your time worrying about if’s and maybe’s.

Ironically, focusing on price is looking at it backwards!

Instead, I want you to set a goal of how much you’d like to make per customer. Then turn your efforts into building a product/service that delivers at that price point.

The price you set is actually irrelevant. There will be people out there that are willing to pay anything. You just need to be able to provide enough value to match what you charge.

Price doesn’t matter. Value does.

If you want to make $2000 per customer, then create something that delivers $2000 (or more!) of value to them.

As long as your pricing is sustainable for your business, then whatever you charge on top of that is entirely down to you and your ability to provide that level of value.

2. Know your audience’s wants

Everything in branding (and business) comes down to this.

Knowing what your clients want, why they want it and how they want it is the true key to success.

You can only sell something that people want. Notice I didn’t say ‘need’ here. Wants and needs are two totally different things. We all need things in our lives, but if we don’t want them, then we won’t try and get them.

The amount someone is willing to pay for something is based on their level of desire for it. So you need to make sure giving them what they want, in the way that they want it and when they want it.

Not an easy feat!

Know exactly what your audience wants. Not what you think they want. What result are they really after? Remember that people don’t buy products or services – they buy a result. An image. A lifestyle.

Use all of that knowledge to build your products, services and messaging. Create and deliver value.

3. Influence their perception

So, it’s one thing delivering actual value in your products and services to justify the price you charge, but it’s a wholly different kettle of fish delivering perceived value.

It’s that whole chicken and egg scenario. How do people know that your offerings deliver great value if they haven’t used them yet?

This is where your brand identity, design and messaging comes into play!

All of this must also justify the price you charge. I would argue even more so! Without it, you won’t make the sale in the first place!

So therefore pricing is all about perception. And it’s your job to influence that perception.

You need to convince people that your product or service is the right choice for them, that it’s going to deliver, that it’s going to be fully worth the entry fee.

We usually think that if we price something low, then we’ll sell more. But that’s not the case. In fact a low price point can set off alarm bells in your the minds of your potential clients. It can signal that what you offer is of low quality and it won’t be able to help them achieve their goals.

The lower the price, the less value is placed on it.

So aim to charge high and use your brand design first of all to alter their perception.

People will make a split second decision on your quality, value, trustworthiness and fit with their goals and lives. The way you present something visually has a huge impact in getting people past the first hurdle.

Your design needs to match the personality of your business and that of your audience. It needs to resonate with their wants, passions, beliefs and values. Use your colour scheme, typography, logo, imagery, graphics, music etc. to relate to them.

The more they relate to it, trust it and desire it, the more time they’ll have to understand more.

You need to be able to clearly demonstrate that you know what they want. Show them that you understand.

Visuals will entice them in. Your messaging will affect behaviour.

Use the language they use. Make it personal to them. Take them on a journey from where they are now to where they want to get to. Past their problems, past their barriers and onto their ideal goals.

It’s all in the little touches. If you can tailor something specifically to someone’s situation, they’ll place a much higher value on it.

4. Build relationships, build trust

Sales are made on relationships, not product features.

And we form relationships with those who have similar values and beliefs as our own. If someone doesn’t share your vision, they won’t buy from you.

Everything therefore stems from your story, beliefs, values and ideas. These are what build trust.

When someone trusts you, they’ll be more willing to pay what you ask.

You need to invest time and money into helping your audience trust you first. To justify your prices. Whoever spends the most time and energy acquiring a customer, wins.

Have actual conversations with people, on the phone, over email, in Facebook groups and forums etc. Understand everything about them, from them.

If you haven’t made a sale yet, it doesn’t mean your pricing’s wrong. It just means that people don’t trust you enough yet.

Have you had enough conversations with them? Have you taken them on that journey from problem to result? Have you delivered valuable help up front?

The more you build that relationship and trust before the sale, the higher you can set your prices.

5. Make them feel!

Finally, think about how you’re making your audience feel. When they visit your website. When they go through your content. When they receive your emails. When they think about your business.

The happier you make someone, the more inclined they’ll be to spend.

Dopamine is a powerful force. Use it to full effect.

Find out what makes your audience happy and base your entire business model on it.

Do they want be seen as prestigious and exclusive? Do they want to travel the world and drink in everything it has to offer? Do they want help people, to keep giving? Do they just love becoming an expert in a certain topic?

People will always pay more to feel good!

Value before sale

Big brands do this stuff so well.

They make sure they’re profitable first so they can survive. They understand everything about their audience. They create powerful brand design and messaging that appeals to their audience and entices them in with promises of quality, experience and change. 

They speak to their audiences through stories, conversations. They build that trust through developing lasting, profitable relationships. And finally they make their customers feel good, so they keep coming back for more.

And in turn, they charge more because of it. Because they’ve spent time and effort building that perceived value. Because their audience won’t hesitate to pay what they ask, because they’ve been conditioned (for lack of a better term) to believe the cost is truly justified.

Ready to re-look at your pricing?

Like I said before, charging more isn’t a privilege of the mega corporations. Anyone can do it following these 5 principles.

Are you thinking about upping your prices? What’s been stopping you so far? How have these tips helped? Come drop by our Facebook group. I’d love to know your thoughts!

10 Simple Steps To An Epic Mission Statement

10 Simple Steps To An Epic Mission Statement

December 21, 2017

So you know what a mission statement is.

You’ve got over the bland, corporate terminology that it is!

And you understand that it’s really bloody important to have one for your business, even though you’re just starting up.

Excellent.

So let’s get into the steps of how to actually do it!

By the end of this, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to start crafting your brand mission statement.

The problem of process

Business theory tells us we need to create mission statements for our brand. Great.

But not quite how to go about doing it. You know. Like the exact steps, rather than vague concepts.

Cheers for that ‘business theory’.

The process is usually a mystery and puts people off of doing it for their businesses because they don’t know where to begin.

But it’s really simple. And I’m gonna show you how.

Research (but not too much...)

A lot of people get put off of the perceived amount of research they need to do to create their statement.

Research is important. And on a whole different topic, is extremely important to the success of a business.

Knowledge is power, as they say.

But for this, keep it to a minimum. To be honest, this is more about you. Your brand. Your business. You don’t need much research for that. You just need to do a lot of soul searching.

Be completely honest with yourself about what your business is, why it exists and where it is heading.

Answer from the heart and you’ll get a mission statement a million times better than any research could get you.

So with that in mind, here’s a simple, effective step-by-step guide. Time to work those brain cogs!

1. Define your story

Your story is one of the most important foundations to your business and brand. It sets the tone for who you are and what you’re about. It’ll define why you exist – your passions, your drive to succeed.

Your story will be unique to you. By knowing yours, you’ll know where you’ve come from and where you’re going (and your customers will too!).

Write down how and why you started your business, what experience you bring to the table and what your vision is for helping people.

2. Develop your personality

Your business personality defines your brand. It may or may not be the same as your own personality. Remember – your business is a different ‘person’ to you and must appeal to your audience.

It’s there to be their best friend, their teacher, their role model. It’s the blueprint of how you present yourself to your audience – look, feel, tone of voice. How you connect with your audience.

By knowing your brand’s personality and sticking to it in everything you do, you’ll build trust and empathy from your audience.

Think about yours. If your brand was a person, how would you describe it?

3. Decide on your values

Your brand values represent what your business stands for, what it believes in. A constant code of conduct, giving you guidelines on the WAY you do business. If something goes against your values, it doesn’t belong in your brand or business.

Make a note of everything you feel passionate about in your business. What do you want it to represent? What do you want it to stand for?

4. Make your promises

Your promises are the way your audience experience your values every time they interact with your brand. They need to be specific, relatable and relevant to your audience.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO PROMISE!

Promises are another vital component in building trust. Whatever you promise your customers, make sure that everything you do delivers on them. If it doesn’t, get rid of it.

What can you categorically promise your audience? What will you deliver to them each and every time at every touchpoint?

5. Agree on your reputation

Your reputation is how you want people to FEEL about your brand – what you want them to say to others about you.

Every activity you do in your business should result in making your audience feel the way you want them to. The better you make people feel, the more they’ll share it with the world!

How do you want your audience to feel when they come into contact with your brand, when they think about your brand? Energised? Safe? Serene? Inspired?

6. Understand your solution

Your solutions, be they products, services, free content, must always solve a specific set of problems. Problems are based on wants, however what someone wants might not always be what they need.

They NEED your product. But they WANT a better life in some way – more happiness, less pain. Your job is to connect the dots – take them on the journey from wants to needs. All your activity should be aimed at doing this.

What are your audience’s desires? What do they need from you to make their dreams a reality?

7. Curate and create

Now that you have all the answers, time to start crafting your statement. It’s all about the wordsmithing.

Distill your answers into words, phrases and ideas that explain your existence.

What you do.

Why you do it.

And how you do it.

Write them all up on a whiteboard, stick ‘em on some post-its. Get them all in front of you so you can see everything.

You’ll start to see certain words, certain ideas come through above others.

These are the ones you wanna grab hold of.

You’ll start off with a paragraph of an initial mission statement before whittling it down. That’s all good. It’s all a process of honing, chiseling and polishing until you come up with the final statement.

8. Choose your words carefully

When you have a complete idea of everything you want to include in your statement, it’s time to choose the exact words you want to convey it all.

Think about the meaning of each word. How can they be interpreted?

Do they restrict your vision i.e. by a certain technology or product/service?

Are they complete i.e. do the terms you use imply everything you do or can they be open to interpretation?

Be selective and be deliberate. When you only have 10-20 words to play with, every single one of those words have weight.

Every single word counts.

It’s kind of like creating a tweet to summarise a thesis. Stupidly difficult, but not impossible.

I always think about the Mark Twain quote – “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

Long-winded waffling is easy. Perfectly crafted brevity takes time.

9. Sleep on it...

Stepping away from our own words for a time always seems to give us new-found perspective on them.

Don’t try and perfect in a day.

Not even the greatest copywriters would do so if they had the option.

Revisit over the next few days. It’ll be good for your brain to mull things over and piece everything together.

10. Commit to it!

There comes a time when you just need to get on with it.

Nothing will ever be 100% perfect.

Think about all the hard work you’ve done up to this point.

You’ve gone through every defining question about your business. You’ve whittled down a mass of ideas to a few core guiding principles. You’ve spent a good couple of days arguing in your head like a crazy person about whether you should replace the word ‘inspiring’ with ‘exciting’…

You’ve done 90% of the work and have attained 90% of the result.

That last 10% left to do really isn’t worth your time and effort.

The gains won’t be worth the amount of time you put in.

So tick it off!

Mark it as complete!

You now have a mission statement for your brand!

Now it’s just the small task of building your entire business around it…

But what a business it’ll be!

What stage are you at?

Just starting to think about why you do what you do? Are you currently covered in multi-coloured post-it notes? Have you spent the last two days hammering your face into a thesaurus?

Let me know how you’re getting on in the comments below!

5 Surprising Steps To Strong Brand Loyalty

brandsnack - 5 surprising steps to strong brand loyalty

5 Surprising Steps To Strong Brand Loyalty

December 19, 2017

The holy grail of all freelance entrepreneurs!

Brand loyalty creates a fervent tribe of devout customers that buy your products and services, come back and buy more, and sing your praises to everyone they meet.

Revenue-driving and word-of-mouth spreading – all of their own accord!

Genius stuff!

But it takes time and effort to take someone from knowing nothing about you to becoming your no.1 fan.

And in this article, I’m gonna show you how.

At the end of it, you’ll know the 5 key stages you need to take your audience through to develop a seriously strong loyalty to your brand.

The one problem when it comes to brand loyalty

We’re all told to do it. Get loyal customers.

But no-one actually breaks down HOW.

What you’ll usually see is people diving straight into the specific tactics. How to use (insert your tool/social platform/community forum) to do it.

Now these tactics are great and have their place. But without understanding the overall process – the reasons behind the how, you’ll never be able to mould your entire brand experience into a loyalty-building machine.

The death of brand loyalty!?

A lot of people say that brand loyalty is dead. I see it bandied all round the internet.

Brand loyalty isn’t dead. I can assure you.

Loyalty is the ultimate state of love, respect and trust of someone or something.

How can that die??

If you can get your audience to love, respect and trust your brand, you WILL create loyal customers over time.

So here’s how you do it…

1. Spark the desire

We all want something.

A certain experience, result, status or feeling.

And we as entrepreneurs create products, services, brands and businesses to appeal to those wants.

So everything therefore needs to start with an understanding. An in-depth understanding of your audience – their wants and desires. Their pains and frustrations. Their personality and values.

If you don’t know who you’re doing something for, how can you know what to actually do?

This involves a lot of research.

Go to the places they hang out online. Read what they say. Ask their opinions. Interact with them and find out everything about them.

When you’re 100% sure on whether they want to feel excited and energised or calm and relaxed. When you definitely know if they want practical step-by-step advice on how to do something or real life motivational success stories. When you’re sure about helping them perfect their social media presence over email automation…

You’re ready to tailor everything you do to those desires. To what they want and how they want it done. Build your products, services, sales pitches and brand identity around it.

Be something they’re magnetically drawn to. Peak their curiosity. Entice their interest.

And then move onto the next stage.  

2. Build the anticipation

When you know that someone or something can fulfill your desire, you start to anticipate your desire being fulfilled.

That sounds quite trite. But it boils down to achievability.

If you desire something that’s out of reach, it will always be an unfulfilled wish. If however, someone suddenly makes your desire a realistically achievable thing for you, you’ll start to work towards that goal. To attain it.

It’s your job then to build anticipation into habit.

Tell them you have exactly what they want and give it to them. Be specific about it. Take them on a mental journey of where they are now to where they want to be – their ideal.

The more you show someone how you can help them, the more they’ll want your help.

This constant reinforcement builds anticipation. An anticipation of change. Of one step closer to their ideal each time.

And that’s the crux of it. To build anticipation and turn it into habit (a key part of loyalty), you need to have a consistent, regular and definite schedule of delivery.

Think about it. Let’s say there’s a new design tool that you want. It’s epic. It’ll make your blog look incredible. But the release date is sometime in the next 2 or 3 years – maybe. That doesn’t go a long way to building the anticipation.

Now what if that tool was definitely going to be available in 2 months time. Suddenly you’re picturing yourself using it. You’re planning it into your life and business. Because there’s a concrete moment in time when your desire will be fulfilled.

It doesn’t have to be a one-off either.

Think about TV shows. They come out each week on a specific day. You look forward to that day, that time, every week. Because you know you’ll get your fix of entertainment, of feeling good.

Keep doing that time and time again, and that anticipation will become habit – something your audience will do of their own accord without you having to prompt them.

I know never to miss an episode of Game Of Thrones. The PR and Marketing teams don’t need to remind me it’s on each week! 

3. Deliver a sensory experience

You know what your audience wants.

You keep moving through that journey from where they are now to where they could be.

Now it’s all about how you do it.

We are sensory creatures. It’s the way we naturally assimilate information.

Through sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.

Each of these can be used as part of your overall brand experience. To influence perception, emotion and behaviour. It’s all about brand psychology.

As a professional blogger, your business will be mainly online. That means how your brand looks – its visual design – and how it sounds – its aural design are the main methods you should be using to hook your target market.

If you have a physical product, then the feel and weight of it will influence the perception of quality. If you run events or have a bricks and mortar presence like a shop, spa or restaurant etc., then how the environment sounds and smells will play a huge part. If you produce food, then the taste of it will be another part that makes up your overall brand.

All you sensory experiences need to be consistent and work together as a whole.

Do you want someone to feel relaxed? Whip out those pastel colours, calm imagery, soft tones and subtle scents.

Want someone to feel energised? Pump out the beat-driven music, the bold, striking colours, athletic imagery and fresh, powerful scents.

How we experience something sparks the hook. If it makes us feel good the first time, then we’ll want to feel good a second.

Make sure you’re using the sensory parts of your brand to full effect.

As I said however, this stage is just the hook, the invitation. The next stage is what keeps and converts them!

4. Develop the connection

Experiences can be epic! But they can fade quickly if we have no-one to share them with.

It’s always the people that turn good times into great ones.

It’s no exception for your brand.

Your audience want to interact with you. To know you. Your personality, thoughts, values and beliefs.

They want to feel like they belong to something greater than themselves. To know they’re not alone.

To be part of a select and accepting group; knowing that we’re in like-minded company makes us feel safe.

You must not only develop the connection between yourself and your audience, but you also have to be the facilitator of relationships between your audience members themselves.

Relationships build trust. And trust builds loyalty.

The better the relationship you can help create, the more your audience will welcome you into their lives.

Speak to them regularly through your blog, video and podcast content. Ask for their comments. Create a community and get people to join. Use email to keep the conversation flowing. Speak to them. Listen to them.

There’s a reason why people become fanatical about certain sports teams, about certain online games, about certain religions. It’s because of the strong communities behind them.

Make your brand a place for people to grow in, not a product vending machine.

5. Create lasting memories

We remember the things we love. Simple as that.

You’ll never forget something that moved you. That made you feel good. That inspired you.

You’ll never forget a brand that helped you become the best you can be.

Do everything right in the previous 4 steps, and love for you brand and lasting memories will be your reward.

We become loyal to the things we trust, love and remember.

That’s the whole point of building a brand. A brand is a relationship with your audience. An ultimate journey of loyalty.

Loyalty’s a harsh mistress

It’s not easy to create loyalty. But you can definitely do it!

It takes a lot of time, effort and bloody hard work. But it’s worth it.

If you’re making sure that you know your audience inside-out, you’re speaking to and fulfilling their desires, you’re consistent and habit-forming in your delivery, you’re using your brand’s sensory aspects to influence perception, emotion and behaviour, you’re building strong relationships and communities, and you’re giving them everything they need to remember you above anyone else…

Loyalty will follow.

You’ll need to put a lot of work in up front. It’ll seem fruitless and frustrating at times. You’ll want to quit.

Don’t.

Keep going. Push through the barrier. I promise there’s light on the other side.

It takes businesses years to build fanatical followings.

Just remember that everything you do is growing that loyalty with people.

How’s your loyalty building going?

What are your audience’s desires? What can you help them with? What sort of personalities do they have and how are you appealing to them? What are you doing to build relationships and communities?

I’d love to know! Post up in the comments section below!

10 Must-Have Features Of The Perfect Mission Statement

brandsnack - 10 must have features of the perfect mission statement

10 Must-Have Features Of The Perfect Mission Statement

December 14, 2017

An ugly term.

Mission statement.

Has there ever been anything more corporate? More suited and booted into stiff white-necked collars? More trapped in the monotonous web of pointless business process?

It bores me hearing it. It bores me writing it.

But the value that hides beneath those two words excites the hell out of me! And it should for you to!

You’ve probably heard the term. A term that’s usually had all of the life and passion sucked out of it by dusty business theory text books.

I’m gonna tell you exactly why you should be excited about it however. Why having one is vital for the success of your (and any) business. And the key elements of a successful statement (so you aren’t just wasting your time!).

Don’t get the wrong end of the mission stick!

Because of the boring stigma attached to mission statements, a lot of businesses don’t even bother create one. They’d rather start with their products and services, their market or their sales pitches.

Let’s face it. It’s much more gratifying in the short term to see some money coming in, directly off the back of whatever you’re doing, than ‘vague’ strategy work with no instant benefit.

But how can you move forward in your business when you don’t know why you’re doing it? You need to do this before you do anything else! You wouldn’t start trekking into the Amazon rainforest without a map (to be fair, even if I had a map, I probably wouldn’t – but that’s another thing entirely! Not a fan of massive, deadly, man-eating/stinging/ripping creatures stalking me).

Even when businesses do take the time to create one, they miss the point.

Boring as hell. Generic and forgettable. Completely pointless.

Because no real thought has gone into them. Usually because they do it to tick a box. Because that’s what they’ve been told they need to have. Not because they WANT to have one.

Not just for the big boys!

People get confused and put off by mission statements as they’re usually waffled about in the same breath as multi-national corporations.

Only massive brands should have a mission statement. Only companies with thousands of employees should have a mission statement.

They just aren’t necessary for startups and solopreneur businesses.

WRONG.

In fact, a mission statement is even more important for small businesses, and the best time to create one. Before you grow. Before you create your empire.

EVERY business needs to have one, no matter the size, no matter the niche, no matter the audience.

Do you know why you exist?

Now this is a better way to put it.

Your mission statement is your purpose. Your reason for being.

It should act as your guide. A mantra that everything you do in your business – every product you create, every email you send, every piece of content you write, every interaction with your audience – should be directed by it.

If what you do doesn’t fit with your mission, then don’t do it.

It’ll be a valuable sense of direction for every decision you have to make.

That’s a powerful thing to have!

Clarity and purpose. A guiding principle that keeps your business consistent and always moving in the right direction.

So, let’s have a look at the 10 elements that all incredible mission statements have!

1. Tell your story

People relate to and are captivated by stories. Who you are, where you began, where you’re going. We all seek to understand people, businesses. The more we understand something, the more we can judge if we like it. The more we like something, the more we trust it. And the more we trust a person or a business, the more we’re likely to listen to what they say and buy what they sell.

2. Make it personal

To you and to your audience. Starting with you, it needs to be a true reflection of who you ARE and what your business DOES. Not who you want to be and what your business should be doing. Be completely honest with yourself on this. It must be completely representative of who you are now.

It must also be relative to your audience. Their wants. Their needs. Their problems. If they can see themselves in it, then you’re on the right track.

3. Say it like they’d say it

A lot of ‘business gurus’ tell you to keep it simple. Use simple language. But I’m not happy with that. I’d much rather tailor it my audience. Use the words and terminology they use. Your language will be completely different if you ran a business aimed at aspiring creative writers than senior aerospace engineers.

If your entire audience uses and accepts certain jargon, and it’s right to include it. Then include it. Just make sure it resonates with them.

4. Keep it short

No-one likes a thesis. We’re all up for instant, easy answers. And it’s no different with your mission statement. In fact, the shorter it is, the easier it is to read, digest and remember. Anywhere from 10 to 20 words is the sweet spot really. Less than that, and you’re probably getting a little vague. More than that and you’ll bore the crap out of people.

5. Make it actionable

Don’t be wishy-washy. Be concrete. Make it something that you CAN do. Day in, day out. It needs to be grounded in reality and be absolutely practical. It should be something that your audience can recognize that you’re doing in every part of your business. In every activity you do.

6. Always deliver on it

This one goes without saying, but your mission is your promise to your audience. Making promises to your audience is vital in building trust and credibility. And you need to keep them! Don’t be afraid of making promises, be afraid of breaking them.

Make sure that in everything you do, every time, you’re always living up to the promise and values held in your mission statement. There’s no point in creating this amazing sounding statement if you can never live up to it. It’ll do you much more harm than good in the long run.

7. Polarize people

You’ll never be able to please everyone. And you shouldn’t want to. Pick a niche. Pick an audience. And talk directly to them. Screw everyone else. They don’t matter to your business. So you shouldn’t care about what they think, say or feel about what you do and what you stand for.

Sounds harsh right? But it’s the only way to go from mediocre getting by, to exponential success. If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no-one. Always be clear and confident in what you do, who you are and more importantly, what you don’t do and who you’re not! The audience that you want to talk to will love you more for it.

8. Look at the bigger picture

You’re trying to make an impact in people’s lives. To the way the world does something. To break the status quo. Think about the bigger picture around your business. Yes you’re there to sell people your products and service. Yes you’re there to make money. But what good do you bring to the world? What’s the change for the better you want to see?

Be aspirational, be inspirational and dream big. If we as entrepreneurs can’t be bold in our vision, then who can?

9. Create a game-changer

Be different! Know your competition and go where they don’t. Be what they won’t. Do it better, faster, more in-depth, more specific, more bespoke, with more passion, with more style. Be that single point of difference within your industry and shout about it. That’s why people will come to you and ultimately become loyal to you.

Your mission statement needs to call this out. How are you better than anyone else out there? What is it you do? How do you do it?

10. Start a movement

If you get the previous 9 elements in, you’ll have an epic mission statement to guide your business and brand. And you will start a movement. People will believe in you. Will trust you. And will spread the word about you getting others to join your cause.

If your reason for existing is worthy enough, your audience will follow.

It’s not set in stone!

So you now know that a mission statement is vital to your brand, no matter where you are on your business journey.

You know it’s your true purpose. The what, why and how you do things. The reason why your business exists.

It should be a true reflection of you and the audience you are trying to attract. And it must inspire all to action. To deliver a constant, specific experience and result, day in, day out.

But it will change.

As your business evolves, so to will your mission. It’s completely natural for that to happen.

You’ll start using new technologies, opening up to new niches, focusing on new audiences etc.

It should never be a complete re-write, but there will be amends over time. Just make sure that it doesn’t happen to often. It should only be a result of your business naturally changing, not a flippant mind.

Always use it to capture your ambition, to embody the spirit of your brand and to guide everything you do.

A little tip...

To create an impactful, actionable and inspiring mission statement, you need to know exactly who you are and exactly who your audience are. It takes time, but is absolutely necessary to the success of your business.

What’s your mission?

Tell me about your mission. Have the above points helped you create one if you didn’t have one already or re-look at an existing one? What part of this article gave your brain a nice tickle?

Let me know in the comments section below!

22 Seriously Useful Places To Find Your Target Market Online

brandsnack - 22 seriously useful places to find your target customer

22 Seriously Useful Places To Find Your Target Market Online

December 12, 2017

So you know who you are. What you’re all about. Your entire blog content strategy.

You also have a pretty good idea about who your target market is.

Now it’s time to find them!

By the end of this article, you’ll know the tried-and-tested best places to go looking for your target market online!

Like a rabbit in headlights

The internet is an almost infinite sprawling mass of information, users and animal memes.

The world (and all its nooks and crannies) are literally at your fingertips.

You can reach anyone. Anywhere. At any time.

Your options are endless and hide so much untapped potential.

Your target market are out there. Waiting for you to help them.

I don’t know about you, but an infinite number of choices has a bad effect on me. It sends me into a rocking, dribbling mess in the corner of my office. I can’t deal with it.

I end up paralyzed, doing nothing and talking to no-one.

Infinite choice is an infinite headache.

In order to make progress and start building a relationship with our target market, we need to narrow down to the best options available to us, and those we are actually suited to.

You need to own your channels

It used to be the case that we could choose one option and focus 100% on it. In fact, a lot of people still recommend this. But I don’t agree.

Your target market will have a wide range of interests and media preferences. They’ll have accounts on a number of different platforms, forums, websites, publications etc. And not everyone of them will be on all of those channels.

It’s your job to be everywhere they are.

To be constantly top of mind.

I’m gonna relate this to a bit of dating theory – the only bit I know (because it’s essentially the same thing – building a relationship with others, trying to avoid the whole ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ text message!).

To build trust and likability, you need to vary the environment you meet in. This maintains interest and keeps the spark. The cinema, the park, a cafe, concert etc.

Variety is the spice of life and it’s the same in the business world. Not only do they start seeing you everywhere (relevant) they go, you’ll also reach the maximum amount of your target market on all platforms.

So here are the top places you need to be to find and build relationships with your target market.

1. Facebook

With over 2 billion monthly active users, the world’s number 1 social platform will definitely host a crazy amount of your target market. If you know what your audience likes, look for the Facebook Groups they’re in and join them.

Also use Facebook Ads to promote to them on their feed. Their audience insights are insanely detailed. You can even use it for free to build a target persona of demographics, likes and interests etc. without even placing an ad! 

2. Pinterest

The world’s second largest search engine after Google! Create boards and put your content up with keyword-rich metadata and people will find it when they search. Make sure you stay relevant, regular and consistent.

The main tactic here is to submit your content to group boards. Use PinGroupie to find ones that fit the bill. There are a whole host of different boards for different interests that thousands of your target market will be looking at and engaging with.

3. Twitter

There’s a lot of noise on Twitter, and it’s not my preferred platform for building relationships, but it is great to get your content out to a wide-reaching audience. Make sure you’re optimising your hashtags so that when your target market search for a topic, they’ll have a decent chance of seeing your content. The more you can post, the better here!

4. LinkedIn

Not just for your immediate work connections, LinkedIn Groups are another great place to find your target market – all actively engaged. You’ll get recommendations based on your experience that you can sign up to, or go on the Groups Directory to manually search.

Slideshare is also another great place to reach your target audience, whilst re-purposing your blog content at the same time!

5. Youtube

1.3 billion total active users and 30 million visitors per day. Your target audience will lap up your video content if you’re creating it! Get your content right, get your video SEO and keywords right, and just like Pinterest, people will be able to search for topics they’re interested in and see you finely crafted content.

Also, only 9% of U.S small businesses use YouTube for their marketing. So if you start – you’re well ahead of the curve!

6. Instagram

Not a traditional channel, but with the addition of Instagram Stories and push notifications etc., Instagram is becoming a viable platform for reaching your target market with your content.

A little finicky to set up as it’s all from your mobile, but once you do, you’ll find a sea of people to interact with. Businesses are only just jumping on this also, so the sooner you do get on, the bigger the slice of the pie you can get.

7. Google +

Ok, so not the biggest out there, but there are some that use it, along with their Groups.

No harm in posting your content up here also both to your profile and external groups. It will also help with your SEO and organic reach playing nice with Google!

8. Reddit

Reddit can be a harsh mistress, but treat her right and she’ll repay it in spades.

Full of the most devout topic followers, it’s a great place to build relationships with the most ardent of your target market. There’s a sub-reddit for everything! Search for relevant sub-reddits on the site using your topic keywords, join up and start interacting. Make sure you follow the rules however – Redditors can be extremely quick to call you out and ban you if not!

9. Quora

You can host your own Quora blog to re-publish your website content, but the best part of Quora is posting answers to people’s questions. These are your target market directly ASKING for help!

If you can provide great, detailed answers with links back to your site to help them more (not to your products!), then you will quickly start attracting more of your target audience. Your answers will also remain for everyone to see, so that when they search for that question, your help will come up again. Genius!

10. Podcast directories

Do a podcast? Great, get it everywhere! There are around 50 top podcast directories to submit your content to – make sure you’re getting into all of them. You’re target market will have preferences over which ones they use.

Some of the main ones include iTunesStitcher and TuneIn. They each have different submission requirements, so can be a bit of work to set up, but once you’ve done it, you’re reach will explode!

11. Yahoo Groups

Yahoo does still exist, and it has it’s own groups where people like to hang out and discuss a huge variety of topics.

Search for keywords related to your topic of business and join up to the relevant groups to introduce yourself, what you do and how you can help people.

12. Medium

For bloggers, Medium is a no-brainer. You can re-publish content on your website to Medium, either under your own profile, or, if you want to really maximize your reach to your target audience, through Medium publications.

Visit TopPub and search for all publications that your target market would likely read. Get your content up and submit it to each of them. If you can get into one of them, you’re content could be read by thousands.

13. Online publications

Type your keywords into Google and see what publications come up. Some will accept post submissions, others won’t. It’s all about a but of research on your part really.

Again, you can re-purpose your existing blog posts from your website and reach out to a whole new part of your target market that may have never heard of you otherwise. Make sure you read their submission guidelines however – they’ll all differ.

14. RSS / Content Aggregators

You can either submit your content to sites such as Digg or AllTop – both massive content sites that accept a wide range of content on varying topics.

You can also set up your RSS feed for your target market to subscribe to by linking to it in your blog posts and using FeedBurner to easily link it to RSS readers such as Feedly.

15. Niche forums / communities

Sometimes the niche forums are the best. You’ll have to do some digging through Google search to find them however. Type in your keywords and stick ‘forum’ or ‘community’ after them. You’ll soon find the top ones around. Dip into them and see if they’re worth your time.

16. Niche blogs / websites

Other people’s blogs and websites around your niche are also a great place to find your target audience. Find the places that complement what you do. If you’re writing about cooking, look for others that focus on cooking equipment or herbs etc.

You can join the discussion in their comments sections to introduce people to you and what you do. Don’t be promotional however. Just be there to actively help people, not sell to them.

17. Flickr

Is your blog image heavy? Do you create your own? Get them all up on Flickr and link back to your site. There are over 2 million groups on the platform!

You won’t get a massive boost in traffic, but it will be a steady stream. The great thing about Flickr is that Google will prioritise the images from it also in their search rankings. Bonus!

18. Snapchat

An up and coming channel in the business space, Snapchat is being used by more and more professional bloggers to reach their target market. It’s no wonder with over 30 million monthly active users!

Use the Story element to shoot videos to give a glimpse into the daily runnings of your business. Use it for timely promotions for your products and services. Content lasts for 24 hours before it gets wiped.

19. Whatsapp

Another new channel that’s growing fast. With over 1.3 billion monthly active users, it’s a great platform to reach your target market and share your content. Use Sumo’s social sharing buttons to add Whatsapp sharing to your blog.

20. Slack Groups

There are a number of open and invite-only Slack groups available to join in a lot of niches. Check out Slacklist and find ones that would appeal to your target market. Join up and start introducing people to your content!

21. Product Hunt

If you’ve got a product to sell (which you should), then time to get it up on here. Basically a curated list of submitted products for people to discuss and rate. Another avenue to reach people that would want what you got.

22. Your email list!

And finally, yes, your email list.

That thing you’ve worked hard to build. Don’t forget it!

With all the focus on finding your target market all over the internet, we can sometimes miss them right under our noses.

Make sure you’re engaging them first, as they are the ones that WANT to hear from you. Make sure you’re interacting with them regularly.

Your sales come from your email list. Treat it nicely.

The internet is still rather large…

But with these top platforms and channels, you now have a much better idea of where to focus your search for your target market.

You don’t have to be on all of them!

If you’re audience doesn’t use one, don’t waste your time. But wherever your audience are, you NEED to be also.

A little-known tip…

Remember that it takes time and consistent effort to own a channel. If you know that your audience are there, then don’t give up. It’ll be hard and fruitless at first, no matter all of the ‘instantly 10X your traffic’ lies that are constantly thrown in your face.

Building trust is a long term exercise.

If today is better than yesterday, no matter by how much, then keep going!  

These are the main ways I reach my target audience. Do you know of any others that would be great additions? Which ones are your favourite out of the list?

Let me know in the comments section below!

Why Your Brand Should Be Your Client’s Honeymoon Sunset

brandsnack - why your brand should be your client's honeymoon sunset

Why Your Brand Should Be Your Client’s Honeymoon Sunset

October 4, 2017

The vast sky’s been painted with the rich purple and lilac hues of twilight.

The dying embers of the sun burn a deep orange as it sinks low on the horizon, giving way to the enchanting glint of the night’s first stars.

The intense heat of the day has ebbed into a comfortable cool breeze across your body, providing a welcome respite.

And the sea laps softly at the shore a few feet away from the table you’re sitting at, hushing the day’s excitement to stillness and calm. Blending with the low, sultry chillout vibes playing through the air.

The sweet perfumed scent of exotic flowers delicately teases your senses along with the mouth-watering aromas of freshly prepared delicacies from the restaurant’s kitchens.

You sit back in your chair. Close your eyes. And let go of everything else to be at one with the moment.

A hand touches yours.

You open your eyes.

And there they are, sitting across from you. A warm smile dances across their lips and their eyes reflect the beautiful artistry of the sky.

The most beautiful person you’ve ever seen. The one you’ve just married. The love of your life.

As the evening turns into night, the hours blur into a heady mix of captivating conversation and laughter. You lose yourself in the sound of their voice, the depth of their soul. As the intoxicating atmosphere envelops you both.

You’ve been waiting for this moment for what seems like forever. There’s nowhere else you’d rather be. This is paradise. This is bliss. This is something you’ll always remember.

The Honeymoon Sunset Effect

No. I’m not moving into writing romance novels.

But this experience is EXACTLY what your brand experience should be like for your audience.

I’m not advocating taking them all for romantic dinner dates in the Maldives (although if you do choose to do this with your brand, let me know — I’m in!), but the elements of the experience are exactly the same.

Let’s have a look into the 5 stages that your brand experience and that of a honeymoon sunset have in common.

1. Spark their desire

Everything starts with desire. A burning want of a great experience, result or feeling. When we get married, we usually picture ourselves in a beautiful location with the one we love, having a great time.

Your brand needs to tap into the desires of your audience first. Do they want something intellectually stimulating, adrenaline pumping, hilariously funny etc.

Are they looking to feel happier, more confident, less stressed, healthier?

Do they want more money, more flexibility with their time, more worldly experiences?

Once you know what they want, you can then start building around this. Offer something that satisfies this desire and then move onto the second stage…

2. Build the anticipation

When you find someone, something, somewhere that gives you what you desire, you start to anticipate having your desire fulfilled.

So you’ve started looking for honeymoon destinations. You’ve found the perfect place, the best hotel and added all the bells and whistles. You’ve got it all planned in your head. You know exactly what you’re gonna be getting. You just have to wait. Anticipation starts building!

This is a very powerful feeling, and something that, as a brand, you should be making your audience feel as much as possible.

Tell them you have exactly the thing that will help them meet their desires. Be specific as to how it meets them.

And have a definite, consistent schedule of delivery — this is SO important. Anticipation doesn’t build off the back of hazy, ambiguous points in the future. It comes from a definite point in time when they know they’ll get what they want. It can be a one-off (like a honeymoon), or it can be regular and constant (like a TV show, or magazine subscription).

When it comes to the day of delivery, it’s all about the next stage…

3. Deliver a sensory experience

Everything you see, hear, touch, taste and smell is an experience.

Depending on what sort of brand and business you have, you’ll be able to use some or all of these within your overall brand experience.

Visual experience is incredibly important for online brands in their website design, online ad layouts and app UI’s. Sound is also important in the use of video content.

Physical goods have a huge brand experience emphasis on touch. The quality of paper in a book. The weight and premium feel of a mobile phone.

The sense of smell and sound are vital in the creation of branded environments and spaces — shops, spas, restaurants etc.

Taste is relevant to any brand that includes food or drink consumption.

The honeymoon sunset experience is a great example as it combines all of these — the astounding sunset views, the feeling of a cool breeze over tropical warmth, the sounds of the sea and music in the air and the smell of the beach and cooking, topped off with the taste of a great meal.

The trick is that all of these sensory experiences need to be consistent. They need to all work together to form a complete whole. The same feeling and result.

Want someone to feel relaxed — then have pastel colours, calm imagery, soft tones, subtle scents etc. Want someone to feel energise — pumping music, bold, bright colours, athletic imagery and powerful, fresh scents.

The experience is only the invitation however. The next stage is what keeps them!

4. Develop the connection

Experiences can be epic. But they can quickly fade if we have no-one to share them with.

It’s always the people that turn good times into great ones, and that’s no exception with your brand.

Your audience want to interact with you. They want to know you. Your personality. Your values and beliefs.

They want to know they’re in like-minded company — to feel safe and part of a select and accepting group (even if that group is only 2 people like a honeymoon).

Other people and that way we interact with them are the strongest influencers of mood and behaviour.

The more of a two-way conversation you strike up with your audience. The more you appeal to their personalities. The more you develop connections.

And connections build trust.

And trust is the most vital component when it comes to making sales.

Your brand’s personality needs to mimic that of your ideal audience’s. They need to be best friends.

Best friends talk to each other and listen to each other.

This communication and interaction is what’ll move your audience from liking your brand, to loving it!

Which moves us nicely onto our last stage…

5. Create lasting memories

We remember the things we love. Simple as that.

They are the things that are always at the forefront of our mind, and that we always go back to, to find happiness.

You’ll never forget how that honeymoon sunset made you feel. How perfect it was.

Likewise, you’ll never forget about a brand that makes you feel the best you can be.

Building a brand is all about ultimately building loyalty. We become loyal to the things we love and remember.

We also can’t help but share the things we love and remember with others — the power of word of mouth.

Once your brand is firmly rooted in the memories of your audience, you’ll have loyal customers for life.

What’s Your Honeymoon Sunset?

Think about the 5 stages for your brand.

What does your audience desire?

How exactly can you help them with that desire?

What is your brand sensory experience? How do you want to make your audience feel?

What’s your brand personality and values? How can you communicate with your audience effectively?

Is your brand always the first one that comes to mind?

And remember — don’t force it. Your brand must be a natural manifestation of your love for your audience. We’ve all seen those awkward honeymoon sunsets between couples that aren’t quite right for each other. Long drawn out silences. Stilted conversation. Hand-stifled yawns.

No-one wins.

Take time, take care and craft your brand experience into the addictive honeymoon sunset your audience deserves.