Why Your Branding Could be Holding You Back | See Girl Work

Why Your Branding Could be Holding You Back

Why Your Branding Could be Holding You Back

Branding mistakes could be holding you back from turning your side-hustle gig into your full-time career.

If you’re trying to attract more high-value clients, then you’ll need high-end branding. Point blank. Period. You should not expect to invest $100 in your website, then expect your clients to pay you $250 an hour.

It’s just not going to happen. If you cannot invest in yourself and your business, you should not expect complete strangers to invest in your business either. As such, your branding could be holding you back.

Brand your business for the client you want, not for the client you have. Click To Tweet

Your product or service may very well be of a higher quality than your brand illustrates, but if your branding isn’t on point to paint the picture ─ it doesn’t matter. You will not attract affluent clients who will pay your price point.

Cheap websites and brand identities attract cheap clients. Brand your business for the client you want, not for the client you have.

No matter how small your business is, your company’s branding should be taken seriously. If your big plans for your side-hustle aren’t coming together, there could be a chance your branding is holding you back from new markets, new clients, new revenue and overall business growth.

These branding mistakes could be holding you back from turning your side-hustle gig into your full-time career.

Outdated Persona

Your website is one of the first places that potential clients will go to learn about your business. If your site is still 640×480 pixels and uses flash animation, you can be certain that they’re going to choose a more relevant competitor over you.

Also, more than 50% of people across the globe use their smartphone to search the web, so if your site is not responsive (re-sizes to fit all devices), Google will penalize your ranking.

Part of keeping your brand vital is keeping up-to-date with technology, and that means a website that puts your company’s best foot forward.

Multiple Personalities

Maybe you use one version of your logo on your website and another on your printed materials. Not to mention all the different taglines you’re using because you can’t make up your mind.

One of the fastest ways to dilute the leverage of your brand is inconsistency. Customers can quickly spot brand inconsistency and can easily develop mistrust with inconsistency across multiple platforms.

You need to be consistent or your clients will think you are unreliable and sloppy.

Multiple Target Markets

Targeting everyone reaches no one. But by choosing your target market and honing in on it, you can please the right audience all of the time.

A target market leads to a compelling brand, without which the brand will lose focus and efficiency. Don’t be afraid to be specific to define your target market. Tailor your strategies to amuse your ideal client and not just any client.

Matching the Competition

Chances are you’re not the only one selling a specific product or service in your industry. It’s not easy to create a unique product in today’s market, so you have to go a little deeper to make sure you differentiate your business from your competitors.

When thinking about uniqueness, it’s okay to get inspiration from brands who are already executing this idea well.

Even if you’re a small business, try to start thinking like the top leaders in your industry, without “copying” their ideas ─ just use them for inspiration.

Examine what is working for them, how they communicate their message, the imagery they use to convey their message and how people are responding to it. Then look at your business, deep inside, and find what makes you special.

Lack of Brand Guidelines

Have you ever done an audit of your branded materials? Pull together everything that has your logo on it and spread it all out on a big table.

Does it look cohesive? Is a common colour palette used? Is there a consistent use of typography? Do the materials look contemporary or out-of-date?

This exercise is a quick way to evaluate whether you need to make changes to your brand and whether you need to develop brand manuals to help create consistency.

Brand guidelines don’t have to be extensive, but they should clearly communicate how to use your brand elements properly.

The Take Away

A brand is the essence of your company ─ what it stands for, what it looks like, what it sounds like and most importantly how it’s different from all the rest.

Building a compelling brand is one of the most important things you’ll need to do in order to ensure that your business remains successful.

Is your branding properly developed to attract your ideal client? Are some of your techniques, language, design or style outdated?

Maybe it’s time to analyze your competition, current trends and re-evaluate. If your brand is currently in the “suck” phase, you should start thinking about ways you can change that might give you a slight edge.


Image via Shutterstock



Alethea Robinson

Founder & Blogger-in-Chief, See Girl Work

Alethea Robinson is a freelance marketing & content writer who provides content strategy, blogging, and writing & editing services for creative agencies and small to medium-sized businesses. In addition to her freelance business, Alethea is also founder and blogger-in-chief at See Girl Work, an online community for creative, entrepreneurial-minded women. Before starting her blog and freelance business, Alethea worked in marketing and communications for over 15 years.


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