Hey guys! So I realized it’s been over 5 years since I started this blog and my IG, and for the last year and a half I’ve been working on developing my own athleisure line. While I still have a lot I want to accomplish, I’ve definitely learned a few things along the way about building a brand and business online so thought I’d share some of my biggest takeaways with you!
- Know what problem you’re solving and who you’re solving it for
Whether you’re a blogger, podcaster, online coach, or you’re launching a product….you first need to know what problem you’re solving for people. What value are you giving someone? And why would they come to you over someone else? You have to think of what differentiates you and the service you’re providing. Very few products or services are novelty items anymore (I mean, most likely it’s been done before) but you have to focus on what is going to make you stand out, and why a potential client/customer would pick you over another similar business.Part of this comes from getting really clear on who you’re selling it too. And I don’t mean just gender or age. You need to know everything about your target customer to the point where you can describe them as just a single person. Ie. My target client is named Jenny, she’s 27 years old, lives in large city like New York , she’s single, she cares about her health but isn’t obsessive–she wants to live a balanced lifestyle, she works in a creative role as a graphic designer, etc. When you get super clear on who you’re talking to, it’s much easier to talk to one person than to try and talk to hundreds. And by pretending like you’re talking to one person, you’ll attract all of those people who will be your ideal client. The other thing that is going to attract your ideal client, customer, follower, etc. is your brand. Think of it this way–sure, Starbucks has good coffee but do we go there because they really have the best coffee? Debatable. I mean the good quality coffee doesn’t hurt but most of us probably go there because of the brand, and what we like to associate ourselves with.
- Get a clear vision
Part of getting a clear vision involves the step above– figuring out what problem you’re solving and who you’re solving it for. But beyond that, you need to think of your business as a brand. What does your brand look like? Fonts, colors, vibe? What feelings does your brand embody? How will people feel when they hit your website? Motivated, happy, energized? Relaxed, calm and tranquil? Writing down adjectives that describe your brand, and creating a mood board with inspo photos can help you get really clear on what you want your brand to represent. It also helps to write down values that are important to your brand. These are all things I did when creating the athleisure line (name debuting soon!) and it was a huge help in really getting clear on what my brand was. Because at the end of the day, you can have a great product but you need powerful brand to help people feel truly connected to your company and your mission. Also this kind of goes without saying but you want your brand to be the same across all social channels. It would be weird if someone came to your website and you had “light, bright and airy vibes” and then they went to your Instagram and it was high-contrast and bold colors.
- Don’t get analysis paralysis
We’ve all heard the term “progress over perfection” and this is exactly what I’m talking about here. So often when we go to start something new, we can feel really overwhelmed with feeling inexperienced and not knowing if we’re doing something the “right way.” On top of that there are usually a ton of ways to start something whether that be a blog, a product, a service, etc. and there isn’t always a right way to begin with! Everyone’s journey of how they got from A to B looks a little different. That being said, the best thing you can do for yourself is to JUST START! Don’t let yourself get so overwhelmed by how you’re going to get to the end point when you haven’t even taken the first step. Focus on one thing at a time, and learn and pivot as you go. For example, let’s say you’re starting a blog. Maybe you take a day to research different platforms on where you want you blog to be hosted on. But after that first day, you make a decision. You pick a host, pick a free template, and start writing content. You don’t need to take months to build a custom site when you don’t have readers yet! First things first.
- Be consistent
Part of having an online brand is showing up for your audience on a regular basis. It’s hard for an audience to feel connected to someone (ie. a personal brand like a blogger) or something when it doesn’t feel like that brand is dedicated or making an effort to improve the life of those who they are trying to serve. Depending on what your business is, this may look a little different whether you’re posting to your website/blog, to Instagram, or sending out newsletters. Either way, you want to be sure you’re staying top of your audience/customers mind.
- Invest in yourself
I’ll be honest here. Over the years I’ve heard a lot of people say they really want to do something and they would give anything to make it happen. But when push comes to shove and it’s time to put in the work, there is a reason why they can’t. “I don’t have enough time” “I just don’t know where to start” “I don’t think I would be successful” (not with that attitude!!), “I don’t have the money right now” The list goes on. And I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad but more so because I think a lot of people end up getting scared of putting themselves out there. They are so scared of actually trying something new and out of their comfort zone that they then shy away all together and find an excuse of why now “just isn’t a good time.” So I say this with love, but if you’ve been wanting to start something, NO MORE EXCUSES! Will it be perfect? No. Will you make mistakes? Yes. But every single person who is successful was once where you are. So first, you have to be willing to invest your time. If you don’t find time to make your dream a priority it will never happen. Secondly, don’t be afraid to invest some money where it makes sense. I said above when starting your blog that you just need to pick a free template and start. There is no reason you need to be spending thousands on a website when you don’t have traffic yet. And while it will all still be a learning process, there are resources out there that you can invest in that will make the learning process much easier and less stressful.
I know taking the leap and investing in yourself is scary but I promise that anything worth having in life doesn’t come easy…otherwise everyone would do it! If you ever have any questions I am here to help! xxC