Choosing what your brand will be and determining what direction your marketing will take are definitely not easy decisions. Even when you get it right, it could work against you, because if you're lucky enough to hit the bull’s eye, but then choose to stay with the same model year after year, you may be missing valuable new income paths or partnerships. Most of us won't be that lucky though, to be honest. I've seen many coaching clients struggle with what services to offer and how to set boundaries with clients. I’ve also seen many clients try to cover the entire world – thinking everyone is their potential client. They'll usually discover over time, however, that being MORE specific and focusing on their core expertise is usually the way to go. As a Brand Strategist, I know one thing very clearly, everyone out there does NOT have your knowledge base or skill set. Your unique value is the core of your brand, every day. And if you've spent ten years in real estate or half your career in the medical field, you bring a VERY unique and marketable expertise to the table.
This also goes for skill-based tasks, like podcasting, PowerPoint presentations, event planning, webinar setup and distribution, and the list goes on endlessly. No matter what you do, you can always be adding new skills to your expertise – often things you can learn for free over the web. What happens when you do that though? How do you add something new to your store without busting your brand? There are several ways to do this artfully. For instance, you can contact all of your EXISTING clients and let them know that you've added video editing or book publishing to your portfolio. (You can learn the ins and outs of that through lulu.com AND while you learn, you can publish your own work -- building yet ANOTHER revenue stream with a product line.)
You can also partner with another professional who has a different skill set and cross promote one another. It makes things MUCH easier if you don't have to reinvent the wheel, especially as a solopreneur, and invest all of your time into product development. You can simply find some amazing products that you enjoy and promote those to your own clients, friends and fans. You can also be an affiliate for other experts -- often earning more than money -- can you say free courses and mentoring?
Charting the course of your small business is a balancing act and one that you should set time aside to reconsider every six months at least. If you build your entire brand around ONE core competency, you may end up bored to tears -- even if you're successful. The point is that if you cast your brand in cement, you may find that it simply imprisons you down the road. So cast it in something more flexible -- like Playdoh -- and choose a few others (affiliations) to play with as you go along.
Until next time, Libby Gill
PS: If you haven’t already, definitely take a moment and sign up for my no-cost 45-minute webinar on March 9th on “The 3 Biggest Mistakes Small Businesses Make with Their Website.” This teleseminar will be filled with information to help you give your website a wow makeover that delivers results. The website is the hub of your brand and it is where your credentialed expertise is MOST apparent – at least online. Here’s the link to register: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/744065334