Top 7 Branding Ideas for Your Consulting Business
As an independent consultant, you are your company, and establishing a strong brand is crucial to the growth and success of your business. This blog post will provide you with branding ideas for your consulting business ensuring you have a roadmap to successfully guide the future of your business.
Taking the plunge from employee to business owner
It takes an immense amount of courage to make the decision to shift gears and stop working on someone else’s dream, to work on your own. The stakes are high and I know the soul searching that went into your decision to take this plunge. I know this because I went through it as well.
Far too many times I see branding for new consulting and coaching businesses that is unclear, too general, and lacking strategy.
It makes me cringe to my core when I see new businesses putting their branding at the bottom of their priority lists. But, I get it. There’s a lot of ‘gurus’ that will tell you that the most important thing is to “just start”.
Do I agree? Short answer, yes and no.
There is definitely such a thing as analysis paralysis and sometimes people get stuck trying to make everything perfect before they put it out into the world. I do not subscribe to this way of thinking, and although I strongly believe in progress over perfection, I also believe in building it with intention.
Branding your consulting or coaching business effectively provides you with the roadmap you need to successfully guide the future of your business.
Here are the top 7 branding ideas that can you help you shape your brand the right way.
1. Base your brand on reality, not fiction and guesswork
What do I mean by “reality”? Start with in-depth research on your ideal clients, and prospects. Then move on and research your competition and industry trends as well.
When you are too close to something, it’s almost impossible to be objective. That’s why it’s so important to base your branding decisions on facts rather than opinions and guesswork. This way, you can create a brand that truly serves the needs of your business.
2. Establish your expertise and zone of genius
To be seen as an authority in your space you need to stop taking a generalist approach. There is tons of research and social proof that will attest to the fact that consultants who specialize and who have a niche experience greater visibility and command higher rates.
Niching down both in who you serve and what you offer will help you streamline and focus your content, ensuring you are drawing in your ideal clients while filtering out those who aren’t a fit.
Experts also generate more leads and cement their credibility in the marketplace, making it easier to close more sales and grow.
3. Position your brand based on real differentiators
Now that you’ve done your research and niched down, it’s time to use these findings to figure out new and relevant differentiators that will set your consulting business apart from the rest!
Ask questions like:
What issues are my ideal clients facing today?
How does my service solve this problem?
Have I defined the transformation that my clients can expect?
Do I know what my ideal clients are talking about?
What do my competitors specialize in?
Are there areas of unmet need in your marketplace?
The answers to these questions will help you identify differentiators on which to build your new brand.
Some of these potential differentiators may be qualities that you already hold but need to start promoting in your marketing. Others may be areas of opportunity for you to stand out from the competition.
Either way, your differentiators must pass three tests.
They must be relevant to your target audience, true, and provable.
If you can prove to clients that you are different in a way that helps meet their needs, you’ll be positioned for success.
4. Think of your brand like a person
Leveraging all of the insights from the previous phases and keeping your ideal clients in mind – it’s now time for the fun part! Developing your brand personality!
Your brand should have an IDENTITY (who it is), PERSONALITY (how it behaves), and EXPERIENCE (how it’s remembered).
Ask yourself these questions about your brand:
How would your brand introduce itself?
If your brand had to describe its appearance, how would it do so?
In what way would your brand talk about your products or services? Would it be serious and professional, or would it be funny and edgy?
What would someone say about your brand after “meeting” it for the first time?
The purpose of branding is to create relationships with your customers. The easiest way to do this is to treat your brand as a person and understand that you want your customers to do the same.
5. Design your brand
Pat yourself on the back, you’ve come far already and accomplished so much – you should really be proud! It’s now time to ensure all your great work is supported by a cohesive polished visual identity such as logos, fonts, colors, etc.
It’s time to hire a professional. Your brand can account for up to 50% of your company’s value. It’s linked to things like brand equity, credibility, consistency, customer loyalty, and awareness – avoid winging it at all costs!
If possible, try to find someone who specializes in all aspects of branding such as brand strategy, brand design, and brand growth, this way you can also get them to review and polish the branding work done in the previous phases to ensure your strategy is spot on!
6. Apply your brand strategy and identity to all customer touchpoints
It should be clear by now that a brand is much more than a logo and a tagline. It’s the soul of your business, and to do its work, it needs to permeate throughout everything you do.
Think about the various channels through which you communicate:
- Social Media
- Marketing collateral
- Powerpoint presentations
Every single one of these marketing channels needs to be aligned with your brand. It’s the only way you will be able to increase brand recall and establish credibility with your ideal clients.
7. Protect your brand
Develop processes and guides to help govern your new brand. This will ensure it is used in the way it was intended.
Ideally, your brand should be guided by well-crafted brand guidelines. Otherwise, your message will become lost and audiences will grow confused about who you are and what you’re trying to say.
Whoever said you can’t judge a book by its cover doesn’t understand the enormous impact branding wields.
Now that you have this shiny new brand, you can finally hit the ground running! Remember that anything worthwhile takes time. Your brand will need to work in the marketplace organically and across a few strategic channels. Customers will be looking at you’re branding to draw conclusions about your business. Ensure it’s relaying the message you want.
Ultimately, all 7 of these branding ideas work in harmony to reinforce each other for compounding effects over time. Through strategic, consistent, and intentional branding, you can help your consulting business stand out in a crowded marketplace!
How I can help?
Kim Keith Design and Marketing (KKDAM) specializes in helping entrepreneurs build a branded system around their business so they can establish themselves as THE authority in their space. From brand strategy, to brand design, to brand growth – KKDAM’s got you covered!
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