Your brand has a lot to say about your business.
I know how intimidating and vulnerable it can feel when you take a step toward the thing you've been dreaming of and away from the safety net you've relied on for so long. I know what "imposter syndrome" feels like. That struggle is so real at any level of the small business game! As I've been working through these internal struggles of my own, I've been reading books and listening to podcasts on the laws of attraction and stepping into the life you want. The biggest hurdle is creating a DEEPLY positive attitude toward yourself and toward the reality you'd love but haven't experienced yet. This takes a lot of work - way more work than I realized when I began this journey.
One way to grow a positive view of yourself is to treat yourself like you believe you're the GREATEST, even if deep down you're not quite sure yet. This can mean taking those few extra minutes to re-examine your hairdo in the morning before you walk out the door, throw on a quick spritz of the expensive cologne you generally reserve for special occasions, or run through the drive-thru for a "fancy" coffee on your way to work. It'll make you stand a little taller, feel the extra boost of confidence you've needed to speak up in a meeting, or even offer yourself a bit of grace for a little blunder that may arise. Showing up to the world like you believe you rock tells the world "Hey! I rock!," and why wouldn't everyone believe you?! And when they agree with you that you truly rock, they treat you like you rock, which then reaffirms to you that it's safe to rock! Then, you just keeping rocking! (I'm paraphrasing the whole idea, of course, but you see where I'm going with this!)
"Great, but what's this got to do with my brand?" you ask. Here it is: your brand informs the public what you believe is true about your company/organization. If you've never nailed down what shade of green defines your brand, so each brochure is designed in a variation of "olive," your audience will consciously or subconsciously get the message that you're not quite sure about yourself. Likewise, if your staff headshots were taken on someone's iPhone, mugshot style with each staff member leaning against an off-white wall, your potential clients aren't thinking "what an economical decision!" They're thinking you're pretty cheap. (I won't start on my soapbox about how this mugshot style photography also sends up a red flag about your company culture and how tightly intertwined brand and culture are. You can read more about that in an earlier blog post.)
Long story long, you need to treat your brand like you believe your company is the rockstar of your industry. When that's the story you tell the public through digital and printed media, they'll honor that story by showing up to be a part of it. I promise! And when those contracts start getting signed, the product goes flying off the shelves, and the dollars are rolling in, you'll prove to yourself that YOU REALLY ARE A ROCKSTAR!
You are worth that investment. You're worth that confidence. Try it out. Take a step!
Splash on that cologne! Sip on that fancy iced latte!
Hire a photographer and a graphic designer! (I have the perfect person in mind for you!)
Show up and let everyone see that you're the best. 'Cuz you are and we both know it.
If you've been putting off making the investment in solid photography for your website or hiring a professional to design your annual report, stop hesitating! Take the plunge. Send me a note via the "hire me" page and we'll get to work. Once you start hearing positive feedback from clients, donors, or your target audience, you'll wish you hadn't waited so long.
You're a rockstar. Just embrace it.
- aimee j.