The financial return on investment you receive is only an end result of branding. Think of confidence as a psychological ROI.
Part of the cause for financial success as a result of branding is ‘confidence’. It’s often overlooked, just as much as trust, as one type of psychological ROI you and your business can walk away with as a result of branding.
But acquiring confidence, either in yourself or in the minds of your end consumer is not as easy as creating a simple logo and that’s job done, you’ve now got more confidence. I mean, you might and I’m not saying it doesn’t happen that way. But there is more to creating a logo that you and your customer align with, for it to bring about a greater level of confidence. So let’s explore this with some context.
Jonathan Van Ness is coming along for the ride
You’re a business coach
You’ve just set up your coaching business. You’re a newbie to the market but have a tremendous amount of experience prior to starting this business of yours. However, no one knows you or what you can do or have to offer. To put it bluntly, you’ve got a few pain points to overcome in this situation:
Your clients don’t know who you are
Your clients don’t know what to look for in a business coach
Your clients aren’t sure if the investment will be worth it or if it’s needed
They are sceptical about business coaches and their value
You’re not confident in the value you offer, especially when you don’t look as good as many other successful coaches
Now, this isn’t to say you can’t do a great job. To be fair to yourself you know that you could absolutely knock it out of the park for your ideal small business owner market.
The other thing to consider here is that it’s safe to say you’re not the first and your not the last. Nor are you the only one in your city or maybe even your suburb to be a business coach. The problem quite obviously, is that in such a saturated market, how do you stand above the rest confidently? Conversely, how do you instil confidence in your clients that you are a great choice of coach for their business’ success?
How does your brand make a confident impact?
Think of confidence as a direct influencer on your business success in 4 ways:
Knowing who you can best serve makes operating your business far easier and more purpose-driven.
Establishing a brand identity that directly influences your brand perception can greatly increase your confidence, but more likely your customer's confidence in your business.
If your business sets itself apart from the competition with an identity that stands out over your competition, it can give you the confidence to raise your rates and show higher value.
1. Be niche to be seen
A big part of getting your name out there is standing on an apple box and shouting as loud as you possibly can until someone hears you…
I’m totally kidding.
In some instances, it’s not too dissimilar, though nowhere near as literal. But the better strategy is to understand your target market well enough to know who you’re best suited to help.
It could be:
Demographics (gender, age, location)
Size of business you can help (startup, personal brand, small, medium)
Industry type (eg. creatives, finance, hospitality)
I can’t begin to tell you how much easier it is to brand & market your own business when you have a clear picture of who it is you are targetting. Someone, not everyone. It’s important because it gives you greater confidence in knowing:
Where to find your potential clients
How to attract and talk to your clients
What they need the most help with
Show them what they are searching for
How to give them the best contextual advice
The kicker is the more you hone down on a specific niche, the more valuable you become. Let’s say for this business coach example, you are a business coach who helps wedding photographers.
For starters, this is a niche with a big enough market. We don’t want to be picking a market that only has a handful or two potential clients. They are also a market that is likely to want your services if they have the ambition to grow their business or set themselves up for greater business success compared to where they are now.
Once you know who it specifically is, you understand their pain points, their needs and what will help them to best succeed as a wedding photographer. This allows you to brand yourself as the go-to business coach who helps these specific people and you become the expert in that industry. You can tailor your message that better connects with them, you can present an identity that attracts them (nice photography and design aesthetic) and you can market your business far easier as you know specifically who to target when you create your content and put out advertising.
As I said before, when you do this, the more valuable you become.
2. Value in building a brand identity
We’re not talking about your services being any less valuable if they aren’t presented as such with a better-looking identity.
What branding will do is enhance the value perception of your coaching services AND give you a greater amount of confidence in presenting your business as the better choice.
This is especially worthwhile if we’re comparing apples with apples — in other words, a similar competitor. I mentioned standing out from your competition before and if on paper your services, experience and/or location are similar, then your branding is going to help you differentiate.
What differentiating yourself as a result of branding does for your business, is that it’ll provide you with greater confidence to feel different and confidently communicate your unique selling proposition to separate yourself from your competition — especially in the mind of your potential customers.
3. Increasing your rates to show higher value
If the situation is rather comparing apples with oranges and you do have a far more valuable offering that your direct competition. Then you need to confidently stand out beyond your skillset and experience that on paper should put you above the rest. But in reality, is nothing if it’s not communicated effectively.
This is where branding becomes significantly important. If this type of competitor is charging the same rate as someone with less experience, and less of a value offering but they have a higher perceived brand value. Why are you not
(a) Play the same game and brand your biz better? (b) If you do and at least get on par with them to exceed your business past their perceived value… have a guess what is going to happen? You’re going to have a confidence boost to up your rates!
One thing about value perception is your rate. If you’ve found your niche and you’ve built yourself a brand identity that at an equal or greater level to that of your competition AND add that to your existing experience and knowledge. You can up your rates to match your value perception.
Purely because you realistically (if all things go well) should be booked out and your brand will become a high value, desirable brand that people are willing to wait for and pay more for. But it’s more than just your confidence to charge more, it’s that your customer becomes more confident and trusting in your brand that it has and is the right solution for their business.
Becoming a more confident brand
Your brand deserves more than a shonky looking identity. Sometimes you get what you pay for from some creative service providers but other times you may have let what was passable a couple of decades ago is far from being attractive today. To refine and transform your business into what it needs to be to succeed is the goal.
If your branding isn’t standing out, you’re making a first impression that is easily forgettable. Why would that entice a potential client to have the confidence that you are the best fit for them?
This isn’t to say it’s all about the visual aesthetic either. Considering your messaging and brand strategy will add greater clarity to better connect via a place such as your coaching business website.
The difference a more visually attractive aesthetic, combined with clear messaging, can make such a difference for your brand.
The key here is obviously to present yourself with confidence. If you’re not confident in your businesses brand identity, then why would a customer be confident in you? It’s no different to the people we engage with. We are more receptive to those we come into contact who exude confidence.