I remember talking with Angie before the Delight East retreat back in 2014. The Lord used this retreat to turn a corner in my life and business. I was one of the speakers for the retreat and I filmed this video for Delight! My good friend, Erin Kass, gave me total freedom to speak whatever the Lord was putting on my heart... in my business talk and my personal talk. I am telling you the truth when I say that I have never seen a group of women so united. The retreat was dripping with miracles! Angie and I talked about how our sessions could be merged, and we quickly decided that something informal would be better for our group! We grabbed chairs, blankets, our notebooks and poured out everything we knew. My talk was on branding.
It's amazing how much I have learned about branding in 2 years! I have studied amazing brands (outside the wedding industry, of course), and I have implemented strategies to reach my ideal bride. Every single bride I book is my ideal bride. After talking with other creatives, I have realized that that is so rare! One of the key parts of my presentation was this idea that you need to reach the 5 senses with your brand (more on that below). This one strategy helped me develop a brand that is genuine and effective!
I think one of the ways I'm reaching my ideal bride is by creating a brand experience that draws her in. Today I want to share with you what has helped me to create a brand experience (and how I'm fine tuning it through my major rebrand with Creme Brands)!
Get in the Word
Even if you're not a Christian, get in the Word. Being in the Word is shaping the new JB brand! I have homework that I have to send back to Kathryn every few weeks. I have waited on God and asked for His Spirit to help me as I write, answer, and refine the heart of everything I do!
Let me tell you the secret of my business (which is really no secret): it's all God's. And if you're sitting there wondering if God really cares about your business enough to help you, let me tell you that he does! He wants to be in every part of our lives.
I also want to say that following God doesn't mean inheriting the riches of this world - just look at Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11. It doesn't look easy. It looks like stretching your faith, trusting Him in new ways, and watching Him move right in front of you. I have seen Him work miracles! I have seen great and amazing things as I have asked Him for wisdom about my business! But I have also seen really hard times, too.
Use the senses
When I work with coaching clients, this is something that we almost always talk about! It's pivotal as you develop your brand and strategically reach your market. There are five senses that you can use: hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch. Think through how you can use these in your brand to create a "wow" experience!
In my business, I always pay attention to how everything feels. I never buy fabric that is scratchy or unpleasant. I am also refining my client experience to play up something that my target client really loves: good food! I will pay careful attention to how my notecards feel and probably use letterpress! I love great letterpress and think it can add the perfect feminine touch!
If you are a personal brand, get personal! There is a strong benefit to corporate brands getting personal as well. Think through how you would want to experience your own brand. How do you want your clients to be drawn to you?
You're a person first and a business second. This seems obvious, but one of the biggest mistakes I see is the firm separation between personal life and business life. Naturally, the two blend on a daily basis. Your audience wants to see that!
Market to the right personality
It's easiest to think about marketing as how you push your product or service at your potential client. Every time you blog, write a post for social media, or send an email, you are marketing. Even if it's passive marketing, it's marketing!
I find that I love drawing in the personality of my ideal client. She is sweet, loves details, and cares more about people than anything else. She is passionate about beautiful things - truth, flowers, fine food, and travel. In the bio of my ideal client, I go into specifics about her relationships, what she values, and fun little quirks that make her unique!
Answer key questions
- If you're a business, you have a brand experience. Take a second to write it down!
- How do your clients feel right now about your brand experience? How do you want them to feel? There are a lot of things that I want to do in 2016 that I haven't done in the past! Make sure that you don't let fear about the past years keep your from moving forward!!
- How can you change your brand experience so that you reach every sense?
- What is your favorite store? Think through the experience you had when you first entered that store. What was the most significant thing? How can you cultivate a similar feeling with the clients you are now serving?
- Obviously you want to give your clients the very best. Do you need to change your pricing in order to buy client gifts or create a great experience?
I hope this helps as you create your brand experience (or fine-tune it)! It's not too late in the year to make changes that will help you love on the people that you're serving. Lastly, don't forget about grace! You don't have to be perfect! Just try to create systems that take the pressure off you so that you can focus on loving your clients. Get rid of that fear and love well this year!