So, it’s time to *be* your brand… time to leverage the work you’ve invested to define who you are – and how you want to show up in the world. (It’s an exciting time! Are you feeling a tad giddy?)
But, wait… now you’re feeling a bit stuck. You have all the visual and messaging brand standards in place. But now you’re wondering how to bridge to practical application… how to actually apply all these clear standards to your business strategy.
Let’s fast forward… Picture your future with me:
✅ Your business is running like a well-oiled machine – practically running itself.
✅ Every email you send, every post you craft for social media, and every tool you share with clients proclaims *your* brand!
✅ People know you and your business. Clients are pouring in and they’re loving their experience. Each system is consistent and reliable.
And now you get to focus on the *best* parts of your business – because you’ve got the rest on autopilot.
How does this future you feel? (I’m guessing it feels pretty darn great!)
Here’s the thing… This is *all* possible – with strong brand management.
When you have the right standards set for each system within your business, you can easily keep your messaging *on brand*. You can grow consistently – without losing that special something you’ve had since the start – because you’ve crafted a client experience that support this!
With the right brand management systems, your brand *will* run more efficiently. (And efficiency means more time and money to re-invest in your business.) You’ll provide higher quality products and services to your clients and customers. And you’ll have more time to discover and implement even better ways to connect with new leads – and turn them into paying customers.
Below, I’m sharing my best brand management techniques – lessons hard-learned from years of experimenting and perfecting… all here for you – to shorten your learning curve, my dear reader!
🎥 If you prefer to read, keep scrolling. If you prefer to listen, click below to watch the video!
Oh, and – before we dive in – this is a great time to join the In Demand Brand Facebook group. It’s my free community for entrepreneurs – dreamers and do-ers who are defining and managing their best brands.
While you’re there, check out the “Files” tab, where you’ll find a slew of free resources. Reference the “Brand Tracking + Projection Spreadsheet” for implementing the advice in this article.
Step 1: Identify Which Systems are in Play in Your Business
Branding is a circular process.
First, identify what things happen repeatedly in your business. Determine what systems are already in play and decide if they’re working. Is your email list consistently growing? Are you reaching new followers on social media?
Next, identify the different processes you use to grow your business. Those are your *brand systems*. They include all of the brand-related actions that happen repeatedly in your business.
Think of each item as its own system. Systems require a specific set of standards to operate efficiently. And when you’re operating efficiently, you’re getting *more* done in *less* time – every business owner’s dream!
You don’t want to recreate the process every time you connect with a new client, delegate the posting of a piece of content, or send a podcast appearance pitch … For one, that’s *exhausting*! … and two, that’s just asking for inconsistencies. This inevitably leads to costly errors or omissions. You can’t possibly stay on brand when every customer has a different experience!
So, systemization in your business equals higher quality products, services, and experiences for each person who is touches.
Step 2: Set Standards for Each Subsystem Under Your Brand
After you’ve identified the active systems within your business (Think: Advertising! Lead generation! Public or in-person speaking events! Content production and distribution! Client work!), you can set standards for each of these items.
(Side note – You will have already established the visual and messaging standards that comprise your brand. If you haven’t, start there. This foundational work cannot be skipped, and will make everything So. Much. Easier. Trust me!)
So, we’re now focusing on the subsystems that exist in your brand. Make sure the quality and consistency you value are running throughout each subsystem.
Having standards for each subsystem makes tracking results and improving processes easier, faster, and (dare I say it) more enjoyable!
Step 3: Track & Optimize
The best way to assess how well you’re living up to your brand standards is by tracking the analytics for each subsystem. It might sound difficult, but don’t forget – my Brand Tracker & Projection Spreadsheet makes it so much easier! (As a reminder, you can grab it for free in my Facebook community!)
The most efficient way to make sure you’re hitting your goals and developing effective strategies is to track those numbers monthly, quarterly, and yearly. Let’s break that down…
📌 Pssst… Hey, Smart Cookie… Pin this post to read again later!
Look at your *most important* metric when you’re tracking monthly, whatever that is for you! Maybe that’s how much engagement you’re generating from prospects… or how many leads you can chalk up to each marketing strategy… or quantifiable results from a client feedback survey… You want to make sure that your systems are effective and doing exactly what they’ve been put in place to do.
For your quarterly tracking, evaluate the different strategies you have in place for each system. Set 90-day goals and see how often you’re reaching them. Maybe you want to hit 1,000 subscribers in three months… or sign on six new clients… or increase your Pinterest-generated website visits by 150%… Are your processes working? Are you seeing the results you want to see? If not, re-evaluate your systems.
Then, you’ll want to evaluate your business systems on a yearly basis. This is when you need to assess the overall holistic health of your brand. Take an in-depth peak at all the statistics, check your goals and processes, and evaluate the monthly and quarterly metrics. This is where you can really refine your brand – and make sure everything is working optimally; improving your business operations and your client experiences.
Reviewing your brand in these three stages helps you focus in on everyday processes – and then also review the effectiveness of the systems you’ve created on a larger scale.
Each system within your brand has its own set of metrics to be assessed. For example:
When you’re tracking social media, you might want to look at how many followers you have, how many new followers or customers you’re generating, or how much it costs for you to acquire new followers or customers.
You also might want to analyze your customer experience system and make sure every client is getting what they expect. If not, address your marketing / expectation-setting, or delivery!
Once you’ve onboarded new clients, evaluate how many questions are coming in or what the average customer satisfaction level is after working with you. Track the outcomes your clients are getting as a result of working with you and make sure those outcomes are exactly what you want to deliver!
After you’ve determined which analytics to use for each system, you’ll be able to spot areas that are ripe for improvement and make the customer experience even better.
Okay, now one more layer to this:
Use what you learn to stand out in your industry.
The most powerful way to determine how to improve your brand is by paying attention to trends within your own business. And, you can look into benchmarks within your industry and ask peers what their numbers are for comparison.
If you determine that your cost per lead is going up over time, re-address the tactics you’re using to gain new leads and find a more efficient way to attract clients. This is where data from peers may come in handy, so find out their “average cost per lead” if you can!
If you’re converting a lot of people to your email list, for example, but they’re not becoming actual paid clients, review your sales conversion system. Have you altered any processes over time? If so, trends within your business will tell you if those changes have been good or bad for your business.
Once you’ve identified what needs to be improved, you’ll be able to develop a singular focus for each system and can refine each specific process within your brand.
Thinking of brand management as a circular process will help you keep track of all the systems and subsystems that exist within your business.
You’ll be able to effectively create new processes and proof out old processes that don’t work.
Creating a brand that stands out within your industry is done by systemizing all the components that serve your clients and customers. Give them the best and most consistent experience to keep them coming back!