I'm Dakota, the founder of More Than Creative – a business and marketing agency built to help those who have turned their unique talents into businesses.
I love the art of storytelling and believe most marketing and sales comes down to connecting with people.
Owning a business is hard...but having a clear message and strategy helps.
Brands are like people.
Each one has different purposes and goals, and they all have very specific voices.
As you are working through honing your brand messaging, defining your brand personality is going to be a huge component.
This advice is going to be for two different types of personality-driven brands:
As humans, we all have different sides to our personalities.
There’s the side of us who shows up professionally, put together, and ready to impress. There’s the side of us that’s fully relaxed – sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on. There’s also the side of us that’s out and about, cocktail in hand, dancing to our favorite song.
You can still be the same person in all of those situations. You’re just tapping into just different aspects of your personality that fits the situation or mood.
You’ll need to identify what aspects of your personality (or your team’s) make sense to infuse into your brand.
For the soloprenuer, you’ll be answering these questions with the frame of reference of your own personality in relation to your ideal clients. (Think the middle intersection of a venn diagram!).
For the team, you’ll be answering these questions with the entire team in mind but as if the brand is its own personality.
It’s important to identify your main motivations so you can talk to the things that feel the most important to you and how you want to show up for your clients.
Tip: Financial stability is of course a motivating factor for all of us – if it’s not, you’re probably in the wrong business…literally! But this question is most effective when you think beyond the obvious and get deeper into your WHY.
What motivates you to do your best for your clients?
What makes you feel like you really did the best at your job?
It’s also an interesting practice to break apart your business owner motivations vs. your personal motivations. They may not always be the same, and looking at it from two different perspectives will only provide more insight (and more content topics!).
For example, as a wedding planner, your business motivations may be receiving praise from guests and family members on how seamless your event is but your individual, personal motivations may be feeling like you’re a valuable team member by taking the stress off of someone.
As a personality-driven business, exploring how your own personal style influences your brand can be key to understanding how you show up. This includes actual fashion choices AND style as more of a general concept.
Your brand personality carries beyond just social platforms and websites. How you show up in person also is an extension of your brand. When it comes to describing your personal style, reflect through the lens of your style professionally. If you’re feeling like there’s a disconnect here, it may be an opportunity to update your personal style to reflect your brand (at least while you’re working!).
Sometimes it’s hard to really put your finger on how you want to present yourself online. Answering these questions will help you see what you notice and are drawn to in other brands to better define your own.
Go beyond just the accounts that you’re entertained by and dig deeper into WHY you like them so much and what you would want to emulate.
Do they share authentically on their IG stories?
Do you stop your scroll when you read their captions? Why?
Do they curate their posts in a certain way?
Do they have certain topics they share consistently?
Do you like the way they present client stories?
Are they educating, inspiring, or entertaining? All three?
Better understanding what you admire in other brands helps you evaluate if that’s something you want to see used within your own brand. Once you’ve identified the traits you can start to practice and see what feels authentic to you.
While we focus a lot on words and messaging, style, design, colors, and images are crucial visual components of your brand. The strongest brands elicit specific images in people’s minds that make them feel something.
When you’re doing this, it doesn’t have to look like one photo. It can be elements all pinned together like a moodboard. If you’re having trouble, Pinterest is a good place to start! Save pins that feel drawn to your brand and then take a step back to look at them as a whole. You’ll be surprised how a certain style or vibe shows up!
This is one of my favorite questions and exercises! Start with just brain dumping a list of things that you love – it can be physical things, experiences, feelings, etc. Anything and everything that sparks joy in your life.
While we are running personality-driven brands, there is some separation between us as individuals and our business.
For the second step, you will evaluate what items on that list would either 1) resonate with your audience or 2) allow them to connect with you. This will help you narrow down what makes the most sense to include as a part of your BRAND personality – then you can focus on how to share those things!
Keep in mind that not everything has to align directly with your business offerings or target market. It’s okay to have a few quirky specific things that show off your individuality (like that you love collecting vintage teacups or love reality tv). There is still purpose in sharing those things – connection! But you do want to look at where they fit in with the larger brand message and how to share them in a way that their purpose is clear.
If you’re finding yourself having a hard time answering these questions or have some answers but they all feel jumbled or unclear, the Brand Identity and Messaging VIP Day may be a good fit for you!
All of these questions are a part of the extensive questionnaire sent to prepare you to start digging deeper to define your brand messaging. First you’ll answer them on your own and then we’ll spend the day hashing out the details until you feel totally clear about what you should share and how you should share it.
Sound like something you’re in desperate need of? You can get more information here – Brand Identity and Messaging VIP Day.
Until then, if you have more questions as you’re answering these questions, please feel free to reach out for clarification and help! 🙂
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