What exactly is branding?

Branding is the way you and your business show up in the world and online. Branding is the fonts and colors you use on your website. It’s the words you choose for your blog posts, sales pages, and social media updates. It’s the type of images you use, the causes you support, and the way you interact with your fans and followers. It’s what people say about you. Really, it’s everything.

So how do you go about creating the sort of brand that magnetizes opportunities?

1. Do Work That Excites You

Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm! When you’re thrilled about the work you’re doing, it translates to everything you do—how you communicate with clients, the content you create, and the products you launch. The trepidation that so many women feel about sales, marketing, and self-promotion all but disappears when you’re excited about your work. You won’t be able to help yourself! You’ll be selling without even knowing it.

2. Be Yourself

It’s exhausting and unsustainable to create a brand that’s inauthentic. And it’s also a lot harder!

When you’re writing marketing copy that ‘sounds’ like you, words and ideas come so much easier. Not only is authenticity easier, it’s smart business. No one else can approach things exactly the same way you can or bring your exact skills and experiences to the table. Incorporate those points of difference into your branding. When you show your audience who you really are, you’ll immediately attract like-minded people who appreciate you.

You can be a motorcycle-riding, rock show-loving business coach. You can be a vegan, astrology-loving accountant. You can be a hippie dippie, dog-loving tax attorney! There’s a lid for every pot and clients for every business. Make it easier for your tribe to find you by being who you are.

3. Give, Give, Give

You get what you give—and not just in a karmic sense! Being generous with your talents, knowledge, and online traffic is a great way to find clients and increase your own website traffic. It’s also smart to be strategic with your generosity. Think about the products and services you’re selling and consider what free resources you can create that will help your audience (and also point them toward your paid offerings). Consider which companies, organizations, and bloggers you’d love to partner with. How can you use your knowledge or online following to support them? How can you send traffic and people their way? And how can you reach out to them, tell them you love them, and that you’d like to work with them?

4. Gather Praise

One of the most effective ways to convince people to work with you is to show them that you’ve done amazing things for other people. Social proof is incredibly convincing, and the more you have, the better. Set up a system to gather testimonials from clients and beta testers. Create a survey in Google forms that asks questions that elicit the sorts of statements that make for convincing testimonials: “Why did you decide to work with me?” “What results did you see from our work together?” “How did you feel when we finished our session?” “What doubts did you have to overcome in order to hire me?”

Once you’ve gathered all that glowing praise, post it somewhere obvious and easily accessible on your site— preferably on its own page. If possible, add head shots to each testimonial; it makes them seem more ‘real.’

5. Make Sure Your Brand Is Consistent

We all want to work with people who seem polished, professional, reliable. One of the best ways to present that polished image is to make sure your brand is completely, 100% consistent. No matter which social media platform you’re using—or if you’re writing a blog post, a sales page, or a tweet—your brand should always look and ‘sound’ the same. You can make this a lot easier by creating a Brand Sheet to keep you and your employees on track.

Your Brand Sheet should contain your color codes, the names of fonts you use, examples of on-brand images, and some suggestions of your brand voice. What slang does your brand use? What words and ideas do you stay away from? If you can nail this down, everything else will fall into place. Bringing your boldest dreams and most heartfelt goals to life is no small feat.

Inspired by Elle Magazine