You started this journey with only a vague idea of your brand. By now, you’ve gotten clear about your business, your ideal client, and your place in the market. You’ve even distilled everything down into brand statements.
But maybe now you’re at that place where you’re not sure how to start aligning your business to your brand. You have these awesome statements, but you’re stuck about how to turn them into real changes for your business.
Don’t worry. I’ve got you! The next 4 posts are all about using your newfound brand clarity to set a direction for your business.
The first step to turning your brand statements into an actionable plan is to choose your brand tone. Simply stated, your brand tone is the feeling you want to create around your business.
It’s what will help you create and maintain consistency across all your brand touch points. It’s what will make your website, social media posts, and in-person encounters a cohesive experience for your ideal client.
So far, you’ve discovered how your story, ideal client, and peers all fit together to create your brand. Finding brand clarity is about unearthing what’s already there. It’s getting clear about the brand you’ve already been building.
Choosing your tone is much more conscious effort. It’s a decision about how you’re going to present your brand to the world and what kind of impression you want to make.
The tricky thing about choosing your brand tone is that there isn’t necessarily a single right answer. You’ll probably find that you have several good options to pick from and it might be hard to point out which ones will represent your brand and resonate with your client the best.
Don’t let that intimidate you or discourage you. The tone you choose now isn’t written in stone. Brands are always changing and evolving. You can always try new things and make changes here and there as long as you stay true to what your brand is all about.
Here are the four steps to choosing your brand tone:
- You guessed it… review!
Go back to your brand statements and look for words and phrases you repeat. Highlight, circle, or underline the ones that feel most important to your brand. Write down any words that come to mind but aren’t in your brand statements.
Remember that this is just a place to start. Don’t stress about finding the single perfect word to sum up your entire brand. Your brand tone will ultimately be a combination of 3-5 words, so go a little crazy with that highlighter!
- Brainstorm and explore
Take all the words and phrases you’ve gathered and spend some time mind mapping each one. What other words come to mind? Let your mind explore all the possibilities. It’s not time to edit yet.
If you find that some of your words are really similar or closely related, that’s ok. Write them all down! Sometimes it takes writing down a bunch of similar words to find the one you’re really looking for.
- Compare to your ideal client profile
To choose a good tone, you have to find a balance between what you’re about and what your ideal client cares about. It’s not just about what fits you and your business. It’s also about what will resonate with your ideal client.
Bust out that Ideal Client Reference Sheet you created a few weeks ago and look for words and phrases that overlap with your ideal client’s personality, values, and passions. Which ones are most likely to resonate with her? Which ones will get her attention? Which ones will she care about?
- Combine and decide
Write your top candidates on post-its so you can play around with them. See how many different combinations you can come up with. Can you group any of them together? What happens if you change the order just a little bit?
Settle on the 3-5 words that do the best job at communicating what you’re about in a way that resonates with your ideal client. Tah-dah! You have a brand tone to work with!
Remember that this list isn’t necessarily final and you might have to tweak your tone words a little as we move forward. Choosing a brand tone can be challenging, so give yourself permission to change things and explore.
Your action steps for the week:
- Review your brand statements and highlight important words
- Mind map each word and brainstorm
- Determine which words will resonate with your ideal client
- Explore different combinations and choose 3-5 words