An awesome benefit of having brand clarity is knowing exactly what you need to do to strengthen your brand. Actually, that’s kind of the whole point. To get clear about where your brand is and where you want it to go so you can take the right steps to meet your goals.
Every business has areas that could be better aligned to their brand. The brand audit you survived last week should have revealed those areas in your business. You now have a list of awesome brand-building changes to make! Progress!
Knowing how to move forward from here can be hard, though. And even the shortest of lists can feel daunting. Strengthening your brand is a pretty big deal, so it’s totally normal if you feel a little nervous.
This is why I’m huge on planning. Randomly hacking away at an important to-do list doesn’t work. It’s too easy to get distracted, lose sight of the bigger picture, and you feel like a frazzled mess the whole time. There’s no way to measure your progress and that gets discouraging real fast.
So in order to avoid all that, here are the four most effective tactics I use for creating strong actionable plans:
Before you start listing your to-do’s in order of importance, are there any small items you can tackle right now, without much time or effort? If you have any to-do’s that are as easy as taking a picture down or changing your email font color, do those first. Get them out of the way and applaud yourself for your awesome productivity!
Now, organize your remaining items by order of importance. Which changes will have the biggest impact on your business? Client relationship and atmosphere changes tend to have the quickest and deepest impact, followed by your writing voice and marketing plan.
Your visual identity is a super important part of your brand. But it’s job is to support your brand, not build it single-handedly. If you have big changes to make in other areas, get those straightened out first. Then you can invest in a visual identity that ties everything together.
- Get specific
Being too vague about your plans isn’t going to help you take action. True, you can’t know all the specifics of every single project. Some of it you’ll have to research and learn when you get there. But you have to find a good balance between trying to list out every single little step and only writing down vague categories.
The key is to write down the steps and details you already know. So instead of a giant to-do like ‘overhaul marketing,’ you have smaller actionable chunks like ‘start a newsletter, create a lead magnet, develop a content calendar.’
You want to be able to return to your list and know exactly what you meant by each item. The future you might be really thankful if you include some notes about resources, ideas, or applications that might be helpful to each project.
- Ask for help
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We all need one another. Even absolutely amazing entrepreneurs like you and me can’t do it all. Take an honest look at your list of to-do’s and decide what you need to outsource and delegate.
You already have a lot on your plate just with your business’ day-to-day. Plus, we all have plenty of areas outside our expertise and comfort zone. Ask for help where you need it so you don’t end up losing your mind trying to do it all.
Give yourself enough time to find the right match for your business and project. The right professional for your needs may be booked a few months in advance. Or they might be a little expensive, and so you’ll need time to save up. Don’t wait until the last minute to frantically look for someone.
- Set deadlines
Deadlines can seem a little scary, but they’re really your best friend. Having specific dates written down helps keep you motivated and determined. It helps you remember how all your projects fit together in the grander scheme of your business. And it helps keep you committed to making progress.
Without setting deadlines, you’ll never get things done. Life and business are crazy busy and new challenges and obstacles are always coming up. A solid commitment to a date will force you to make time for brand building projects, even when things get a little crazy.
If you need some external motivation, share your deadline with your audience. Post it on social media, send it out in a newsletter, put a sign up in your shop. Shout it from the rooftops so you feel accountable for meeting that deadline. Works for me every time!
Brand strengthening projects are a big deal, but don’t let that overwhelm you out of taking action. You’ve done all this work to get clear on your brand. Now it’s time to put all that knowledge to work. You’ve totally got this!
Your action steps for the week:
- Get your quick and easy to-do’s out of the way. Give yourself a high-five for making great progress!
- Organize your remaining to-do’s giving highest priority to the ones that will make the biggest difference for your business.
- Be honest with yourself and decide which items you’re going to ask for help on.
- Set up all those to-do’s with deadlines. Share them with the world for an extra boost of accountability.