What is Branding? And How it Can Make or Break Your Holistic Biz [5 step checklist]

Well-Known World Brand LogotypesWhen I first started really focusing on developing my online presence with my Holistic Psychotherapy Practice I started to hear things like “Are you clear about your Brand?”  “Do you have a strong Brand?”  “How is your Brand different than the other Psychotherapists in your area?”  First off I was like “What the heck does the word ‘Brand’ even mean?!”  My undergraduate degree is in Marketing and the concept of Branding was STILL confusing to me.

What I learned is your Brand is the look, feel and emotional reaction evoked when one is exposed to the business.  These days the main way the Brand of your business gets conveyed is through your website.  Think about it; when you look for services you will often do a Google search or if you have gotten a referral from someone you will still go to their website to get more information.  It also gets conveyed through your Social Media Platforms, Business Cards, brochures, your phone message, the way you dress, the way you speak etc.

If you have done your Branding properly your Ideal Client will be drawn to learn more, sign up for your free offer or call you up and schedule an appointment.  If you have not lined your Branding up properly you will actually repel your Ideal Clients.

I am very particular about Branding and when I seek a person to work with either personally or professionally I ALWAYS look at their Branding.  If it is unprofessional and there was not a lot of care taken it makes be question the quality of work that they do.

What are the 5 steps to a Client Attracting Brand?

#1. Your Mission in Your Business.  What is the purpose of your Business?  What change on the Planet is your Business supporting?  It is your BIG WHY for coming to the Planet.  Clarity about your Mission is a foundational piece for your Brand. It informs the colors, look, feel and tone of your Brand.

#2. Who are your Ideal Clients?  What is the problem they have that you are helping them resolve? What kept them up last night? Is it to help them heal from an eating disorder, is it help with their panic attacks, it is helping them find their Life Purpose?  What specific problem or problems do you help with? What qualities do your Ideal Clients have?  Examples could be: Spiritual, growth oriented, committed to their Healing, willingness to invest in themselves.

#3. Your Ideal Clients in addition to your Mission guide the look, tone and feel of your Brand. Once you know who your Ideal Clients are then you can consciously create a Brand that resonates and speaks to them.  What kind of colors, images, words would appeal to your Ideal Clients?  If you don’t have crystal clear clarity about this and you do your Branding you can get way off track and then wonder why you aren’t getting calls from potential clients.  An example is with a male client of ours who realized his Ideal Clients were women and when we looked at his branding it was very “masculine” and would not appeal to his Ideal Female clients.  We re-did his Logo and the colors of his banner so it was congruent with his Ideal audience.  He is going to get much better results from his website because of this.

#4. Go high quality and professional.  The quality of your Branding will reflect on the quality of the work you do AND will reflect the quality of clients you will attract.  When someone hires a high level professional for their Logo, Banner and Web design, you can tell.  If someone hires the lowest price graphic designer and web designer, you can tell.  Oftentimes what you pay for is what you get when it comes to investing in the different aspects of your branding.  I always tell my clients to NEVER skimp on the Branding elements in their website because it ends up costing them in the long run through lost business because of their low quality branding.

#5. Be thoughtful and consistent with your Brand.  Once you are clear about your Brand your job is to stay consistent with your Brand.  It helps your potential clients and clients have a coherent, consistent experience of you and your Brand.  This helps build trust and resonance. When you are having a Workshop is the location you choose congruent with your Brand?  When you post on Social Media are your Messages and images consistent with your Brand?  We had a new Virtual Assistant that started with us a few years ago.  We asked her to pick some photos to go with our Blog posts.  The colors of the images and tone of the pictures were “off brand” and not consistent with our Branding.  We had to explain to her what images and colors were “on brand” so she could support the consistency of our brand.

I would love to hear your thoughts and reflections on Branding!


11 Responses to What is Branding? And How it Can Make or Break Your Holistic Biz [5 step checklist]
  1. Michael Kawula
    January 15, 2014 | 11:40 am

    Branding is so important! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Patricia
    January 15, 2014 | 1:01 pm

    Great post!! loved the points about clarifying brand so people get a “feel” for you as well as the visual reminders! great job! P

  3. Beth
    January 15, 2014 | 1:44 pm

    Very nice explanation of good branding. It will help people avoid mistakes.

  4. Jerry Katz
    January 15, 2014 | 9:15 pm

    Well, antoher post today that has me thinking of my personal branding. I may have been doing this wrong for a while. Thanks for some great ideas!

  5. Maria Stefanopoulos
    January 15, 2014 | 11:03 pm

    Great post, love how you explained each step (like eating an elephant, one bite at a time!). Simple and easy to follow. Thanks!

  6. Beth Blacker
    January 16, 2014 | 8:44 am

    I am in the process of rebranding and after seeing some of the previous mistakes I made, this blog just reinforces why I needed to make some changes…thanks!

  7. Marita Steffe
    January 16, 2014 | 11:28 am

    I agree branding is very important. It is the first impression people get about what we do and who we are. I had my branding redone last year and I’m getting good results now. It was worth the money and the effort of starting over.

  8. Lorii Abela
    January 16, 2014 | 12:26 pm

    I totally agree, branding is really important for business. Everyone must read this! Simple and relevant.

  9. Edmund S. Lee
    January 17, 2014 | 11:49 am

    Great points Shelley! For me, branding is the totality of your business, so it must be clear, understandable, and must be protected all the time =)

  10. jessamina
    February 1, 2016 | 10:54 am

    I love the look and feel of your website. WHo do you recommend for website branding?

  11. GAHP Admin
    December 20, 2016 | 3:08 pm

    We use WordPress! 😀

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