You may define yourself as a coach or a health professional but in reality, you are a Sales and Business Development VP for your business. Without a continuous stream of clients there’s no income and without income… well, you know.
As I’m writing this, we’re in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and we’ve been thinking a lot about how to help you out during this especially difficult economic time. We’ve come up with a series of five articles on how to boost your business and help you get new clients if you’re willing to put in the work! If you’ve been struggling to attract enough or the right kind of clients, this series is for you.
This series is for brands that are already pretty well established but new brands will benefit from this read as well. For those established brands, we recommend you start with auditing your brand in order to have a good benchmark for where you’re going. In this article, you’ll learn why it’s important to perform a brand audit and how to do it.
What is a brand audit?
When you first started your business you wrote a business plan (hopefully) or at least jotted down some goals on a napkin that you wanted to accomplish. If you are just creating your brand and are in the process of crafting your mission, vision and goals, we recommend you come back to this section in a few months to help you evaluate your brand.
A brand audit is an analysis of how your business is performing against those goals. The most successful businesses analyze their position in the market often and adapt swiftly to changing market trends and consumer behavior.
All this business talk can be daunting so we’ve broken it out for you into simple and manageable action items.
How to conduct a brand audit
Review your mission and vision
Businesses evolve as they grow and it’s important to check in with your original strategy to make sure it’s still on point. Pull up your mission statement and think about whether it’s still relevant. Remember that people don’t buy what you do but why you do it. Examine your original “why” and tweak as needed to reflect your current business state.
Same goes for your vision – a far out future goal that you had when you were starting out. Perhaps it’s still what’s driving you today but if your direction has changed it should be reflected in your vision as well.
Assess your marketing materials
AKA “put it all on the table”. Literally. Bring your entire collateral into one space and put all of the pieces next to each other. Print out your digital materials if that’s what you’ve been using. Visually, do they all look like they belong to the same company? Are there themes that are present in all of them? Is your messaging the same across all of them?
When it comes to consistency in your marketing materials, we don’t just mean design consistency. A brand is so much more than a logo and colors! Go ahead and write down answers to these three questions to gain a better understanding of your brand consistency:
• What is my color palette? (these can be specific colors or a theme, like “pastels”)
• What is my brand personality? (is it funny and easy-going or traditional and serious?)
• What is my brand voice? (the brand voice represents the brand personality. It’s how you sound to people, like “casual and conversational” or “scientific and precise
Now that you have a deeper understanding of where your weaknesses lie, you can make decisions that will help you streamline your communications and present your business as a coherent and consistent brand.
Look at your website data
You probably own a website and communicate with your audiences through at least one social media platform. If you’ve already installed Google Analytics on your website, it’s relatively easy to get a snapshot report on the usage of your site. Take a look at which pages are visited the most, if you have a high bounce rate and where your users are coming from.
Google has guided tours on how to look at your data. Don’t worry if you don’t have analytics installed on your site. Google has a guided tour on how to add it to your website, too.
Review your social media performance
If you use a Facebook business page as your business website, look at those metrics. In the Page Insights tab, you can see anything from demographic data on your audience to how they are interacting with your content.
Questions you might ask yourself: Who’s looking at your page? Where do they live? What socioeconomic bracket to they fall into? What other interests do they have? What problems are they experiencing that you could solve? Once you understand who your audience is, you now have a better understanding of how to adjust your messaging in order to better resonate with them.
If you’d like more information on how to manage your Facebook business page or to set up a new one, visit the Facebook for Business website.
Image source: Yoast
If you already use a social media marketing tool to manage your posts (like Hootsuite), they likely provide you with data on your activity across the different platforms you’re targeting. Poke around in your platform’s dashboard and see if you can access analytics on your posts’ performance.
Which posts are getting the most traction? Which platform seems to be the best fit for your ideal client? Do certain types of images or videos work best? Note your findings.
Research your market
While other businesses in your sphere may often be made up of your colleagues or your community, and are also doing the noble work of helping others, it’s important to recognize that those businesses may be targeting an audience nearly identical to yours. While we don’t love the word competition, it’s certainly worth evaluating what they’re doing right and what they’re doing not-so-well.
Start by identifying the top five businesses that are targeting the same demographics as you. Don’t worry if they are larger or more experienced than you are. Your goal is to figure out what they are doing to stay in the game and, more importantly, what they are NOT doing that could launch their business into a bigger success.
Example: Another company in your market is not sending regular newsletter emails with helpful tips. Since their audience is practically your audience, and you are great at putting together useful tutorials and other information, you identify this as an area you can expand into.
Make sure you write down your ideas and figure out how they could help you stand out from the crowd in order to get a better brand perception among your audiences.
You need to understand where your brand stands in order to know where it needs to go.
After performing your brand audit, you’ve now identified areas that need improvement in order to look and sound consistent to your audiences. And, if you’ve looked at the data, you also know exactly who those people are, how they communicate and how they like to be reached. Once you’ve noticed where the gaps are in the market and how you can differentiate yourself, those gaps now can be used to your advantage. You are ready to move forward with a clear set of goals and reach new audiences.
Make a list of the gaps in the market that you feel your business can fill. How can you do it better? What unique strengths will you leverage? These will be your opportunities for growth as we move into cleaning up your offer.
In the upcoming article in this series, we’ll teach you how to create or clean up an offer so that it’s appealing to your ideal client at a premium price. In the meantime, stay consistent and true to your mission.