G'day everyone, Lauren Kress The Business Scientist here and welcome to episode 10 of Grow Your Brand, the podcast show where we talk about unlocking your potential so you can get more out of your life and change the world for the better. Wow, episode 10, I can' believe we're at episode 10 already. Hope you've been enjoying tuning into these episodes and that you're getting a lot out of the content in this series. If you are, please consider leaving a positive rating or review on Apple podcasts - really helps me to grow the show.
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Today we're going to continuing exploring the concept of brand archetypes and defining your brand personality. I've also got a new question to answer at the end of the show. If you come over to LinkedIn you'll see that every Wednesday now I'm running a post to get questions for the show and then my followers vote on which questions they like best. There was only one winner this week - all the other questions were tied which works well for this week because today's main part of the episode is going to be a bit longer to cover everything we need to cover.
So the question I'll be answering at the end of the show is a fantastic one and it comes from George Ireland who asks: "How do you maintain an online presence without getting distracted from the core of the business?" Great question and I've got an answer for you based on my experience as a business owner and I'll share some ideas for what's been working for my clients.
Ok, so if you remember last episode we talked about this concept of The Why Gap - this gap between the intention of the business and the perception of the business. Let me give you an example I see often with clients I have in the coaching and consulting space. Let's say I'm working with a health coach or practitioner and they say to me, well our vision is really to make the world a healthier and happier place one person at a time.
Beautiful vision, fantastic reason to exist and inspiring right? So that's the intention, but now, in the stories they tell they're sharing a lot of stuff about their program, how they work with their clients through their program, their credentials, testimonials from their past clients, their pricing structure, their contact details and messages to join their facebook group or download a copy of their ebook in exchange for an email address. Where did that beautiful message go about the impact they wanted to make in the world?
Now say they realise they haven't threaded this message through what their communicating in market, how do they rectify this? A lot of people will then slap their vision straight on their website and social media channels, you know "we exist to make the world a healthier and happier place one person at a time", that's a start, but is that the right tone of voice for the clients we want to attract? What images do we use to bring this vision to life? What are the key messages that will resonate most from the client's perspective? And how do we take our value proposition and spin it into compelling copy that creates an emotional connection with our audience?
So this is where your brand personality will really help you get some clarity and direction on your creative. The easiest way for me to demonstrate what I mean is I'm going to take this example, of the health coach, and I'm going to talk about the way the tone of voice, keywords, colours and imagery would change if we applied different brand archetypes.
We won't have time to go through each brand archetype in full, so I've put together a short eBook for you to access on the 12 archetypes, which I'll add to the show notes and also share on my social channels. Just quickly on the brand archetype front, you'll notice these archetypes all promise to offer something that connects with a need that we universally seek.
We can categorise the 12 archetypes into 4 categories: Order, Freedom, Ego and Social. In the order category, we have the nurturer who promises recognition and understanding, the ruler who promises power and status, and the creator who promises authenticity and uniqueness. A blue hue is recommended as the primary colour for your palette. Blue is associated with security, responsibility, power, success and progress and has a calming tone.
For our example we might think that The nurturer is a suitable archetype so saying something like "We're here to help you every step of the way towards your fitness goals' fits nicely and gives a sense of there not being any judgement but instead a structure that will support them on their journey. Going down this path, we would want to use keywords like growth, empower, step-by-step program, structure, care and understand. By showing that what their customers really want is that protection, safety and support, the nurturer brand archetype can be a great fit for our health coach example, they just need to be aware of coming across as patronising or encouraging co-dependency.
The second category was Freedom and The Innocent who promises simplicty and trustworthiness, The Sage who promises wisdom and knowledge and The Explorer who promises adventure and discovery. We would use a green hue in our colour palette symbolising nature, positivity, peace, balance and health. The sage could be a great fit for our health coach who is motivated to get to the bottom of things - to get to the truth and find wisdom.
Clients who are seeking new sources of information and knowledge that will help them grow, will be attracted to the sage archetype who will use words like ask, new, conversation, think, search, learn, find, know and experience. An example of a hook that would work for this brand would be something like "A new path to a healthier life" - the idea is that through the wisdom shared here, you will be healthier. Just quickly to illustrate the difference, a health retreat using the explorer brand archetype might say something like "Discover your path to a healthier life this March".
Alright so onto the Ego category - we have the magician promising power and transformation, the rebel promising revolution and non-conformity and the hero promising triumph and achievement. Yellows and Golds are great for this category - symbolising wealth, prosperity, power, optimism and energy.
Let's take a closer look at the magician archetype for our health coach, so, similar to the sage, we'd be using words like knowledge grow and learn but also inspire, influence, lead, deepen, change, consider, transform. What we're really trying to do is understand this world we're in and dream big. A tagline for a brand like this might be something like "Change your life so you can change the world" and whilst we're charismatic and driven, we need to make sure we don't let our fears of negative consequences and failure get in the way of our big ideas.
The final category is social where we have the lover who promises intimacy, the jester who promises enjoyment and the everyman who promises belonging. Purples and pinks work well for this category, and if you think about the entertainment industry a lot of celebrities and media personalities will lean into one of these archetypes.
If our health coach were to choose the lover as their brand archetype they would be focusing on the glamour, attractiveness and appeal that goes along with being healthier and happier. They'd focus on the pleasureable aspects of getting in shape and use words like love, feel, smooth, stunning, striking, pleasure, desire, enjoyment, warm, elegant. A lot of beauty products use this archetype because it focuses on the sensual - but for our example, a key message or a campaign would be something like "love the body you were born with".
Phew! Ok so that was a lot to get through - and I hope by showing you how the same business with the same offer could utilise different archetypes it shows you this isn't about what you do, but it connects back with why you do it, and how that comes across from the customers perspective.
Actually so just quickly, it's funny because as I was finishing up writing this show I went for a walk to go and get a coffee and there's this event on down at the beach called Tribal Clash this weekend. Basically it's like a multi-national competitve cross-fit slash obstacle course event. Anyway I was down a the beach and I saw someone wearing a shirt that said Stronger Together which is an example of the sort of phrase an everyman or the regular girl slash regular guy archetype would use and that can also work very well for a health coach, particularly if you're focused on group training and activities.
Again the point is, all of the archetypes can work for what you do, keyword being do. But it comes back to what resonates with you. If you're having trouble figuring out your brand personality I'd highly recommend taking the short quiz I shared last week. Links are in the show notes for you again this week and as always if you have any questions do feel free to reach out to me directly. But now let's keep moving and get onto our Q&A segment with our great question today from George Ireland.
So as a reminder George from Sydney, Australia asked me to answer this question: "How do you maintain an online presence without getting distracted from the core of the business?" Great question, I love it. I love it because it gives me the opportunity to make an important clarification here that I know a lot of people find useful.
So if we were chatting about this face-to-face George the question I'd ask back to you is - what do you mean by the core of the business? Is the core of the business the services you provide? Is it your customer service? Is it your administration? Is it making sure that your vision is being lived out in the actions people are taking everyday? What is the core of the business?
My guess would be that what you mean by this is, how do you maintain an online presence and still make sure that the business is in operation everyday servicing your existing customers. The advice I give here does depend on a few things 1) How far into your business journey you are - are we talking side-hustle, are we talking first five year startup time or is your brand already established in market for instance 2) What are your own personal strengths as the business owner? Are you great at the client delivery side but a bit patchy with sales, are you an excellent speaker and connector or maybe you are great at writing copy and creating advertising material for your business for instance 3) Who is your audience and how do they behave when they're looking for help with the problem you solve? And for this question specifically, are they online and what are they doing online? For instance - are they in the grocery, are they on google are they asking their network and connections for help? 4) What's the ultimate goal for your business? Is the intention to scale up and make this a larger enterprise or keep it small? Do you want to sell the business one day or is it a business largely built on your personal brand that will be retired when you retire or maybe passed down a generation to a family member?
All of these questions are important to think about because it tells us what activities we need to dial up and dial down for both you as an individual and in terms of the business as a whole. Now let me set a scenario with these questions in mind and what this would mean for your business activities in relation to your online presence.
Let's say 1) You are a startup, currently it's you and you only in the business and you are working in the business full time. 2) Your strengths are as a practitioner or a consultant - so what you do really well is you help your clients solve a specific problem in their life or their business, in fact let's say to keep with the theme of today, you are a health practitioner and you work with both individuals and with businesses and your strength is really in providing the knowledge and the accountability to help people achieve their health and fitness goals and develop a greater sense of wellbeing in their day-to-day lives.
3) If you're working with people and businesses in this space then an online presence really is crucial. Actually I know this from doing research for my clients but across most areas of health care people begin their enquiry on google varying between 65% to 90% depending on the area of health. So that means for instance SEO is going to be super important to ensuring people can find you and 4) Let's say you're not planning to massively scale up or sell, but you probably want to get to the point where you can have some passive revenue streams like an online course or a program or primarily offer group coaching.
Now based on all of that, I would actually say that in this case, your online presence IS the core of your business. The reason why is that - what you do is something lots of other people do, and how you do it isn't something people are interested in until they're nearly at the point of conversion or they've already signed up.
Think of it this way. I am not a health practitioner but I know how to market a health practitioner - as a result, I can hire people in my business to deliver that service - this goes back to the strengths and skillset side of things. So in many ways as a brand strategist I'm at an advantage because I know how to create that online presence - the core of the business and as long as I have some capital to invest in at the start to hire a health practitioner, I can make the business operate.
The alternative is, if that isn't your strength and skillset, then you need to have the capital to invest in the core of your business - growing your online presence. In many ways that is actually a better position to be in because you can outsource a lot of brand and marketing activities at a rate that is cheaper than what a health practitioner would charge to do the work. But it's important that you recognise that, spending some time and money on that core of your business is really what is going to make the difference between you growing a sustainable business.
So to wrap up my answer to your question George. If you are seeing maintaining your online presence as a distraction from the core of your business, think about where your business needs to be. If your online presence isn't generating business and brand growth for you and you've given a good go of it for 3-6 months then it's time to go and get some help with this.
In business when we're on our own, we're always juggling between so many tasks that we have to do, so it's important you personally spend your time where you will be most effective. If you're not at the point where you can hire someone to help you either develop your skills to grow your online brand presence or spend their own time doing this for you on your own behalf, then focus on getting referrals from your existing clients. You can also get free advice and help too - that's part of the reason this podcast exists. And look it's not an unselfish act.
I know that there are people who will listen to this and get free advice and that will be enough for them. But I also know a small percentage of people will get to a point where they need to call in external help and that when they do, as a listener of this show, I will be one of the people who is remembered if and when that time comes.
One more thing I'd say for you George and anyone else whose wondering about this problem is, start putting aside some money in your business to invest at least a couple of thousand dollars in developing that expertise or outsourcing the maintenance of your online presence. And just quickly, if you are in a business that doesn't require as much of an online presence, then you need to think about what it is that you need to do to grow your brand and invest your time and or money there instead.
Thanks again for your question George. Really loving all these great questions coming in. If you want to have your question featured, remember to connect with me on LinkedIn and submit your question. If you submit your question on LinkedIn I'll also read out your business and your LinkedIn headline to promote what you do as part of the show.
Next week we're going to take a closer look at how to develop your style guide. Until then, remember that sharing your talents with the world will make it a better place.