Branding is what you do before you go out there to showcase your business, i.e. all the preparation work such as crafting your marketing message, discovering who your clients are, putting your services into nice well put together packages, making it all sound good and look good with your logo and graphics. Marketing is the process of going out there and showcasing your business through networking, speaking or distributing your marketing materials online or in print. Some people may see it differently, but this is how I see it and it makes it easy for me to understand the process.
Many marketing experts will tell you that the most effective way to get clients is making phone calls. And I agree one hundred percent. However, as a branding expert I have to add that if you have a good brand you will only need to put a small fraction of your marketing efforts in order to get the same results. In other words, if you have to make 100 phone calls in order to sign up 10 clients for your upcoming class, with a good brand you will probably need to make about 20 calls (or even less) to get 10 people. And as your brand gets more and more recognition over time, you will eventually get to the point where you won’t have to make any phone calls. Your clients will find you on their own, online or through the word of mouth. And you will be able to sign up not ten but a hundred, maybe even a thousand clients.
How does this work? Simple. Good branding increases your visibility and gives you more credibility. That’s why it is a good idea to start working on your brand before you even go out there telling people about what you do. Why? Because you will come across differently and your message will be received differently. You will show up in a different light that will make you shine brighter and attract a lot more customers to you. You will be more confident, your message will be crystal clear and you will inspire others.
Unfortunately one of the biggest mistakes I see many newly emerged entrepreneurs make is going out there and marketing themselves without a brand. Perhaps they do this because they listen to the experts who advise them to avoid being struck by perfection paralysis, which is not taking any action until you have your perfect brand ready. That would be the other extreme which is not what I am suggesting at all. All I am saying is start working on your brand before you go out there, it doesn’t have to be perfect or complete, but let it be work in progress as you go along.