Level with me: are you holding back because you are waiting to hit that perfect pitch in your business? Are you waiting for everything to line up perfectly? Are you waiting to stand out in the crowd? Waiting for the right website? Waiting for the right moment?
Are you obsessed with having your site “sound like you”? So obsessed that you can’t put anything out because you think people will be turned off.
Well stop it.
I know I have said this a million times but I will say it again.
You can show up with some tights and a cape but if you aren’t actually saving people you are not a superhero. The same goes for business. Pretty websites and clever taglines don’t make your brand memorable. Kicking ass on the regular basis makes you memorable. You have to kick ass first and then the rest just makes you MORE awesome.
“Standing out” won’t necessarily make you money.
I had a conversation with a good friend and client about her pursuit of her “purple cow.” She was looking for that thing that makes her different and helps her stand apart. She felt frustrated and wasn’t making much headway because she was obsessed with this idea of making sure she had a perfect “brand” and that she was clearly different. My response?
The purple cow concept is bullshit — Sorry Seth!
It’s not only bullshit but it keeps people from doing things.
Brands are not created in a vacuum. The WORST thing you can do is sit around and ask yourself how to make your business “different.” Spending HOURS trying to figure out your tagline is a waste o’ time. HIRE someone.
A brand is not considered more effective or “better” because of the way it looks.
A gorgeous website and a clever tagline will get you noticed but being known as someone who is good at what they do will help you make money AND brand your business.
Think about Apple. Apple isn’t a distinct brand because of the website or even the style of the computer. Apple computers are different because of the way they DO things and that has evolved over the years. Apple has been around for a very long time and the brand has only become the cool brand it is today over the last 10 years. Steve Jobs was a PROBLEM solver and the brand evolved from that.
Marie Forleo’s site is great because of the design and ALSO because it accentuates everything she is known for and forging that connection takes time to get right.
Kriss Carr’s redesign looks AWESOME but it just got like that. She was crazysexylife for YEARS.
Here is the hard truth. You have to DO THE WORK first. Most people come to me because they want to stand out online but it turns out they don’t have the basic stuff right. They don’t talk to their people. They aren’t engaging. The obsession with standing out kills businesses. I see it all the time. Branding takes time and if you are waiting for all of the puzzle pieces to line up, you are never gonna get it “right.”
This mindset also prevents people from recognizing victories and appreciating what is already in front of them. “I only have 15 followers.” 15 people want to hear from you. THAT IS A BIG DEA.
This shiz takes TIME and if you are looking for a magic bullet via purple cow, sexy website or catchy name, you are looking to the wrong place.
You have to put in the time.
You gotta have the failures and the successes.
Evolution is the ESSENTIAL for creating an effective brand. WRITE THAT DOWN. Evolution is ESSENTIAL.
So what am I asking you to do?
Put yourself out there, even if it’s not perfect. Get out there and help people and see how your brand develops and changes that way.
INVEST in learning to find the answers yourself before you hire someone else to find them for you.
Before my business was “Hey Shenee” I was “Eight Thirty Five”, “You’ll Look Great” and just Shenee Howard. I have tested out (and killed) dozens of services. I’ve written SO MUCH copy and changed my site design several times. Each time I get closer and closer to my brand but most importantly, each time I get closer to the best way for me to help people.
And that’s what it is all about.
We have developed this culture of celebrity within our industry but truly this is not what this should be about and if your goal is to be “famous” your heart isn’t in the right place, anyway.
So seriously, instead of pouring all of your efforts into “looking good” online, focus on figuring out how you HELP people and what makes that awesome.
What do you think? Are you guilty of this? What keeps you from actually doing the work? Do you have compare and despair syndrome?