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Branding It’s a word everyone uses but very few people actually understand.

In this blog we’re going to talk about all things branding, specifically what branding is and more importantly and how to start a branding coaching business.

I’m Jennifer “Jen” Kem, a Brand Futurist. I help businesses stay ahead of changes in the marketplace by building strong emotional connections with their audience using their brand.

Now, let’s jump into how to start a brand coaching business!

What is a “brand”?

When we use the word ‘branding’ people immediately think of sexy graphics and beautiful websites. These are components of branding but they don’t fully encompass branding.

If you ask Investopedia, brand, “refers to a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a particular company, product, or individual. Brands are intangible, which means you can’t actually touch or see them. As such, they help shape people’s perceptions of companies, their products, or individuals.”

Which sounds fancy and complex but let’s simplify it. 

Brand is the emotional connection a person or business creates with an audience to differentiate themselves from the marketplace.

Think of brand like reputation. It’s the thing that people know about you because you do it so often that other people talk about it on your behalf.

When people say they like a brand, whether it’s personal or business, they’re saying they like the “feeling” they experience when interacting with this person or business.

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What is a branding coach and what do they do?

A branding coach is someone who helps a business or person to best understand their unique value and how to communicate this value every time a prospect or client interacts with them.

Branding coaches come with many specialties such as: visuals, messaging, in-person events, client fulfillment, merchandise, and company culture, to name a few.

So if being a branding coach is something you want to pursue, it’s important you get crystal clear on what type of branding you specialize in.

A few years ago I was approached by a prospect who was looking for a branding coach to help her revive her brand as it was no longer relevant in the marketplace.

When we had our discovery call she told me that she’d spoken with several other branding coaches but none of them felt like a good fit. She said, “they immediately got my vision for the visual branding of my website but none of them understood how I wanted to shape my message to become relevant in my industry again.”

See, she had spoken with branding coaches who specialized in visuals but none of them had any experience in messaging. Messaging is my specialty so we ended up working together.

And I don’t say this to make a case for messaging being better than visuals. But to illustrate the importance of knowing your specialty within branding, and communicating what it is so you and prospects aren’t wasting time.

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Why are branding coaches in demand?

Branding coaches are extremely valuable because they help people & businesses to identify what makes them unique in the marketplace so they can better communicate it.

They help people & business owners to be crystal clear on what their audience wants in order to best support the contractors who “do” the work like copywriters, designers, developers, sales people and so on.

The most important yet completely underestimated part of business development is clarity around what makes the business unique. Without this clarity it’s hard, if not impossible, to grow a business to one that can afford the lifestyle you truly desire.

The 6 things that will make your brand coaching business stand out

My proprietary framework is called the Unique Message Model, a method to uncover and best communicate the 6 things that differentiate you from others who do what you do in the marketplace. 

  • Values – Get super clear on what truly matters to you as a human. The better you know what you stand for, the easier it is to attract the type of clients who have similar values
  • Archetypes – Understand what makes you unique in the marketplace. This will make it much easier to come up with ideas to communicate your value. If you’d like to learn your archetype, check out this free assessment I created by clicking this link here.
  • Stories – Use stories when sharing about why people should work with you. You want to balance stories that showcase your expertise and stories that make you relatable as a human being.
  • Framework – Create a framework / method / protocol you walk clients through. This will show clients you have a standardized methodology to create a specific outcome.
  • Offer – Develop an offer that is irresistible to your audience. Show them that it will create the type of results or outcomes they deeply desire.
  • Niche – Contrary to popular belief, a niche isn’t an audience – it’s the problem you solve. The more specific you are about the problem, the easier it will be to attract the people who will find maximum value in your offer.

Start your branding coach business in 5 steps

  1. Develop real industry experience. 

You first need real experience in one of the key areas of branding. The key areas of branding are voice, identity, promise, values, targeting and positioning. 

Real industry experience includes at least 3 years of graphic design, web development, copywriting, offer development, visual architecture, or business / strategy development to name a few skills, and that you’ve worked with real people and companies in your zone of expertise.

All of us start at zero, so when you’re early in your career as a branding coach or expert, seek the mentorship of someone who is ahead of you in your chosen field, and work on projects in collaboration with them and/or sub-contracting for them. 

It’s important you have real experience in one of the areas as there will be times when you need to step in to create an example for a client to reference. 

  1. Set up your 90-day big goal

Even if you’re bootstrapping this brand coaching business after hours and on the weekend, you still need a plan. Without a plan, you won’t know what you need to focus on and whether or not you’re making progress.

This is why it’s important to have a 90-Day Big Goal. There are 5-steps to setting a good Big Goal, called S.M.A.R.T.

  • S – Specific. In order for a goal to be effective, it needs to be specific. A specific goal answers questions like: What needs to be accomplished? Who’s responsible for it? What steps need to be taken to achieve it?
  • M – Measurable. Specificity is a great start but having a goal that can be measured makes it much easier to track progress and know when you’ve reached the finish line. I always say, “what gets measured, gets done.”
  • A – Achievable. This is when you give yourself a reality check. Is this goal something that can actually be done in 90-days? If it isn’t it needs to be tweaked. The most underrated skill in entrepreneurship is confidence and confidence can only be built when you successfully hit your goals, especially the micro ones.
  • R – Relevant. This is a big picture question. Why does this goal support what I truly want? Goals that don’t line up with what you want in the end are distractions and in a worse case scenario, are time & energy sucks that derail your momentum
  • T – Time-bound. To accurately measure performance, you need to be clear on when the goal has been reached. What’s the overall timeline? When will you start and end this project? (hint: it’s 90-days)

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  1. Create your Unique Message Model

Remember these? They are: Values, Archetype, Stories, Framework, Offer, Niche.

Getting crystal clear on what each of these are for you is key to clearly & consistently communicating what makes you unique in the marketplace.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be better than the competition. You just need to be different. 

  1. The better you communicate what makes you different, the higher quality clients you attract. 
  2. The more consistently you communicate what makes you different, the faster you’ll attract coaching clients.

To summarize these 6 pillars:

  • Values: What do you stand for?
  • Archetype: What makes you unique in the marketplace?
  • Stories: What stories demonstrate you’re trustworthy?
  • Framework: What’s the standardized method you follow to create similar results?
  • Offer: What’s the thing you actually sell?
  • Niche: What’s the specific problem you solve?

Read more: New to coaching? Build your coaching program with a Free Coaching Program Template

  1. Setting up the baseline technology for an online business

There are a ton of different online coaching platforms available to branding coaches. In fact, there are so many it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options.

So, let’s simplify them. Here’s the ideal pieces of technology you need to run a successful branding coach business.

A communications platform. I recommend Zoom. Everyone and their grandmother knows how to use Zoom. This platform is ideal for hosting online video or audio chats. 

A customer relationship management platform. I recommend Mailchimp or Ontraport. Leads are the lifeblood of your business. You need a central location that has all the information of your leads so you can easily communicate with them.

A course platform. I recommend Thinkific. You need a location to store all of the educational materials you create for clients. I’ve used a TON of online course platforms over the last 8 years (including custom-making my own) and none have come close to Thinkific.

A landing page platform. I recommend Leadpages. A lead page is important to collect the email and first name of potential clients, getting them into your CRM, so you’re able to continue marketing to them.

  1. Find beta customers

Now that you’ve everything in place, you need to get your first 10 clients. These clients will be your beta testers as you strengthen the efficacy of your offer. Here’s a simplified overview of the conversion funnel required to get clients.

  • Top of the funnel awareness building happens through social media posts, online ads, podcasts appearances, conference presentations, and other situations where your audience remains passive. This generates interest for your business.
  • Middle of the funnel engagement and consideration tactics include sending email newsletters and distributing free materials (e.g. PDF ebooks in exchange for email address registration on your website). This demonstrates your understanding of your clients problem.
  • Bottom of the funnel is where conversions (a.k.a. sales) actually happen. It’s your online course demo and your free 30-minute online coaching consultation, at the end of which you direct your audience to make a purchase.  This is when you showcase just how good you are.

Consistently attracting new leads for the top of your funnel and regularly having opportunities to move leads through each stage of the funnel is important to your success.

Ensuring you always have leads at every stage of your conversion funnel is key to your business success. 

Not enough new social media followers? Try appearing as a guest on someone’s podcast. Not enough email subscribers? Create a new lead magnet to get people to give you their email.

Not enough sales? Create more selling opportunities by offering an incentivized bonus.

If you do these things consistently, you’ll get your first 10 clients.

Once you enroll them, celebrate yourself for successfully getting people to pay money for your expertise.

Following these steps consistently and persistently will build your visibility and recognition of being a branding coach to work with by your dream clients.

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