When most people start a business, they also set business goals. After a period of time, it’s important to sit down and determine if you’re reaching those milestones to figure out if what you’re doing is working. So, what happens if that time comes and you discover you’re not hitting those milestones?
This is where many of my conversations with these clients start and my first question is often: “Do you believe your focus is more on branding or marketing your business?”
Then I ask: “What does your sales process look like?”
Unless you are in the marketing trenches, don’t worry if this question is a bit confusing. It is to many people in this industry too. A lot of people bundle brand, marketing and sales into one bucket when it’s really three different processes that all need to work together towards one goal.
Let’s examine each one to understand how they all connect.
Your brand is how people feel about your business; the emotion that comes during and after interacting with your business. It is what these customers will say about you to a friend, in a review, in a conversation. It is the overall experience.
Branding can be what you are doing – your action plan – for how you’d like to be seen, what your overall goal is, and what you’d like people to be saying about your business. And, while you can’t control individual people, you can provide the best experience and customer service possible by producing the best product. That is part of your Branding Plan.
Marketing, on the other hand, is how you go about creating awareness about your business and what it provides. It consists of tons of ideal customer research as well as research on the industry. This shows you who you should be focusing on to position your business to and how you can make yourself competitive. Marketing involves creating pleasing and attractive visual materials and developing engaging content that speaks directly to your target market. It is meant to inspire someone to take action and buy something.
Now let’s add in Sales. The selling part happens after marketing has created the materials and incentives. The role of sales is to go out there and build relationships with potential customers, see where the gaps are, what people are asking for, what people are craving, what the long-standing issues are, and how can they all be addressed.
Wow! That’s a lot, right? It is. But it is also so important to understand.
Back to the question I asked above, with my advice.
If you are focusing on branding more than 20-30% of the time this could be the reason you are not reaching your goals. You should be spending 70- 80% of your time and planning on marketing first, then on the sales process that will follow.
You see, my friend, if people don’t know you exist and are not aware of what you provide or how your service can even help them, all the branding in the world won’t help you reach those big milestones.
Focus on what you provide, who you provide it for, and why it matters first.
If you want some more personalized advice, I offer one-on-one consulting and I would love to chat more with you to see how I can help you reach your goals. I offer a free 30-minute phone consult – just message me to set something up!