Too often, relating as an solopreneur gets you lost in the sauce. You don’t know how to separate the brand from the Brand Leader. If your business were a circus how quickly would it close if you chose to be a clown who juggles instead of the one who leads?
Yes, you're a solopreneur. No, you don't have to do all the things. Trying to keep all the balls in the air at this stage of the game is what causes you to work harder, not smarter. Focus on brand leadership that creates relationships. You then use those relationships to amplify the business brand.
In this digital age, your ATM’s have access to you on many levels. They have no problem being all up in your business. This is also true of vendors, venues, and anyone else you do business with. It’s because they now see the connection to you as a relationship, not a transaction.
When building relationship folx can be cautious or reckless. The one who is cautious wants to make sure they choose correctly. They will stalk you, vet you, ask you all the questions and still be unsure. The one who is reckless is usually doesn't give a fuck. They are out for self and money. They also want someone to blame when things go bad and shit hits the fan.
This behavior is rampant in branding that puts the customer first. It's some times so bad that employers sacrifice good employees for bad customers. These types of brand/customer relationships are what toxic companies are built on. Solopreneurs have an opportunity to positively impact company culture by branding from the inside out. Using the personal brand to relate as a brand leader is about not only attractive the right customer, but the right talent. If you’re caught up in the nonsense of being a brand, then you’re limiting your reach and slowing your growth.
Solopreneurs and their brand limitations
Falling into this minefield of limitations and slow growth becomes a trap. It causes you to misrepresent the brand because you're inconsistent without realizing it. You may switch from brand voice to personal voice with this level is misrepresentation. You end up with a brand monster that is controlled by the masses instead of the leader.
Confusing your personal brand with being the brand is where this juggling act begins. It's no wonder since we live in a world of influencers, endorsers, and reality stars who think everything is content. Cameras are turned on with no real consideration of brand building. It's about making money so folx confuse having a personal brand with having a personality. Your personal brand, if you choose to have one, is not something you need to continuously carry around. Yet and still we see you shopping, hanging out, vacationing, and everything in between else. You’ve put on display what’s supposed to be your life and label it personal branding.
Brands are an asset that can be bought and sold so what does that say about you when you believe you are your brand. If you're a solopreneur who wants to scale then it's time to put down that freak flap and step up as a brand leader. When you lead you...
Bring the brand to life
Give the brand a place to grow
Allow the brand to have a voice
Solopreneurs can bring a brand to life...
Every brand has a C.O.D.E. to live by. It is a core identity that enables the brand to build a solid reputation and keep its brand promise. A solopreneur leads a brand through contemplation, objectives, dedication and ethics. It essential becomes an overlapping brand identity of the personal and business brand.
All parts of this brand identity holds different meaning for the business brand vs. the personal brand.
The contemplation, objectives, dedication and ethics of the business brand are impacted by the industry, the ATM, and the uniqueness of the solopreneur.
Your personal brand is not limited to these four areas, the audience or the industry. The more the business brand is allowed to mature into its own brand identity, the less it needs your personal brand endorsement.
As you scale from solopreneur to entrepreneur, the C.O.D.E. of the business brand matures and takes root. New objectives are are set as contemplation for a future state are formed. This gives it renewed life while maintaining the dedication and ethics of the brand. If the business brand stays dependent on the endorsement of the personal brand then any you will forever be tied to being a brand.
Solopreneurs need to let their business brand grow
To go from solopreneur to entrepreneur you have to trust you've done what was needed for the business brand to scale and grow. You can then hire others to amplify the business brand. It has a brand identity that can be separated from your personal brand.
At the solopreneur stage positioning is about setting up C.A.M.P. where the P. is the positioning of the business brand. The business brand depends on fam, frenemies and fame instead of competition and people pleasing. The only reason you need to consider competition is if you're trying to take up market share. And if that ever becomes a thing the big companies will come along and buy you out. So what are the 3F's about in positioning?
Fam relationships are about your available target market or ATM. Now just because your Total Available Market or TAM is big it does not mean they’re all check’n for you. You want to scale down to your Reachable Available Market or RAM for marketing. Within the RAM is your ATM fam.
Then there are your frenemies which are separated based on whether they are direct or indirect. Your relationship, should you choose to have one, is about proximity to what you offer. Being twinsies can cause confusion and then becomes a race to bottom on pricing. However, if you know where they're coming from you can take a different approach.
The third piece of positioning within a given industry is to own your fame without losing ya damn mind. For example there are a bunch of comedians, but they all have different material. Your business brand can be famous for something. How it comes across is what sells.
Your fame depends heavily on your relationship with your fam and frenemies. You can be box office or background depending on how you play the game. Fame in business also depends on the risk you’re willing to take as the brand leader. Those risks have to be strategic, not reckless.
Being a solopreneur in a world of over seven billion people gives you ample opportunity to be famous to the right people. Big brands are creating all the noise because they fear independent brands. It's why some brands have to buy their way to the top of Google. Become famous and you will earn your way to the top.
Let the business brand speak for itself
At some point you have to let the brand voice do the heavy lifting. The tone of voice, the personality, the attitude of the brand is relatable in and of itself based on you, the Brand Leader. As you listen you can determine how to add to the architecture. Your personal brand will no longer need to hold court and can move on to other things.
Brand archetypes are the best way to give voice. The relatability is created because you know the archetype of the brand and the audience. If you don’t use this properly, your brand will suffer from a personality disorder. Using archetypes goes beyond pain points and bullshit. It allows you to get into the head of your audience and they don’t even realize it.
In order for your brand speak to be consistent and relatable, the brand personality has to speak the right language. My personal brand archetype is rebel/caregiver. My business archetype is sage/rebel. My audience archetype is explorer/rebel. With this information, I know what tone to use, key phrases and words, nerves to hit, and all the things. I know the attitude of my brand and that of the ATM I’m after.
Anyone who understands your archetype mix will be able to keep the brand voice on point. This makes relationship building damn near seamless.
No need for hard sales and guerrilla tactics. It’s all about strategic relationship building.
As an solopreneur, it’s your job to make the intangible, tangible by establishing your relationship with your brand. Then you use that to make your brand relatable to the ATM.
Brandma's House exist to make your relatable. Book a chat when you're ready to brand like a solopreneur that relatable.
That's all for now brandbabies. Smooches 💋
Ghetto Country Brandmother®
author - speaker - HBIC
Certified Brand Strategist, Business & Life Coach with a degree in Business. She is also a former bbq restaurant owner & certified bbq judge.
She is making it her personal mission to connect the dots of life, brand & business one brandbaby™ at a time.