Day #01: Defining Your Brand
Updated: May 2, 2020
Before you read anything else, do this:
FREE WRITE ACTIVITY Set a Timer for 15-20 minutes and answer "What is your business?"
Don't over think it, just free write. It doesn't have to be perfect, or succinct, or even make complete sense in all places. Just write. As much as you can.
SHH, Secret: There's actually a bigger reason I'm asking you to do this, and do it this way, which I explain at the end. Just trust me and do the activity first.
Tell Me About Your Business
Day #01 of The 30 Day Brand! Yeahh. We're starting off simple, by answering the most basic question: What is it?
Cheat Sheet Q's: Okay normally I'd recommend answering the question as is, to see what your initial answer is, but I can see how 15-20 minutes worth of free writing answering one question could be challenging. So here's some other prompts to get you going:
What are you branding?
What is your business?
What do you do?
What's the point?
How does it function or what does it need to run?
Who's involved? Just you, a team?
Tip 1: Pretend you're talking to me or someone else when you answer.
Tip 2: Or actually grab a friend, and answer to them in person. Record what you say to convert to text later.
What's the Point?
I know you're DIYing it, so you might be wondering, why would I actually spend 20 minutes explaining my business to me? Waste of time. I've got stuff to do, social media feeds to scroll...
BUT, it's not. If you've read the outline of the 30 Day Brand then you know this is essentially my Brand Identity Process, broken down into simpler easier to tackle/DIY tasks.
Which means, we're doing a faux #Consultation, in which I would ask you, What's your business? I always start with this one question, regardless of what I already know about it, how much research I've done, or even how long I've known this person/business.
Why? Because when you explain your business out loud or by formal written format, you tend to express things in a different, clearer, more concise way. Assuming the viewer has no clue who you are or what you do, helps you pull those relevant bits of information that we sometimes forget as seasoned business owners, or as founders too close to the project.
But 20 minutes??
The reason I suggest trying to explain your business for a lengthier stretch of time, is because after we've run out of our initial explanation, then we start grasping for new bits of relevant information. Again! Which means, we've started to tap into the - Thinking Out of the Box - zone. We're starting to stretch ourselves in communicating what is relevant for the recipient. This is where talking about processes, systems, how things function, who we work with, causes, etc. all of that information, starts getting brought in.
Tip: Pretend you're explaining your business at a meeting or speaking event. You're given 15-20 minutes that you have to fill! No silences. What would you say?
Okay cool, done. I've explained my business to me. Now what?
Save it! We're going to come back to this Free Write pretty frequently, so keep it somewhere close to call on as we move through creating content and setting your brand.
The real point behind this activity.
The way I think of the answer to this initial question is that it's like the virgin baby hair of your brand. It's the initial output that came straight from your mouth, the first thing you think of, the off-the-cuff message you wanted to say.
But that means, it's also new and untouched and maybe not quite right.
So this activity is great for two things:
Creating content, helping us build brand story, voice, and messaging later
Reflection & Comparison!
Ideally, after going through the branding process, 30 days from now, your answer to this question should be different. It should be clearer, more concise, more effective, and specifically speaking to your target audience.
Most likely, today you wrote from the perspective of yourself. What the business is to you, why you started it, what the mechanics of running it looks like.
Hopefully, 30 days from today, your answer will be about the customer, what's important to them, how they feel, what do they need to hear, how do you solve their problems.
So good job!
Tomorrow we'll be talking about your business' Back Story. Many of the exercises following this may seem similar to today's exercise, but now we'll be getting a lot more specific. Think of today as you casting a wide net, capturing whatever initial content you could come up with on the fly, just to get you jump started and get gears going. Everything after today will be editing, curation, refinement.