What is a brand? If the answer to this question alludes you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. When I was training to be a therapist, the last thing I was thinking about was branding - mostly because I had no idea what branding was. The word “brand” brought up connotations from my childhood like “brand-name clothes” and “brand-name cereal” (mmm Quaker Cinnamon Life).
So when I started my first business, I never took the time to develop my brand. Sure, I had a logo designed and identified a color palette that I liked, but I didn’t take the time to really explore and develop my brand in a way that would support my business. Consequently, I was all over the place. I couldn’t seem to focus on what to create, sell, or publish, and had no idea why.
It wasn’t until I worked with a branding coach that I realized the power of a solid brand. My coach helped me identify exactly who I wanted to help with my business, and how to best reach them with my content, my vibe, and my values. Once I dove in and solidified my brand, marketing and growing my business became so much easier.
The definition of a Brand is somewhat illusive, so I’ll tell you how I define it:
Your brand is your underlying mission & values communicated through visual and written language.
And the reality is, we all have a brand, whether we’re aware of it or not. From the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to the modalities we use to help our clients. All of these choices communicate something.
We make these choices based on our values. I drive a Prius because I want to decrease my contribution to human-made global warming. Folks who see me driving my Prius can assume that I’m an environmentalist; therefore, I’ve successfully communicated a big value of mine. Every choice we make communicates our values and makes up our personal brand.
So when it comes to your private practice, establishing a brand is the most efficient way to communicate to potential clients what your values are. And when these values line up with a potential client, they’re likely to become a paying client.
Remember when I said I wasn’t thinking about branding as a grad student? I now realize that I was totally thinking about branding - I just didn’t know that’s what it was called! I remember thinking about what glasses I was going to wear as a therapist, and what clothes, and what my office would look like. I mean, I went to a Buddhist inspired university! If that doesn’t communicate my values, I don’t know what does!
What are your values as a therapist? What are your values as a human? Why do you do what you do? What causes do you really care about? What gets you really excited?
Answer these questions, and your values will start to surface. From there, think about how you can communicate these values to your website visitors, social media followers, and newsletter list members.
Not sure how to communicate your values? Stay tuned. I’ve got lots more branding tips coming soon. Subscribe to my newsletter list here to be the first to know when I publish a new blog post with practice-building tips.
Comment below to share your top values. Why do you do what you do?