Digging deep into your business to extract the reason you exist (your purpose), may seem straightforward, but it’s often a challenge that leaves many business owners lost for words.
I’ve worked with wellness entrepreneurs and helped them to dig into their brand foundations, for over 2 years now, and have regularly been on the receiving end of the surprise they experience at how, initially, they’re unable to clearly articulate their ‘why,’ even though they are clearly passionate about what they do and wake up every single day with the drive to do it.
So why does it matter?
If you aren’t able to clearly communicate why you exist, your vision or the future or share things like your values in a meaningful way, then you are compromising the impact of your connection with your ideal clients. The weaker your emotional connections the less your clients feel like you’re the one who can solve their problems and the fewer people buy. After all, if you can’t tell me why you exist, how can you translate this into your copy to powerfully share this with the people who matter most?
That’s why it’s so important to shake it all out of your head and nail it down, pen to paper or keyboard to screen. The clarity you get from doing this will not only help you to craft more effective and meaningful copy but, in doing so, it will help you to build consistency and trust, both of which are essential to winning new business.
If you need guidance on mining your own brand foundations, I’ve broken down each of the elements below, so you can understand what they’re all about:
Your purpose is the first pillar in your brand foundations because it drives everything – it’s the ultimate reason why your business exists in the world.
Your business is an extension of your personal story. The experiences you’ve been through, the life you’ve lived and the tales you have to tell have all led to the moment you decided to set up your business. And your purpose (your ultimate driver) is at the helm of it all pushing you forwards through the good times and the tough.
What is the point of what you do? Why do you spend your waking days and sleepless nights thinking about growing your business? This is your purpose. Unlike other parts of your brand foundations, your purpose is all heart. It’s about more than what your business simply does – it’s about people, making a change, inspiring others and gives people a peek into who you are over what you sell.
If you’re purpose is your ‘why,’ your vision is your ‘where.’ Where is it that you want your business to ultimately go and what impact do you want it to achieve? Your vision should take your mind out of your day-to-day thinking and look to the future. It might consider your ultimate impact in the country, or even the world, but it will always be directly related to your purpose and focus on the positive change you’d like your business to have on people and/or the planet.
Like a boat looking out towards a lighthouse, your vision is the big dream. Every day you’ll get a little closer and even though you may never completely achieve it, it will guide you on the course to making waves.
Your mission is your ‘how.’ How are you going to achieve your vision? Your mission is your roadmap to getting there and just like the map of any business owner on the journey towards achieving their ultimate goal, this roadmap changes as your business grows. Your mission statement should be driven by action and tell people what you do, who you do it for and chart the roadmap for this phase of your journey with exactly how you’re going to do it. For example, will you offer consultation hours or challenge people’s perception of beauty through your face oils? Your mission tells you what you need to do right now to get closer to fulfilling your purpose.
Your values are your guiding principles. They guide everything from the services you offer and your messaging to the way you speak to your customers on the phone. It’s important to note that your values should be specific to you and be meaningful. Team work and having fun are great, but if they are genuinely things that you consider important principles then expand on this – what do they mean to your business?
For example, if one of your values is collaboration, how does that play out across your business behaviour? Maybe that means you actively call out for collaborations on social media or your website, perhaps you regularly ask for customer feedback as a way of involving your customers in your process. And maybe it means regularly referring to ‘we’ and ‘us’ in your messaging rather than just ‘you’ or ‘I.’
Your key messages
Your key messages are the key points you want your ideal clients to remember and associate with your business. They help you to focus your messaging, improve consistency and should be used across all of your marketing channels and in all of your copy.
While it's not necessary to repeat your key messages in the same language every single time, they should be naturally woven into your messaging.
Key messages can cover any aspect of your business from the way you operate (e.g. with flexibility) to what your clients can achieve (e.g. confidence/ healthy lifestyle). However they should focus on the benefits. If you're finding it a challenge to choose your key messages, begin by taking a look at your ideal client personas. What are their frustrations and how do they want to feel? That should give you a good place to start.
Need some guidance on nailing your brand foundations?
Take a look at my signature 1:1 workshops and let's work together to give you the business clarity you need to grow.