More importantly, who do your prospective clients think you are? If their image of you isn’t the same as your image of you, then you’re not attracting your best-fit clients. If you want to correct the issue (seriously, how could you not want to correct that issue?) you’ve got some branding work to do.
You can’t control the brand image people build of your company; that happens in their own head. The best you can do is give them the best possible building blocks — evocative marketing and branding materials that resonate with the right people. Those best possible building blocks come from being extremely clear about who you are as a company, what you value, and what you stand for.
There are lots of brand discovery processes and frameworks you can use to get that clarity. Here are just a few of the questions Tinfish asks our clients when we do brand discovery work.
What adjectives do you want people to use when they talk about what it’s like to work with you? When your clients are singing your praises, what do you want them to say? Not what do you think they currently say, but what do you want them to say? Sometimes it also helps to think of a spectrum; would you rather be perceived as professional and formal or casual and informal, or somewhere in between? Intellectual or plain-talking? Funny or serious?
Why should a prospective client choose to work with you, rather than one of your competitors? What you’re looking for is an essential quality that’s not easily replicated by another company. Or you can try thinking of it in reverse: clients love us because …
What attracted you to do the work you do in the first place? This is a way of getting at your true passion, the aspect of your work that makes your face light up when you talk about it. You want to know what that is, because you want to work with clients who want that passion. Those are the clients who are more likely to be your best fit, the people who love you and everything you do for them, the people you love to serve.
Read over your answers. Hold them in your head. Look over your marketing materials, your website, your logo, your business card. Do they speak to who you really are, to the people you really want to work with?
Read more about brand discovery here.