Branding: It’s not just for livestock anymore

Aug 28, 2016

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Deciding to start a business can be the most exhilarating and daunting period of an entrepreneur’s life, and let’s be clear. If you’re a yoga teacher, you’re an entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur your mind is often racing a mile a minute, whether you are worrying about the minor details or dreaming of what your business will become. Whether you’re dreaming or worrying, it is wise to remember the importance of branding.

Branding has come a long way since civilisations would burn an image into the thick flesh of livestock. These days, when we talk about branding, we (usually) are not referring to differentiating our livestock from our neighbour’s livestock. Now when we discuss branding, we are discussing the establishment a cohesive image of a business, product, or service that sets it apart from the competition.

Even though it is what defines you in the marketplace, branding is often left on the back burner. Establishing your brand during your early stages of your company’s development will increase your confidence, can make the minor details less worrisome, and can help make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.

Here are some important things to keep in mind when you are working on the brand for your shiny new business.

1. Your brand is a handshake between your company and the client.

When a client is looking for a yoga teacher, studio, or class, they are inundated with countless places offering comparable services. At this stage, your brand is a handshake between the client and your company. With your brand the company is introducing itself, its Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and most importantly: its story.

Your brand is a handshake between your company and the client. Click To Tweet

2. Use your brand to tell your story.

Even as little as six years ago the story of a brand was often of little consequence. But with the advent and proliferation of social media, consumers are able to connect to brands easier than ever before. As an entrepreneur, this is your moment to shine. What is it about you that makes you stand out from the crowd? What is it about your company that will stand out from the crowd? What will stand out from all the other yoga teachers, studios, and retreat leaders out there?

3. Content is king.

We’ve all heard it, but I have to say it again: Content is king. Never have these three words been more important than in today’s entrepreneurial world. Your brand’s content is one of the most important things to think about when you’re starting a business.

Content tells your story and includes things like soundbites, tweets, Facebook status updates, Periscope broadcasts, the marketing copy on your website, and even the contents of your Facebook profile. Your content can make or break your brand and lead to the success or demise of your new venture.

Where do I even start?

Before starting MetroSeeker.com (which was way before 42Yogis), I used to give guest lectures about brand development. There would always be one student that would say “Yeah, it sounds great, but it’s such a big task…where do I even start?” Perhaps you’re wondering too. When we’re overwhelmed, not sleeping, and trying frantically to get our new business off the ground, how do we find the time for branding? Where do we begin?

I’m going to tell you exactly what I told the business students:

Get a notebook. And carry it everywhere.

Your branding notebook should contain all ideas – good or bad – about the brand for your new business.

When you see a brand do something good, make a note of it. When you see a brand do something bad, make a note of it. Ideas for your logo, slogan, company name, soundbites, and marketing copy should all be written down in this notebook.

The simple process of writing it all down will help you paint a mental picture of your brand. Like an artist, refine this painting, and don’t be afraid rework it if you have to. Once you have a refined picture of your brand, integrating it into your new company will be second nature because you won’t be sitting there wondering “Does this contradict what my brand stands for?”

Many new companies spend the first two years trying to figure out their brand, and yoga teachers are no exception. During the early years of a business, it’s common to go through logos, site layouts, brand content, and marketing copy like a NASCAR driver goes through tires.

Starting out with a cohesive brand conveys confidence to clients, employees, and potential business partners. Your yoga business is not about you; it’s about them. If they perceive confidence in you and in your classes, they are more likely to support you.

After all, in today’s business landscape confidence is often synonymous with success, and everybody wants to be on the ground floor of a successful new company.

This blog was originally published on Virgin.com April 2012. Ysmay: Virgin.com

 

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