Most small business owners struggle with striking a balance between their passion and providing products and services that meet the needs of their audience. In this blog post, you will learn about a powerful tool, the Brand DNA Helix. When properly implemented this tool will help you develop a business strategy that supports your true uniqueness.
The Brand DNA Helix is a four-section discovery tool. Each section has a series of questions that help you evaluate where your business is presently. Your answers will help you develop a strategy that aligns with your passion and your long-term business goals.
When looking at the Brand DNA Helix, your core target market is at the intersection who the audience needs you to be and who you are designed to be.
Your core target market is often referred to as your customer avatar.
Your research should tell you the following:
Once you know who your core target audience or your customer avatar is then your marketing should be guided toward that person.
How will you make money?
The problem is too many people are doing all of these (products, ads, you, education, and entertainment). They do these things because they are unclear what business they are actually in. Are they a product business or a service business or both? It’s best to get really good at just one of these.
For short-term planning, it’s easy to determine what business you are in now from the revenue you are generating. However, long-term planning requires you to focus on what do you really want your business to be. Think D.A.R.E.S. (Content that is Digital, Automated, Recurring, Evergreen, and Scaleable) when determining your primary business model (PBM). You’ll want to drive your content D.A.R.E.S. to your PBM.
For example: Selling video courses may not be your business model, but coaching is. The video course should be designed to teach as well as point your customer back to the coaching business model. Getting clear on what your long-term primary revenue source will be will prevent brand or revenue dilution.
Your relationship headquarters is the number one place for your free content. You may have content on social media among various platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook Groups. However, your blog or podcast should be where all your free content can be found in one place). In other words, when thinking about how you want people to engage with you where will that be? Do you want them to engage with you on your blog?
Your relationship headquarters options are your blog, your podcast, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook Groups. The preferred HQ should be your blog or podcast over YT, LI or FB. The reason is you own your blog or podcast. Therefore, you own your own theme. With YT, LI, and FB you are subject to algorithm changes and other factors outside of your control.
With a blog or a podcast, you are in control of your content allowing you to focus on turning followers into subscribers. A large list of subscribers is where the revenue is.
The one thing most entrepreneurs have in common when starting a new business is a limited budget. When following these 7 concepts you will see why revenue will start rolling in by consistently implementing just one strategy. Over time, you will begin generating enough revenue to implement more that require a larger budget.
Your reputation is far greater than your personal brand. Reputation is built upon a combination of the results you’re receiving and the number people you reach. (Results X Reach = Reputation). Results are achieved by building integrity with your audience before becoming a celebrity. Whereas, your reach is an activity you can do personally. Consistently providing integrity based content married with your strategy will build your reputation. And, building your reputation can all be done for free.
Over time your integrity becomes the celebrity. The audience will be willing to pay you for your content. Your strategy which may be blogging, video, audio or a combination thereof becomes your visual identity.
People monetize too quickly before building an audience. They pitch to much. The best way to build an audience with integrity is to give much more than what you ask for. For example, influencers such as Lewis Howes did a podcast for a year before taking on any sponsors. A good rule of thumb is to provide seven to eight pieces of valuable content (blog, video, audio) before asking for an email address or directing your audience to a link for your product or service.
You don’t need a pretty logo, a fancy website, or perfectly edited videos when starting out. Branding experts recommend improving those items once a 6 to 7 figure revenue stream has been achieved. The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is trying to “do it all” when working with a limited budget. Innovative thinker and keynote speaker Peter Sheahan best describes and named the “do it all” mentality as Sheahan’s Wall. Because when you try to do it all you will run into obstacles or walls that will dilute your efforts towards achieving success.
You will be more effective early on when determining where your true uniqueness lies. Once know you what makes you unique from others a solid strategy should be built around that. The brand helix is a good exercise to do to find out where that uniqueness lies. It’s a series of 6 questions that look at both the short-term and the long-term goals for the business. The answers to these questions will align you with who your audience needs you to be with who you are designed to be.
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you have few clients or none at all, working for free is the fastest way to build a testimonial list, a client list, or demo videos that will help you get paying customers. Many entrepreneurs have built an empire by working pro-bono with their first few clients. Doing pro-bono work, in the beginning, will allow you to test your skills, your product, and your delivery system. Because you are working for free, your client will be more flexible and understanding with you if and when an obstacle occurs.
When working on a tight budget always choose education over advertising. Advertising is expensive and may not yield the results you are looking for. However, education is an investment in your future self which has a greater return on investment. It compresses time and the dollars you invested will benefit you in many ways when you apply what you learn quickly.
You are better off making an emotional connection with your audience rather than making slick looking graphics or videos. Think about images you have seen that provoke an emotional response in you. What made you angry? What made you cry? Work toward getting a visceral response from your audience. This will grow your audience much faster.
Regardless of where you are at in your business doing something is far greater than doing nothing. Just get started and be consistent. Focus on learning the skills you need and implement them right away. You can literally find a solution to any of your business obstacles by searching Google or YouTube for them.
You cannot build a sustainable brand just to make you feel important. What you do must be for the benefit of your followers rather than you. Most people are addicted to some kind of behavior or outcome. It may be having to win a production award or seeing yourself on a billboard. When you are always working to stroke your ego you will eventually burn out. Why not become addicted to serving your followers? Service is the best addiction that rewards you with wonderful side effects you will want more of. And, it takes zero dollars to be audience-centered.
These are simple concepts, but they are difficult to follow and remain mindful of when working in your business. When you feel like you need new software or a new service revisit these concepts first before spending a dime. You’ll be glad you did!
Have you ever had one of those mornings when you wish you can start it over again? Did you know that as adults we have about 25,000 mornings to look forward to. That may seem like a big number, but imagine how great those 25000 mornings will be when you design how they will be?
One of the most powerful things you can do to set yourself up for a great morning is to prepare for it the night before bedtime and get a good night sleep. This is especially important if you have children as unexpected things can and do happen. Your four-year-old is not interested in your morning routine and may have something else in store for you. If you have children I’m sure you can relate to this. Make school lunches, lay out your clothing and your kid’s clothing. Write a to-do list for things you want to accomplish the next day. While getting ready for bed reflect on successes of the day rather than things you didn’t get done. You don’t need that on your mind when sleeping. Leave a notepad on the bedside table to write down anything that may wake you up in the middle of the night. Lastly, if you use your phone as an alarm do not check emails or social media. If you can’t resist looking at your phone put it far enough away from you so you will have to get up to turn off the alarm.
You may be saying, “you’re joking, right?” Seriously, with a solid morning routine, you will be able to jump out of bed. Making sure you get enough sleep will make this easy especially if you wake up at the end of your circadian sleep rhythm. Circadian rhythms last approximately 90 minutes. Waking up at the beginning of this cycle will be difficult because you are interrupting the deepest sleep. I find I feel the best and do get up without the help of an alarm on 7.5 hours of sleep which is 5 sleep cycles. If you do need the alarm to wake you, do not start scanning emails or get on social media. You can easily get wrapped up into trending topics and next thing you know you are 20 minutes behind. Immediately begin to think about all is good and the positive things you will be looking forward to. Make some time for yourself to collect your thoughts and write out the 5 to 6 things you want to accomplish during the day.
Having a pre-day routine is one of the secrets of those most successful. It may be time for meditation, exercise, etc. Whatever is your routine is consistent and do it daily. My routine is get up, jump in the shower, floss and brush teeth, get dressed, dry hair and take about 15 minutes to plan my day. I reflect on successes from yesterday and give gratitude to everything I can while showering. Overall my morning routine takes about 45 minutes.
Match activities with your energy supply. For instance, if you are more creative in the morning this is the best time to do things like writing while saving tasks such as returning calls and answering email that may not require as much of your energy. If you don’t need much energy for a workout this can be done later in the day. You know what’s best for you.
Put the phone in another room until all the things you have planned for your morning is done. Just like getting up first thing in the morning, you don’t want to get sucked into the social media abyss or get lost in email.
In twenty years or more, I have never received an urgent email. Nothing is that urgent. When someone needs to get me right away they call. Most email can wait 3-4 hours before having to reply to them. Take advantage of the morning window of time to get higher priority things done.
Take control of your day before it takes control of you. While these tips may seem obvious many do not follow a routine that serves them. There’s no doubt in my mind if you follow these suggestions you will have a great morning each and every day.
The truth is, the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is no one will tell you what to do. Human tend to be motivated when we feel like doing something. But, being an entrepreneur will require us to do things we don’t feel like doing. There will not be a boss watching over you to tell you when and how to do something. Not having to answer to a boss is one of the reason’s why people become an entrepreneur. Ironically, that is also why so many people fail. No one is telling them what to do.
Think about parenting…kids need to be told what to do right? A parent will tell them to get ready for school. If they don’t the child probably won’t go. Parents guide their children to eat right. If they don’t their kids will eat things they shouldn’t eat. Parents tell kids to clean their room. And, if they don’t, the room probably won’t get cleaned.
Parents tell their kids to do the things they don’t want to do…for their own good. Most parents want their children to develop good habits for when they become an adult. That’s why they guide them to do the things they don’t want to do when they are young. But as adults, we have earned the right to not be told what to do.
Being an entrepreneur requires you to do the things you don’t want to do. You may not feel like knocking on doors or make cold calls. Yet, all that stuff to need to be done to get leads and make sales. If you’re not getting things done, then you need to parent yourself. No one will tell you to get off the sofa. There will not be anyone telling you to call a prospect or follow-up with someone. No one will tell you anything.
The entrepreneur will always need to be the one who gives themselves a push. If they don’t then the business will likely fail.
Would you like to know one of the greatest lessons Jay Shetty learned from a 10-year-old monk and how it will benefit you? Think about to what you learned on your 1st day of school. Most of us learned the ABCs, numbers or coloring within the lines?
In monk school, you are taught to breathe. Why? The only thing that stays with you from the moment you are born to the moment you die is your breath.
Your friends, your family and the country you live in will all change over time. But
The only thing that does not change is your breath. What changes when you get stressed? Your breath. What changes when you get angry? Your breath. What changes when you’re sad? You got it, your breath. What changes when you are happy? That’s right, your breath.
Every emotion is experienced with a change of the breath. When you learn how to manage and navigate your breath you can manage anything in life.
Think about it. Singers, athletes, musicians are all trained how to breathe because they are in challenging, stressful, pressure type of situations.
We give presentations, we have lost deals or we are up for a large promotion. How did you manage your breath during these experiences? Managing your breath allows you to deal with your problems at a root level rather than at a symptomatic level.
Taking anxiety medication, taking a drink, binge-watching television programs when you are stressed out is just pacifying that escape for a short time. It may last for only a 1hr, 2 hrs, or maybe a week. But, by going to the root of it by changing your breath you can manage any situation in life.
When going to the root, it takes longer but lasts longer.
I’m putting this to practice right now while working on a large project with many moving pieces. It has taken weeks to put these pieces together. However, when I am feeling stressed I notice my breath and take action. I breathe!
I center myself by taking a break and reflecting on all that has been completed so far while focusing on my breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out. After repeating this many times a sense of calm quickly appears and runs throughout my body.
Try this advice from this wise 10-year-old monk. Just breathe. Remember, When you learn how to manage and navigate your breath you can manage anything in life.