When I say “profit”, do you think about money? Most people do!
Entrepreneurs are no different, and one of the most common ways to measure business success is by financial profitability… how much did you make last year versus how much you spent.
When you’re looking at profitability in your business, you look at the return on investment.
But what do you do when you’re measuring the profitability of a piece of your business that doesn’t just lead directly to money… like your brand?
It’s pretty unlikely that someone’s going to just see your logo and like it so much that they will be inspired to just give you money.
On the other hand, a good logo can help your ideal clients trust you and to like you more, and this can trigger them buy your services when you make an offer.
If you’re looking at the profitability of your brand, then that sort of situation should be taken into account. Otherwise, you’re not getting a full picture of the value of your brand.
And each kind of profitability that your brand can bring can become a cycle – one that generates more and more money for your business.
Here’s what to look at when you’re evaluating your brand’s profitability… beyond money.
Is your brand bonding with your ideal clients (and, getting you more clients… and more money)?As I mentioned before, you want your brand to help you build trust with your clients. That means that you need to build your brand in a credible, consistent way that demonstrates that you’re worthy of their trust. There’s also the likeability factor. If your ideal clients like your brand, they’re more likely to spend more time looking over and reading your marketing materials – so you have more of their attention. That “like” can also easily transfer over to you if you’re an entrepreneur – because, where does your brand end and the interaction with you begin (they’re probably pretty close). And when your ideal clients like you, they’re more likely to buy your services because of that emotion. Finally, consider the role of personal taste – especially when it comes to your brand image. If they like your brand and feel like it matches their personal tastes, then that can make them feel like you understand them and their needs – and that you can serve them well. See how the money cycle is starting to take shape?
Does your brand contribute to your reputation’s bottom line? Is your brand and image making you look good? Are your materials engaging and impeccable? Are you developing a good reputation by being real and authentic in your brand? Does your brand clearly show the values that you stand for? Are you doing a good job of delivering on your promises? This goes for when you’re delivering your service, certainly – but it goes further than that. To build a strong reputation, you have to deliver quality content in your newsletter, your free reports and teleclasses, on your website, in your blog and everywhere else! Can your clients clearly see that you’re not just “in it” for yourself? It should be clear that you’re in your business to serve and that you really and truly care about what you’re doing. This makes them want to learn more, invest with you and come back for more.
Your brand can extend your reach. If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are that you need some help spreading the word about your business… in the form of affiliates, partners, raving fans and messengers. Does your brand make you remarkable – and make people want to talk about you (in the good way, of course)? The other half of being remarkable is that you want the way your brand stands out to be clear, so that when people are talking about you they’re saying what you want them to say and they’re spreading the word in an interesting and engaging way. Your messengers need to know what to say so that their efforts can make as much impact as possible. How does this loop back to profit? Because the more people who know about you… the more people who can become your fans, get onboard with your services and then carry your message out into the world again. It becomes a self-sustaining loop of new clients and new opportunities. And, that equals profit!
Your schedule profits because you gain more time. Focusing, clarifying and strategically planning your brand simply makes your marketing easier. Imagine… always knowing your next step. No more wasting time, searching for what to say or do for your next newsletter or blog post. Always knowing exactly what you’re promoting at every turn. And, even having the clarity of message and focus of brand to make that planning easier! It’s incredibly freeing – from a time perspective and it removes the stress from your marketing. This feeds back into your schedule and gives you more energy. It also lets you increase your marketing with no additional effort – so that you can keep building!
You profit by making your ultimate vision a reality. I like to think of this one as “getting fulfilled”. You’re in business – doing all the work behind being an entrepreneur – because you have a bigger vision, and because you want to serve your clients, transform their lives and make your mark on the world. If you find yourself stuck on the day-to-day hamster wheel of your business, and you don’t seem to be making progress towards your ultimate vision – then you may need to try a new approach. Try creating a brand strategy. Why? Because your brand strategy starts with the end in mind. You’ll begin the process of creating your strategy by looking at where you want your brand – and your business – to go in the future. And, by starting at the end, you can easily see how to build a step-by-step brand that will really get you there. This part of the profitability cycle not only keeps going to create more profit for you – but it also has a snowball effect. This portion, especially, can help your business grow exponentially and can help you create the lifestyle that you always dreamed of.
You can see that your brand can build profits for your business that go much deeper than money – and that many of these profits will circle right back and feed more profits into your business. The profitability cycle is worth getting rolling!
Erin Ferree is a brand strategist and designer. She works with small businesses to create brands with substance and style that fit their businesses perfectly.
She’s designed brands for hundreds of small business all over the world. Her brands help her clients attract their ideal clients, outshine their competition and make them unforgettable. She also works with small business owners to develop complete clarity about their brand positioning and to develop total brand clarity.
Her award-winning design work and her writing on design have been published in many books and periodicals.