Brand Vision Casting for the Year
Happy 2016 friends!
I just wrapped up an awesome Holiday season. It was so nice to put all work projects on hold and spend the time having adventures with the little ones, coffee with friends and lots of cozy date nights at home with Stephen.
It’s amazing what a little bit of time away from screens can do for your overall vision.
That’s what I wanted to get into today...
Vision Casting for your Brand.
I spent a lot of last year trying new things and then backtracking and changing my mind. One thing I noticed was that my brand message and goals got confused really quickly. Yes, it’s important to do trial and error to see what works best for you and your audience. But you should always be slowly moving toward a big picture result.
If you don’t take time to actually research and figure out where to focus your efforts, there’s a good chance they’ll get wasted on the wrong things.
Maybe you have a blog/business with a focus that seems a little muddled lately. Or maybe you’ve been wanting to start a blog or create products but just haven’t been clear on what your brand message should be.
The new year is a perfect time to get clear about those things. But before you can jump into action, take some time cast a vision for your brand.
Here’s what you can do to get started…
Picture the Brand Atmosphere
I think it’s really common for us to start with how we want things to be styled or what we want to provide. But before you commit yourself to an offering or look, think about how you want your audience to FEEL when they encounter your brand.
So one really quick exercise you can do is picture the atmosphere you want to create. Is it peaceful, relaxing, home-centered? Is it enthusiastic, fun and bright? Is it outdoorsy, adventurous, and bold?
Actually picture yourself in the scenario of your end result. How does your audience feel and what colors, visuals, or attitudes enhance this feeling? What type of activities and conversations do you see happening here?
Take notes and figure out what you can do to create this atmosphere.
Determine The Value of Your Work
It doesn't make sense to spend time on things that aren't really helping anyone. So figure out the value you want to bring to the table and why your work matters. Think about the things you’ve experienced or learned. You have skill sets, gifts and natural tendencies that set you apart.
The things you care about, the problems you’re able to solve and the things you’re knowledgeable about can make a huge difference in the life of someone else. So again before you get too far take a minute to decide how you will highlight the value you bring. What do you want to be about? How do you want to help people? What do you have to say or share that would make your audience say, “Yes! I needed this!”
Side note: Don’t get paralyzed if you see others already doing what you want to do. Usually that means there’s an audience who cares about it (good sign!) and you bring a whole host of experiences and original insights to your field. So worry about what everyone else is doing - eyes forward on the goal.
Make Progress Toward Your Vision
For me, this is the hard part! I can make plans all day, but actually putting in the practical steps to move forward is tricky for me.
If this is you too, set up some goals you can easily track. I chose 5 objectives for the year that will move me a little closer to my vision. Choose however many seem doable for you and then find a way to track them.
For example, if you want to be able to make full-time pay doing something you love, set an objective that gets you a little closer to that. Like, “I want to finish my e-course by this date and attempt to sell X amount of them per month.”
Then each quarter, see if you’re hitting your goal. This is the time to tweak how you’re spending your time to make better progress.
If your goals are bit more abstract, that’s okay. But you’ll just have to find a way to rate your progress, like on a scale of 1-10.
For example, let’s say you want to create an atmosphere of adventure. Since you can't actually track progress for that with a number, instead give yourself a rating each quarter. Like, “My visuals scream adventure, but my content could use some improvement, so I’ll give myself a score of 4 out of 10.”
If you’re regularly tracking and measuring your progress, little by little you’ll get closer to your brand’s ultimate vision. And you’ll have reassurance that you’re spending your time on the things that really make a difference in the long run.
Is it hard for you to create a brand vision for the year? What trips you up?