Serious Question: Do you imagine others actually recognize your value?

OK Business Entrepreneurs, this is really about the Business of Recognizing Yourself__ so Others Can.

We’re living in a 21C new world__ I call it 21C Business Unusual. Because we’re all having different kinds of conversations across more platforms than we ever could imagine. Right.

Some days, we’re not even sure how we’re going to manage our messaging – and keep it on target, consistent and, of course fascinating.

So taking a close look at your business brand and the story you tell – as well as the subliminal messaging you put out to the world 24/7 – is one of the best ways to recognize who are you, what you do, why it matters — and why anyone should give a damn.

OK where do you start? A Brand Audit tends to make the difference. You get a professional’s outsider’s point of view. It helps you understand the WHY, WHAT and HOW you really deliver. Once you seriously can name that and own it, you will be be more recognized and seen by the people you most want to see you. Here’s my methodology:

Zing Your Brand Intel Methodology

The best news? A Brand Audit makes sense of the messaging dialogs going on inside your brand brain, help you to turn the lens inwards on your unique creative value, embed your individualistic energy into your brand – and then, help you be willing to show up in a more mindful and authentic way.

FYI One of the most common questions that keep coming up with my clients is: how can I best communicate who I really am on this new 21C brand landscape? How can I speak in my own voice and get the right tone — so others know exactly who I am and understand the kind of value I bring to the table?

A brand audit helps you start re-imagining and reframing the way you think. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to close more sales, stand out in the marketplace, get promoted, build a community or looking to kick start your business. It will help people understand who you are and what you stand for.

“Van can switch from multinational to entrepreneur mindsets in a flash – across sectors, channels and audiences but with a brand’s own story running fast through each. She has the instinct of a true marketer that shapes every story right – and a client side manner built on trust and rapport to bring it all together. I think any brand will be the better for talking to her.” __Nick Stravs, Corporate Reputation Specialist |

1.) Brand Audit: An Un-Biased Evaluation. Because every healthy, highly-functioning brand wants a bit of honest feedback, evaluation, assessment and help getting on the right track.

Booking an Audit is where you get help in pulling back the layers, finding out what’s really going on behind your brand and story, the points of pain that are getting in the way __and then, wet get to turn it around so you’re not shooting yourself in the foot, anymore.

Ask yourself: is my messaging communicating who I am, what I do and why it matters? This process is really about bringing more meaning and purpose to the business table. How willing are you to evaluate, assess and tweak the kind of messaging you are sending out? PS It takes courage.

Take away: Look for the clues that might be doing your business a disservice. Ask your colleagues for their honest feedback. Is your site communicating the message you want out in the world? Does it reflect you, and your own unique value? And is it obvious and clear what your purpose is? Plus how easy are you making it for others to pick up on your value?

2.) Brand Story: Why you do what you do. Because every healthy brand loves a well-articulated and irresistible story.

This is where you look at YOUR WHY. Because understanding your WHY will give you all the clues you need to create a meaningful story. This is about coaxing out your creative core essence and getting right to the heart of your brand.

Where to start? Start tapping into the reasons why you’re working at what you do. Or why you started your business in the first place? I bet you have a remarkable ‘back story’ that would fascinate people. As in: share something about you that they’d never be able to know. Articulate that story. Make it personal – be creative and courageous, again.

Ask yourself: Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone? Actually open up just a little so others can get to see you, know you, like you — and trust you. Because that’s when people reach out to you, want to work with you and your organization, hire you.

On a personal note: When I started sharing my story of being a Dutch sea captain’s daughter, I was amazed at the reaction. Some people had trouble remembering my name but they had no problem remembering the Dutch sea captain’s daughter. Because it’s a potent, visual picture that tells a story and it lands a spot in their psyche. Interesting, right.

3.) Brand Identity: Are you who you say you are? Because every healthy brand longs for a fascinating identity.

We live in a design-driven culture. So you better get used to the fact that design is here to stay! It’s never been more important to pay attention to the design aesthetic around your brand.

Ask yourself: Is my logo, color palette and language inviting, warm, energizing — or is it making people want to look the other way?

Ask yourself: What score would you give to your own current logo, site, marketing materials? Would this material stop you — and make you gasp?! If you can’t answer HELL YES to that question, I’d suggest you think about what kinds of design really excites you and make you want more…

4.) Brand Transformation: Why what you do matters. Every healthy brand adores fine-tuning along the way.

Your brand is never static. It’s not just your logo. Or your tagline. Or the color of the uniforms your staff wear. Or the color palette on your website. Your brand is a living, breathing organism that needs regular monitoring, checking in and keeping things on track.

In this final step, think about WHAT you do and why that matters. Why your audience/tribe should care about buying from you. This is about paying attention to bringing as much energy and mindfulness to your brand so it feels alive, engaging — and totally authentic.

If you still think your website as a kind of ‘static holding place’ that really has no significance in the scheme of things, you have to think again. Everyone is checking your website. Before they choose to work with you. Before they make that call to you. It’s the energy you create around your site and online presence that is now the determining factor.

Ask yourself: Rather, ask some of your favorite clients/colleagues for some seriously-honest feedback. As in: What kind of feeling do you pick up when you go on my site? Does my online brand communicate what I am really like? What we really do? And the unique value I really bring to the table?

If you’d like a little help around getting your brand audited, take a look at what we’ll explore in a 90 minute session. The best news? We’ll zero in on exactly what your brand most needs in order to land a spot on the 21C new brand landscape.

Business Strategy: We’ll look at how to manage your reputation so you show up like you mean it. We tap into what makes your customer’s brain tick so your brand message can better relate & resonate with them.

Creative Storytelling: We’ll evaluate, then rethink and craft your own messaging with exactly the right tone, voice and language. (You’ll never keep your audience at arm’s length again.)

Brand Marketing: How to amp up your Emotional Intelligence (EQ), strengthen your relationship with your audience and create more trust so they’ll be your fans forever.

Emotional Intelligence: How can you keep you audience leaning in closer – hearts beating, eyes gleaming? We’ll monitor the kind of messaging your brand is communicating 24/7. Reality check: Your brand is sending out subliminal messages and invisible clues 24/7 whether you know it or not.
Any questions about the process? Get in touch and we can continue the dialog: Or for more info:

Here’s to the business of recognizing who you — so others can!

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