A lot of businesses are struggling right now.
Even if the economy seems a little more solid, risks continue to abound, and the landscape is always shifting. As a coach, I hear questions like these daily: Do you have any solid coaching advice for managing the risks, getting through the “lows” and moving my business upward?
Today, we are facing a challenging economy. In the spring, a farmer has to till the soil, deal with the weeds, and begin planting the seed, while cultivating and waiting for a harvest which comes later. In the same way, businesses need to work with diligence in the low end of the business cycle so that they reap a harvest later.
What is the main difference between today and 20 years ago? It’s the fact that there are literally millions of voices, and millions of choices. 20 years ago, the voices were limited, and the choices were even more confined.
So, as businesses, how do we stand out? By focusing on building our Brand Essence. A brand is the unique and distinctive visual, emotional, and cultural image that you associate with a company or product.
We need to spend time celebrating our uniqueness: your voice. Your voice consists of the problems you’re solving, the questions you’re answering, the solutions you’re providing, and the wounds you’re healing. It incorporates your unique communication style and flavor. Your Brand is the entire experience customers have with you. It’s what you stand for, a commitment you make, and your personality. And while it includes your logo and colors, those are only the creative components of your Brand that may change from year to year. Your Brand lives in every interaction with clients. Here are three ways you can enhance the essence of your Brand:
- Be Distinctive – Find a couple of ways to enhance your Brand tangibly – and focus there. Unless your business has one or two “big ideas”, it will pass like a ship in the night.
- Be Consistent – Repetition works. Potential clients must see your Brand dozens of times. That’s why companies advertise. They understand repetition.
- Be Seen as an Expert – If you establish yourself as an expert in your field, you will not need to find your clients; they’ll find you. Find the 1-3 specific areas where you can excel. Focus on being seen as an expert in those areas. Reach out with blogging, speaking, writing, presenting, sharing, connecting, and advertising. Be seen as an expert.
One final thing as coaches within the Certified Coaches Federation. It is critical we are not just seen as experts, but that we actually are experts. In other words, please don’t neglect your personal and professional development as a coach. Invest in your growth as a coach, early, often, and intelligently. Boldly explore our Certified Master Coach Practitioner™ Training, or the Healthy Wealthy and Wise® Coaching Program, which literally has every tool and training you need to develop as a “next-level” coach, and also gives you a coach yourself. Every quality coach not only coaches others but receives coaching themselves.
Michael Eisner, the CEO of Disney, said, “A brand is a living entity – and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.” What is your personal Brand? As a leader, what do you want to be known for? You can’t be known for everything, so be clear on what you want to be known for. In this challenging time, like the farmer, diligently work the soil by building your Brand. The harvest will absolutely come.
Abe Brown is the Coach’s Coach, and the President of the Certified Coaches Federation. He is also the Founder and President of Momentum Coaching. The Certified Coaches Federation has trained and certified over 13,000 Life and Executive Coaches in the last 10 years, and Momentum Coaching has experienced triple digit growth for several years. The Certified Coaches Federation is the premier Coach Training and Certification organization in the world. With Momentum Coaching, Abe does Leadership and Executive Coaching, and works with organizations around strategic planning, cultivating fully engaged employees, and facilitating coaching and training programs.