I started out like a lot of women new to business;
I thought I’d leave my job, provide a killer service, and get paid accordingly.
Which worked, in the beginning. Because I simply doubled my hourly rate as an employee and charged my time out as peanuts.
Nodding? Uhoh. This is a dreadful formula whichever way you look at it.
Firstly, $60 AUD an hour is not a business building amount of money to earn. It’s a wage. I was still an employee. There was no buffer in that amount to pay for insurance, PD, travel, tech, support, running expenses, tax, or software. I couldn’t pull a wage from that amount at the end of each week to pay the mortgage, feed children, buy goose food. I was running my business to pay for running my business.
* insert steep learning curve complete with trial by fire *
At the top of the curve was the realisation I had to quit being fearful of numbers and figure out what my base rate was and then change what I charged so significantly, it made my head spin.
Here’s the thing though – it’s not enough to just up your prices and expect your loyal following to smile indulgently and hand over their PayPal account.
I couldn’t just hop into the back end of my WooCommerce and chuck some zeros on the end and expect everyone’d be suddenly happy to pay me all these extra pennies.
I would have to up my brand, if I wanted to up my prices. Sheesh, cohesion. Tough, when I just wanted to do the thing I was good at and hope I’d get paid well at the end.
On top of that, creating the brand was re-evaluating everything. Not just writing new copy, new photos, and new web design but checking out the way I speak to people, the folk I choose to align with, how I communicate my values, where I choose to appear on the interwebs, social media interactions – the lot. Everything had to be carefully reconsidered and brought into alignment with the new numbers. Damnit, including my belief systems around money. Try doing that bit in a rush. I think some of my brain literally imploded. #science
So, how can you create a brand that will so support the dollar amount at the end of your sales copy your ideal client’s response is “TAKE MY MONEY, FRIEND!” rather than “WHAT THE EVER LOVING HECKERY?”
Yeah, imagine never having to justify your dollar amount. Sweet.
So, how do you do it?
You start with a ‘don’t do’ step. I know; Miss Negative Pants. I’m teaching without ‘sandwiching’ – that’s OK, I think you’re smart enough to stick with me here. Because this is the best brand-building, conversion copy creating advice I give to anyone.
Don’t sound like everyone else.
Because everyone else sounds like everyone else. Seems like a no-brainer, huh? Yet, I see it over and over again. You do too. You just don’t realise because your brain no longer engages when you see ‘About Me’ at the top of an About page and you no longer read “I’m a passionate dog walker working with dogs around the Sydney area” anymore. Your eyes just glaze over, you scan over that bit with a little ping in your brain telling you, ‘not important’, and you move onto the bit that’s engaging. Which may even be on another site.
On the other hand, brave, banging, crisp as heck, rock-star copy which says, “This is me in all my glory” goes out and works for you. It makes your best, most brilliant, most loyal clients think, “Oh thank GOD, I found my person” and it stops attracting the clients you don’t want by not showing who you are in your copy. Brace yourself; some people will click away. Don’t be concerned. They aren’t your people. Brave copy means self-weeding and non-ideal clients who self-weed are a beautiful thing.
When you craft your brand voice, your mission is to make your future clients so ridiculously happy they’ve found The One (that’s you) they’ll happily pay your worth without missing a beat.
The price becomes a secondary concern.
They’re too busy feeling relieved and thinking, “Yes, I finally found someone who gets me” to worry about second-guessing your rates. And you know what? In creating a brave brand, you’re showing that you don’t second guess yourself. And that, sisters, is knowing your worth.
Now I have you all amped to create a brand that’s like an opiate to the (right) masses, how do you get cracking? By going back to your foundations. It’s as simple as getting back to basics and choosing 5 – 10 words that are ‘you’. Think about it. There’s no one like you (thanks, Seuss). Even if you’re an insurance broker and can’t go crazy with the bold copy, there’s room for personality. Professional does not mean stale as potato chips stuck in the back seat of the car. Professional can have humanity.
Your words should show your values and your unique selling position. They’ll show what you do and how you do it all with the star-quality which only comes from you. Use the words you want others to use to describe you. Then you start using those words to build brand statements; punchy sentences like a benefit mixed with a pinch of promise, or even a quirky, memorable way to say, “I do this”. Use those words across all of your copy: website, socials, invoices, all of it needs to be consistent.
Know your worth, show yourself in your copy, and find your people.
Want more free advice about building your brand? I happen to have a sales-funnel free mini word bank lesson on my website. It’s a small but solid first step on how using words can create a brand with a strong enough voice to carry every last drop of your goodness in it. Of course, if words aren’t your thing, building other people’s brands just happens to be something I do quite well. You might want to ask me to help with yours.
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Free brand voice character quiz!