Let’s be real: your therapy practice or mental health services aren’t going to ”blow up” or get far without a powerful brand behind it.
And if you’re a black therapist, social worker, or psychologist, getting clients online is usually easier said than done. If you want to convert the people in your audience to raving clients who sing your praises (and refer your services), you have to connect with them. And connecting with your audience requires you to boost your brand recognition and authority.
Sorry not sorry. That’s just how the cookie crumbles.
But what is branding and why is it so important?
Oberlo says “branding is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a company, its products or services in the customer’s mind by combining such elements as logo, design, mission statement, and a consistent theme throughout all marketing communications. Effective branding helps companies differentiate themselves from their competitors and build a loyal customer base.”
HubSpot goes on to say that “your brand is arguably one of your organization’s most important assets. It gives your organization an identity, makes your business memorable, encourages consumers to buy from you, supports your marketing and advertising, and brings your employees pride.”
Branding is the reason why people choose Starbucks over any local mom and pop coffee shop.
It’s why athletes prefer Nike or Adidas sneakers over any other athletic brand.
But not everyone is GOOD at branding. They THINK they are but their audience (and bank account) isn’t exactly singing their praises right now.
You see, there are 3 common branding mistakes that mental health professionals make when they take you business online. These mistakes can keep you from growing your audience, boosting brand awareness, and ultimately connecting with the clients you are meant to serve.
So today I’m going to help you break that cycle!
Branding can seem like a vague term at times, so it’s easy to focus on the wrong aspects when you’re first starting out. Plus, there’s so much conflicting information online that you barely know where to begin, let alone grow.
But don’t worry! I’m here to guide you through the process!
Mistake #1: Thinking that your brand is your name, your logo, or your Facebook or Instagram page.
It’s natural to feel excited when you see the color or logo of the brands you love, but there’s so much more to it than that.
Imagine unwrapping a present on Christmas and the first thing you see when you tear past the wrapping paper is a half-bitten apple. Boom! New MacBook or new iPhone!
Well, branding is more than just the aesthetics.
Branding is the emotion someone feels when they hear your name.
Branding is the memory that is triggered when people see your logo or brand colors.
Branding is about the overall experience your client has with you, whether they’re meeting you for the first time or have interacted with you for years.
How does your audience currently perceive you? How do you make them feel?
You’re excited for that new MacBook or iPhone because you love how Apple products make you feel. That’s the only reason you care about the logo.
Apple products make you feel like you’re part of the in-crowd, with the latest gear and the coolest new tech. They make using technology fun and stylish, which is why people invest in their products year after year.
Apple’s customers know, like, and trust them, which is a great example of successful branding.
That could be YOUR clients! Rushing to sign up for your services and transform their lives!
This is why branding is so important. Branding helps you build long-lasting trust and reputation with your potential clients. It’s who you are, your message and promise, what you stand for, and your unique positioning in your market.
The aesthetics like your logo or profiles compliment this and show your alignment, but they should not be your focal point.
And the harsh truth is that if you don’t explore the heart of your brand…
That’s your vision, your values, your promise, your message…
You’re missing out on money.
Mistake #2: Thinking that branding is the same as marketing.
This is FALSE!
You just learned that branding is all about your message and promise of a unique and memorable experience.
Well, marketing is how you build awareness of this.
Marketing is all about how you communicate and express your message and promise.
HubSpot defines marketing as “the process of getting people interested in your company’s product or service.” You do this by conducting market research so you can learn and understand your ideal client’s interests.
Marketing is also the process of communicating the value of a product or service through positioning to customers. But how can you know your position if you don’t even know who you are?
That’s where branding comes in. And keep in mind that branding comes BEFORE marketing. Because without a clear brand message, your marketing efforts will get lost in the crowd.
When you think of marketing, you may think of the traditional methods like commercials or ads on billboards and buses.
You may even think of digital methods like emails, newsletters or blogs. That falls under content marketing, which is also something I cover here (shameless plug!).
But think of branding and marketing as siblings, branding being the eldest, leading the way.
Mistake #3: Thinking that building your brand can wait.
This is also false, but don’t just take my word for it. I read an article from Forbes that said “no branding, no differentiation. No differentiation, no profitability.”
I’ll say it again: NO MESSAGE = NO MONEY!
Great branding is all about how you position yourself in your market. And if you chose a profitable market like the $4 TRILLION dollar wellness industry, then you already have some healthy competition!
Because there’s always going to be someone out there who does what you do. But they can never do it how you do it.
And that’s the difference. That’s branding. Your clients want solutions from brands they relate to, not just more of the same.
Forbes also says “People don’t have relationships with products, they are loyal to brands… Brands can inspire millions of people to join a community. Brands can rally people for or against something.”
If you can’t communicate what you stand for, what results you promise, and how you’re different from the rest, what makes you think someone is going to rally around your services?
If it’s not clear, it will lead to confusion. And confusion is the mortal enemy of conversions.
Most importantly, thinking that you can wait to build your brand is pointless…
Because everyone already has a personal brand.
That’s right, your branding journey is already in progress.
Your brand is your reputation, what people say and think about you and your potential clients want to know the woman or man behind the brand.
They want to know if you walk it like you talk it. What better time to show up than now?
So no, building your brand can’t wait, not if you want sustainable success.
And those are today’s #DailyDiamonds! I needed to address these mistakes because I see you all working hard towards your goals and I’m committed to helping you achieve them.
But what do you think? Have you made any of these mistakes? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. Need help building the brand of your dreams? Stop stressing and get clarity with my masterclass here!