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3 Branding Questions Every Entrepreneur Must Answer


I was having a skype convo with a friend last night about business strategy, branding, identity, etc. and the critical, fundamental elements of success most entrepreneurs are missing.

Because I want you to be a spectacular (and so-NOT-mediocre) success, I want you to be certain of these elements in your business. If you are, you will be way, WAY ahead of most entrepreneurs out there.

When I am working with clients on these parts of their businesses, we address three critical questions. Being able to answer them with precision and certainty gives us the basis for building a successful strategy.

And here they are:

1) What problem do I solve?

Here’s the thing: people buy solutions. So you’ve got to frame whatever you are offering as a solution to a problem.

For example: This spring I had a huge problem. I couldn’t figure out how to combine my love for strategic coaching with my life-long passion for the theatre into something that felt like “all me” AND was lucrative. I felt like I was truncated. And it showed in my business. The zip was losing it’s zip and I was considering retiring from the coaching world.

Then the smartest business strategist I know, Andrea Lee, posted an article about this very thing: how to say yes to all that we are and combine it into something new and fresh and that makes money. (She’s really smart about these kinds of things.)

So I threw her my challenge of combining theatre and coaching. And guess what she did? She showed me EXACTLY how I could do it. She SOLVED my problem. (And notice she did it first in a free and general way – talking to all entrepreneurs about building a business model that combines all that we are – which led me to pay her to help me solve it in a very specific way.)

So, look at what you do. How can you frame it as a solution to a problem?

2) Whom do I solve it for?

Hand in hand with question one goes question two.  You’ve got to know the audience you solve the problem for.

Using the above example, Andrea is very clear that she solves problems for online entrepreneurs who are coaches, authors, speakers and who are inclined to think outside the box. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see she speaks specifically to their need for 1) revenue generation and 2) self-expression in their businesses.

The clearer you can be on the audience you provide a solution for, the better, clearer and more successful your branding will be.

Who is your audience?

3) Do they want their problem solved?

Ah – here is the question that many MANY entrepreneurs overlook and can make all the difference in your success.  Does the market you are targeting want their problem solved?  Just because you know they have the problem and you’ve packaged up a brilliant solution doesn’t mean it will sell like hotcakes. If your target market isn’t actively looking to solve their problem, all the strategy and marketing in the world won’t get them to buy what you’ve got.

Again – using our example with Andrea and me.  If I were an entrepreneur who sold electronic widgets, for example, I probably wouldn’t want the problem of combining my passions solved because it wouldn’t have occurred to me that I HAD that problem.

Now there is a potential solution to this dilemma. Figure out how to position something you have as a solution to a problem they DO want solved. After they connect with you on that, THEN you can introduce the solution they need. It goes back to the idea of “sell them what they want, then sell them what they need”.

Does your chosen market want their problem solved?

So there you are. Three questions every entrepreneur must answer. I would love it if you would share YOUR answers in the comments section – even if they are a work in progress.

And, in a shameless plug of self-promotion, these are the kinds of things we will be tackling at Creating Irresistible Presence in Atlanta next month. And lucky us, Andrea Lee herself will be there to help us along!

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