Entrepreneurs often begin their journeys wearing many hats. They’re the visionaries, accountants, sales team, and yes—marketing leads for their brands. When it comes to brand messaging, we hear things like “being authentic,” but few break down what that means and what it looks like. The problems that many face in branding reside in their inability to connect their authenticity into their brands, but this takes many shapes and unfolds in various subtle and less obvious ways. Here are five problems that impact the power behind your brand messaging and how you can resolve them.
1. Seeking your brand messaging without connecting to your “why.”
When you’re building your brand, it’s phenomenal to hit the ground running. I don’t want you to wait until it’s absolutely perfect. If you have 80% of the idea flushed out, activate your concept and get the additional 20% taken care of along the way. However, before you go, you must have a clear vision and understanding of your WHY. It’s the intent behind your action, brand, and messaging that will come across to your audience—not just your words. If you have the best content in the world with the prettiest graphics, but people cannot pinpoint your purpose and mission, you’re missing the mark.
Contrary to belief, your “why” doesn’t have to be this grand gesture of saving the world. It can be “to be able to live the lifestyle I desire comfortably.” Regardless of what it is, you must be clear on it. That clarity sets the intention and energy behind the messaging you’re putting out in the world to your audience.
2. Scaling your team without sharing your vision.
It’s a beautiful time when you realize that delegation is the key to optimal growth in your business. It’s also a season for disclosure. When building your team, it’s imperative that you share your vision with the people executing on the team. Without doing so, they will eventually execute the work without understanding the heart behind the work.
My business coach, Felica Kelly, tasked me with writing out my life story to combat this. It sounds a bit much and a little overboard, but I did it. The goal is to share this with the team. Why? So they understand the heart behind the work. It’s an honest, raw, and transparent way of giving them perspective on why you’re doing what you’re doing. It will also inspire them to support, align and achieve team goals set forth.
3. Listening to your community to guide future messaging.
Marketing plans are great. They give you a “north star” on where you’re going. Can I also be honest about them? They are incredibly tone-deaf to what your audience craves and really wants. It’s a one-side plan that leaves out the most essential ingredient to overall success: your customers.
This doesn’t mean eliminate all marketing strategies. It means leave room for active listening and flexibility to pivot. When you put out your content and people engage with it, they tell you exactly want they need and want if you’re listening. Allow your community to guide the strategy instead of forcing the plans upon them. Monitor messages and comments not just to reply but to seek additional ways you can serve them.
4. Neglecting to let go of messaging that no longer serves you.
Humans evolve. It’s a fact of life. For brands, they evolve as well because humans create them. Many times, business owners outgrow certain things in their business but force themselves to stay in it because it’s the “original idea.”
Embrace your evolution—all of it.
As you grow, so will your business. Allow your business to release the things that no longer serves its mission as you do the same. Holding on to stagnant messaging will flatten or flatline its impact.
5. Comparing yourself to competitors or people on social media.
There is a very fine line between inspiration and comparison. With social media, it can be an easy slippery slope of looking at others for inspiration to secretly wanting to imitate what they’re doing to replicate the perceived success they’re having. (Don’t miss the fact that it is perception.)
It’s okay to check out what others are doing, but your assignment, lane, and brand is meant just for you. Be okay with being different when others go with the trend.
Brand messaging doesn’t have to be stiff, highly structured, or “fluffy.” Creating your brand messaging is an active, evolving experience. Be willing to be authentic, transparent, and flow with the growth of your brand. Make it fun!!
About our Guest Contributor
Altimese Nichole is a best-selling author, speaker, brand strategist, and publicist with a heart to help her clients win as the Founder of The Ezer Agency. She attained her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications, Broadcast Journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed her Master of Management degree from the University of Phoenix. She has over 12 years of experience with public relations and marketing with companies small and large, including CNN, Cartoon Network, Black Bride Magazine, Church’s Chicken, Sutter Home Wines, and more.
The Ezer agency is a Black woman-owned and led boutique Social Media and PR Agency with a diverse team spanning five continents. We’re marketing professionals with heart and storytelling in our veins, crafting authentic omnichannel brand stories that create impact beyond applause.
She leads a global team of women warriors through The Ezer Agency, with core values rooted in excellence and sisterhood.