Lisa Robbin Young

Build an Authentic Brand That Resonates with Your Audience

My husband and I were talking about the movie Grease the other day. While I was conjuring up lyrics from "You're The One That I Want", Jim piped up and said, "The moral of that story is that you've got to change yourself if you want a man."

I was not seeing it. I mean, he's right that you shouldn't have to change yourself in order to be with someone you care about, but was that really what was going on with Sandy? Or was she finally letting herself be more of the person she wanted to be?

Throughout the movie, Sandy was this buttoned up bobby sockser - watching everyone around her living their lives out loud, while clutching her pearls and saying "I couldn't possibly!" at everything going on. Rizzo and the other Pink Ladies tried to get her "Sandra Dee" to loosen up, but she was too scared and possibly ashamed to do anything about it. Until that drag race showed her what she was missing out on by staying buttoned up.

Buttoned-up or Badass?

Let me be clear: there's nothing wrong with being a "Sandra Dee" type - if that's who you really want to be. But you could tell, at the dance, that there was more to Sandy than the buttoned-up persona she had been sharing with the world. She liked being in the spotlight and was miffed when Cha-Cha pulled Danny away from her and won the competition.

Once she got over herself, her next evolution was a more confident, fun-loving person. Yes, she stepped awkwardly at first, but it was someone she WANTED to be. Not something she HAD to do. Sandy chose a path that worked for her and finally let the rest of the world see more of who she really was.

If you ever feel like your brand isn't doing a good job of telling the world who you are - or that you're being ignored by your ideal clients and customers, you might still be trying to show the world your "Sandra Dee" self, when you've actually evolved into a stronger, more charismatic leader. It's time to step out and shine!

How Brand Resonance Works

Your brand is more than just a logo or a tagline. Your brand is the total experience that your customers have with your business, from the way you communicate to the quality of your products or services. It's the emotional connection that you build with your audience, and it's what sets you apart from your competitors.

So, if you're talking one way when you show up in person and your visual brand or marketing copy doesn't match, there's a disconnect that your right audience won't take the time to figure out. They'll just shrug their shoulders and move on. A confused mind says "no" - or at least, that's what I was taught decades ago when I started my online marketing journey. If your brand isn't feeling like you anymore (or maybe it never really did), then it's time for a tune up!

How do you go about building a brand that truly reflects your personality, voice, and style, and connects with your ideal clients and customers?

Clients hire me when things get out of alignment. The first place I look is their business model. You've heard me talk before about the Creative Freedom Business Model Equation: (You + Why + Who) + What + How. Every business needs a model that works, which is why I love this Equation so much. It's flexible and adaptable to any situation.

But how do you put this into practice?

Dolly Does Branding

Take a cue from Dolly Parton, another famous blonde from musical history. She's a true master of her brand and an undisputed celebrity in her niche. Dolly has built a brand and a business empire that reflects her personality, voice, and style, and has connected deeply with her fans for decades. Her music, fashion, philanthropy, and overall persona have all contributed to her success and enduring popularity. Dolly's unique style and personality have made her a beloved icon for decades. But beyond her music and fashion, what makes her so successful?

Using the Creative Freedom Business Model Equation, let's analyze Dolly's business model!

Know Yourself

The Equation begins with the importance of knowing yourself in order to connect with your ideal customers.

Dolly knows herself. She has a strong sense of self. She embraces her roots and values, and incorporates them into everything she does. She has never been afraid to embrace her unique style and persona. From her flamboyant stage outfits to her signature blonde hair and southern drawl, Dolly has created a persona that is instantly recognizable and beloved by her fans.

Understand Why You Do What You Do

Dolly's "why" is to spread joy and uplift others, which she does through her music, books, and philanthropic work. She's no Pollyanna. She's not afraid to talk about painful things, but she's also quick to look to the sunny side. Dolly has a deep connection and commitment to her audience. She's been open and honest with her fans, sharing personal stories and experiences that resonate with people on a deeply emotional level. Dolly makes it clear that she cares deeply about her fans and wants to make a positive impact on the world.

Your brand should be a reflection of who you are as a person and what you stand for. Don't try to be something you're not just because you think it will be more marketable or popular. Authenticity is key, and your audience will be able to sense if you're not being genuine.

You need to know what you stand for. Take some time to define your brand values – the principles and beliefs that guide everything you do. Then, SHARE them with your audience! These values are the foundation of your brand and can help you stay true to your authentic self.

Who Needs You Most?

To create a brand that resonates with your ideal clients and customers, you need to know who they are. What are their needs, desires, and pain points? What do they value? What motivates them? What kind of language and tone do they respond to? Once you have a clear understanding of your audience, you can tailor your brand messaging and marketing materials to speak directly to them.

Dolly understands that her fans value her sincerity, so she speaks from the heart - and isn't afraid to share hardship and poke fun at herself! She also knows how to adapt and stay relevant without compromising her values, such as when she collaborated with EDM artist Galantis on a remix of her hit song "Faith."

Your brand should tell a story – the story of who you are, what you stand for, and how you can help your audience. Use your brand messaging and marketing materials to share your personal journey and connect with your audience on an emotional level.

What Are You Selling? How do you deliver it?

This isn't just about your product, but the deeper benefits your audience gets from experiencing your work. Dolly is a singer and songwriter, so she's selling stories - in musical or written form. But what Dolly actually sells (the deeper benefit) is joy, connection, belonging, and hope. Whether it's music, Dollywood, OR any of the other "offers" that Dolly has for sale, the ultimate goal is the same - to put a smile in your heart and make the world a better place.

Dolly knows how to deliver her message to her audience. Her infectious personality and magnetic charisma make her a natural performer, and her business savvy has helped her build an empire that includes Dollywood theme park and her own record label, and numerous projects for film and television. Dolly has created a brand that has wide reach. And while she delivers it to you in a variety of ways, the "what" that Dolly delivers is the same every time.

Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through in your brand. Embrace your quirks and unique traits – they're what make you stand out from the crowd. Whether it's a love of 80's musicals, country music, a passion for hiking, or a quirky sense of humor, incorporating your personal interests and hobbies into your brand can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Consistency is key when it comes to building a strong, authentic brand. Your messaging, visuals, and overall tone should be consistent across all your marketing channels, from your website to your social media accounts. Use the same color scheme, fonts, and tone of voice to create a cohesive brand identity that's instantly recognizable. Make sure they reflect the current you - not who you were 10 years ago! If it's time for an upgrade or update, talk to a brand design professional who can help your materials better reflect your awesomeness.

Building a successful business isn't just about branding - it's about having a solid business model that supports your unique strengths and skills. That's why we invite you to join us at our Cashflow Creator Workshop, where we'll dive deeper into the Creative Freedom Business Model Equation and help you create a business model that works for how you're wired to work. Register now to secure your spot and take the next step towards building a business that aligns with your values and goals!

Remember, building a brand takes time and effort. But with the right Equation - and a little inspiration from Sandy and Dolly - you can create a brand that has your fans singing "You're the one that I want!"

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