4 Shocking Mistakes Killing Your Brand



If you’re still striving to create a badass brand, there’s undoubtedly something holding you back.

I’m willing to bet it’s some BS assumption based on what others have told you, or what you’ve read on the Internet. And it's definitely tying your hands behind your back as you work toward your goals.

Are you ready to let all of these misconceptions go?

MISTAKE #1 - Thinking everyone is doing better than you.

F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out) is a real thing. It often manifests when you see someone’s pictures on Facebook, and imagine they’re having a great life. For business, it’s kind of similar. 

It may seem like your fellow small business owners are all killing it, but remember that social media posts are only a small, highly-edited version of the truth. Social media allows everyone to brag while hiding what’s really going on.

THE TRUTH - If it’s hard for you, it’s hard for them, too.

Nobody is going to post a selfie on Instagram if they’re having a bad day. Building your own business takes serious chops, so you are definitely not the only one struggling to get your business off the ground. YOU can do this if you get your head in the game and persevere.

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Reroute your energy where it's needed most!

Don’t compare yourself to people who have been at it longer than you, it's a complete waste of time that is actually hurting your business. 

Instead, focus on building your knowledge and value. Trust that the more committed you are to building something that you can be proud of, the more real (and not just instagram-worthy) success you will experience. Ignore what you see online, 95% of success posts are aspirational. 

MISTAKE #2 - Thinking your brand is all about what you do.

The biggest mistake people make when building their brand is confusing their BRAND and what they ACTUALLY DO. They think everything they know is important, and they try to include all of it.

THE TRUTH - Your brand is only an outward expression of what you do.

Your brand is the ONE THING people remember. It should be specific and clear, evoking particular feelings when someone thinks or speaks about your company.

And that one thing is usually pretty different from what you actually do. The details of what you do—your expertise, your full process—influence your brand. But your brand should simplify it into one clean package, minus the fat.

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Let go of trying to explain details- we don't care.

Focus on finding the main one or two points that really pop, and only talk about that. It will resonate better and leave listeners curious and wanting more. It will also position you as an expert. When business owners overwhelm you with details the underlying feeling is desperation and overcompensation, whether the customer realizes or not. (This will help)

MISTAKE #3 - Thinking that if you want a successful brand, you should copy Apple, Nike, & Starbucks

Ask yourself...

  • Are you spending millions of dollars on advertising each year?

  • Is one of your challenges to make sure your stores all look the same?

  • Are you competing with Fortune 100 companies for market share?

THE TRUTH - It’s like comparing Apple... and oranges

No. Just no. Your goals are completely different from these companies, and the way you are going to operate your business and deliver your service is also totally different. So why would the strategy to launch be the same? It wouldn’t, and it’s not.

If you want to learn something from the big guys, read about how they got started—not what they are doing now. You’ll find they all have a badass brand story in their beginning.

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Read books by business owners who started out a lot like you.

Take a hint from other small business owners selling services. Learn from successful peers. Hang out with business owners who are slightly ahead of you, and take note of what they do. Those lessons will take you way farther than anything you observe Nike doing.

MISTAKE #4 - Believing Badass Brands are created.

Being badass is not about creating a brand outside of yourself.

THE TRUTH - Badass Brands are discovered.

This process is about identifying what already exists in you and what you do that is badass, and then making your entire business about that. You’re not changing, you’re evolving. If you create an identity for your brand that doesn’t feel true to you, you will fail miserably. 

You can’t build a successful brand if you’re always listening to what others say. Sure, be open-minded and accept constructive criticism. But if you accept everything people say as fact, what are you going to do when somebody tells you that you’re going to fail? You’re going to prove them wrong.

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Dig deep, the answer is within.

Sometimes your most badass opportunity might not look like one. I've always wanted to brand a business owner by embracing a typically "bad" quality, like a super anal-retentive accountant or something. Reminds me of the classic Seinfeld episode about the Soup Nazi- NO SOUP FOR YOU! Based on a true story about a phenomenal soup maker in NYC whose owner was kind of an a-hole, it actually added to the mystique of the product. BADASS!