It’s hard to be consistent, especially in these times. It’s been almost a year since COVID forced us to change our ways of life. For some, it has been longer. Here in Canada, we went into our first lockdown in mid-March. A lot of businesses had to close down and a lot of people lost their jobs. One of the good things that came about with this is that a lot of companies that were against it before are now realizing that working from home is doable. And while it’s not for everyone or every industry, those of us who have been able to transition to the WFH model have also had issues.
Honestly, online service providers have had it the easiest. You have to admit it. Especially those of us who worked from home before the lockdowns and will continue to do so after it’s cleared up. But even for us, it’s not that easy. After all, how do you manage your brand and keep it alive during world-events like the pandemic, without sounding dismissive?
KEEP YOUR BRAND CONSISTENT
Firstly, make sure your message is the same on all channels and platforms. Don’t go on one place and complain about how you’ve lost clients and on another talking about how many new clients you have coming in. Social proof is better than SEO or ads, and if your people are looking for you, they will catch those differences.
Here’s a quick checklist on how to keep your brand consistent…
Use the same language on all platforms
Send the same message (but not the same words)
Keep your tone and personality consistent
Stand by your brand values, mission, and vision
Talk about the real you, not the dream version
Use specific brand keywords regularly
Create branded templates (both content and graphics)
Even so, these are not always enough to keep your brand alive.
KEEP YOUR BRAND CONCISE
You want to make your brand concise and cohesive on all platforms, not just in how it looks but how it sounds and converts your audience into clients. With so many people working from home, converting to being online service providers, and starting their own businesses or side-gigs, it can be hard to stand out. There’s a lot of information bombarding us from all directions.
For example, I am a brand creator and I’ve done branding work for a while now… and I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or a direct correlation, but I am seeing a lot more brand-related services now than I did a year ago. I have to admit, while it’s nice to see that people are understanding the value behind having a brand, I know I am lost in the sea of strategists, designers, and creators. So, here’s my tip for all of you online-service providers. Be concise.
We don’t have the time to look at all fifty of your posts a day to get to the point you want to make. Let’s stop beating around the bush and make your message. Time may be a human construct, but it is a major commodity and we only have so much of it. If your latest masterclass is an hour long, consider who wants to spend their time on that, instead of something else.
Hint. Learn what that something else is, so you know how to make yours sound like the better offer.
When you are talking about your services and products, get to the point and be consistent. Make sure you have a clear brand vision and can translate that properly into all of your content, so your audience knows what your final goal is. In addition, join platforms and create content that aligns with your audience. That one hour masterclass, there are people who will spend the time on it – find them and tell them why they should take yours and not someone else’s.
HOW BEING CONSISTENT HELPS YOUR BRAND
On top of making your brand your own, being consistent has a lot of benefits for your brand. It can help others remember who you are and what you offer, but more importantly… it creates standards. Being consistent will help you set internal standards for how you do your work and no, I am not referring to client work only. As an entrepreneur, you know that most of your time gets taken away working on your business, not in it. This means all of your social media posts, blog articles, videos, reels, ads, invoices, expenses, etc. Set a standard for how all of your internal work will go.
It does, however, look like it makes the biggest impact on external consistency. You will be setting standards for how your audience sees you and how you will work with this. It will also make your audience have a certain set of expectations of you that you should probably meet. But, more important than all of those… it makes you stand out. If you are constantly writing content all over the place for everyone, people won’t remember you. Set your standards to differentiate yourself from the competition so you won’t be doing everything the same as anyone else.
Lastly, I want you to consider how being consistent aligns with your brand statements. No matter how you created your brand, you have a set of promises you’ve made to your audience. Make sure to meet them and make sure that they align not only with the rest of your brand, but also with your services. For example, if you are not consistent in creating valuable content, how can your audience trust you to be consistent with their projects if they hire you?
Now… linking all of this back to the pandemic and being locked down. How do you do all of these things without seeming dismissive of a world-event and issues that affect everyone? And this isn’t only for COVID. I am talking about Black Lives Matter, Mental Health Day, Women’s Rights, and so many other major movements. Honestly, there is no trick. I wish there was, but there isn’t. There is, however, a balance and I want you to consider where you want to position yourself and your brand.
Continue your content creation as if nothing has changed
Mention the events and changes as they relate to your brand
Talk about the issue at hand passionately until it is over
Talk about every single issue, all the time, every day
Yes, I have seen all four of those. Personally, I am leaning towards the second option and that is the one I would recommend for you so you can keep your brand consistent. Otherwise, you are changing your brand for every major event! Even if the event affects you personally, has changed your business, or is important to you, your brand has a vision of its own.
Unless that vision is related to the issue at hand, there is no need to bring it up more than a mention as to how it relates to you (not to your brand). Make your brand more human by showing how you’re affected, but don’t change everything about your brand because of it. That is not keeping your brand consistent.