I've been working on a new brochure for my business, Eloquence Communication. The process is shockingly lengthy, with a zillion tiny decisions. What size brochure do I want? Where do I want to place client testimonials? Is it obvious enough, early enough in the brochure experience exactly what service we provide?
Oh, so many little details. And this follows a zillion more details I already attended in the process of doing the re-brand we are implementing (more on that in another post, when I have enough distance from the process that I can talk about it with some enthusiasm).
The brochure was virtually done and I was showing it to some friends to get feedback on the layout. Looking at the client testimonials page which I had titled “Praise”, my friend, Cynthia, said, “I would use a different word besides ‘Praise' on this page. The way it is now, I can't tell if this is a service you provide or what.”
Totally useful feedback. Obviously, further reading would indicate that this is the place in the brochure where we share “testimonials”. But no one wants to work that hard to find out what you are trying to say to them in your business brochure. And the thing is, I had already decided against “testimonials” (too dry) and “buzz” (too cliche, too marketing-speak) and I was out of ideas for what to title this section.
I kept trying to decide it wasn't that big of a deal, but the fact is, it does matter. What you say brands you and your business. And while “branding” is the epitome of marketing-speak now, it is a serious fact-of-the-matter that you are branding all the while you are doing anything.
When you are marketing a small business that you own, you are your walking, talking branding machine. The words you choose, the way you listen, the questions you ask – they tell the world what you value, what the experience of working with you will be like. So the words in my brochure, which I plan to distribute far and wide (strategically targeted, of course) should be an indication of the experience of working with my business.
This requires me to be very clear about the experience of working with my business; which I am because this is a huge part of what we do at Eloquence Communication. We help you get very clear who you are in your business so that you can bring Authentic Eloquence to your work. I reminded myself that Eloquence Communication is about authenticity and beauty in language. We believe in finding the most natural word that clearly makes whatever point is sought, while investing a bit of time exploring nuances in language that might be even clearer and more interesting. It is first about authenticity and clarity, but a close second about creativity and innovation in language.
Finally, I decided to label that section “Praise for the Eloquence Experience” (with help from my wordsmith husband) because it was on-brand – and I liked it. It feels right. It sounds good to me. It is clear and useful. And did I say, I liked it?
That's the other thing – be sure you really like the brand you create. Only way to do that is to create it with intention. And get it that every little thing you say and do contributes to your personal brand. For small business owners, your personal brand is often your business brand.