What is branding?Branding and business go hand in hand. But what is branding really?

I had the privilege of attending the Brandness workshop last weekend, which was organized and hosted by the awesome hey, sweet pea web design team and the amazing husband and wife wedding photography team Lukas & Suzy VanDyke.

Elise and Scott from hey, sweet pea made it clear: branding is not just something big companies like Coca Cola or Nike do. Every business, whether you’re a creative professional, a freelancer or the owner of a brick-and-mortar biz, needs to spend time on branding. In other words, show your biz some love.



  • A powerful brand attracts your dream clients & customers.
  • A brand that’s authentic and stands for your purpose, speaks the truth. And the truth creates trust.
  • Without a genuine and fresh brand, your biz lacks meaning. It might look pretty on the outside, but the inside is empty.

Here’s the good thing: You don’t need a marketing degree to be your own brand ambassador. As long as you’re crystal clear about what your biz is all about, you can dive into the joy of DIY branding.

Here are a few key lessons from the Brandness workshop to kick-start your awesome brand:

A brand is more than your logo.

Elise and Scott couldn’t stress this more. Your brand is a living thing, and it is defined by what others know and feel about it.

Start here: Think about what you want people to know about your biz. And think about how you want them to feel when interacting with your service or product.

Be crystal clear about your biz.

The hey, sweet pea team stressed the importance of defining the core of your business. It will help you uncover your brand personality and your VOICE.

Start here: Spend some time to define your who, your what, and your why.

Who are you? What are your principles? What values do you stand for?

What are your strengths and your weaknesses? Be very honest with yourself and write down a list. Once you’re clear about these, you can capitalize on your strengths and either steer away from your weaknesses or spend some time to strengthen them.

Get clear about your why. Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, talks about this a lot. What’s your purpose, your mission? Elise and Scott suggest to define your why by looking at what makes you excited (what fills you) versus what drains you. Then find ways to remove the things from your biz that drain you (outsourcing, hello!!).

Be a master of one.

Yes, that’s important. Become an expert at that one thing that you’re so great at. Don’t be afraid to carve out your niche and define your brand focus.

Tweet this if you agree (easy peasy, just click on the link): Being specialized and innovative always, always trumps being everything to everyone.

Discover and nurture your tribe.

Remember, a brand is defined by what others know and feel about it. In short, it’s your audience that’s spreading the word for you. Make sure you surround yourself with the right people, those that “get” your brand and spread the love.

Start here: Write down who your brand allies are. It can be family, friends, clients…anyone you can think of as long as you can count on them for support. Ask yourself: Who is speaking up about my business? Then go out and show your tribe some love. (Tip: Saying “thank you” more often is a good start.)

Having said that, THANK YOU for reading this! I’m so glad you’re here. Let me know if these tips were helpful or if you have any questions about turning your business into a brand.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

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