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57: Building a Business Blueprint

This week I’m gonna peel back the layers and give you a little bit of a taste of the secret sauce that we use at Worx and Co. If you’re not familiar with my parent company. Worx and Co. Is a global branding studio that focuses on building purpose built brands, and what we’re gonna briefly walk through today is an exercise that we do with all of our clients, something that we call a Brandstudy. Now this is a pretty in depth process. Sometimes 1/2 day to full day exercise that we do with our entrepreneurs are business owners and their team. But today we’re just going to kind of walk through the high notes because I want you to grasp on to how you can build a business blueprint using your brand.

Now, if you get through this exercise and realize that you need some help or maybe you’re just hungry, for more head over to lauraaura.com. That’s W O R X and dot Co. To set up your complimentary discovery call. We’d love to help you out. Set up a time where we can chat with you and dig into the depths of your business brand with you.


BUILDING A BUSINESS IS LIKE BUILDING A HOUSE.

Until then, though, here’s a couple of things that I want you to start focusing on. So the very first thing is I want you to get in the mindset that building your business is very, very much like building a house. At Worx we use this homebuilding analogy a lot because it really helps our business owners see the path, really understand how building a business and building a brand all really relies on the step prior to that. So if we’re thinking about building a house to be able to put on the roof, you have to first have walls and framing, and to put up walls and framing, you have to have a foundation.

But before you could even poor foundation or know where those walls are gonna be or how big they’re going to be, the very, very first thing that you have to have in place is a blueprint. Look, without a blueprint, you’re just kind of winging it. You don’t know what size you’re gonna end up with, how it’s going to function, all the ins and outs of it. I mean, blueprints can get very, very detailed and rightfully so. If you’re talking about putting families inside of a building, we need to know that the structure is there, the planning is there, and the functionality is there.

Same deal with your business to be able to put the roof on your business or in this case, sell your products, we have to first started the ground building. Your brand takes time and planning and structure, just like your home does and what we’re gonna walk through today, well, it’s not only gonna help you get really clear on your business brand, but it’s gonna help you identify who your core clients are so that you can start actually making some freakin money. Okay?

The key areas that we’re gonna focus on today are who you are, what you do and how it makes a difference. Look, I’m going to take a scientific wild ass guess otherwise known as a SWAG and guess that you probably started your business just winging things like you were really good at your one thing. The thing that you do very best. And then you realize when you go into business there are so many other hats that you have to wear, right? You’re you become the plumber, you become the janitor, you become the bookkeeper. You become everything that you never thought that you would have to do, all of a sudden is your responsibility.

What I have found often happens is we put on all of those hats. But then it’s really hard for you to take those hats off and hand it off to other people. And then you start grabbing straws and then you start getting really exhausted and overworked, and then your bank account is not reflecting your efforts. And then you really just start questioning why you went into business in the first place.

This exercise is fully intended on you stripping back all the layers and really just getting back to your WHY. And I think that’s oftentimes one of the biggest reasons that entrepreneurs and business owners get really just kind of spent, is you’re tired. You are doing so much and you have gotten so far away from why you started this business in the first place, that you don’t even have a connection with it anymore. You’re just in survival mode. You’re trying to make things happen. You’re just busting and grinding every single day. And at the end of the day, you lay in bed and think, What the hell am I doing?

So this exercise is really built for you, You the business owner, you the person in charge, you the one with the big hopes and the big dreams. Because if you’re tired and exhausted and questioning everything that you’re doing, it’s simply because you have been pulled away from your why and we need to get back to the center of why you came here in the first place.


IDENTIFY YOUR AREA OF AWESOME

So the very first part of building a Brandstudy is identifying your area of awesome. In other words, what the hell do you do? What are your services? What are you providing to people in this world? And you may say Laura, that’s super simple. I do X, y and Z okay, you know what you do from a surface level, but what I want you to do is really start digging down into the layers like really identifying what you are offering. What typically happens is you come here to do one thing, and then all of a sudden you add on this other thing and add on this other thing and the Internet is saying this is the new craze. So you should add that in, and then you end up with a diluted version of your core business.

For instance, if you own a clothing boutique and you have added on earrings, that’s a complimentary service. That’s something that’s gonna go along with your core service and what your business does and what it’s known for. But if you’ve started selling knick knacks or curtains or beer cozies, I mean, these are these are services that are going to start to confuse your client. They’re not gonna necessarily know what you’re amazing at and what they know that they can gain from doing business with you.

In this part of the exercise, I want you to make a list of every single service that you offer. If you are product based, I want you to make a list of every single product that you offer. Now, if you’re thinking Oh, my gosh, Laura, I have 300 skews. OK? Well, er earch! Breaks right? There is a problem to begin with. What we want to focus on here is eliminating all of the distractions. All these extra things are energy suckers. You’re investing time and money and efforts into marketing and promoting and pushing all of these different things. But what is happening is you’re ending up with a watered down version of everything. You’re not feeling like or/and your books are not showing that you’re nailing anything. And I know you might be like, Oh, Laura, but but my customers really love those special coasters that I sell. Okay, If that’s not part of your core business, it’s gotta go. If it’s just kind of ho humming along with you, it’s gotta go.

Look at your top revenue makers. What are the products and services that are selling the best? What are the products and services is that get you and your team lit up the most. And then, just as importantly, what are the products and services that make you want to rip out your eyes? If you don’t love it and you don’t love doing it or selling it? Guess what? You’re not putting a whole lot of effort into pushing it through your store or through your online business.

We just did this at Worx and Co, actually, not very long ago, because for a very long time we’ve promoted ourselves as a branding and marketing studio. Well, guess what? We found that marketing is an entire tear that could take an entire team that we don’t specialize in. Yes, marketing kind of naturally folds into what we do as a branding studio, but where our one area of awesome is bringing their shit out of businesses and helping them to make money. So we nixed it like literally everything that had to do with marketing like ad placement and, um, online media and all this stuff like, NOPE. That’s not where we’re focusing. We’re focusing on building the foundation, which is the brand, because without solid branding, it’s really hard to market efficiently.

I want you to be willing to be great at that ONE thing. Let your clients learn who you are and what you do and then be insanely amazing at it. I want you to get super clear on your services so that 1. You and your team could spout it off in an instant in any situation and 2. so that you know how it makes a difference to your target audience, which is the next piece that we were going to head into.


IDENTIFY YOUR CORE CUSTOMER

I first start by asking, Do you know who your core client is? Like who are your best clients? I’m going to guess that you’re going to say what the majority of the business population says and it’s, well, EVERYONE! We really have something for everyone. Well, I’m gonna throw back at you and say, well, how’s that working out for you?

This is such a common challenge in business, and I’m here to help try to shift your mindset a little bit because I went through the same struggle. You feel like if you exclude someone that you’re limiting your potential. So you know there’s a version of your products and service is that essentially maybe anyone on the planet could use. And if you say, you know, you only work with men or you only work with women or you only work in the dental industry or whatever your niche may or may not may not be that all of those other people that maybe spending dollars with you now just don’t exist. You’re excluding them, you’re gonna hurt your business and ultimately it’s gonna end up with the closed doors. I mean, that’s literally kind of like the downward spiral rabbit hole that happens in people’s minds.

The truth is, by narrowing down your core client, you actually get more qualified clients that invest more with you and are more apt to come back and re invest with you. Paul Rand, a famous designer, said “less is more”, and that absolutely applies here. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. You get to do what you are amazing at… your one thing, and then you get to do it for clients that not only love and appreciate it but are willing to invest in it. Getting hyper focused on your core client also means less run around unless throwing 20 bucks in the wind on a random Facebook post or taking an ad out in the such and such magazine hoping for the best.

When you know exactly who your core customer is, you get to be in front of them more often with better messages. You know, if you know that your target audience are 25 to 35 year olds, you at this point are gonna know that taking out an ad in the newspaper is gonna be like lighting $100 bill on fire. And in the same respect, if you’re targeting 65 to 85 year olds running a paid ad on Instagram is just as bad. There’s a model that we follow, and this is a book I highly recommend. It’s written by Donald Miller called Building a Story Brand, and this is how Worx has built a foundation on speaking to the right target audience with the right message.

Basically, in a nutshell, he breaks it down that you are the guide and your client is the hero, and everything that you do and say should follow this model. It’s such a common mistake, and it’s an honest mistake, too, so if you’re doing this and you and you go do what I’m about to tell you to do and you’re like shit… it’s okay. Like almost every single person does this. But what I want you to do is I want you to comb through your marketing materials. And if you say WE or I more than you say YOU, this is a great place to start transitioning your content into your hero’s story.

Your customer wants to know that you get them. They want to feel seen. They want to feel heard. They want to know that you understand their problem and that you are going to swoop in and fix it for them. And that’s the key part of this part of the exercise is to identify who your hero is. You should always be looking at your clients as the hero, putting them in the forefront, noting what their problem is and how you solve that problem. And then you get to build all of your content around that exact framework. I mean, it’s so simple. Like when I was reading through this book, I’m like, this is almost so stupid simple that I feel ridiculous that I haven’t been doing this.

Let’s use an example. Let’s say that you own a cleaning company and you have identified your hero as a very busy working female. She’s super focused on her career, has a family, has a home, really appreciates that her home is clean, and tended to, but just literally doesn’t have time. Her biggest problem is she doesn’t have time. Instead of putting out an ad that says we clean your home for $79.99 a week, you might start out by saying, We know that you’re busy. We know that you appreciate your home in order when you come home after a really busy week. That’s why our team is going to swoop in, take care of everything, and by the time you get home, it’s one less thing you have to worry about.

Now that’s kind of a long example, but I think that you may get the point from that. It’s really like digging into knowing your clients so well that if you had a direct conversation with them, what would you say to them? This is probably one of the most powerful things that you could ever do, so if you never listen to another word that I ever tell you, I want you to really hone in on this. People are more willing to invest in things and people that understand them and can fix their problems.


EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT BRANDING + MARKETING

In the last bit of this kind of micro version of the brand study exercise that I want to encourage you to do, is to evaluate all of your current branding and marketing materials. That includes everything in print and everything online. Consider anything that has your name on it. So from pens to your website, social media platforms, your business cards, your email signature to your flyers, your brochures, your outdoor advertising, basically anything that has written or spoken word about you and your business, I want you to pull it out, literally grab it all, take screenshots, print all that shit out.

What you’ll find, and again this is completely normal. We see this all the time. Honestly, one of the top things people say to us they’re like, Oh, I’m really embarrassed, like I don’t want to show you all this because you know, like you guys are the branding experts and now I feel really bad. It’s like No. Look, if it were perfect, we wouldn’t even have this opportunity to talk. And second of all, all of those marketing materials that you just pulled out has gotten you to where you are today. It has served a valuable purpose in time, and you’ve learned so much since a lot of that stuff has been created. So don’t be embarrassed. I want you to pull that shit out with pride because you have used those things to get you to where you are now.

One of the very first things that we look at is consistency. When I say that I’m talking about, we’re looking at colors we’re looking at fonts were looking at tone in your content. We’re looking at imagery. Just like the overall aesthetics. Is everything consistent? And if not, where do we need to start chipping away? What is our foundation? Sometimes people have a really solid logo base, but everything around it needs to evolve. And sometimes it’s a complete rebrand like there’s really not a one size fits all.

The second thing that I want you to ask yourself is, does it reflect who I am now, and more importantly, does it reflect where my business is growing? A lot of times we’ll see businesses that have outdated materials or we don’t have that service anymore. Or we’ve added this whole department over here and you know, it just everything just kind of seems to get diluted and out of hand, and we just really haven’t had the time to sit down and focus on it. It’s okay, again, all of this is okay. But you’re here and you’re listening right now because you’re ready to take your business to another level.

And honestly, that question goes hand in hand with this next one and that is, am I proud to display it? So when you have to hand out your business card or somebody asked for your website address, there are typically two reactions. It’s either, Yep, here it is. Or that internal feeling comes up and you’re like ughhhhh, please don’t look at it! It’s really embarrassing! I don’t like it. It doesn’t reflect who I am, like, I just don’t really want to give it to you or you just pretend like it doesn’t exist.

If you who are not comfortable marketing your business and like wearing it like a badge of honor, then how is anyone else supposed to believe in what you’re doing? How is anyone supposed to get excited about what you’re offering to them? After looking at everything, you can really start to break down like OK, what do we need? What is missing? And what just simply needs evolved? Sometimes you have all the right pieces. So let’s say your social media, a website and a brochure and your business cards. Maybe you have those pieces and you still need those. But maybe they just need to be evolved. Or on the flip side, if you’re going to meetings or going to meet people or are trying to present something and every single time you’re like, Oh gosh, I wish I really just had…

I want your branding materials to be so at hand and so smooth for you that it almost feels completely effortless. These things really should be tools that back you up, not hold you down. Now there’s so much more that we could get into with this because, like I said, it is a really in depth process, and it’s it’s so liberating and so exciting, and it just really paints the picture for the future. But even just the simple things that we went over through today, with all of those things in place and really investing your time and energy into them, you’re gonna have a really strong blueprint that allows you to build your sturdy foundation for your business.

Like if you simply just went through the three key steps that I just talked about. It’s going to help you with a whole, whole bunch of stuff, including investing in marketing more efficiently. You’re gonna be in front of the right people at the right time, in the right markets. You’re gonna get hyper focus on what it is that you do! And then you’re gonna be amazing at that one thing like you’re literally going to feel 10,000 mental pounds lighter. You’re gonna know your client inside and out so that your content, your images and all of your messages speak directly to them. And most importantly, you’re going to start seeing return on your efforts. We’re talking money in the bank peaceful nights and excitement again for your future.


READY TO INCREASE YOUR CREDIBILITY, ATTRACT THE RIGHT CLIENT, AND START MAKING MONEY?

If you’re ready to increase your credibility, get in front of the right clients and start making money, I want you to head over to lauraaura.com to schedule your complimentary discovery call. In this discovery call, it’s 15 or 20 minute conversation, zero strings attached. Just tell us what’s going on. We can suggest if this is the right first step for you. And if not, we’re going to get you on to your next success.

Your business requires the same time love and attention as it does building the home that you are sitting in right now. You know that the walls are sturdy, the roof keeps you dry and the foundation keeps you safe. And you know what? You can have all of that same love and security within your business.

Thank You, Gutsy Tribe!

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