Episode #258: Cohesive and Consistent
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You are listening to episode number 258 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today we’re talking about building a strong brand through consistency and cohesiveness. On to the episode.
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Hey, welcome to Episode 258 of the Boss Girl Creative Podcast. I am your host, Taylor Bradford. It is Episode 258. We’re going to be talking about building a brand, building a business, and being consistent, and being cohesive in that process. So if you want to be taken seriously in your business, you got to be consistent. If you can’t be consistent, you can’t be anything. It’s pretty powerful. If you can’t be consistent, you can’t be anything. Long term consistency trumps short term intensity. Long term consistency trumps short term intensity. The Rock Johnson, this is my husband’s most favorite actor, he said, “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” And what’s really great about consistency is people will actually notice. And that’s powerful because not many people can stay consistent. And I know that there are times when I struggle with consistency. I’ll get so gung-ho on something, I’ll launch something new, and I’ll get going, and I’ll do it, and then I’ll just fall off the wagon, or it just I don’t get the response that I’m looking for and so then I just stop altogether. But the more consistent you become in your business, people notice because not many people actually stay consistent. Not many people put out 258 podcast episodes every week for 258 weeks. Stay consistent. People will notice. So there are three ways to stay consistent in three areas of focus.
The first one is being consistent in your body of work. Making sure the products and services that you offer are consistent with your brand with your messaging. Every bit of the things that you put out, all of those things have to be consistent. The second is your messaging, your marketing. So it’s not going to do a lick of good if you have great consistent products and services that make sense for your brand, if you’re not consistent in your marketing messages. That’s your email. That’s your newsletter. That’s your social media. It all has to stay consistent. It all has to stay relevant. It all has to work together and be cohesive. And the third is being consistent in your real-life presentation. That’s your business cards. That’s your networking. That’s your relationships with your vendor partners, staying consistent with that. Anytime that I’m out networking for Sugar Creek, I try to dress like Sugar Creek. I try to keep my branding as part of how I look to my network, to the people that I’m constantly networking with. So I constantly get these comments said to me, “oh my gosh, you always look so cute. You always look on-brand.” Because that’s important to my brand for me to be consistent with how I look when I show up to network. What do my business cards say about my brand? Does it speak to the offerings that I have? So being consistent with your products, with your services, with how you market your products and your services, through your email, through your newsletter, through your social media. What does your Instagram feed look like? And then also your real-life presentation and being consistent with that.
Those are the three things that will help you stay consistent with your business, with your branding. It keeps you legitimate in people’s eyes, and people will take you seriously, the more consistent you are with all of those things. Consistency helps to keep disconnects or confusion about who you are, what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for at bay. And that’s important.
So I want to talk about cohesiveness now, because being consistent is one thing, but if your brand isn’t cohesive with everything you’re putting out, then it’s not going to make a hill of beans difference of whether or not you’re consistent. So you can’t put one thing out, a product or a service, that doesn’t make a lick of sense with the rest of the products and services that you’re offering. Like, it just won’t work. I read an article about I hop at one point tried to change their name to IHOB with a B like boy instead of P like Paul, and it was because they were trying to say they offered burgers, and it didn’t work. People knew them as IHOP, which is International House of Pancakes, not International House of Burgers. So, they changed back because they realized their mistake. That was not cohesive with the brand and the messaging they were putting out. So make sure that you’re being cohesive with your brand.
How will people be interacting with your brand, and what feelings do you want to invoke in them? That’s how you can stay consistent if you know that answer. If you know those answers, it will help you with your consistency and your cohesiveness. And what sets you apart from your competitors? What sets you and your brand apart from your competitors? That will also help you with your cohesiveness and your consistency.
So here are some things you can do to help out with the cohesiveness of what it is you’re creating. What your brand perception is. You gotta audit everything, and I mean everything, like your website, copy your about page, your contact form, the pages sitting on your website, your social media bios, your profile pictures across the whole kit and caboodle like LinkedIn and Facebook page and Instagram and Pinterest. Your headshot, wherever your headshot is, like if you use your logo or a specific image to represent your brand. It’s got to be cohesive everywhere. Your headshot needs to be cohesive everywhere, so people recognize that it’s you. It’s okay if your personal Facebook has a different photo, but everywhere else, whatever your headshot is, it needs to be consistent across everything. Your design of your branding has to stay cohesive and consistent. So having one logo across everything, like not multiple colors of logos or multiple versions of your logo, making sure that your logo is the same everywhere your logo is presented to the public. Making sure that the colors and the fonts, your tagline, all of that stays cohesive and speaks to your brand. If you haven’t invested in Fiona Humberstone’s books, Brand Brilliance, or I think it’s Brand Styling, I’m going to encourage you to do so because those are very, very powerful books to help you with all of these things.
Choosing the right products, obviously again, going back to that I hop example, even though that wasn’t necessarily them changing their product pitch, changing their name to reflect they added a new product. That was the misstep was changing their name. Adding burgers isn’t a big deal, but you’re known for the International House of Pancakes, not the burgers. So it’s great that you added burgers for people that don’t want breakfast all the time, but you got to make sure that you’re choosing the right products and offerings. And I know a lot of us recently have made a lot of shifts and pivots in our businesses because of COVID-19. And were those products and services still in line with our brands? I’m going to hope so. Otherwise, you need to be creating a completely different brand, if not. Make your customers your top priority and stay consistent with that. You always have to keep your ear to the ground to make sure that you are listening to what your customers are wanting, what they’re liking, what they’re not liking, the feedback they’re giving you. Like, all of that is so incredibly important in staying cohesive and consistent with your marketing with your brand with your offerings.
Honesty is always the best policy. Don’t try to be smarmy in your sales pitches. Sales is one of the hardest things for me to do because I just feel like it’s like this process that you have to do and you could only do it this one way, when in reality, if you’re passionate about something enough, you’re going to be a natural salesperson for the thing that is you are selling. But always be honest, that’s important. And always maintaining a consistent moral compass, a moral code. Making sure that whatever your core values are, for your business, and even for yourself, stay in alignment with the messaging you’re putting out, the products you’re putting out. Like, all of that has to stay cohesive because if it’s not, then you’re going to get sniffed out. People are going to realize that you aren’t who you say you are, and you will lose customers that way. You will lose readers that way. They will, they will figure that out and immediately reject you and what you’re doing. So it’s very important that you maintain that consistent moral code.
Do the best you can until you know better. Because let’s face it, we’re all learning. We all think we’re doing the best we can do. When I first started blogging, I blogged on Blogger. Blogspot. There was really nothing out there that was anything better. I mean, you could be on WordPress, but nobody really knew when I first started blogging that WordPress was the way to go. And that you should be on wordpress.org instead of wordpress.com. Like, we all kind of started back in the day with Blogger. And then we learned the hard way that Blogger, their terms of service, actually retained ownership of everything you put on Blogger. And that’s not good. I’ve known of too many bloggers in the past that lost their entire websites and couldn’t get them back. And it’s because they didn’t have ownership of them. Google did. So do the best you can until you know better and then when you know better, do better. Like, that is the best you can do. If you don’t know better, how do you know that you can do better? Like, if you didn’t know that you needed to be using a .com email address and you’ve been using a Gmail address this whole time, and somebody pointed out that you needed to use a .com email address because it’s more professional than Gmail. Until you somebody pointed that out, you didn’t know better because nobody pointed out to you. So do the best you can until you know better. And then when you know better, do better. That’s important.
Branding and business, being consistent, being cohesive in all of those things is what’s going to set you apart from your competition. It’s what’s going to set you apart and make you longlasting. When you add a new product, when you add a new service to your lineup, make sure it is already cohesive to what you’re already offering. Within Corona, I have added more products and services to Sugar Creek. I have added micro-weddings that can be done in my warehouse. I’ve added backyard wedding packages that can be done in somebody’s backyard or wherever. I’ve also launched a sister brand that will actually get its legs at the beginning of June. I started buying this past weekend which was super soul-fulfilling for me to be able to get back and start treasure hunting for Sugar Creek’s event rental collection and also for this new collective, Sugar Creek Collective, which is where you can buy vintage and have a piece of vintage and vintage living be a part of your life. And that was, that was great for me, and it’s a way for me for when I hear people say this phrase, “I wish you could just come to my home and do this.” Well, now you can buy that from me. I can do that for you. I can do a room refresh for you. You can buy vintage from me so you can have that vintage living experience. So the things that I’ve added are very consistent and cohesive with what I already offer. And that’s very important to be able to grow a brand, especially when you have to make pivots in order to continue making money or figure out how to make money in a season when it might be hard to make money. Like, when events get canceled, and government mandates prevent you from working. How can you keep making money? What can you add that is cohesive and consistent with your existing brand? Food for thought.
So I’m going to challenge you to take some time to figure out how can you stay consistent in your business? How can you stay cohesive in your business, with your brand with your products with your offerings? All of that makes so much difference if you can be consistent and be cohesive. You’re going to grow. You’re going to get next level, and that’s what we’re all striving for, is growth, is, you know, more revenue in our pockets, is a better way of life, is spending more time with our families is being able to vacation when we want to, is you know, whatever that might be for you. So I’m challenging you to be cohesive and to be consistent in your business.
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. Again, shout out to today’s show sponsor, Better Help. Again, visit trybetterhelp.com/bossgirl for 10% off your first month of service. Again, no shame, you guys. I have a counselor. She’s helped me through a lot already, and I’m gonna encourage you to just take that leap of faith and focus in on shoring up your mental health. Because again, you cannot perform at the level you need to perform in your life and your business without having your mental health in check. I will be back next week with another episode of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Until then, I hope you have a great rest of your week.