With sweaty palms and a fire in your belly, you decide to make the leap into a solo career. You know you’re boss at what you do and now you’re ready to be the boss. You may have been consulting as a side hustle or starting from ground zero with nothing more than a vision and a fat list of contacts. But no matter where you start, sooner or later you will have to decide how you are going to position your business to the world. In addition to the name of your business, how will you describe what you do?
Without That Title…Doff Thy Name
The breadth of our duties today may include public relations, marketing, digital, social and even advertising. This dizzying array of specialties that sometimes overlap makes it more complex to decide if you will designate your business as a Public Relations, Communications, Marketing or combination of any or all of these disciplines. A quick Google search will reveal multiple variations – these variations highlight that some see the disciplines as separate, while others view them as essentially the same thing.
Some industry professionals will staunchly advocate for using the traditional industry designation and not wavering from it. Others, like Todd Defren argue that it does not matter what you call your agency but rather how you conduct your business.
Wherefore Art Thou Audience
Your industry may not agree on terminology but in truth, what matters most is your audience. Who is your target market? What services do they want and need? How do they describe the services? Position what you do to align with how your potential clients understand and will search for that offering. Research key messages and use the highest ranked ones to brainstorm ideas for your brand position. Craft positioning that resonates with your audience in language that they understand.
As you craft your positioning, it is wise to think 5-10 years out. Is there a possibility that you will want to expand your business and/or offering? You want a clear message about what you offer but you don’t want it to be so restrictive that it prohibits you from growth.
Take All Myself
Don’t abandon your strengths when choosing your brand positioning. If you are a Public Relations pro with expertise in marketing then you want to consider that as you determine how you will position your services.
A Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat analysis (SWOT) can also provide useful insight into how you will position your business brand. Use this as part of your competitive analysis to identify where and how you should compete and the opportunities that you should pursue based on your unique skill set.
I Take Thee at Thy Word
What you call yourself does matter. It is critical to not only clearly articulate what you do but be able to deliver on that promise. Your name should not only reflect market expectations but your own expertise. Your customers will remember your name but even more importantly, they will remember how you did your job.
What do you call yourself and how did you make that choice? Let us hear from you in the comments![ts_fab authorid=”263″]