When it comes to your business, branding is everything. You need to be clear about who you are, what you want, and who you want to serve. If you feel that it’s time for a brand makeover, according to entrepreneur, host, and author Ali Craig, you have to ask yourself why?

“Is the disconnect with you, your audience, or what you’re delivering?” asks Craig. Once you understand where the disconnect is, you can then begin to target the miscommunication on a verbal and visual level.

Craig is the host of “Fix My Brand,” a reality show that features struggling business owners, where she helps whip their brands into tip-top shape. The show highlights nine entrepreneurs from across the U.S. whose brands particularly need a makeover. Craig shares useful tips in each episode that any entrepreneur can learn from, and here she’s sharing with HER some of the best ways to create and build an amazing brand.

“Many times as entrepreneurs, we feel so alone — that we are the only one with similar struggles,” says Craig.  If you’re struggling with your brand, trust us — you’re not alone. Check out Craig’s tips on what you can do to improve your brand — and mistakes you can learn to avoid.

How to Fix Your Brand

1. Don’t be afraid to show your personality.
“Be clear about who you are, what you want, and who you want to serve,” says Craig. Know your market and be prepared for criticism so you can shape your business model. Avoid stock photos if you can, and post high-quality pictures of your team or business.

2. Focus on the hearts of who you want to serve.
When you are passionate about your work, don’t be afraid to play all in. If your life reflects your work, then share your life! “If your work is no longer transforming the lives of who you seek, then change the way you share the message,” says Craig.

3. Create relationships first.
Communicate with your customers, and pay attention to what they want. “This is the best return on investment you can ever have,” explains Craig.

4. Create an experience they won’t forget.
Think of your website, business card, videos, social media — all of your content marketing — as an experience. All of these branding pieces should create a holistic, recognizable experience for your audience. Keep a consistent look so that people can recognize your brand whenever it pops up.

5. Own your brand, and never forget that you are in control.
Have a clear mission statement, so customers know what you want to accomplish. Also, keep in mind that you need to have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening now. Be flexible and be proactive if there is an issue. Respond to any negative feedback with a solution. Remember you are the boss.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid…

1. Don’t focus your attention on what others are doing.  Most of us know what we like and what we want to accomplish, but just because something works for one person doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. “Your audience is different, your brand is different, you are different, and society is different,” says Craig. Trust your instincts, and dare to be different.

2. Don’t put your feelings over science. Craig’s branding work is rooted in The Neuro Human Branding™ method, which uses our human instinct to our advantage to create a multidimensional framework for any brand to use to create deeper customer/brand relationships fast.  This method cuts to what drives a human beings’ reactions, decisions, and actions: biology and psychology. “We move and make decisions on instinct, not information,” says Craig.  Neuro Human Branding™ creates brands that connect with the human head and heart.

 3. Don’t let your personal issues affect your brand. Know your competitors and your market. You might think you have the best idea in the world, but it might not be resonating with your target market. Try a focus group and learn from the customer feedback. “Branding is a deeply personal experience. Our hang-ups and hold-ups will stop our ultimate success if we don’t own them and fix them,” says Craig.

Results require consistency, and that takes time.  Timeframes completely vary but on average a total rebrand can be launched in 90 days or less, according to Craig.  You’ll likely feel positive momentum within six months, but it takes 2-3 years to have the industry influence we all want. “Don’t let your insecurities that may pop up stop you from execution,” says Craig. When you have a strategy in place, it’s time to act. Trust your previous work and the experts who’ve supported you.

Watch the first season of “Fix My Brand with Ali Craig” here, and stay tuned for season two!

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