Declutter your brand

I talk about decluttering a lot, and teach it to my coaching clients

Usually it’s in the context of physical decluttering — that spiritual review of everything you have that helps you get real about what you keep, and helps you see the opening to release what no longer serves you. Physical decluttering is so healing to do once a season. Like this: Pick up every single thing you own, one room at a time (don’t forget your car, your garage, if you have these), look at it, and ask your true heart:

  • Is this something I use now?
  • Will I use it in the next three months?
  • Is it something I cherish?

And if the answer to all three questions is No, release that thing. Give it away, donate it or just throw it away. Create space. Here is one blogpost I’ve written on physical decluttering and here’s one more.
decluttered branding

Today I’m thinking about decluttering in a whole ‘nother way — decluttering your brand
Okay, wait. This will (probably) make sense (if it doesn’t I’m sorry, and thanks for helping me work through this). Let’s look.

What is your brand?

  • Your brand is how your message is received — what people think and feel when they think about you and your business
  • Your brand is how you align your actions with your values, and how you show up for your commitments
  • Your brand is who you are and how that informs everything you do in your business and your career

Are you thinking: “Okay I get it. But why and how would I declutter my brand?”

If you are a business owner, your website is your brand’s face and its tool for communicating to the people you know you are meant to serve. A great website instantly communicates who you are and what your business is about. But even the most fabulous designer can’t create a site that honestly and authentically reflects your brand if you haven’t done the work that will allow you to be crystal clear and laser-focused with every word and image.

Brand clutter — what it is and how to lovingly release it

Let’s go through the checklist in the image above, which addresses some (not all, but a good start) of the work that can be done to achieve a decluttered brand…

  • Who is my ideal client? What does she need?
    To get really clear on this, feel into your heart and visualize your ideal client. Ask yourself: How old is she? Where does she live? What does she do? What’s her financial situation? What does she believe? What does she love? What does she need? What problem is she looking to have someone like you solve?

  • Am I speaking directly to her in every word of my marketing copy? Have I removed the clutter? Once you’ve done the work that allows you to clearly see your ideal client, the one you know in your heart you are meant to serve, you now get to deal with your tendency to surround your clear message and invitation with clutter. What causes this? For me it was fear.

    I had so much resistance to claiming my niche. I called myself an “intentional generalist” for years, and I finally admitted to myself that I was afraid that if I didn’t make myself available for all the work I could get, I wouldn’t survive, let alone thrive. This fear drove me to address every possible client in my marketing copy and my offers. There was no way anyone could recognize herself; my mission and purpose were diluted and cluttered. This is critical, and if you’re anything like me, impossible to do without support (your coach, your mastermind group) and faith (a current and conscious connection to the divine, however it manifests for you).

  • Do I roll out a sacred red carpet by talking to and about my ideal client before I say a word about myself? Now that you’re clear about who your ideal client is, and now that you’re willing to remove everything you’re tempted to add to your marketing copy that doesn’t address those you are meant to serve, here’s another crucial bit. Talk directly to her. Empathize with her. Make your landing page one that is welcoming. That says “I see you, I know you, I’ve been where you are….” And then tell her that there is a solution. But don’t talk about your services and offers yet! End the page with a link to a page that talks even more deeply from your heart about her, and how you recognize her and know what she’s craving.

    Add another page, right after your home page, that goes even deeper. You can call it “Is this you?” or “New here?” or “Start here.” Empathize again. Talk about what you know she may have tried, and why those methods didn’t work. Tell her you have a solution that works, and briefly mention and link to your solutions toward the end of the page. End the page with an invitation for her to read a bit about you and how you work. You can see this method in action on my website, and here, and here, and here. What do you notice when you visit these sites?

    This method — talking to and about your ideal client before you talk about yourself — is like rolling out a sacred red carpet that leads your prospect directly to your particular tent in the desert. Imagine your prospect: She has something she needs, but she doesn’t know where in the vast universe of offers and services to best get her needs met. She feels like she’s wandering in the desert, poking her head in this tent and the next and not seeing anything that calls to her. Then she sees this beautiful red carpet, and walks up and pokes her head in. And she relaxes, because now she’s seeing, hearing, feeling exactly what she needs, and craves. She kicks her shoes off, grabs a cup of her favorite tea, and looks around. She wants to stick around, so she gladly accept your free gift and newsletter subscription. She likes what she sees, hears and feels so she tell others to check you out. And she eventually becomes a happy, satisfied, and returning paying client.

How has this landed for you, this conversation about decluttered branding and heart-centered marketing? I’d love to know. Please join the conversation in the comments.

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Sue

I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Lively conversation!

    • Sue says

      Dawn, thanks so much, and welcome…

      Yes, it’s so different when you’re not exhausting yourself chasing business. When it’s clear and focused, it’s not tiring at all, right?

      Love and light,
      Sue

    • Sue says

      Suzie, yes I have the ongoing computer and personal clutter too. Thanks for the idea that we can apply those questions to all the areas.

      In gratitude,
      Sue

  1. Vatsala Shukla says

    Is it providence that I found your post via Delia, Sue?

    I had done some brand de-cluttering about 2 months ago when I realized that the brand that I had started out to build 3 years ago and the one that I had created were different and taking Dutch courage, decided to remove any misalignment. I had grown and evolved and this was clearly not reflected on my website.

    The end result was tweaking copy on some service pages and removing 2 services and adding 3 new products which were based on what visitors were buying or consulting on.

    The pay-off has been good – I no longer receive inquiries outside my chosen niche and don’t suffer the guilt of turning away a lead – although I always give referrals to someone better suited if contacted.

    • Sue says

      Vatsala, provident as in meant-to-be, I’m thinkin’. 🙂

      Welcome!

      Congrats on the tweaking and decluttering you’ve done, and how lovely that it’s paying off…

      Love and blessings,
      Sue

  2. Sharon Rosen says

    Thanks, dear Sue…timely for me as well as I work to craft more inviting and resonant copy for the website. I believe this post will help me move things along! It’s getting more clear all the time, but still get stuck in some murky waters…

    • Sue says

      Sharon, inviting and resonant, how lovely.

      Connect your heart to your words, gorgeous, and you’re gonna be all set.

      Blessed be!
      Sue

  3. terry says

    Yes. well said. I need to take some tips from this and focus on who my customer is. Funny a downline and I sell the same company but sell more of completely different products. Perhaps we have a different view of who our customer is

    • Sue says

      Terry, Welcome! The situation with your downline will probably work out, as long as you don’t need to align your marketing with each other. If you do, then you might want to get some support creating that alignment.

      Glad you found this useful.

      Love and light,
      Sue

  4. Marla says

    I am totally on board with people living a simplified life based on what matters most to us…and regular decluttering is definitely a part of that.

    It’s all about clarity.

    But I haven’t really thought about decluttering in terms of my business. Makes sense.

    Even though you talk about ideal client, I can see how decluttering can apply to every aspect of business, which can ultimately free us heart-centered entrepreneurs to extend our reach and maximize our impact – to make the difference that we want to make in the world.

    You’ve got me thinking – thank you Sue.

  5. Sue says

    Marla, so glad you dropped by! You totally nailed it… decluttering in every aspect of our biz and our lives, clearing any obstacles so we can have maximum impact.

    So glad to connect with you!

    Love and more love,
    Sue

  6. Marquita Herald says

    Excellent advice and I am a huge fan of decluttering! In fact I just recently went through this process with my own site – page by page – evaluating the content and the message. I think it’s an important process to go through periodically to stay fresh and on target. Thanks for the inspiration and tips!

    • Sue says

      Marquita, so happy to connect with you, welcome.

      That practice of periodically (seasonally?) decluttering your website is a good one; it’s amazing what you can find.

      Just last month I was talking to a client and referencing a page on my website and I couldn’t believe my eyes1 I had the same paragraph in there twice! Sigh…

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Love and magic,
      Sue

  7. Sam says

    This is such good information and so perfectly timed for me! I’m getting ready to publish my website and launch my business. Thanks SO much for the tips on branding!

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