How To Define Your Brand Identity In Coaching & Consulting

Why should I do business with you, rather than someone else?

That’s the implicit question that your dream clients have when they first stumble across your brand, whether on social media, your personal brand website, or somewhere else entirely. Can you answer that question?

That’s why brand identity is so important. Your brand is based on certain values, a sense of mission, and a specific unique selling proposition (USP). But you need to be able to communicate all these things easily to people who don’t know you personally. That means you have to rely on visual shortcuts like logos and colors and you have to be consistent, always talking in the same brand voice.

Easier said than done, of course! Selling in person is one thing – you can see how your potential customers and potential clients are reacting in real time. But when you’re not around, your brand image has to sell your product or service for you.

In this guide, I’ll talk about how you can build a brand identity that works on your behalf. I’ll start with the basics of branding – focusing on your core values, mission, and unique selling proposition (USP). Then I’ll also cover practical steps to design your logo, choose a color scheme, and develop your brand voice. Follow these steps, and you can build a cohesive, memorable brand that feels right to you and your audience and drives brand growth too.

A Quick Overview of Brand Identity

Brand identity is a bundle of elements that a business can use to project the right brand image to its consumers. Specifically, brand identity includes the logo, color scheme, voice, and mission. Note – this is a subset of branding in general, focused on aesthetics.

Here’s an example of what I mean by that. Take your logo. It’s the visual symbol of your brand in the smallest unit possible. It’s usually based on your color scheme, which is used to set a certain tone and evoke certain emotions. Then you have your brand voice, which reflects your personality and how you communicate with your audience.

Put another way, brand identity is a matter of style. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide of how to develop yours.

9 Steps To Define Your Brand Identity In Coaching & Consulting

Creating a strong brand identity nine major steps, which you can find listed below. These steps will help you define your brand identity in coaching and consulting, allowing you to develop a clear and compelling brand that stands out in the market.

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1. Get clear on your audience and your unique selling proposition.

Brand identity is largely about look and feel. But your brand itself has to be on strong foundations before you focus on making it look good.

Smart branding, and smart business more broadly, comes down to two basic things:

  1. Knowing what your dream clients want, and
  2. Providing what they want in a way that other companies don’t.

That’s where your unique selling proposition (USP) comes in. This is what makes your coaching or consulting services different from others.

To identify your USP, start by listing your strengths, skills, and experiences that make you unique. Think about what benefits your clients get from working with you that they can’t get elsewhere.

Get this right and many of your brand identity decisions will become a lot more obvious.

Easy Step 1: Define your dream clients.

2. Define your brand voice.

A brand voice is, at its core, the unique personality a brand takes on in its communications. It includes the tone, style, and words used across all marketing materials, from website content and social media posts to customer service interactions. Defining your brand voice is key to creating a consistent and authentic connection with your audience.

This can feel very abstract, so consider the following very different big-name brands. Old Spice is known for its humor and whimsy, most notably reflected in its commercials. That helps it appeal to a younger audience. Meanwhile, Apple, on the other hand, is clean and minimalistic, serious and aspirational, appealing to tech-savvy consumers.

Here are some steps you can follow to define your brand voice:

  1. Identify your audience: understand who they are, what they care about, and how they communicate.
  2. Look at how other coaches and consultants communicate, and identify what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Decide on tone, such as whether you want to be formal or casual, inspirational or straightforward.

To help you standardize your brand voice, it’s a good idea to make a chart. Outline your voice characteristics, such as being friendly, professional, or witty, and provide examples of how to use them. You can reference this chart as you create new marketing materials in order to stay consistent.

Easy Step 1: Read online posts by your dream clients and make note of how they speak to one another.

3. Create a clear messaging strategy and follow through consistently.

When it comes to messaging strategy, think in terms of a hierarchy.

On the top, you have your core brand message. What’s the one thing you want your dream clients to know about you? Make sure you know the answer to that question and can answer it clearly and succinctly.

Once you get that foundational principle right, then you want to think about specific selling points and values that you want to get across. They all need to line up with your core message.

Then you can start thinking about how you can use success stories, testimonials, anecdotes, content marketing, social media, your website, and all the other presence-building methods to reinforce your messaging strategy.

When you approach messaging strategy this way, it helps you stay consistent across all platforms. The classic B-school example here would be Nike – their core message is “just do it,” which implies the importance of taking action. They back that up by making sure all their brand messaging implies that their shoes are just what you need to achieve your loftiest goals.

Easy Step 1: Define your core message clearly.

4. Pick a color scheme.

Because brand identity is so visual, choosing the right color scheme is crucial. Start by selecting colors that represent your brand values and resonate with your target audience. Colors evoke emotions and can significantly influence how your brand is perceived.

Once you’ve chosen your colors, your main job is to remain consistent by using the same color palette across all branding materials, including your website, social media, business cards, and marketing materials. 

Not sure where to start? Look at other coaches and consultants and take note of what you like and don’t like.

Easy Step 1: Use this color palette generator to make random color palettes to get your wheels turning. Alternatively, go to the paint aisle of your local hardware store and start collecting paint sample cards.

5. Create style guidelines around photography and iconography.

Almost every brand is going to use either photography or iconography, and often a combination of both. You need to come up with some clear rules on how and when to use both.

Start by defining the style of photos that best represent your brand, such as candid, professional, or artistic. Choose a consistent color tone and filter to maintain a uniform look.

For iconography, select icons that match your brand’s style and message. Ensure they are simple, recognizable, and used consistently across all platforms.

Create a document that outlines these guidelines, including examples, to serve as a reference for anyone creating visual content for your brand. This will help maintain a cohesive visual identity and strengthen brand recognition. 

Easy Step 1: Look through Canva’s library of stock photos, icons, and videos and make note of what you like and don’t like.

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6. Create a logo.

Symbols, typography, and colors play a significant role in conveying your brand’s personality. Choose symbols that represent your business and resonate with your audience. Select typography that reflects your brand’s tone, whether it’s professional, casual, or playful. Stick worth your previously established color palette.

At this point, it’s worth considering bringing in a professional designer if you’re feeling stuck. A well-designed logo helps build brand recognition and trust.

Make sure your logo is versatile and looks good across different mediums, from websites to business cards. A strong logo is a cornerstone of your brand identity and helps you stand out in the competitive coaching and consulting market.

And remember – wordmarks can be used as logos, so don’t overlook that option. It often works well in the coaching and consulting spaces.

Easy Step 1: Hire a professional logo designer.

7. Define your brand story.

Telling a brand story is like telling the life story of a company. It explains where the company comes from, what it believes in, the challenges it has faced, and what it aims to achieve.

Being able to tell a good brand story helps customers understand and feel connected to your brand. This is especially important in small business, because your unique brand story is part of what makes your company more than just a place to buy products or services.

Start with your origin story. Share how and why your business was founded and the problem you aimed to solve. Share the challenges and triumphs you’ve faced along the way.

This adds authenticity to your story and inspires confidence in your brand. Include client success stories to showcase how you’ve helped clients achieve their goals. Use specific examples and quotes to add credibility.

Then start telling this brand story to people, whether in person or online. Eventually, you will have enough information to see whether or not it’s resonating with the people it needs to. And if it’s not, you tweak it!

Easy Step 1: Write down your origin story.

8. Build your online presence based on the principles outlined.

Building a strong online presence is essential for coaches and consultants. So much so that I compiled a long list of ideas on how you can do exactly that.

There is no shortage of ways you can build your online presence. Focus on finding a way that meets these three criteria:

  1. It has a good chance of reaching your audience,
  2. And you can do it in a way consistent with your desired brand image,
  3. And you will actually feel like following through with it!

That third one is very important – building an online presence is a marathon. Any method you use to build your online presence needs to be one you can stick with for a long time.

Easy Step 1: Read this guide on How To Make A Personal Brand Website For Coaches & Consultants.

9. Follow through on your promises by providing great client experience.

Delivering a consistent brand experience to clients is essential for building trust and loyalty. I don’t know a better way to ensure long-term financial success than to retain clients and customers for a long time. And there is no form of marketing stronger than word of mouth.

So quite simply – live up to your ideals! Ensure that every interaction your clients have with your brand reflects your values and promises. Excellent customer service is a huge part of your brand identity.

Easy Step 1: Make a habit of asking clients for feedback.

Final Thoughts

Defining your brand identity in coaching and consulting is vitally important if you want to stand out among your peers. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a strong, cohesive brand that will help you pull in dream clients.

Brand identity is about aesthetics. That includes your color scheme and logo as well as your brand voice, story, and the methods you use to build an online presence. There are a billion ways you can do this, but to do any of them well, you need to be consistent and authentic.

It might feel like a lot of work to define your brand identity in this level of detail, but it’s worth it.  Start today by taking small, actionable steps. Your efforts will pay off in the long run, as you attract and retain better clients.

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