I remember when I first heard about building a brand. At the time, it didn’t feel like something I needed to concern myself with. I thought branding was for big companies with big advertising campaigns. It wasn’t until I began fine-tuning my business that I realised how important it was. When I started learning about identifying your ideal client and niching your private practice it suddenly became clear – good branding isn’t optional, it’s essential for success.
Why is Branding Your Private Practice Important?
Branding is a key part of building a business, however big or small, and is probably more important than ever before. Nowadays, most people will find their therapist online. When they stumble across your website, social media platform or directory listing, you only have a few minutes to convince them you’re the right therapist for them. Branding allows you to stand apart from other therapists and show potential clients what makes you special and unique.
Creating a brand means you understand the client you want to attract. You will know the message they need to hear and use the right words to show them you are the right therapist for them. It’s also helps people identify if you’re NOT the right therapist. Choosing a therapist is such a personal decision and it’s our responsibility to help people make the right choice so we can support them on their journey.
I’ve Got a Logo, Isn’t that Enough?
A great brand identity ensures your customers recognise you instantly, but it’s so much more than just a logo. Instead, your branding is made up of all the elements that communicate who your business is and what you do for your particular audience. It’s everything you use to convey your business and your story to the world.
Still not sure what your brand identity should include or what it even means? Take the word ‘brand’ away and you’re left with ‘identity’.
When you think about a person’s identity, what makes this up? It includes things like their individual personality, the clothes they wear, their hobbies, their approach to life, the way they communicate with others and more. Is this person warm and welcoming? Are they loud and confident? Are they calm and professional? What is it about their identity that communicates this?
All the different elements that make up someone’s personal identity are important to consider for your business identity too. What is your business personality? What does your business look and sound like? How do you approach your work? What do you want working with you to feel like? If you add ‘brand’ back in, can you see how much more goes into creating a brand identity than simply picking the right colour or font?
Your answers to the questions above can form the basis of a brand style guide. This is essentially a rulebook containing specifications for everything that plays a role in the look and feel of your brand. From logos and typography to colour and copy, it lets everyone know exactly how to present your brand to the world.
If you engage with external resources such as a web designer, printing company, copywriter or marketer, it’s essential they have a copy of your brand style guide so they can work within your brand’s guidelines.
Where Do I Start?
Want to learn more about branding your private practice? You can download the free PocketSite guide here which contains five key things you need to create a successful brand identity.