Why you do what you do matters more then what you do.
There are plenty of other people doing similar things to what you do. So the way you make what you do stand out, is in how you brand your business. What will set what you do apart from others doing similar things, is who you are, and why you do what you do.
You will bring the energy of that why into your work, your brand, and the way you present your work to the world.
Knowing your purpose and why you are doing what you do pushes your creative drive and your passion for your work.
When you lose sight of purpose, this is when you start to question what your doing and find it hard to create, when nothing seems quite right, or you feel overwhelmed by possibility.
What is your ‘Why’?
Your why, is the reason you do what you do. And not just the surface reason, but that deeper drive, that pushes you to keep doing it, even when challenges arise. It is beyond an interest or passion, but you feel this deeper connection to the work and a calling as such to follow it. Your why is often connected to the result of your work. What is achieved by doing what you do? Is it affecting or changing the lives of the people it is for? Is it impacting or changing the way people view things and challenges thinking? Does it help a cause or avoid an unwanting situation? Or closer to home does doing what you do change your life, or impact your family or community for the better.
It could be how you consciously choose to do that work in a certain way or for certain people.
Perhaps the work itself isn’t what makes the biggest impact. It could be the money that your work generates that makes an impact, or it could be how your work inspires or uplifts others that see what you are doing. Or maybe it is the process of the work, that is helping you or others heal or deal with difficult things.
So How do you Uncover your Why?
We don’t always set out on a path with that ‘why’ clearly set in our minds. Sometimes we fall into it, or it comes about through a process and from trying various things, perhaps it even feels like it found us. Often what we do is a journey. We didn’t start out thinking ‘right I need to make this impact on the world, so I will do it this way’. It can happen a lot more gently and organically, and as we delve into it more and hone in on exactly what we a drawn to, we begin to discover also the impact that work has, and that is when the drive behind it strengthens and we work with greater purpose.
So if you are in that stage where you have been following a journey but haven’t quite uncovered or taken the time to assess your ‘why’. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you tap into that greater purpose. With each question, give your initial response, then ask yourself why again, and again until you get to the bottom of that reason.
I do it for me, as I am passionate about it.
Why am I passionate about it?
Because I find the work fulfilling.
Why is it fulfilling?
And so on..
So here are your questions…
Why do you do it for you?
Why did you start doing what you do?
Why do you do it for your family/people close to you?
Why do you do it for your community (this can be local community or community of people with a commonality)?
Why do you do it for your industry?
Why do you do it for your client/customer?
Why do you do it for the world?
What causes do you believe in? What do you stand for?
What change do you want to see in the world?
What do you think is missing in your industry/community (this can be local community or community of people with a commonality)/world that you would like to make space for?
What legacy/lasting change do you want to leave behind?
These can be simple, don’t think it needs to be hugely significant. Even if it’s helping people feel happier and value themselves more. Allow yourself to dig deep and take the time to really think about it. If you are still in the early stages of discovering your thing and the business model and work you do, really think about those last ‘what’ questions and how you can tie the answers into the ‘why’ and work toward building your business and branding around that.
How Your ‘Why’ Impacts Your Branding.
Finding your why not only gives you greater drive and passion for what you do but also gives your branding greater depth and people will feel more connected to your mission and message.
You will attract the people who have the same values and desires.
It will make them feel like they are part of something more than a sales transaction.
You create community, common goals, common values, common desires and hopes.
It is important to weave this ‘why’ into the way you brand your business. If people can connect with your why, you will foster a community of loyal fans.
It also helps you maintain consistency in your branding because you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and what impact you want to be making. It will make you less scattered and more focused. Which then makes who you are and what you do even more rock solid in the eyes of your audience, and they are clear about what you are doing and how you can help them and the vision they want to be part by buying from/working with you.
How to Intertwine your Why into your Branding
Once you have a better idea of your purpose and ‘why’, then you need to find a way to communicate it to others through your branding.
Other then the obvious, of using it in your brand copy, on your about page and in social media captions, there are subtle ways you can communicate your ‘why’ through the use of visuals.
Here are some ways you can consider weaving your ‘why’ into your brand visuals.
Using Colour– Colour is a powerful emotional tool. And considering we all make decisions based on how we feel (even when we think we are being more rational) colour is a great way to communicate how you want people to feel. Think about how you want your audience to feel based on your ‘why’. Do you want them to feel energised, inspired, motivated, calm, happy, at ease, to take action, reflective, empowered, challenged, loved? Once you know how you want them to feel, then you can research colour psychology and find colours that play on those emotions, and connect people to the ‘why’ of your business.
e.g Want to bring joy and happiness into everyday life? Then use bright cheerful colours in your branding. Or do you want to inspire people to be more reflective, care for themselves and take time out? Then calming soft colours will create this feeling.
Font choice- Similar to colour, fonts can evoke emotions and create an impression. If part of your ‘why’ is caring about your impact on the earth, you would want to use organic, hand-drawn style fonts, that feel natural and earthy. Or if part of your ‘why’ is to make people feel confident and full of self worth, you may want to use more classical formal fonts that give a more luxury, high end feel.
Using symbolism– In your graphics you could use images and symbols that represent things associated with your why. Do some brainstorming and come up with various symbols and graphics that are associated with your why and look at ways these could be incorporated into your brand visuals.
For example, if your why is to do with health, you might want to make a list of health-related symbols, like fruit, veg, herbs, fitness related symbols, and symbols representing how good health feels.
Or if your why has to do with ethical making, it could be things like fabric, sewing needles, stitches, cultural symbols of the places your source or have your products made.
Get creative and think up lots of ideas, because you don’t have to use them all, but the process of brainstorming may help you come up with some great ideas you could use.
With your layout– Layout can subtly create an overall vibe and feeling. A layout can create a feeling of calm and simplicity with the use of space. Or a layout can create a feeling of earthiness, with texture and a slightly messy organic style layout. A layout could also create a happy upbeat feeling with big bold design. So don’t just consider the design elements for your visuals, but also how you put it together and lay it out
With your choice of images– Your photography, textures and illustrations can all help communicate the ‘why’ of your business. Use them to communicate what you want to change (the ‘where you/society is now’ ) the journey and process and then the goal and end result. Your images can show the process and the aspiration of where your brand can help your audience and the greater world get to.
With your choice of materials– If you are selling physical products or sending out any kind of print or packaging material to your customers and clients, you may want to consider how your choice of materials ties into your why. This could mean ethically made, natural, handmade, bright and cheery, a personal touch, sourced from around the world, sourced locally, tells a story, historical, cultural meaning, vegan, cheap, expensive, accessible, rare, innovative, technical or unusual. Really think if there are ways to choose materials that tie into your why, to create deeper meaning. You could do this in a why that very obviously ties into your ‘why’ or you could come up with something very clever and different that will really impress.
With motivational graphics– If you want to go the extra mile, and really bring your audience into your why and create a cause for them to be part of, you could create graphics or even print products that motivate that ‘why’. It could be motivational quote graphics, or motivational words or images on tangible items they can use in their daily lives to motivate them and get them on board. It could be posters, stickers, keyrings,1 mugs, t-shirts or notebooks or even printables they can print themselves. Get creative. Think about things your audience would use and relates to your business.
I know it can be an ongoing ever-evolving process, as you go on your own journey and find the things that really resonate and have meaning in your life. So continue to assess it, and look at new ways you can tie it into your brand to set yourself apart and create a community of like-minded people working toward those same goals and hopes and dreams.