As a new dietitian business owner, you’ve probably heard about the importance of building a brand. But what does that really mean? More than just a business name, clever tagline, or a tasteful logo, your brand shows and tells the world who you are as a business and what you stand for.
An effective branding strategy isn’t just for large companies; it’s for all businesses, even if you’re a solo entrepreneur starting from scratch. Learn more about what makes a great brand and the steps you should take to build a brand you’re proud of.
What is a Brand (And Why Do You Need One)?
A company’s brand is one of its most valuable assets. It’s a group of elements that make your business unique and instantly recognizable. More importantly, your brand evokes a certain feeling when someone thinks about your business.
A strong brand is essential because it allows new and existing clients to notice, remember, and trust you. That makes it more likely they’ll work with you — and refer you to others.
Your brand consists of things like:
- Your company logo
- The colors, typography, and design elements on your website, social media, and other marketing materials
- The collection of photos, videos, and other images on your website and social media
- Your written content, not only what you’re saying, but how you say it (your voice and personality)
- Your positioning — your niche, ideal clients, counseling, or coaching style
- Your value proposition — what do you offer potential clients that other dietitians may not?
- Your vision — what do you hope to accomplish in your business, for yourself and your clients?
A lot goes into creating a good brand. But once you nail it, your brand becomes a map that guides you and makes it easy to connect with future and existing clients.
Where to Start
It’s tempting to start with the visual part of your branding and hire someone to design a logo and a website. Those things are essential, but before you do anything, take some time to outline your brand positioning, value, mission, and how you want to be perceived by clients.
These key factors are what set your business apart from all the other nutrition practices. So, it’s important to have them clear in your mind. Once you clearly understand your brand identity, you can start building your brand around it.
Before you do anything, start by answering these questions:
- Who is your ideal client? Give them a name, face, age, and location, and list their most common challenges and pain points.
- What value do you offer your clients? This is an essential piece of branding because it quickly tells potential clients whether you can help solve their problems.
- How are you different (AKA, what’s your superpower)? Check your competitors and consider what makes you unique. There are many other dietitians in your niche. Why should a potential client work with you?
- What do you stand for? Why do you want to improve your clients’ lives, and how do you do it?
The answers to these questions form the backbone of your brand strategy. This is your roadmap; the more you return to these basics with everything you do, the stronger your brand becomes.
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Create Your Visual Brand Elements
Once you have your roadmap, it’s time to get creative and focus on your visual branding elements. These are crucial because they create a cohesive and recognizable image for your business. People will associate these visual elements with you and your business as you grow and become more visible online or in person.
Your visual brand elements should relay your personality and business goals while appealing to your audience and their pain points and needs. Visual brand elements include:
This is the symbol or design that represents your business. It’s often a brand’s most recognizable visual element and should be simple, unique, and memorable. You can DIY your logo using free tools on Canva, download a premade logo on sites like Creative Market, or hire a designer to develop a custom logo.
Your color palette
A color palette is a set of colors used consistently throughout a brand’s visual identity. Choose your colors carefully to reflect your brand’s values and personality. But remember your audience. Color can evoke strong feelings and emotions (learn more about color psychology), so while you should choose a color palette that reflects your personality, it’s also vital to choose colors that also speak to your audience.
Typography refers to the fonts and text styles used in a brand’s visual identity. Much like color, your typography evokes certain styles and emotions. Fonts should be legible and consistent across all your marketing materials.
These are the photos, illustrations, and graphics used in your brand’s visual identity. They should be high-quality and reflect your values and messaging. You can find free images and illustrations on websites like Unsplash or Pexels. Or, if you have a small budget, you can invest in stock photos from sites like iStock or Stocksy. These offer a wider range of images you’re less likely to see on other websites.
Your website design
Your website is likely the first point of contact between you (your brand) and your audience. Your website design should be visually appealing and consistent with your brand’s visual identity. Having a clean, straightforward design is OK (and even preferred). Most importantly, it should be tied to your brand, speak to your audience, and be easy to navigate on desktop and mobile.
By creating a cohesive visual identity through these components, you can create a strong and recognizable brand that resonates with your target audience.
It’s a lot! Building a brand can be overwhelming. Check out our $100K Brand Formula training, and we’ll walk you through it step-by-step. Inside, you’ll discover the secrets successful 6 figure dietitians use to create premium branding that attracts high ticket clients, gets them featured in the media, and lands epic partnerships.
Develop Your Written Content
Pair your visual with your written content for the big picture of your brand’s identity. Your content is the words, messages, and stories on your website, social media accounts, and everywhere else people see your brand. But it’s often the missing piece that many brands forget about.
Well-written content allows you to express your voice and shine, connect, and engage with your audience. It’s also a key opportunity to let your audience know you’re an engaging, relatable, and authoritative dietitian and an expert in your niche.
Every page on your website, as well as your blog and social media posts, should speak directly to your audience and address their pain points. Incorporate concise headlines, subheads, and bullet points to capture attention. And use storytelling (but keep it short!) to communicate your brand’s story and values. This can create an emotional connection with your audience and make your brand more memorable.
Your written content helps build relationships with potential and existing clients and reinforces your brand’s messaging and identity.
It’s important to note that copywriting is a skill that often doesn’t come naturally. Becoming a good copywriter takes time and practice. Check out this article on Nine Website Copywriting Tips for Dietitians to help inspire your written content.
Branding vs. Marketing
The terms marketing and branding are sometimes used interchangeably. Branding differs from marketing, but the two work together and are vital to your business’s success. While branding is the process of creating and building an identity for your business, marketing is the process of promoting and selling your products or services.
Marketing involves short or long-term strategies to promote your brand and grow your business. They might include:
- Expanding your social media presence
- Running paid ads
- Participating in speaking events or presentations
- Optimizing your customer service
When you’re a new business owner, you can market your business without having a solid brand, but that won’t be effective. You’ll put in lots of effort, but your audience will unlikely connect with you or remember you when they’re ready to hire a dietitian. Likewise, if you have a strong brand, but you don’t market your business, no one will notice your brand.
Marketing plus branding is where the magic happens. By combining effective marketing strategies with a strong brand identity, your business will be on track to achieve long-term success and growth.
Creating a brand takes time and some creativity, but it will pay off. If you feel overwhelmed or stuck, reach out! We’re here to help you and your business succeed.