By Cindy Randall
Businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs, people with big ideas – anyone who has a product or service to sell needs to figure out pretty quickly what will define them as a ‘brand’.
As us girl-boss-types know, you are also competing with A LOT of other brands, some of which have been going strong for years. So you need to make your mark and stand out in your industry.
That’s where the wonderful world of branding comes in – you have to find your ‘voice’, what makes you tick, your niche, how you can set yourself apart and show your value to the world.
There are so many ways to achieve this, but before diving fully into the complex world of marketing and branding, it’s important to create clearly defined Mission and Vision Statements for your business – and I’ve found these super helpful myself as I’ve made the foray into the wonderful world of Business!
These statements help you get to the real guts of your business; who you are, what you do, where you are going and how that makes you invaluable to your clients.
Once these are defined, you’ll find you have a better idea of who you should be targeting and how to appeal to that audience – essentially directing your marketing and business strategies from that point on!
It also helps you make an impression in networking situations when you have a very short amount of time, often around 60 seconds, to help people understand who you are and what your business can do for them.
Creating your Mission Statement
Your Mission Statement defines your business, your objectives, and how you will reach those objectives – and shows what you can do for people who engage with your brand.
It should be a maximum of two sentences which quickly sum up what you do and how you make your clients lives better by doing it.
If you break it down, the simple way to start looks like this…
Here at [Business name] we provide [services] by [how you work] in order to [value added to client].
For example, here is the one I created for my own business – after many tries so just keep at it ladies!
At Hats Off Copywriting, we believe your business’ story should be told with authenticity and personality!
Our goal is to get to know YOU, the person behind the brand, so we can create engaging content which gives you the ability to really connect with your customers.
You’ll notice I don’t list the exact services I offer, but as the word of my main service ‘copywriting’ is in the name of my company, I chose not to. I wanted to be more focused on my goal, or my ‘why’, and how that helps the client.
People want you to talk about THEM, they want to know you understand and can solve their problems – they aren’t that interested in the nitty-gritty details of what you offer until they are interested enough to learn more about you – so keep it simple!
For me, my clients want to have someone else create content for them. They are busy business owners who still want to connect with their clients and promote their brand through their website and social platforms. They also have a unique business story, awesome brand and personality, but might not have the words to be able to express it clearly on their own.
Because I want my service to solve those problems… ta-daaa! I can address them as part of my mission statement! After all, our businesses exist to help our clients – so our mission statement shouldn’t be only about us.
You can also include (if it’s authentic to your business):
- Business Values – integrity, connection, empowerment, sustainability etc.
- Inclusive wording – we, you – this creates accessibility and connection.
- Show personality – use unique or casual wording.
- Mention your team – employees, managers, investors etc.
I love Oxfam’s mission statement;
Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. Our mission: To create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and social injustice.
Two sentences. Simple. To the point and powerful! It isn’t super specific, but it’s enough that you understand how passionate they are about what they do and how focused they are on their goal. Strong words like ‘injustice’ and ‘lasting solutions’ are potent enough to convey a lot of feeling without getting all verbose and waxing poetic about it. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
When crafting your own statement, think about YOU, your mission and the massive value you offer to your clients, but also think about THEM – how can you express the above in a way that shows you can meet their needs and solve their problems?
Most importantly, stick at it!
It can take a lot of time to condense your business into a few words which are simple, concise and you feel get to the heart of what you are all about – so just keep at it ladies!
Creating your Vision Statement
Your Vision Statement describes where you will be in the future – which makes them want to stick around for the ride!
“A computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software.”
– Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief executive officer, 1980
Boom. Does that make you think this guy is crazy, or that he is a go-getter who is confident and dreams big? That’s a global vision right there.
A vision statement can project confidence, show you have a goal for the future and how your business will make a difference – and let people know you have no plans on going anywhere but up! What a powerful way to make people want to be part of what you are doing!
At [business name] our goal is to [your ultimate business goal].
Dream big and be as specific as you can!
- Do you want to be in X countries or cover the globe?
- Change lives with the value you add, money you save them, service you offer?
- Be known world-wide for the service you offer?
- Be funding or contributing to charities or causes that will change the world – or maybe start your own through the business?
- Do you want to grow to X size?
Go large but remember, this is helping you plan for the future – and you want to be able to achieve your lofty and incredible vision! Make sure you also implement a plan to get you there. Anything is possible!
So here we go team, get out those pens and paper, craft those attention-grabbing and powerful statements and your business will love you for it!