#005 - Branding, Naming and Financial Decisions To Make NOW [Part 1]
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Welcome to decision making day, my friend!
This is a two part episode, because we're going to cover some strategic decisions that you need to make in your business, as well as the mindset behind confidently making decisions that you don't second guess in the future, and exactly how to do that.
So listen to BOTH episodes.
In this part 1, we're going to fly through the basic branding decisions you need to make quickly: what to call your business, your website URL if you have one, your legal business structure, and how to organize your business finances.
These aren't rocket science, but indecision and confusion about what to move forward with keeps so many people stuck unnecessarily, which is why we're going to just address all of them in one episode.
Let’s dive in.
Action Items from this episode:
- Figure out what you're calling your business, and if you're spinning in confusion on your brand name stick to your name or a variation of it. Don't be cute or clever or intentionally hard to spell...we live in a digital world. Make it easy to find you and recognize you online.
- Keep your website url cohesive with your name and your brand and don't spend unnecessary time or bandwidth on your logo or brand colors. I promise you: they don't matter and no one cares but you. Keep it simple.
- If you haven't done so already, I want you to decide TODAY to get your business finances cleaned up by opening a dedicated business bank account and tying up any legal loose ends you've been putting off as far as your business legal entity is concerned.
- Make the call TODAY to schedule a quick consult with your CPA and get your questions answered so you can take all the boring tax decisions off your to-do list. That's what a profitable business owner does. They get organized and don't hide from their numbers or being official.
Note: The transcription below was provided for your convenience. Please excuse any typos or mistakes the automated service made in translation.
Welcome to decision making day my friend. This is a two part episode because we are going to cover some strategic decisions that you need to make in your business as well as the mindset behind confidently making all decisions so that you don't second guess yourself in the future. And I'm gonna teach you exactly how to do that. So listen to both of these episodes. Now for this one, in part one, we are going to fly through the basic branding decisions you need to make quickly, like what to call your business, your website URL, if you have one, your legal business structure and how to organize your business finances. None of these decisions are make or break or rocket science by any means. But indecision and confusion about how to move forward with these keeps so many people stuck unnecessarily. And I don't want that for you. So that's why we're going to just address all of them in one episode, I do have to mention a few other decisions that keep many practitioners stuck for way too long as well. And we're going to go into lots of detail about each of these in their own episodes coming up choosing a niche, or if you even need an edge, lots of niche drama. So we're going to talk all about that in its own episode. Another decision that a lot of people struggle with is what to sell at various stages in your business, and then how to set your prices, we'll have lots of conversation about all of those decisions, as well as what to put on your website. So it converts, and what tech software to use. These are all decisions that are a bigger conversation. So look forward to those episodes coming up as well. But for today, we have some real basic, easy stuff to go through, so that you can confidently make these decisions and move on. Again, we're going to give those other ones a lot of airtime with their own stuff. But for today, we are just going to get these basic branding. And kind of like semantics figured out right? Here is the truth. There are so many people that are struggling with their health and they need your help. They do not care what your logo looks like, I promise they just want to know that you can help them and how to pay you seriously, that's what they want to know. So all of these little decisions that we're talking about today, they are just the tiny details that don't really matter. And I want to challenge you to just decide on these today and take action on any of them that you've been putting off or spinning your wheels on up to this point. Again, here are the decisions that you need to make quickly today. Your brand name, your domain or URL of your website if you have one, your business structure, business entity and your business bank account information. So let's start off with your business name and your website URL because they're usually the same thing. And if not, they should be for simplicity sake, I'm going to make this so simple for you, my friend. Just use your name. Please just use your name please just brand your name, your name, your name, just your name, please just your name. Remember, I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of nutrition and health professionals at this point. So this recommendation is based on lots of experience. Brand your actual name, not some cutesy and clever sounding tagline that is hard for people to spell or hard for them to remember. I made this mistake in the beginning. So I also speak from my own personal experience when I tell you this, I spent months trying to figure out what to call my business when I was getting certified as a nutritional therapy practitioner. Seriously months, I landed on after much deliberation and conversation with people in my life who did not care but were polite and nodded their heads. I landed on feed yourself wellness. Okay, cutesy high inspiring, don't you just feel healthier when you hear that feed yourself lameness. And then I spent a few more months experimenting with different logos and brand colors to get the right feel for feed yourself wellness with me, literally months. Now to be fair, it was 2015 at this point, and there wasn't much information going around about how to do it any differently. Or at least I certainly didn't find this information, which is why I want to simplify it for you right now here today. And I want to tell you the best way to go brand your name brand you and make it very obvious who you are not a cutesy or clever brand name. When I was spending these months on my branding, and I let's put branding in quotation marks when I was spending money on my quote unquote, branding. It felt productive and it felt like I was working. But I wasn't. I was making my life harder in so many ways. And here's why. No one is actually paying attention to you, or enough attention to you to remember what your cutesy brand is called. Just like nobody remembered what feed yourself while this was called, if they knew me, they knew me as Andrea, they didn't know feed yourself on this and it's very confusing. So in fact, by trying to brand something other than your name, you're making it harder for people to refer you or to find you if they're not familiar with your new brand and for the most part they won't be because they know us you right so even if you have already really common name, and the URL isn't available. Like if you're Jen Anderson, that that URL is taken, I'm sure of it. But you can probably find something by being creative with using the word health or wellness or coaching, or nutrition or something like that, that you can use with your name and some combination. And then just commit to that, when you do this, your brain is going to relax about this decision. And then you could just move forward. That's the first reason I want you to just use your name. So you just decide you just take all the options off the table, all the indecision can just go away, and you get to just move forward. Second reason for just choosing your name and making this decision today is so that your website and your URL will have name recognition with you personally. And it will be easily discoverable online through search engines. When someone who doesn't remember your cutesy brand name, feed yourself a wellness, for example, but they do know you can just Google you and they get to the right spot because the name matches what they put in. So you have this works. That's called SEO, my friend Search Engine Optimization make it very, very easy for someone who kind of remembers that you might be able to help their friend and they want to just give your name to the friend, make it easy for that friend to find you when they just Google your name. Lastly, you will be much more able to change your niche and your focus or your specialty in the future. If you aren't locked into a brand name that is hyper niched or very foodie, and you know, enter, enter whatever it is for you. That would be hyper hyper niche. Leave yourself some flexibility by just using your name. And then you can make changes in the future because you never know what's in store for your business or what's coming up for you. We tend to change our paths want to be nimble and be able to do that in the future without making your life harder than it needs to be. This is what I ended up doing. And I'm so glad I did. So just to give you kind of a full story on the evolution of my brand. I operated with my cutesy little feed yourself wildness domain with my lemon logo for about three months. And then I quickly realized that it was unnecessarily confusing for my people. And my people were not that many people at that point. But it was so confusing for them. They were they were like, what, what is speed yourself? Can
I just call you, Andrea. So I quickly realized it was unnecessarily confusing for them. I changed the URL on my website and my logo to just be Andrea nordling.com Just my name, it was so much simpler. And it was search engine optimized. So when people would Google Andrea Nordling, they would get to my actual website into the right spot. So in fact, that ended up working so well as I grew my business and I was getting so much traffic to that website from my adrenal fatigue and my nutrition content that I didn't use Andrea nordling.com, when I opened my business coaching business, if I hadn't already had a lot of traffic to my nutrition content in place, I would have just used my name as my URL instead of what you see now, which is build a profitable practice. That's what the current website is. But the reason for that is because I already had used my name and had lots of traffic going there. Now since then, as I have grown my business coaching practice and have since shut down my nutrition services, I am no longer offering anything on that site. So I've unpublished most of the pages on Andrea nordling.com. And now all the traffic there redirects to my current website. So I tell you that so that, first of all, you can see that nothing is permanent. And when you do change in the future, you absolutely can do that. Everything's figure out a ball, and you can redirect it and change your brand and websites later. It's not a big deal. But secondly, which is important, it will save you a lot of unnecessary headaches down the road. If you just stick to your name right off the bat, which is what I highly, highly recommend. I jump on way too many zoom calls with people who don't have their name at the bottom of the screen. And instead it says their cutesy website name. And it's so frustrating because if it's confusing to me think of how confusing it is to their clients or do people that don't know them well yet and are just trying to establish a mental relationship with them or trying to figure out if they want to work with you or not, or them. See how we could switch that out you for them? Yes, I might do that a few times on this episode. So make it easy and fix the problem. If anywhere on the interwebs your Instagram profile anywhere that you're visible online. If it has a logo and a cutesy brand name that is not your name instead of your picture and your name. If there's a logo that people aren't going to remember or recognize and a cutesy brand name that they're not going to remember recognize you need to fix this. We tend to hugely overestimate the amount of attention that people are paying to us. And I promise you there are a lot of people who don't remember your cutesy brand name. So make it easier for everybody stick to your own name and use your actual profile photo of your face not your logo anywhere that you're online. Okay, I think I've made that case. So that's consideration number one, but a quick word on brand colors and logos while we're at it because I know that there are can be a bit of confusion about this. I don't know if confusion actually is the right word. But there's a bit of perfectionism that comes into play. When brand colors and logos and websites, a design in general comes into the equation because we'd like things to look a certain way I understand. In your business, though, it doesn't matter at all, you will not have more clients because you have the right logo, or the best color combinations on your website, that just won't happen. Nobody is going to think that you're more successful or fancier because of your scripty font, they're just going to think it's hard to read. So credit, simple is best. When in doubt, simplify it, just make sure that anything that you have on your website or anywhere online is easy to read. Black and white lettering is usually the best, and maybe one or two colors if you've got something in mind already. And if not, just don't sweat it, you can reevaluate your logo after you make your first 50k or so and then your brain will know without a doubt that branding doesn't equal a successful business because you already have one. Your beliefs do your beliefs is where your
successful business comes from. Remember episode two, go back to that one if you need a reminder on the foundations of where a profitable practice comes from. Alright, and then one last kind of rant on the branding, which again comes from love and from personal experience and from seeing so many people waste way too much time on this, I don't want to for you. Dear Lord, please do not think that you need business cards, please do not think this is 2021. So instead of business cards, do what one of my genius students did, and create a new contact in your phone for yourself that you can share with anyone that you would otherwise hand a business card to. Because that doesn't really happen in real life. Right? Put your photo in this contact your name, your number, your website URL that is branded to your name. And then use the share contact function on your phone. However you do that, to text, that contact information, show the contact to anybody that you want to as if it's a business card, boom, five minutes and $0 later, you have a digital business card. Just make a business contact for yourself that you can share genius right now look at that. We already cleaned up most of the branding indecision that keeps people stuck for way too long. So you're already miles ahead. And if you have most of this handled already in your business, kind of good to go through this exercise and just do a little audit for yourself, right. So think about everything we're going to talk about today. And just make sure that you aren't spinning in indecision on any of this, keep it really clean in your brain, make it simple move on. I know the real reason that these decisions seem hard, because really they aren't. They're very simple and straightforward. But they seem hard sometimes, because you're trying to make the right choice that will make you seem more successful or more professional, I totally get it. But I would way rather that you focus on actually being more successful. And you'll do that by working with clients and helping them so that you don't even think about your logo or you don't even think about your brand colors. And there is no right choice anyway. It's not like there's a right answer that's going to equal more money that doesn't exist, our brain likes to think that there is a right and wrong, but there really isn't. So just keep it simple with your branding. And make a deal with yourself that you can revisit it in six months or a year or some timeframe in the future. But for now, you're just going to make decisions based on simplicity, and keeping it easy for people to find you, and then just move on. Okay, we're moving on from branding Check, check the checkbox we're moving on. Next up are the legal decisions, and the money stuff, specifically the legal decisions and the money stuff that people don't want to deal with. Because it's not the fun stuff. But these are the best decisions because you're a business owner now and you're making decisions that business owners make. So don't hide from the legal and the money stuff, or put them off today is the day that you're going to tackle it if you haven't already. First off, you're going to figure out your legal business entity if you have not done this already. So to do that, you're going to need to contact your CPA or you're going to need to find a referral for a good CPA in your area that can advise you on what sort of business structure you need to register. Is it an LLC or an S Corp for example, please do not spend weeks trying to read all the articles and trying online to to decipher this for yourself. Just pay a few bucks to an expert that will look at your total financial life. You likely already have an accountant that you work with that can help you with this and they will tell you exactly what to do based on where you live and your exact title and your professional liability protection that you need. All of that needs to be taken into account. And there are professionals that know how to do this. So for the love, just hire one of them to help you and do not go crowdsource this information in a free group. promised me, just don't do that. Save your time and your sanity and just hire a grown up to do it for you who already does this for a living, you are a business owner. Now it's time to up your game, it's time to make strategic investments. And this is one of them. Which brings us to financial decision number two, which is opening your business bank account. I have a lot to say about this particular to do item, because you absolutely have to separate your business finances from your personal finances. Right now, today, there's like really no gray area on this. Here's what I know about my clients. It's one or the other either from day one, you completely separate everything, and take meticulous care to document all business income and expenses. And that's camp number one. Camp number two is total disregard for business impersonal, the lines are very blurry. And it's all mixing all the accounts together.
I don't know why there's no, there's no gray area. It's just like one or the other. Either. It's a total hot mess, or it's very church and state, right? Want it to be church and state. In this scenario, there is a right and wrong. And making sure everything is separate from your personal finances when it comes to your business is the right answer. And if you've been resisting this until now, I am going to venture a guess that it's because you're hiding from your numbers. You don't want to know what your actual expenses are in relation to your actual income. And I am here to tell you that will not create a profitable practice for you, my friend. So please don't do it. When it comes time to file your taxes. With your brand new CPA, if you're just getting one for the first time, you absolutely have to know your numbers. And there's no reason to spend days and weeks combing through various bank accounts and every credit card statement from every credit card you have in your life trying to figure out what expenses and income you had for the year. No, no, no, do not do this. Even if your bank account or your credit card isn't specifically held in your business entity like your LLC, for example, just make sure you have a separate account for for our purposes here, just make sure that they're separate that everything that goes into that account and comes out of it is for business expenses. Now, ideally, you will get your business entity set up and then the LLC or S corp or whatever entity you and your accountant decide is right for you will be the account holder for your business accounts. If that isn't possible right now, because you don't have the right paperwork filed yet. Or for whatever reason, just still get a dedicated bank account and or credit card that you can operate with outside of your personal finances. This will make your life so much easier. And you will make more money just from this little shift because your brain will love the decisiveness of knowing that you have a business and you are treating it as such, really just that little uplevel in your thinking and in how you're approaching your business can mean a lot more money in your practice, I promise. There's so much value in operating like a profitable business owner, instead of like a hobby nutritionist that is kind of maybe I don't know, might have a business someday, if it turns into one. No, no, no, no, you turn your business into a business by deciding that right now. Today, it is a business and it's not a hobby. And we for sure do not mix our personal finances and our business finances. Inside the profitable nutritionist program, my clients do monthly revenue tracking for themselves. And the reason we do that is to stay on top of the numbers, you have to be able to look at them and not hide from them. So for inside our program, what we do on the first of the month is track the previous month's total revenue, the total revenue for the year to date, and also the total revenue for the previous 12 months. And I know that just looking at those numbers, which doesn't take into account any expenses. This is just gross revenue. But when we look at those numbers and get comfortable tracking them, and not hiding from the numbers, I know how much more organized they are with their expenses. And with tracking it and growing. It's just it's this magical thing that happens in your brain, when you're no longer hiding from the numbers. When you have actual metrics to make decisions from you can be a lot more strategic in your business. And I'm going to teach you a lot about this. But step one is just separating your business and personal finances, which is going to make all of your bookkeeping, your taxes, your budgeting, your projections, all of that so much simpler as your business grows. So that was a lot and yet it wasn't these are very basic decisions. Let's recap these really basic kind of boring decisions. You can just make them drama free today and then move on. First, you're figuring out what you're calling your business. And if that's still up in the air for you and you're spinning in confusion on that, then they want you to stick to your name or a close variation of Your name,
maybe with one more word added. Don't be cute. Don't be clever. Don't be intentionally hard to spell for goodness sake, we live in a digital world make it easy to find you and to recognize you online. That's consideration number one. Number two, keep your website URL cohesive with your name and your brand. And don't spend unnecessary time or bandwidth on your logo or your colors, or your fonts or any of that, I promise you, they don't matter. They're not going to actually make you money and nobody cares. But you just keep it simple. Then if you haven't done so already, I want you to decide today to get your business finances cleaned up by opening up a dedicated business bank account that's totally separate from your personal and tying up any of those legal loose ends that you've been putting off. As far as figuring out what kind of business entity you need. Any of that is concerned, just put it all to bed, get it handled today is the day make the call today and schedule a quick consult with your CPA, get your questions answered. So you can take all that boring tax decisions. And all of those considerations off your to do list. That is what a profitable business owner does. They get organized, and they don't hide from the numbers. They don't hide from being official. Remember when you're putting off any of these decisions or tasks is because you're trying to avoid making the wrong decision, or doing it wrong, or some variation of that. And really, the only way to fail here and do it wrong is not making the decision. And just indulging in confusion. That's really the only way to do it wrong. So don't do that. When you develop this skill of being decisive in your business and taking action. Your clients are going to reap the benefits of that confidence and they are going to start to model what you're doing and do the same. They will be more decisive, they will take more action and they will be more confident just by watching you do that same thing. So how do we do that you ask? Well, I have a lot to teach you about this skill. So the method for mastering it is what we are going to talk about in part two, but for today, tie up all those loose ends, make all these little decisions because it's about to get a whole lot more fun. And you need to have all of this handled first. Alright, I'll meet you in part two.
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