Bring Your Brand to Life By Starting a Movement

06/01/2015 04:27 pm ET | Updated May 29, 2016

When it comes to building a business for the long haul, one thing is for sure: the ones that make the biggest impact are those that start a movement. Whether the movement is about helping those who are disadvantaged like TOMS Shoes has done so well, or making furniture chic but affordable like IKEA, every company needs to eventually answer this question: What are we standing up for?

How powerful can a movement really be? Part of the work I do as a brand visibility strategist is to help put my client's movements into words that get them noticed and get other people excited to join in and spread that message. It never fails to amaze me how just the right message can spark something bigger than the business so that the brand really comes to life beyond being just a logo to some.

You might be wondering what makes up a good movement. Here are three key ingredients the very best have in common:

  • It touches your audience right at the center of their heart. When you touch your audience's mind, you get their attention for a second. Touch their mind and their heart, and you've got gold.
  • It's very personal. Your movement doesn't always have to be about a good cause like AIDS research or helping a local school. It should be about something you believe in that you've experienced because it'll ultimately attract people who feel the same. It centers around a theme in your business or personal life that you most passionately want to share.
  • You can see it lasting a long time. We all grow over time but the main movement of your brand should stay fairly consistent. You want to pick one that you would feel just as good about 5 or 10 years from now as you would today.

A perfect example is The Don't Limit Me Movement by my client, Tasha M. Scott, a Personal Development Coach for women. "It's about helping women in everyday life to learn how to finally give themselves permission to live life on their terms to live life the dream, to live without apology, to truly be free and live," she explains. Tasha adds, "It's about knowing that the choice is theirs and theirs alone." When she really got clear on her movement, she realized it sprung from a big point in her life where she was successful in one area but her personal life was failing. She sounded and looked successful but something was missing. "I felt like I was wearing a mask." She eventually found a life coach who encouraged her to commit to journaling her thoughts. This commitment was her first step to the success she has today.

Tasha says that starting a journal is an excellent way to find your movement. Here are some questions she recommends you ask yourself to get going:

  • What do I really want in life? If I could give myself permission to be anything, what would I do?
  • Why am I in business in the first place? What is my purpose?
  • Who am I called to serve and why that particular group?
  • What are my strengths in this business?

Another excellent question I have my clients answer is: what experience gets you most upset, frustrated, or sad in your industry or in your life? The answer provides clues as to what your business really stands for and that can lead to your movement.

Bring your movement to life is about more than just finding the right statement. Here are some ways Tasha has brought hers to life (and how you can too)

  • Create a hashtag for social media so people can become aware of it.
  • Use different platforms to share the movement. It doesn't matter whether you speak, or write a book (or both), find a platform you can own and passionately get your message out there.
  • Share it at every opportunity and when you do, be transparent about your journey. Tasha says, "You have to share it for the purpose of helping people get unstuck or be free in the area you were stuck in. I didn't try to make myself look perfect or act like I had answers for everybody. I shared my mess."

What happens one you find your movement?

For Tasha, it has become the foundation for her empire. She currently leads quarterly workshops, has private coaching options for clients, and has written a book and journal. She has plans to do more group work and provide classes locally and virtually to build a community around her movement.

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