Is Perfection Paralyzing Your Brand Growth?Oct 19, 2023
I’ve always had an eye for making things “perfect.”
As a Virgo and One Enneagram, my attention naturally gravitates towards even the tiniest imperfections, brewing within me a deep need to fix things so they’re just right.
With time, I’ve come to realize that while I can appreciate my eye for detail and desire to put my best foot forward, my pull towards perfectionism has sometimes been so extreme that it’s held me back - in life, and in business.
When I look back at old videos of myself, I can’t help but cringe because of how perfectly I was trying to portray myself. I mean… did I really think that showing up so polished and rehearsed would resonate with anyone!?
This constant attempt at portraying myself as “perfect,” “flawless,” was really just making me completely unrelatable to my audience – building barriers rather than just leveling with them and meeting them where they were at. When you constantly try to portray perfection, people can’t relate – because people are messy, people resonate with others who show those messy, imperfect parts of themselves.
What I’ve learned over time is that there’s a fine line between clarity and perfectionism, and we fare best when we sit on the clarity side of that line.
Before we go any deeper, let’s define what perfectionism is.
Perfectionism is an endless cycle of trying to hide or fix any and all flaws – it’s an idea that in order for things to be good or successful, they must be without flaw. But let’s agree on one thing here: true perfection does not exist.
I'm sure you’ve heard the saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and the same is true for perfection. Not only is everyone’s definition of perfect different, but I’ve found that seeking perfection is a never-ending quest that has no end result (other than just more agony because things still aren’t “perfect”). Whatever your version of perfect is, it’s impossible to reach. There’s always one more little thing that can be tweaked.
I know this is a common problem entrepreneurs struggle with, especially in the early days of building our businesses. It can feel like we have to have every T crossed and I dotted before we can work with any clients or put ourselves out there in any way.
This endless pursuit of perfection keeps so many entrepreneurs stuck, paralyzed, unable to move forward with their businesses just because the logo isn’t exactly right or there’s something off about that shade of green. So many people who have important gifts to share with the world, who can help others in such profound ways, get stuck in perfection paralysis – and I want to help you make sure that doesn’t happen to you. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common places people get stuck, and what to do to get unstuck.
How are you showing up as the face of your brand? Like we talked about above – are you trying to portray perfection, or are you showing the real parts of yourself and your life to your audience? It’s been researched and proven that people trust people they can relate to. No one is interested in perfectionism, no one relates to perfectionism.
The person you are being in your brand – how you show up on social media, how you interact with clients, the tone that shines through your blog posts, the vibe you give off at networking events, how you communicate in your videos – is your brand personality. In terms of our brand personality, we don’t want to be perfect or overly-polished – perfect is boring and unrelatable.
In a world that’s full of fakeness and flawlessly-edited images, people crave real, human experiences more and more. Remember, your audience is made up of real people with real emotions and experiences. They seek brands that mirror their values, share their struggles, and celebrate their victories. An overly perfected brand persona comes across as cold and impersonal – which is not going to help you grow your business, it’s only going to help you build barriers.
Authenticity is the bridge that can break those barriers and help you connect with your audience. When they see the messy, the unplanned, and the real, authentic facets of a brand, they see a reflection of themselves. It’s an affirmation that even in imperfection, beauty and value exist.
As you engage with your clients, craft your social media stories, or even decide the tone of your email campaigns – ask yourself: How am I showing up? The energy you bring, the vibe you radiate, and the tone you adopt are all reflections of your brand personality.
While perfectionism has its merits, it’s crucial to find the sweet spot. A brand can lean towards excellence without losing its soul.
Brand Messaging & Visuals
When you meet someone new, it's not just their appearance that leaves an impression; it's their words, their tone, and their essence. Similarly, for brands, while visual aesthetics play a significant role, it's the messaging that forms the heart and soul of your brand. I will admit, this is one area where you do want to focus plenty of attention to get it right before you launch and start throwing spaghetti at the wall. However, it’s still important to not let perfection paralysis keep you stuck at this important first step!
Your brand message communicates who you are, what you stand for, the value you bring, and why that matters to your audience. It's a beacon for your ideal client, guiding them through the vast digital seas straight to your shores. But, getting your brand's message right can feel overwhelming. However, tools and frameworks, like power profiles, archetypes, and brand bundles, can streamline the process, acting as compasses to ensure your brand message stays true to its essence, consistent across platforms, and resonates deeply with your target audience.
On the flip side of this coin is brand visuals. It's easy to get enamored by the visuals. To obsess over whether that shade of pink captures the right emotion, or if a particular font resonates with your brand personality. And while aesthetics matter, they should never overshadow the message. In the rush to perfect the visuals, the core essence – the brand message – shouldn't get skipped over.
Before blasting content all over the internet, it's imperative to refine your message to its clearest form. A muddled message in a pretty package will only lead to confusion.
While it's crucial to refine your brand's message, it's equally essential to put it out there. Start with a clear message and let it evolve as you grow, learn, and engage with your audience.
Brand Tools and Software
In an era of digital complexities, the allure of the latest tools and software can be tempting.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good tool that can make my day-to-day business operations run smoother. Kajabi, for example, is the software I use to run my website, and it’s been a game-changer for my business.
But even the best tool or piece of software does no good if we’re stuck in decision paralysis, refusing to move forward until we find the perfect option.
The truth is, there are likely multiple tools out there that can get the job done. It's not always about having the shiniest tool in the shed; it's about doing what you can with what you have, purposefully.
When you're onboarding a new client, for instance, your primary focus should be on their experience with you and your brand. Is the process intuitive? Are the steps clear? Do they feel guided and valued? The aim is to remove any barriers of confusion or overwhelm. A straightforward, efficient process always exceeds a convoluted one, even if it has all the fanciest bells and whistles.
Everywhere you turn, there's a new "must-have" tool that promises to revolutionize your workflow. However, the true essence of effective branding lies not in the tools you use but in the experience you craft. Clients and audiences gravitate towards brands that make them feel understood, valued, and cared for.
So, instead of getting bogged down by minor details or paralyzed about which email software to use, zoom out and focus on the bigger picture: crafting genuine, impactful brand experiences. Remember, in branding, sometimes less is indeed more.
Clarity Over Perfection – Finding the Middle-Ground Magic
Perfectionism is often a barrier in a multitude of ways – first, it stops you from taking any action at all, and second it makes you unrelatable to your audience. Honestly, it’s not just a barrier; it's an iron chain that keeps your brand tethered, preventing it from soaring to its true potential. But there's a middle ground, a harmonious balance that strikes the perfect note. It's where clarity intertwines with authenticity, leading to magnetic brand resonance.
Perfectionism's greatest trick is convincing you that you're not ready, that you need just a tad more refinement. But here's the truth: perfection is an ever-moving goalpost. Taking action, even if it's imperfect, is infinitely better than stagnation, than being paralyzed by this unachievable idea of perfection.
The most magnetic brands are those that find the sweet spot between relatability and clarity. They're neither overly polished nor haphazardly constructed. They exude an aura of authenticity, yet their message is clear. This balance ensures that your brand doesn't just attract the right audience but also forms deep, lasting connections without the alienating sheen of perfection.
Perfection's Double-Edged Sword: While aiming for excellence is great, over-polishing can make a brand seem distant and unapproachable. Nobody resonates with the “perfect” leader, so show your audience the real, unfiltered, authentic YOU.
Message as the Magnet: The true essence of any brand lies in its messaging. A clear and consistent voice stands the test of time and speaks to a deeper part of your audience.
The Simplicity Secret: At times, less truly is more. Prioritizing client experience is more important than having the latest flashy tools.
Dive In, Then Refine: Start with a clear brand vision and take the plunge. As your brand evolves, so can your strategies and execution.
Balance is Brilliance: The most impactful brands master the art of balance. They're authentic yet clear, striking the perfect chord with their audience.
In the end, building a brand is a journey, not a destination. And on this journey, clarity and authenticity are the compasses that guide the way, ensuring that the path taken is not just successful but also deeply fulfilling.
If you’re ready to build your brand with a pro by your side, The Impact Tribe is here for you!! Through coaching, courses, and community, I’ll help you build a stand-out brand that represents who you are, resonates with your ideal client, and gives you what you need to make it easy for your ideal clients to hire you. What are you waiting for?! Learn more and join us today at the link below.