The Five Brand Sirens

By Jessica Albon

Brand Archetypes for Small Businesses

Your Brand Siren is all about which classic Hollywood film star (or creative) best embodies your most client-attractive way of being.

After all, each of these five women built an audience of adoring fans by behaving in a specific (and different) way.

What’s great about this approach is that it means by following your role model’s style, you can easily connect with more great clients (instead of connecting with clients you’re not a good fit for).

Each of the styles is described below. To find out which best suits you, take the quiz.

You can also read my other blog posts about the Brand Sirens.

Edith Head

Edith Head was a master at creating transformations. Working with you is magical and your clients often remark (or you’d like them to remark) about how working with you seems effortless, transformational, and mysterious.

When it comes to your website, it’s crucial that you construct an entire, spellbinding experience for visitors. Not for you is the Seeker style of asking lots of questions, or the Ingenue’s style of gentle storytelling. Rather, you wave your magic wand, et voila! your web visitor feels the power of your abilities.

It can be tricky to really embrace who you are because there are so many guides steering you astray. So, remember this: you know exactly how to brand your business. You’ll need the support of a creative team to bring it to life, but you already know exactly how to talk about what you do in a way that entices. Make sure you find the digital branding team that gives you permission to do it your way.

Audrey Hepburn

You’re an ingenue, through and through. Working with you is a gradual, gentle experience for your clients. They don’t experience a sudden makeover, but rather are able to ease into your work together. Clients often remark (or you’d like them to remark) about how intuitive you are, how you never move too quickly, and how you’re always gracious and supportive.

When it comes to your website, it’s crucial that you stay as far away from hard-hitting “persuasive” copy as possible. Because, with your style, this comes across as icky and manipulative and it won’t attract the kind of clients you want to work with. Rather, weave stories, engage your visitors’ sense of wonder, and possibility and relate to your audience the way an ingenue would.

Because there are a lot of Audreys out there, it’s easy to find your people and to find good role models. Alas, that Audrey’s the most common of the archetypes has a drawback: you have trouble standing out. To get the best clients possible, work with a creative team who knows how to make YOU shine.

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine was quick witted and sharp and just a tiny bit mean. All around fun to be around, if you ask me! Your clients probably remark about your ability to see what’s going on with crystal clarity and your ability to see through their excuses and masks and get at the core of a situation.

Your clients appreciate that you’re honest with them, but that you don’t try to give them more than they can handle. They feel evenly matched by you (mostly because you know when to hold yourself back a little bit) as opposed to outpaced. Just watch her repartee with the leading men in her movies–she doesn’t talk circles around them, and you get the sense she easily could. Likewise, you make your clients feel clever just for hanging out with them.

Not for you are the endless (and let’s face it, BORING) questions of the seeker. Rather, your website and marketing materials should focus like a laser beam. You know why people are visiting you, know what they want, and know how to give it to them. Express this in your copy, my dear! Don’t shy away because you don’t want to be bossy or step on any toes. Just be sure to leave room to “Taste the Clever.”

Liz Taylor

You’re gorgeous, inside and out! But, more than that, you have a wildly seductive side. Sure, you *could* just rest on your “come hither” laurels, but what’ll be more powerful for you is to “set a trap” using your website.

Now, you have a big, big disadvantage in the client-getting game and that’s that it’s easy for you to be *too* magnetic and wind up with a roster full of wrong-fit clients. Sometimes this means that rather than risk all of those bad apples, you shut yourself out of the client-getting game entirely (oh, sure you think you’re trying to get clients, but ask yourself honestly if you might be standing in your own way).

What all of this means for your website and copy is that you need to be careful. You need to let your inner seductress out–it’s the only way to get clients you’ll love working with–BUT first you’ve got to get clear on who those right clients are for you. Once you have this perfect client in mind, it’s easy to build a client-capturing site that’ll bring you a steady stream of eager admirers (oops, I mean clients).

Your type, more than the others, benefits from plenty of hand-holding. So, make sure to find expert brand-building guidance that resonates with you and your way of doing things.

Judy Garland

You’re on a journey and you help your clients who are a bit further behind than you are. It’s sort of like being a just-up-ahead lighthouse. You’re shining the light on where they’re at and giving them hope there’s more to come. Your clients probably often say things like, “It’s so nice working with someone who’s already had this experience,” or, “Talking with you makes things so clear.”

This type means spending *a lot* of time on the early hand-holding with prospective clients. In fact, I’d wager a bet you do a lot more initial consults that don’t turn into business than some of your competitors. You might think there’s something wrong with you or how you do those intakes… You’ve probably even invested money in learning how to “sell” better with less-than-fabulous results.

Here’s what’s happening. Your clients are seekers. You’re a seeker. That means you all have lots and lots of questions swirling around in your heads. For every potential decision, a dozen objections and complications pop up. Your potential clients *want* to hire you–they’re sincere when they sign up for those initial consults–but there are obstacles that get in their way.

It’s  important to have a thorough, comprehensive website–that way, after that initial consult, they can revisit your site and see all of their questions addressed. Clients who are drawn to the Judy Garlands of the world often ask for a second (or third) free consultation before they make up their mind. Rather than let your work devolve into an endless round of free consultations, take action to make your website, ezine, and all of your copy support your people so they can make a strong, assertive decision.

Your copy should center on questions, it should seek to explore rather than persuade. Never, ever, ever close off options in your copy, but rather treat all of your materials like an inter-related flow chart, asking yes or no questions but letting people funnel back up to earlier decisions. In this way, they’ll come to the natural conclusion that you understand the way they think and that you can indeed show them the way.

Like in Judy Garland’s most-memorable role in The Wizard of Oz, you want to direct your people to “follow the yellow brick road”–take a decisive course of action–while also leaving room for them to develop character on their own.

If you’re the Judy Garland type, you especially benefit from having guidance writing your copy because they’ll be able to bring a firmer sense of direction than you’d have on your own.