If you are a small business owner like me, you know the challenges that go into creating a brand. You have to figure out who your target market is. You have to learn how to reach those potential clients, how to engage them and keep them interested in your brand. It can be daunting, to say the least; at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to put food on the table! As a small business owner of over ten years I have picked up some bits of knowledge on branding that I wanted to share with you all, maybe these are things you already know but needed a reminder for; perhaps they are things you never thought of before and this will be eye-opening! Either way, let’s dive in.
Creating a brand is the first stage of this challenge. A brand is the face and identity of your business and what makes your business identifiable to a potential client. Some of the simpler areas of your brand to start with are the colors and textures you want in your brand, next are specific elements and logos, and third are your photos and functionality of your online sites. To start your branding, I recommend choosing a set of core colors that define your product, usually between five and seven colors, three to four dominant and three to four complimentary. For assistance on choosing a color palette visit my Pinterest board here.
The next step once you have chosen your brand colors and textures is refining your brand. Decide what you want your brand to say, how do you want clients to react when they see your brand. What elements do you want to incorporate with your brand? For example, my brand is a light and airy fine art photographer, who offers film and digital photography, I love soft color palettes, traveling abroad, flowers and long flowing dresses. I utilize all of those things in my brand to show clients what I want to photograph. So decide what your brand is going to say about you and your business and incorporate that into it.
The next step once your website is designed and you have social accounts set up is sharing your brand. Be consistent in this, there is nothing more unattractive to a potential client then finding a facebook who hasn’t posted in six months, or a website who’s last blog post was 2015! Yes, ladies, I am talking to you, get consistent, create a workflow for sharing your new brand. Get clients excited about your rebrand by talking about it, sharing snippets of it. Post things on a regular basis that define your brand and you’ll find that you book more and more of the types of clients you want because you are serving them.
A huge part of running a business is putting your own personality into your brand. If you are a fun loving video gamer, include photos of you gaming, your gaming station, etc in your brand. If you love dogs or cats, include those in your brand. If you are like me and love good food and traveling, incorporate that into your brand! The more of yourself you include in your brand, the more your clients will connect with you. By doing this, you can use your brand to set you apart from the competition. Clients want to connect and get to know you, they see pretty pictures all day long; they desire more human connection and a self defined brand will offer them just that. You’ll begin to get clients you connect with great in person, who has similar interests as well!
So heres my general list of things that should be branded:
Your Website and or Blog!
Your IG and FB accounts
Your marketing materials
Your Youtube or Vimeo
Over time you will start to develop more and more consistency in your brand and make sure your brand is cohesive across all platforms. A potential client going from your facebook to your website should feel like they are looking at the same business on two different platforms.