Branding is one of those things that solopreneurs and startups often overlook. You’ve got a name, maybe have a logo, and have picked out a few colors you like – that’s good enough, right?
Do you have a huge network of people who know your name? Do you already have recognition within your community and legitimacy as a business? Are clients falling over themselves to work with you? If the answer is no to any of those questions then no, what you’re currently doing for branding is not enough.
The way you represent yourself as a business is really important to potential clients. If you have a “good enough for now” attitude, it’s going to show. And your clients don’t want to hire someone that’s “good enough”. They want the best. How can you present yourself as the best if you’re showing up as “good enough for now”?
If your visual identity isn’t consistent or cohesive, your website will end up looking chaotic and sloppy. Your audience won’t see you as a legitimate business and you may lose clients – or not even be considered in the first place. Branding is a step that, as a legitimate business, you cannot overlook.
What exactly is branding? I’m glad you asked! People often confuse a logo with a brand. These two are not interchangeable. Your brand is your reputation within your community. It’s the way they see you or how they speak about you. Your logo, color palette, fonts, image treatments, this is what we would call your brand’s identity, or your visual representation.
If it’s in your budget, it’s best to work with a designer for this. They will help facilitate this process and will provide you with all the documents you need to keep your brand consistent. It can be really pricey though, so it’s totally okay to DIY. (Pro-tip, if you have a friend who is a designer and they’re open to trading services, totally do that!) If you are working with a designer, make sure they know you want branding is as well as identity and a logo (if necessary).
When I do a branding package for my clients, we dive into a lot of the same background information that we covered in the first three parts of this series. After we nail down the “big picture” items, we get to the fun part of crafting a visual identity. It’s a creative and collaborative process that often produces unexpected results.
Following this process will help you feel confident about how your business is represented. When you look good, you feel good! And it will enable you to have a consistent look and feel on your website, which in turn builds a sense of trust and legitimacy within your community.
Want to learn more about how I lead my clients through creating a brand? Sign up below to get a free copy of my ebook, Facing Your Website Fears (coming out on July 24, 2019). You’ll get an inside look at my step-by-step process!