Whether you’re just starting out or you have been in business a long time, branding goes a long way in your business. The steps to re-branding can become overwhelming & so it is important that you start with your North Star, your brand vision to have a guiding purpose of where you want your brand to go so then you can curate the look & feel around it. Here is a simplified Branding Checklist to know where to start and how to simplify the process of building your brand.
Why Good Branding is Important
Good design will build trust and loyalty with your customer, build brand recognition, differentiate your brand from your competitors, and create a memorable interaction with your customer. By establishing a consistent brand aesthetics & imagery, your customer will get to know you, become familiar, and visually trust that you have legit services to offer.
So where to start? You may think it starts with your logo, but rather, it stems from having a clear vision & a solid brand message to connect with your goals, & your audience. In order to bring your vision to life, you need to make sure that you are crystal clear on where you want to go.
Set aside 1-2 uninterrupted hours where you can really think about what you want to do and why (for the full blog on How to Create a Powerful Vision, click here.)
Know your why to create a purpose-filled brand that has meaning to you and those you serve.
Questions to Ask yourself:
- Why did you start your business?
- What is it that you would love (not just like) to create for your business?
- What is the impact you want to make in the world?
- Name the top 5 most important things in your life?
- What are your core values?
- What are three goals for your business’s future?
“All things are created twice; first mentally; then physically. The key to creativity is to begin with the end in mind, with a vision and a blue print of the desired result.”Stephen R. Covey, Writer of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
All of these answers should give you reasons of motivation to build a brand that has meaning and intention.
Know Your Niche
Once you have clarity on your brand and who your target customer is, you can get a grasp on your niche audience, their problem and the solution you provide them. It’s important to understand exactly who you want to work with in detail as it will allow you to craft a brand message catered to their needs.
Not exactly clear on your brand message? https://reinvent-your-hustle.ck.page/5b0a7ebf6e
Ask these questions about your ideal client:
- What is it that they value?
- What is it that frustrates them about your industry?
- How can you build trust with them?
- What stresses your customer out?
- What emotions do you want your customer to feel to buy from you?
Then be sure to pull the common themes together and you can build out a message that identifies what your company is all about and the best way to help your audience. Click here to Download my Brand Message Cheat sheet.
Your brand voice is the way you communicate with your customer and the feeling you evoke. By identifying how you want the customer to feel when they meet your brand you can identify how you want to bring those ideas to life.
By Uncovering Your Brand Voice and tone you can immerse your personality into your every interaction.
Here are the 4 Steps to Uncover Your Brand Voice:
- Write out your three descriptive brand words that you want your brand associated with. Think about your company’s personality and emotion that you want infused into your communication.
- Next, Create additional descriptive adjectives that web off of your brand voice characteristic. IE) Authentic: Direct, Honest, Spirited
- Now use your words above to describe how you will transcend this in your brand. Identify what those brand words mean, what you will DO in your brand to incorporate those values and what you will NOT DO.
- Create your action plan on how you will incorporate your brand voice across your brand channels, IE) social media platforms, website, in person calls etc.
Create Your Brand Aesthetic
Create your Logo
You will want alternate logos to use across different formats. Keep in mind that you will need to have a black, white and transparent version. Also consider alternative colored logos.
You can do this through hiring a designer or work through an online logo creation service. If you already have a logo, check to be sure that it aligns with your brand tone, mood board, and vision.
Once you have a logo you can update your website, social media imagery & and start networking.
A mood board is a collection of images that reflects your brand. This will give you a clear vision of your brand’s aesthetic and feel. Look for pictures and words that evoke emotion. You can start by creating a board in Pinterest that will house all of your brand ideas.
You may also decide that you would prefer to build a more tangible mood board. In this case, print any Pinterest images, collect magazines and begin to cut out the images and words that are relevant to your vision.
Once you feel good about the colors, words, expressions, font types, emotions and feelings that your images feel collectively, apply them to the board and allow your vision to come to paper.
Colors & Fonts
After you have created your logo you can put these as well as your colors and Fonts into a Brand Style Guide, a visual blueprint for your brand. It is used to have collective alignment on your brand assets.
- Look at your mood board and identify the colors that stand out to you.
- What neutrals will compliment your main colors?
- Choose 5 colors as a basis for your brand.
- You may decide to select alternative colors such as a softer palette to use at times when you want a more toned-down approach.
- Choose 1-2 Accent colors. These are used not on your main palette, but are used for pops of color where and when appropriate.
Ask yourself if your brand were a season which season would it be relative to color?
- Winter - Simple, pure, delicate, cool
- Spring - blooming, fresh, gentle, quaint, soft
- Summer - bright, playful, cheerful, bold
- Fall - natural, warm, muted, relaxing
● Once you have chosen your colors make sure that you document the Hex, RGB and CMKY for each color.
This will ensure you have all the tools to color match when creating graphics for your website / social media.
Once you have established your style guide and brand identity it is important to maintain consistency on social media.
Try to get the same social media handles across all platforms and maintain your guidelines as you implement your content on your social pages.
Create a strategy for your social media platform including how often you will post, themes, hashtags, live content and content strategy.
If you’re not sure on how to do this and want some insider help, I’d love to chat! Click here to schedule a few minutes with me!
When creating a website, be sure to choose a theme that is cohesive and gives your customer that same feeling that you created when you worked through your brand messaging and brand voice exercises.
You may need to work with a web designer, or if your going to solo it, just be sure that your site comes across tasteful, professional, and is easy to use.
Update your email signature to reflect your new colors, logos and call to actions. Set up your email inbox specific to business and either set up a separate inbox for inquiries or specific to website emails.
Make sure that if you are using an email service provider to send out emails to your customers that you create headers and footers that match your brand.
Curate a collection of images that you can use as stock photography. These will be used across your website and social media profiles.
If you can afford to hire a photographer this will ensure that your images are top notch, but if your taking the more DIY approach, if you cannot, build laydown photography and ask a friend to take some great shots of you in multiple places (inside, outside and around town).
Think through where you will be using the photos and how. Think about your brand message and plot out your strategy prior to the shoot.
Wanna know how to do this all yourself? Click here to learn how to Create Amazing Photos that People Want to Engage With!
Take professional head shots and update your profiles. Photos of yourself will humanize your brand.
Your Personal Image
You are the most important piece of this whole puzzle. As your crafting your brand remember that you need to be comfortable embodying the essence of your brand. As you are crafting your messages, communicating with clients and putting your message out into the world remember these key things.
- Bring the energy
- Anytime you interact with your audience keep a high energy vibe. What is put out there will be reciprocated
- A smile is contagious, put your best foot forward and make sure to bring a positive mood to your audience
- Be the expert in what you do and build authority in your space through creating compelling and knowledgeable content.
- If you want clients to come to you for your service you need to maintain a high level of professionalism in all you do.
Crafting and reworking your brand should be a fun process.
As you refine, make sure your branding feels cohesive across all of your channels & materials. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, go back to your message and work through the customer’s eyes, not yours.
If you find yourself feeling disconnected to your greater brand message and that your branding does not reflect the business you are growing into? Let’s chat! I would be happy to get you a second set of eyes and help you work through your ideas and align to your greater vision. I work with clients that are feeling unclear and want someone to help them gain momentum through clarity of offers, messaging, branding and building a content strategy that feels aligned to their strengths.
I'd love to help you clarify how to emotionally connect to your clients and build a brand that feels both natural and compelling, aligned to your vision with messaging that converts.
Click here to schedule a time to chat, I often find that just taking 30 minutes can leave you feeling much more confident & clear on your direction!