When you hear the word “brand” what do you think of? Is it your logo, website, or visual materials you put out into the online world? Well…. yes of course, it’s kind of those said things, but a brand extends waaaaay beyond that, friend.
A brand is the deeper message, purpose, and soul of your business. Your visual brand (your logo, font & color palette, website design) is a vehicle to communicate that to your peeps. Both are uber important and should be in complete synergy with each other.
In order to create the visual part of a brand, you need to know the deeper message you are communicating to the people you want to serve as customers, clients, or readers (if you have a blog). And if you’re feeling in need of some major clarity, then I totally have your back on this one. Let’s first start out with this handy diagram + concept…
Let’s dig deeper into what your brand’s magical sweet spot is. Your sweet spot is truly a balance between what visuals you feel attracted to and what visuals will attract your ideal people. The overlap is where the magic happens! But hey, I’m not saying out of the gate you have to know exactly who you are as a brand, what your purpose is, etc. but owning what you have going on RIGHT NOW and utilizing it to its full capacity is key! This leads me into my 1st point…
In this post, I am going to have you ask yourself some questions in the free worksheet that will make you think hard and dig deeeeeeep into what your brand is and how you want it to be perceived in the online world. Don’t let this scare you and get paralyzed by all the information. Taking action and starting is the BEST thing you can do because you’ll always be evolving as an online business, but you can’t evolve if you have nothing to evolve!
Kick analysis paralysis in the butt and don’t let it keep you from moving forward. This process is all about progress, not perfection.
YOUR BRAND ISN’T JUST YOUR LOGO + WEBSITE
Like I started out in this post – a brand is so much deeper than your logo, fonts, and website. Even deeper than all the visual stuff we create and call our “brand”. A brand is our voice, our business philosophy, our reputation all rolled into one. The visuals are just a vehicle to express all of that. If we have the visuals down, but all the under-the-surface parts are fuzzy than having a pretty website isn’t doing the job.
Your visual brand has a major purpose and in order to have to work for you, you have to do the behind the scenes work to really know who you and who your people are. It’s also about doing research and finding out where youf people are hanging out online and offline. What type of visuals turn them on and what types of things turn them off?
Download the worksheet below to get started on digging deeper into these big branding questions and answers. If you’re already on my list, head over the secret link you received when you signed up.
WHAT ARE YOUR VISUALS SAYING ABOUT YOUR BRAND?
Every heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Let’s replace picture with visual brand – a visual brand is worth a thousand words. Ah so very true!
Have you ever tried to explain something to someone in words and you just got blank stares? And then once you mapped it out visually, they just got it? This is because visuals portray things that language and words can’t describe. Hey, I’m not saying your copy isn’t important, but think about what someone sees first on a website. It’s the visuals, of course!
ACTION STEP – When you are designing your brand – instead of picking out pretty things for inspiration, think of 3 core words that describe the personality of your brand. We’ll totally go deeper on this in the worksheet. Here’s some examples (to get your word brainstorming juices flowing) – joyful, empowered, elegant, feminine, bold, soulful, quirky. Once you have these words nailed down then think about what visuals and colors match these. For example, if one of your words is “bold” your visuals would possibly be striking, contrasting colors, black & white with vibrant pops of color. Pull inspiration that embodies your words. This will create major intention behind the branding process.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY! (BUT NOT THE KIND EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT)
I know you’ve heard this over and over again to be consistent in your branding… blah, blah, blah! Can I just be super honest with you for a second? Some consistency is kind of repetitive and boring. Of course, you need a consistent color & font palette + style, but consistency can go deeper. You don’t have to have a robotic brand to be recognizable and build an intentional brand image. Think of your personal brand as an extension of you. If you like structure, be consistent in that. If you like chaos and wild things, be that…. and be that consistently.
I think sometimes we can take in information about branding and hold these truths that other experts are saying we have to do, but if it doesn’t feel good to us then we can’t effectively communicate with the people we are serving. So be YOU…. and be that consistently (whatever that may mean to YOU)!
And I get it – I personally get bored easily (like most creative people do). So yes, I keep my fonts and colors consistent, but I allow my brand to have space for me to get creative and try new things when I want to. I create that space visually by picking a main header font that is super versatile. You can do the same.
Or maybe you really dig structure, then you should stick to more of a branded formula. You can do this by creating numerous templates for every marketing material you put out. This will help keep everything in a similar look and theme.
…. Or do a little combination of both of the above 🙂
DESIGNING YOUR BRAND IS LIKE PICTURE DAY…
Ok, quick story time to wrap things up… Remember picture day in elementary school? My mom got craaaaaazy about this day. She would curl mine and my sister’s hair in weird-looking ringlets and would go overboard on the hair accessories (bows and headbands for days). We wore uniforms, but if not I can only imagine how scary our outfits would of been on this day too. I remember going to school on picture day feeling like a complete clown (and not the cute and funny kind). That whole day, I remember feeling really uncomfortable in my own skin. I wasn’t able to ease through my day with confidence. I always dreaded getting those pictures back because I looked far from my normal, everyday self.
Well, that is how a visual brand works. You need something you can feel authentic with or you can’t go through your business with confidence and ease. Your website should be like an outfit you picked out that makes you feel like the best version of yourself (maybe that’s sweatpants or a rockin’, colorful dress).
And with that said, you can have a pretty bangin’ website and visual brand, but giving it intention and purpose makes all the difference. It creates a deeper connection from you to your biz which then can create a lasting connection with your audience to your brand.
I totes invite YOU to download this worksheet and get started building and designing a brand with intention that matches your total inner awesomeness!