How do you create a brand for your business? Entrepreneurs active in the online world often take branding for granted and it can make me crazy at times, because online branding needs just as much attention as traditional branding.
When you think about building a business online vs a traditional storefront or an office, you have to remember that people don’t walk into your space to get to experience it. If you were setting up an office or a retail shop, you would really pay attention to all the little details. You would make sure that everything in the space has an intention to it. In the online space, we forget that essentially, our website and our social media are that space. When we have this disconnected look, and are posting one thing on Instagram, something else on Facebook, and another thing on the website, people can get really confused. Whether it’s conscious or subconscious, people start to wonder if this is the same person?
Who is this? Can I trust them?
More than just a logo
When it comes to creating an online brand, you need more than just a logo. You need a look, a feel, a style, a vibe. You need this whole energetic experience that you want people to feel.
With my company Outlier Marketing Group, we did that and I’m doing it again, with my new brand, Jamie Palmer Consulting.
I don’t think people really understand just how important it is to build trust in the online space. Your brand needs to spark emotion and you want your imagery to remind them of you. To do that, you have to very intentionally select your colors, your imagery, and all the things that happen in your business.
Your personal brand is an extension of yourself. So make sure that it’s in alignment with who you are.
Creating a brand
When I start to work with a client on creating a brand, these are the steps we take:
- First, we select colors. I recommend selecting somewhere between four to six colors
- Next, we pick one logo, maybe even a secondary option
- Then we select between four to 10 pictures that represent the brand
When I’m working on a brand board, I use Adobe colors. It has this really cool feature, that can help you find different color palettes based on what you’re going for and the vibe that you’re looking for. Starting with the colors has its benefit because you can figure out all the other elements along the way.
Next, you can do the font selection. From there I usually play around with elements within that logo.
At the end, I will select imagery.
It is very important to understand that the whole process takes time to create! Having a baseline that you can use as a reference point is important so that you can always run by what you are planning on posting to social media. It will confirm whether it is in alignment with your brand.
My secret Branding tip
Once a quarter, I go through different stock image sites and select a bunch of images that are in alignment with my brand. I do this because
1) I like to have fresh images every quarter
2) I have a stockpile of images to pair with my social media and on my marketing efforts. This makes it really easy for me to be in alignment with my brand.
3) Once I have selected the colors and the images, I very intentionally look at what words I want someone to experience when they go and experience my brand. My words are calm, simple, modern, authentic, and impactful. Those are the things that are really important to me when it comes to my business.
In Canva you can create a brand board template by adding your four to six colors, your fonts, your four or five images, and your words. Print it out and put it on your desk. This makes it really easy to make sure that you are in alignment and integrity with your brand.
If you would like more information on creating brand boards and staying in alignment and integrity with your brand, I suggest visiting brand archetypes by Carol Pearson.
What are archetypes?
Archetypes are the different roles, patterns of behavior that we connect to. For example, in Tombstone, you have Wyatt Earp, the cowboy, who is the hero of the story. Then there are the people who are the outlaws and outlaws are an archetype. So, when you think about the different archetypes, you will see Heros, Jokers, outlaws, explorers… Every type of archetype typically has a similar story arc.
From a branding perspective, you can identify with certain archetypes in your business. It helps you really develop an even stronger brand. Let’s look at Apple, for example. Apple is a magician archetype. You don’t necessarily know how the computer works, but it just does.
You can easily apply that to your brand:
The soul of your brand is: …………….
The face of your brand is: …………….
The ideal client in your business is: …………….
This exercise is really helpful when you’re stuck with branding your business. It’s really important to remember that this takes time to establish!
Entrepreneurs often get so stuck in the “I have to have this logo and it has to be perfect” and end up getting frustrated. I suggest you step back and said okay, this works for now. Here’s the vibe, the logo, the colors, the fonts, the imagery, and the words. All of these elements spark emotions. Pictures create a visual in people’s minds. They can spark a memory or convey a message. Colors have meanings. Select colors intentionally when it comes to your business.
If you feel this is completely over your head. That’s fine, too! You can always hire a professional to help you create a logo and a brand board for your online business.
You want to move your online business forward and you can’t do that unless you have all elements in place. I want to encourage you to pick something, commit to it and then iterate on what that is. Make sure that you’re leveraging that across all your platforms and everything that you do. A strong brand is really important in the online space because it sends a signal to your clients and prospects that you take yourself seriously.
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