Are you avoiding branding yourself because you think it’s just for the big businesses? Think again – with some simple tips, you can harness the power of visual branding for less than you might think. Here’s how.
1. Know your brand
It sounds silly, doesn’t it? I mean, if you’re reading this, you probably have an idea of your brand – your name, maybe an idea for a logo, and what it is that you do or sell.
But when it comes to branding yourself, that’s just barely scratching the surface! In fact – one of the items on the list that I just mentioned really needs to come after you truly know your brand, inside and out.
Branding yourself effectively means that you know inside and out what your brand stands for. You know its history – both the highlights and the struggles. You know what kinds of values are important to your brand and the people who work for you, whether contractor or employee.
These days, the best branding comes from people who can tell the story of their brand most effectively and consistently. Stories have beginnings and middles – but in this case, hopefully not an end just yet! There are chapters and themes. And anything you do that visually represents your brand (like the design of your web page or Twitter background or the actual verbal content on your page) needs to come from an understanding of those pieces of your brand’s story.
2. Work with a designer skilled in business branding
I know I promised you wouldn’t spending a million bucks. But I can’t avoid this part – you need to invest in branding with someone who knows what they’re doing. There are a number of services out there now that can help you do this for a much more reasonable price than you might think. If you try to go the cheap route and get your niece or nephew who’s a good artist to do it for you, you might end up with something pretty – but it might actually contradict the message of your brand you’re trying to convey!
Logos look deceptively simple. They’re just a small little design with a couple of colors. But in order to be effective at communicating your brand’s message, you need someone who has both artistic skills and an understanding of how to understand emotions, values, and mission of your brand and convey them into visual form. In some ways, it’s more like translation than it is art. But if you choose someone to create your logo who doesn’t have this skill, you could easily lose profits if customers aren’t drawn to your logo. And if it’s done incorrectly the first time, you’ll end up paying to have it redone.
3. Brand yourself consistently online
Once you go to the trouble of having a visual representation of your brand created, the most cost effective way to use this in your marketing is to make sure it’s clearly featured everywhere you exist online.
When someone finds one of your social media profiles, you want them to know that you’re the same person, whether they find you on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, just to mention a few social networks. Not only does it reassure your prospective customer that you’re the same person, but it gives you the same credibility that other companies have – like Target – when you walk in to any Target store anywhere and it looks exactly the same as any other.
QUESTION: Are you confident that your branding communicates effectively to your customers?