Heres a fun fact about me; My brand, Salt Label, had a completely different Name, Logo and Branding feel, which I created as a concept when I was 16. My self-deprecating humor calls it a laughable failure but changing and growing the concept over time before launching taught me a lot about myself, what works best for me and my brand.
In addition to learning about email marketing, finding customers, social media marketing, squashing self-doubt, and learning how to be productive, one of the biggest things I wish I knew more about was my branding.
There are three things that I wish I would have known about branding before I started trying to turn my business idea into the real thing and I have the tips for you on what you can do to avoid them.
1. I thought my branding was just a Logo and Colours
I had no idea about the big wide world of branding and just how deep and psychological a great brand is. I had come in contact with so many big name brands with fantastic branding identities, stories, and emotional messages, and I still had no idea that it was what “branding” is.
I thought, “I have a brand, I designed a logo and picked some colours I liked and bam!”
At 16, I never thought that my logo was a huge conveyor of not only MY personality but the type of work that I do.
If you check out Salts logo now, is minimal, with fine line details and simplistic – Everything that my designs are.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Think about the other business in your industry that you admire and try to see the big picture of their business as a whole. What is their tone in their about page and Instagram captions? What types of images do they use? What do their logo and website design say about them?
Once you have done that, try to think of your business that way or ask a friend what they think of your business as a whole. What words come to mind for them? Moody, Funny, Playful, Professional, Colourful? See if how other people view it matches with how you view it.
2. Incorporating more of your personality
I still struggle with this. Daily.
I’ll be honest, I don’t exactly have a big personality and I have no problem saying that. But I was one of the people that thought that putting too much personality into your business wasn’t professional. People wouldn’t want to be involved with someone that is open and emotional.
No customer wants to hear about your struggles with certain aspects of your field because it makes you seem like you don’t know what you are doing right? WRONG.
Knowing everything I know now, even typing that makes me laugh. So damn foolish.
From what I’ve learned, sharing who you are is what helps you connect even deeper with people that truly resonate with your work and buy from you.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Take the next blog post you’re planning to write and write it out like you’re sending an email to a friend that asked you a question. Let things flow naturally and don’t worry about structure or formatting. Once you are done, go back over it and clean it up a bit.
If that’s too much of a leap for you, schedule out some non-business related posts about yourself and your personal life.
Got a new book? Instagram story it. Redesigned your office? post it on Facebook. Working on something secretive.. slightly reveal it to keep people interested. Creating personal connections lets people know there is someone behind the brand and that its not just a website looking cute.
3. Realise that inconsistency IS a big deal with how people see your brand
I was pretty surprised that the perfectionist in me allowed myself to be inconsistent with my branding but in the beginning stages of creative adventures, it’s pretty easy to become inconsistent and be unsure of what direction you want to follow.
Everyone needs a break and shit happens, of course. But being new to the industry and trying to run a business, your brand can’t afford all of the inconsistency.
Each period you have of going quiet on social media, not sending your email marketing, makes it even harder to get back in and re-establish those connections.
I’m not sitting back and acting like I follow my schedules to a T now. But I’m more focused and determined as I know the repercussions for my brand.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Schedule social media posts in advance. Have batch days where you create a ton of blog posts in advance and schedule them out. This allows you to still be seen if you do need to take a break.
If you take a break, whether because you have too or because of mental health reasons, don’t be hard on yourself.
You HAVE to take care of yourself above all else.
Branding can be this vague word that a lot of people may or may not agree on totally, but here’s what I can tell you ‘branding’ is for sure: It is how you choose to connect with your audience, how you talk to them, and what you want them to feel when they interact with you.