Whether or not you realize it, your business has visual branding.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – your visual branding is the first thing that potential clients notice when they visit your brand’s website or social media pages. What are they seeing when they land on your page?
If you’re intentional about it, your branding is cohesive, consistent, and tells the story of your brand. Your visual branding can tell if your brand is relatable, educational, entertaining, in-your-face, or a luxury brand. It communicates confidence and helps build the know, like, and trust factor that is essential in building an engaged and raving audience.
If you’re not intentional about it, your visual branding might be saying something far less appealing: it could be communicating that you’re inconsistent, all-over-the-place, untrustworthy, low-value, and not confident in what your brand has to offer.
YIKES, am I right?!
Intentional branding is essential for communicating value to your ideal clients. I’m going to show you why, and also give you tips on some things you can do if you are not currently showing consistency in your branding.
Branding Builds a Solid Foundation for Your Business
One thing that I consistently hear from my clients while they’re working on my Branding Questionnaire (which is included with my Platinum Branding Package) is that the questions I ask are HARD.
Because when I do branding, I dig DEEP.
I don’t just want to know who your ideal client is, I want to know exactly who she is, exactly who you are, and exactly what you do to help her.
I don’t just want to know what colors you want me to include in your branding, I want to know why you want those colors and whether they match up with your offerings and audience.
I don’t just want to know who your competitors are, I want to know why and how you are different from them.
I want to know how you describe your business in one sentence. I want to know what animal you think represents your business and why. I want to know why you do and don’t want certain elements in your branding. I want to know what specific emotions you want your branding to evoke.
I want you to dig into the why behind your business.
And why do I want that? 😉
Because we are building a foundation from the ground up! If you have a beautiful visual brand but no idea who your ideal clients are or how you can help them, you will not be successful. If you don’t know who your competitors are and how you differ from them, you won’t be successful. If you can’t concisely tell me what you offer your clients in one sentence, you won’t be successful.
It’s as simple (and as complex) as that.
Branding Builds Awareness Around Your Brand
(For the record, I tried to avoid using “Brand” and “Branding” in the same sentence and I couldn’t make it work!)
I have shared before that having a consistent visual brand makes potential clients more likely to choose you over your competition, even if your competitors have more experience or lower prices than you!
Having a consistent visual brand is a great way to build an audience because of the simple concept of familiarity.
As online business owners, we should constantly be trying to drive traffic back to our home base, be it a website or email list landing page. People can’t go to your site if they don’t know about it, right? But when potential clients are familiar with your brand, they are far more likely to take a chance and visit your website or join your list.
On a related note, having consistent visual branding makes it super easy to share your thoughts and ideas with the world.
Have a thought or opinion to share? Use a branded graphic (or make one with your brand colors and fonts) and post it to your website or social media within minutes – no agonizing over what kind of image to use, or what colors or fonts. It’s already right there for you, and your only job is to share your thoughts with the world!
Branding Builds Trust with Your Audience
Though I’ve already touched on this briefly, it’s important enough that I wanted it to have its own section!
Having a consistent visual presence, as well as a consistent brand voice, builds trust with those people who land upon your social media or website.
Think about this – if someone lands on your Instagram page and sees that your images are mostly pretty stock photos with a light and airy vibe, but your website is set against a black background and is a jumbled mess… would that build trust?
Or, if someone landed on your Facebook business page and saw that your visuals are bright and bold with neon colors and bold fonts, but your website is very minimal and flat… would that build trust?
Hopefully, you can see that the answer is NO!
When someone clicks to your website from your social media pages, you want them to have confidence that they’ve landed in the right place. You want a consistent presence so that they don’t leave, confused as to what just happened or convinced that you linked the wrong website.
Another way to think about this (which I have shared before in a previous blog post) –
“Imagine this- you’re meeting a good friend for coffee in a new coffee shop. You know that your friend’s basic day-to-day uniform is a black v-neck shirt, jeans, and black flats with simple jewelry, so that’s what you’re on the lookout for. After several minutes of waiting, you send your friend a message to ask if she’s running late and she messages back that she’s at the coffee shop, sitting in the back corner and waiting for you. After looking intently in the back corner, you realize that your friend has indeed been sitting across the room the whole time, but you didn’t recognize her because she doesn’t look the way she usually does.
Instead of wearing what you have come to expect her to wear, she came to this coffee shop date in a loudly-patterned shirt, a denim skirt, and chunky jewelry.
How would you feel about that?
A mixture of all of the above?
Well, friend, here’s a newsflash for ya- this is how your audience feels when you don’t show up with a consistent brand!”
Branding Can Show Your Brand’s Unique Personality
Having a consistent visual brand makes it super easy to showcase your brand’s unique personality! If you are in my Facebook group, perhaps you participated in my Building a Personal Brand Challenge where we discovered our brand’s unique flavors and how to use them to capture the attention of our audiences. During the challenge, I revealed that my brand’s personality is bubbly, educational, friendly, and Disney-obsessed. If you look at my light-colored branding and the fonts I chose for my brand, I don’t think you’ll be surprised about that at all!
But, what if my brand was more macho, serious, and sarcastic? Would it make sense for me to use the graphics and colors and fonts I use now? Not so much.
I am lucky because my business is built on my own name, which means that my brand personality is an extension of my own personality. This makes it easy to show that there is an actual person behind the website and Instagram page – it’s me! It’s always me.
People want to buy from PEOPLE, and having a personalized brand that shows the YOU behind your brand will help people learn to know, like, and trust you and, in turn, (hopefully) become raving fans and paying clients!
So Now What?
So, now you have all of the information… but you realize that your branding hasn’t always been the most consistent and you have realized that some things need to change. Now what?
Here are my 3 quick tips!
- Choose 4-6 colors you will use consistently throughout all of your marketing materials. You can use Pinterest (I have several boards of color palettes that are open for anyone to browse!) or coolors.co to build your brand’s colors. Learn (or write down) the HEX codes so you can plug them in to whatever software you use for your graphics, including Canva!
- Develop your brand voice. Choose 2-3 adjectives that describe your customer interactions and how you choose to show up in your space (funny? educational? sarcastic? sophisticated? luxurious? etc.) and SHOW UP that way!
- Choose 2 fonts to use in all of your marketing materials. I recommend one serif and one sans serif font. Use one consistently in all of your headings, and use the other consistently in all of your body texts. This will create a cohesive appearance across your whole web presence.
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