Your branding is essential to growing your business. But so many of us become business owners without knowing much about how to build a brand. Today I’ll share some of the most common branding mistakes I see and how to avoid them.
Are you making any of these branding mistakes? If you are, don’t worry… I’ve got some tips to help you get it right!
1. Short-sighted vision
When we first start out, one of two things happens. Either you have a very specific niche in mind or you have no idea and you’re just marketing to the masses. Either way, it pays to think about the future of your business in the early stages.
Naming your teacher author business by a specific grade level or using words like “baby” or “wedding” in your photography business name limits you significantly when it comes to who your audience is.
If I want a family photographer, I’m probably not going to look at your wedding photography site at all. And I may never know that you’ve recently branched out into families too, and you’re actually really amazing at it.
Think about everything you might possibly want to branch out into with your business in the future. Make sure that when you are branding yourself, you don’t box yourself into a certain category or a specific audience. It’s much easier to create an inclusive brand from the start than it is to completely rebrand later on.
2. Branding for yourself Instead of your Customers
When it comes to branding, it can be very tempting to start with the things that you like. Your favorite colors. Your favorite fonts. Clipart of something you like. But your brand isn’t about you, it’s about how you can serve your ideal customer.
When you start brainstorming branding ideas, start with the people you serve, and think about what they are going to be drawn to. What kind of imagery and fonts will speak to them?
We all know that colors evoke certain emotions in us. Your favorite color can even be a symbol of your personality. But what do colors say about your brand? Check these out…
Which of those feelings make sense for your brand? Look for a color palette that sends the right message.
3. Leaving yourself out of it
Ok, I know I just said your brand isn’t about you, but stick with me here. Once you’ve created your branding with your customer in mind, it’s time to make sure you’re showing up personally.
That means injecting your personality into your posts. Sharing your story. Maybe even doing some live videos. (I’m working up to it!) Being real with your audience. Offering them value without selling anything.
4. Not Investing in Branding soon enough
If you’re just starting out, it can be really tempting to save some money by buying a premade logo or getting one on a discount site like Fiverr. The risk you run with both of these options is that someone else will have your logo. (Not might… will.)
If you’re a creative entrepreneur anyway, you might even try designing it yourself. BUT keep in mind that designing printables or living rooms and branding design are very different. Look for a designer well-versed in branding who will take the time to get to know you and your business and create a cohesive brand that will stand out.
Quality branding isn’t cheap, but it’ll be worth it when you get a timeless result that you love. The last thing you want is to have to redo your branding again and again.
5. Not using your branding to create a consistent look
Once you’ve got some gorgeous branding assets, use them! That doesn’t just mean using the colors on your website, watermarking your Instagram photos, or putting your logo on your printables.
By using your branded fonts, colors, and patterns you’ll create a consistently branded look at your readers will learn to recognize anywhere they see you. When they’re scrolling through Pinterest, your pins will stand out because they’ll know it’s you. The same goes for Facebook and Instagram too.
Ask your designer to provide a brand board or create your own (more on that coming soon… I’ve got a template for you!).
Here’s what you’ll want to include…
- Your brand colors
- All of your logo variations
- Fonts from your logo
- Fonts used in your website text
Ideally, every image you create from now on should include some combination of fonts and colors from your brand board.
Branding your business doesn’t have to be tricky and overwhelming. If you’ve made some of these branding mistakes, don’t fret. There’s always time to make improvements. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to building a brand your customers will love!