How to Create a Brand in Just 9 Steps
You know what one of the BEST parts about being a creative business owner is?
Seriously, folks. I LOVE branding!!!
Like, a LOT.
Crafting a brand from the ground-up is SUPER FUN!
But first: What exactly IS a brand?
This is super important, and something a lot of people have some confusion about.
Because a brand goes far beyond just having a rad business name, awesome logo, and some pretty graphic / design elements.
A brand isn’t the fonts you use, or some choice color palettes.
Your brand is the overall VIBE of your business.
Your brand makes people FEEL a certain way about you and your company.
Effective branding conveys a message through their communication. This comes through in their writing style and voice, the design elements, the colors, the way they respond to comments and emails, the use of emojis (or no use of emojis), the way they answer the phone, the uniforms or themed outfits (or lack thereof), how they interact with people on social media (and which platforms), etc.
It’s the WHOLE aesthetic. It’s the personality of your business.
Your brand is your reputation. It’s how people talk about you after you’ve left the room.
What are people saying about YOU?
Because, ultimately, you ARE your brand!
Having a strong brand is an absolute MUST. Annnnd here’s why. . .
Having a unique brand will make your business stand out, which is especially great in a crowded online marketplace.
You don’t have competition when you’re playing a game all of your own.
Building consumer-business trust relies on strong branding. People buy from brands they know and trust, and they develop a connection and loyalty to those strong brands. Make sure your brand is one them.
Your business will remain at the forefront of your audience’s mind when they need something you offer. With a memorable brand, you stand out everywhere - - including customers’ minds.
You will be able to attract the RIGHT people, the IDEAL people to your business, rather than just anyone anywhere.
You will be able to make more profit with higher prices. (No, I’m definitely NOT talking about price-gouging here!)
SO, obviously, strong branding is SUPER effing important!
It gets better:
No matter how many people are already doing what you do in the industry, there isn’t another YOU. If you do it right, your brand will be 100% unique and irreplaceable, because your brand is YOU. It directly reflects you.
Which means. . . A strong brand kicks competition’s ass. It eliminates competition altogether!
That’s why I’m sharing 9 steps for how to create a totally unique, badass brand!
1. Be Clear On Who You Are
I know this sounds super obvious, but it’s a step that gets overlooked far too often. Which really isn’t good because it’s VERY important!
I mean: You ARE your brand.
Write down the mission statement for your brand by writing down the PURPOSE of your business. What is your WHY?
What are you passionate about?
What excites you?
WHY do you want to do what you do?
HOW is your business different than others in your industry?
WHAT are your primary business objectives.
Ideally, your brand’s mission statement should be 2 to 3 sentences long.
Take some time to think about your brand: Your strengths, your motivations, your passions, and those little unique quirks that make your brand YOU and make your business one-of-a-kind!
2. Create an Outline
As you’ve probably gathered by now, your brand is an extension of you.
Take the time to create an outline about yourself. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to start getting those creative, inspired juices flowing!
Write down everything that comes to mind about yourself.
Jot down your idea of a perfect day, your passions, your favorite foods, your favorite scents, where you like to visit, what drives and inspires you, who your role models are and why, what you want to offer as a business, what you want to blog about on your website, how you feel as an entrepreneur. . . just get it all down on that paper!
(or type it up and save some trees.)
Remember that LEARN HOW TO START FREELANCING IN 6 WEEKS course I’ve been telling you about?
We’re covering branding in that course, and I’ll help you get SUPER personal with yourself, so you can create the strongest brand possible for your business.
So, stay tuned!
3. Describe Your Brand in 3 Words
How do you want people to FEEL when they think about, hear about, or see your brand?
Happy and whimsical? Relaxed and down-to-earth? Fun and energetic?
Ask your friends to share three words that come to mind when they think of you. This may seem a little vain, but it’s actually fun and you can just explain it’s for a branding strategy. I’ve actually done this a few times and some words I hear repeatedly are “compassionate”, “bubbly,” and “intelligent.” And I have incorporated those into my brand, too!
So, once you’ve picked the three words that best describe your brand, use them as a guide going forward. Use them to help you decide your colors, fonts, graphics, images, tone of voice, style, overall aesthetic, etc.
4. Choose Your Brand Design Elements
Strong branding means CONSISTENCY!
You want to select specific colors, fonts, photo and illustrative styles, graphics, favicons, icons, etc. and use them on EVERYTHING - your website and its blog, your social media profiles and posts, and all business collateral.
Both your online and offline business branding should be consistent, unique, and unquestionably yours.
It’s best to stick with 3 to 5 colors and 3 to 4 fonts. Anything more can end up looking busy and slapped together. And that’s definitely not something you want!
5. Create a Style Guide for Your Brand
Now that you have the overall vibe - - and all the design elements - - of your brand down pat, it’s time to create a style guide. This guide should include your brand’s specific colors, fonts, images / graphics, keywords, mission statement, objectives, style and tone of voice, etc..
Having a style guide for your brand will ensure you are able to maintain standards and consistency unique to your business.
Think of this as the textbook for your brand. Use it as a reference, and as a way to make sure everything you do moving forward aligns with your brand objectives and standards.
Don’t forget to set particular parameters for the design elements of your brand. For example, does your brand allow your logo to be displayed in multiple colors? If yes, WHICH colors? If no, will it be in ONE color only? WHICH color?
PRO TIP: Try creating a mood board over on Pinterest, to give a visual representation of your branding and the overall vibe of your brand. Curate a collection of images that stand out to you as aligning with your brand. Pay attention to certain patterns, textures, fonts, or other design elements you are repeatedly drawn to.
6. Find Your Brand Voice
As with all the other aspects of branding, you want your voice to be consistent across all platforms and marketing collateral. You also want it to properly reflect the overall FEELING and personality of your brand.
What’s YOUR voice?
Is it uplifting and bubbly? Fun and energetic? Formal? Friendly and casual? Personal? Calming and reassuring?
My voice here on this website pretty much reflects how I talk in my daily life. Well, minus the speech disability (I stutter)!
I want this blog to be fun, helpful, inspirational, personal, - - like you were just chatting with a friend - -and maybe slightly funny? Hopefully?
I’m not entirely sure on that one, but either way my brand voice is authentic. I AM my brand, and my brand voice really IS my voice.
The way I write for my website is the way I think in my head. I just type what I’m thinking, as I think it.
TASK: Find YOUR voice. Use it. Exercise it. Define it. OWN it!
7. Create Your Business Logo
Whether you’re designing your brand’s logo yourself or hiring a professional to design it for you, one thing remains the same:
Your logo needs to be able to grow WITH your business.
Your logo should represent your business, should be iconic, should be relevant, and should be evergreen. It should ALSO directly appeal to your ideal customer.
8. Design and Create Your Branded Marketing Collateral
The marketing collateral is all the fun goodies for your brand.
Once you’ve done all that hard work of designing your brand and finding your voice, it’s time to create all the goodies that serve as marketing collateral for your business.
This marketing collateral (brand goodies!) should include:
Document templates (such as invoices, letterheads, etc.)
Business cards (I use Vista Print)
Stationary & notecards (again, Vista Print)
Website, blog, and social media
Brochures, catalogs, and / or pamphlets
Email signature or banner
9. Map Out Your Sales Process
Just on the off-chance I haven’t said it enough times already . . . consistency is absolutely ESSENTIAL when it comes to crafting a strong, badass brand.
This consistency extends to each and every experience your customers have with your brand.
Take the time to map out each and every step you will take with each and every customer, starting from the first point of interaction allll the way to the “thank you” page / email / card and customer retention.
By creating a specific sales process that is totally unique to your business and brand, you are able to provide each customer with a memorable, quality experience.
Make sure you don’t forget any of the steps, and your customers will make sure they don’t forget your brand!
And there you have it!
Once you’ve completed all nine of these steps, you should be welllll on your way to changing up the market with your badass brand!
(Tell me how that ISN’T super, ridiculously exciting!)
If you’re feeling EXTRA excited and want to kick your badass brand up a notch…
Stay tuned for the pre-order launch of my mini course: Learn How to Start Freelancing in 6 Weeks!
Did you find this blog post to be super helpful? Awesome! Go ahead and share it!
Well, I hope you are super excited about crafting your own, badass, totally unique brand!
Have questions about crafting your brand?
Feel free to drop your comment in the questions, so I can help!