5 Branding Mistakes to Avoid

Creative entrepreneurs understand that a strong brand is extremely important to the success of their business.  But many underestimate the process and the investment – both financially and time – that it actually takes to establish a solid brand.

A brand is so much more than just a logo; it is your mission, your products, your ideal client, your intention and personality.  It is the overall experience that you give to your audience and the way that they feel.

Here are 5 branding mistakes to avoid when it comes to your building your brand and how to avoid them.

5 Branding Mistakes to Avoid | Writefully Simple | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | www.writefullysimple.com

Skimping on investments.

I get it, your business is new or you may not financially be at a point where you think that it’s worth the money to invest in branding.  I see many people purchasing pre-made logos and although I am not totally against the companies that create pre-made logos, I whole-heartily believe that when you go this route it ultimately creates confusion for your audience.  The truth is, there will be other businesses out there that have the same logo/branding as yourself and when you are in the same field or industry that can be extremely confusing.  When you go the route of purchasing a pre-made logo more than likely it will not truly reflect your vision and business mission.  You will end up having to rebrand in a much shorter time frame than you anticipated simply because you will outgrow it.  This will end up costing you more money in the long run, as you will have invest a second time in the branding process.

An invaluable benefit of hiring a professional is that when your project is complete your main identity, your brand imagery, your printed collateral, and your online presence will reflect your brand.  You absolutely deserve a high-quality brand, and it is best to establish an authentic, cohesive brand up front.

Good design builds trust. – Tweet That

Invest in yourself and your business.

Not identifying your ideal client.

You need to figure out who your ideal client is – what is their wants, their needs, what problems can you solve for them?  Stop thinking about what you want, because you may not be your own ideal client.  And stop trying to serve everyone.

Are you are a photographer?  Don’t take just any jobs to make money.  Take jobs that you love to do – newborns, family, weddings, stock/product images.  Find your niche and rock it the hell out!

I get it – in the beginning saying no to a job that does not line up with your business vision is ridiculously scary.  But by saying no it opens up an opportunity to say yes to a job that does makes sense.  I cannot tell you how many times I said yes to a job that I had a bad feeling about in the beginning just to make money.  It backfired every time.  Every single time.

But by figuring out who your ideal client it will allow you to focus in on them and market directly to them, which will ultimately bring them in allowing you to love your job and the end product.

Stop the comparison game.

Stop looking at your competitor’s branding and their success and put the focus back where it needs to go.  Your business.   You will feel nothing but anxious, confused and it will cause you to rush through creating a brand that does not truly reflect you or your business.  How do I know this?  Because I did this.  Twice.  In 3 years.

I unfollowed the accounts that I loved and admired because the little green monster of envy crept in my head more times that I care to admit.  I stopped looking at their success.  I stopped comparing myself to them.  I want you to repeat this and actually listen to yourself as you say it –

Her success is not my failure. – Tweet that!

Say it again.

And again.

Now, take the time – I mean really take the time to figure out your style, your voice and your reason for doing the things that you love.  I can tell you that when I started I wanted the colors mint and gold, I wanted to create pretty things and I wanted to keep things simple.

Writefully Simple – simple is in my name.  There is a reason for it.  I am a simple girl and I believe that the simple things in life are some of the best damn things.  Simple living.  Simple branding. Simple elegant designs.  Look through my branding – it’s simple, clean and elegant.  It took me THREE years of mistakes, trying to be someone/something I wasn’t before I realized that if I took a huge step back that I would find myself and my business if I just stopped comparing myself to others. And it happened.  Boom.

Poorly designed website

Think about it.  When you visit a website and the layout and design is horrible and if you cannot find what you are looking for, because things are hard to navigate do you leave or do you continue to look at the website?  You leave.  Your trust is lost, and you move on to a site that is visually appealing, well laid-out and shows a value in their products and services.

This is a no-brainer.

People will leave if they do not understand what you are offering and cannot easily find a way to contact you.

Ignoring social media

Social media is huge these days and is one of the best ways to increase your visibility.  Post regularly and post things that are relevant, have cohesive branding images, interact and build relationships with your followers and with other business owners.

This is your place to showcase your beautiful work and show your audience that you are an expert in your field.  Use it to your advantage.

My social media expert is Alisha Johns of Lish Creative.  She is amazing and has put out some awesome content on how to improve your social media strategy, photo editing and planning apps, styling for social media.  Seriously, go check her site out here!

These tips will definitely help you to avoid some of the most common branding mistakes! Of course, if there are any questions you have or are interested in working together let’s chat!

Lindsay McNierney


  1. Miranda on July 28, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    “Her success is not my failure”

    That’s strong. I really like that and need to keep that in mind in all things. Thanks!

    • WFSAdmin on July 28, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Absolutely! It’s one of my favorite quotes and it truly does apply to so many things in life.

  2. Heather on August 31, 2016 at 9:28 am

    All great tips! Especially the Comparison Game! It’s a hard one but oh so important. Great post!

    • WFSAdmin on August 31, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Thank you Heather! The comparison game is a killer, for sure! We are all guilty of it probably more than we care to admit!

  3. Steph on August 31, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Great tips! Identifying your ideal clients is so strong and creating opportunities to take on THEIR work is what really allows you to grow your biz in the way you want! I agree with the mistake of ignoring social media and OVERLOADING on social media! Posting all-the-things can be confusing to your audience!

    • WFSAdmin on August 31, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Hi Steph! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I whole-heartily agree with you! When you post everything and everything you do create a lot of confusion to your audience. If you are strategic about it and are able to do it in an authentic way it’s incredible what will happen for your business!

  4. Sabrina on August 31, 2016 at 11:10 am

    These are all great points. Especially the comparison game – better to work on your own brand and being the best you can be. Focus on what makes you unique. Instead of obsessing over someone else and what they’re doing!

    • WFSAdmin on August 31, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Exactly Sabrina! Reality is, it is so hard not to compare yourself to others. Competition is everywhere and that little green monster is tricky and pops up when you least expect and drag you down. But you will be able to accomplish incredible things once you put the focus back on your own business and less on others.

  5. Tami on August 31, 2016 at 11:25 am

    These are all amazing & wonderful tips for branding! All things I probably knew, but it never hurts to have it reinforced. Thank you for the great article! I’m going to pin this! 🙂

    • WFSAdmin on August 31, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you so much Tami! I truly appreciate it! So glad you found it to be helpful for you!

  6. Kaylan Petrie on August 31, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    A million times YES to stopping the comparison game! Who needs extra anxiety?

    • WFSAdmin on August 31, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Yes Kaylan! Just say no to anxiety! =)

  7. Kate @ Tell Me Tuesday on September 2, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Yes, yes and YES! I can’t agree with these more (especially #1, I wish this was a tweetable).

    • WFSAdmin on September 2, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Ask and you shall receive! It is now tweetable! Great suggestion and thank you so much for stopping by! =)

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