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.
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.
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!