When branding for creative entrepreneurs is done right, you know.
Do you ever look at some beautiful website with a PERFECT logo, and sigh? Perhaps they have stunning images that take your breath away. Their font is on point, and they look like they were custom made by some design god.
As a creative, you’re probably artistic by nature. You admire beautiful things and want to express that beauty in everything you do. Including your branding.
I know, I know. It seems terrifying, doesn’t it? To live up to the expectations of a website that blows people’s minds. How is it even done??
Today, I am going to break down some of the key components of developing an awesome brand that reflects you.
What even IS branding?
Branding is the package that your content comes in. Do you ever see a logo and just KNOW what company it belongs to? Or perhaps a phrase just sounds like a brand you know. That’s because they have an effective brand.
Not only do you want your brand to tell everyone who you are and what you’re about, but you also want a brand that SELLS. You want people to notice you and want to work with you.
As a creative entrepreneur, wouldn’t it be great to have clients flock to you because your website looks THAT GOOD?
Branding for creative entrepreneurs is vital.
With this guide, you will be on your way to creating a brand that sells, and looks amazing too.
What does branding include?
Branding includes many different components. And it’s anything but easy. It requires research and planning to get right. But when it is, boy is it worth it.
While there really isn’t a black and white way of going about branding for creative entrepreneurs, there are components that you DO need to consider. Combining these components is essential to piecing together your brand.
So what exactly are these components?
Have you ever looked at an image and just stared at it because it seemed to pop out at you?
It is a fact that color affects our moods and decisions. It sends a message to our brains and tells a story we aren’t even aware of.
That is powerful.
This is why choosing the colors for your brand is an important step in the overall process.
So how do you choose a color scheme? You have to consider the product you’re selling, and what feelings you hope to evoke. What is the most appropriate color scheme for what you are selling?
Also, remember that these colors will be incorporated into every aspect of your branding, so they should be colors that you enjoy looking at!
One thing to keep in mind about building a color palette: it’s best to include five to six colors, two dark and two light, and one bold color. Also consider using contrasting colors, for these tend to stand out more.
Every website needs images, right? If you were to click on a website and just see flat text, wouldn’t you want to snooze, and turn away from that page ASAP?
You need images on your page to spark interest and engagement. Images are some of the most initial impactful parts of your overall website and strategy. When you go to a new site, what catches your eye first? More often than not, it’s the images.
How do you select the best images for your brand?
Whether you choose royalty-free images or take pictures of your own, the strategy is the same. Yes, it’s best if you use your own unique images that are reflective of your brand alone. But maybe you can’t afford professional quality right now.
Here’s what you DO need. You need images that are consistent with the color scheme you have chosen and speak to your target audience. Just consider for a moment the people you want to connect to, your ideal audience. What do they like? What catches their eye? This can help a lot with image selection, as you can confidently select things that will resonate with your brand and your audience. It requires a sweet spot, but once you find that, your website will become a converting machine.
What exactly is a font?
A font is the way text is written.
The fonts you use in your texts say a lot. You may be thinking, “Why can’t I just use the normal text?” Because, my friend, you and I share something in common. We are creative beings, and normal just doesn’t cut it. And why should it, when you can have a lot of fun playing around with awesome texts that really speak and convey the true voice you and your brand have?
Like color, fonts evoke emotion in people. They convey a lot about your brand despite what the actual text says. Even the word “Hi” can be interpreted in many ways, simply depending on the font you use. You can use an elegant font, a bold font, a scripted font. It’s all about what you want your brand to say.
How to choose the best font for your brand?
You want to think about the underlying message every aspect of your brand is saying, and whether or not those messages are in line with the brand you’re trying to create.
Hot tip: It’s best to limit yourself to only 2-3 fonts. Using similar fonts or contrasting fonts for font pairing work best.
When it comes to branding for creative entrepreneurs, one of the first things people think of is logos. Logos are the images that your brand is known for. It reflects the heart of your brand and leaves a first impression on your clients that lets them know who you are, and what you’re truly about.
Here’s the thing: you can find a lot of resources out there that allow you to create your own logo. However, that is taking a huge risk in the generics department and is NOT recommended.
Do you want your logo to stand out from the crowd, or get lost in the shuffle because it looks like so many others?
You HAVE GOT to invest in your logo. This is non-negotiable. It is your brand’s first impression, introduction, and symbol.
Take your logo seriously, and invest in a quality designer who can give your brand the unique touch it needs and deserves.
Other things to Keep in Mind
Besides the key elements of branding for creative entrepreneurs, there are a few more things you should keep in mind. These are your brand’s voice, as well as authenticity. No one will resonate with someone who doesn’t stand by their brand, right? So you need to make sure all these are in line with your vision. And no one can answer that except you.
When it comes to your brand, what you say and how you say it conveys your voice. What is your brand trying to say? What is its underlying message? Are you academic? Laidback? A complete rebel?
Voice is important because having a consistent and recognizable voice will help position you as an authority in your field. Being an authority means you will be able to charge more for your service and gain more clients. Whether it’s an illustration career or writing for other brands. How you position yourself matters. You can’t sell without obtaining an effective voice.
How do you figure out what your voice is? First, you need to dig deeper than the words you use, although that is important. You need to decide your brand’s attitude, values, tone and feeling. What does your brand stand for? What are its missions, and who are you trying to reach? These messages you can convey in every aspect of your branding, so it is clear to the consumer exactly what you’re all about.
Remember: you need to love and feel at home in your brand. But you have to make sure your target customer will as well. If they feel at home in your brand, they will stick around.
Here is a great exercise: Write a character bio. Think of your brand as a character, and your target audience as another character. Think of specifics. Who are they, and what are their objectives? How would your brand character best communicate with your target audience to gain their trust?
Authenticity is key to a successful brand. As creative entrepreneurs, authenticity is vital to our souls. Not only do we want that for ourselves and our brands, but we also NEED it. Don’t you feel awesome when you show someone your true self?
Not only will being authentic help YOUR soul, but it will also help your customers! If a customer sees that you walk the talk, and have clear, consistent values in your brand and your life, they will be drawn to that.
Authenticity is not a marketing ploy, it’s a way of life.
Being willing to own up to mistakes and imperfections is a huge part of the human experience, and should be a practice in your brand as well. Your branding isn’t going to be perfect. Sometimes, it even evolves with the growth of your business.
And that’s ok.
These are the things you must consider when branding your business. Branding for creative entrepreneurs is essential, but it is definitely not easy. You want to be seen as an authority in your field, and inspire confidence in your target customer.
The most important thing to remember is to show YOU in your brand. People want to buy YOUR services because they resonate with YOU. Get the picture?
YOU are the heart and soul of your brand. You’re vital to everything.
But it can be difficult to do this alone. There is a process, and you need to understand all the layers in order to be effective.
Does the branding process overwhelm you? Do you feel like it would be helpful to have a guide showing you all the steps in-depth, specifically tailored to your own business?
You don’t have to do this alone.
My live program, Brand Crash, can ease the pain of figuring it out.
It’s a six-week course designed for the non-designer.
You will gain the skills and confidence you need to build an effective brand that SHINES YOU.
Some of the things covered are color palettes, font design, and layout of your website to look professional and unique.
Trust me, I’ve got you covered! We can do this together.