Your Brand is Your Calling Card — Make it Count
In the sea of visuals we are all exposed to every day, your brand must stand out if you want to grab the market’s attention. Before potential clients ever speak with you or step foot in your store, they’ll look at your web presence first. They’ll judge the logo on your business card, or they’ll check out your Facebook and Instagram accounts. And that’s why making sure your branding — including your website, social media accounts, brand name, and overall aesthetic — define YOU. You are your Maker brand.
The Importance of Branding
Your website is the visual representation of who you are and what you are aiming to bring to your clients. Think of your web presence as your 24-hour digital marketing platform. Your social media accounts and website are accessible at all times. Not only do these platforms give you credibility, but give your audience personal access even when you aren't available. The offline parts of your brand, like your business card, represent you, as well, so they need to do that accurately.
The process of establishing your name, logo, aesthetic, website, and branding needs to be one of the most thought-out parts of your business. It can be overwhelming, but in reality, these are some of the best parts of being in business for yourself! You get to dream up of all of the creative details that define the business of your dreams. No matter if you are picking out your name, your merchandise, or simply the font in your logo, you get you throw in every ounce of creativity you have into the mission of your dream. You have been given the freedom to go all in and all out, dear Maker!
Defining Your Business Aesthetic
Before you begin the branding process, take a look at other business that draws you in. Look at your number one competitor's site. What is it about the font, the colors, the link placements and the general “feel” that captured you? What areas have room for improvement and need to be revised?
Now think about how your branding. How does your business compare? Can you allow some of these choices to influence your branding? What can you do better? How can you learn from their choices and where can you stand out?
As you begin to make your branding choices, think about your aesthetic. How can you ensure your media accounts and branding represent you well? Is your brand clean modern, bright eclectic, or perhaps rustic farmhouse? Defining your business aesthetic or “vibe” streamlines all of your branding decisions, from your typography to your logo and photography. What your clients see on your website, social media posts and business cards defines you. That’s why every visual representation you offer viewers needs to be purposeful and well curated! Every display has to draw people in and keep them there.
Tying Your Brand Together
Your story defines you. As such, your branding, web presence, logo, business cards, and the like should not only represent that you but tell your story too.
Here are some tips for making sure different components of your brand are all telling your story well:
- Keep all of your contact names and web handles under the same name. This guarantees your clients will be able to find you easily no matter where they are looking.
- Your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blog posts should all feed into your one central hub: your website!
- Think of the main points you want your clients to retain when they visit your website. Make those the first and most visual components of your homepage.
- Easy navigation tools and well-placed links will keep your viewers coming back time and time again!
Of course, hiring a professional web design team or branding expert isn't an option for some just yet. To these creatives, I say there are still a great many options you can utilize.
Investing in Branding
Website services with ready-made templates are available everywhere now. Most of these services come with personalizing options such as blog pages, merchandising capabilities, and email links. This option is great if you need a little more saving time before hiring a web design team. If you do decide to spearhead your branding process alone, I recommend enlisting the guidance of a branding professional. Hiring an expert to review and assess your decisions is not only an affordable approach, but a savvy one at that. Sometimes all you need is a little guidance to raise that figurative bar ten notches!
However, if you have the means to hire professionals for web design, marketing, or branding, I highly suggest it. Once ‘Amy Howard at Home’ was declared the name of my mission, I knew I needed to call in the professionals. I spent $14,000 on my initial logo and website design. Wow, was that ever a hefty bill to pay. I was just starting my journey and honestly didn’t own enough substantial residual income to back up that grand of an investment. I knew, however, that if I wanted to grow the way I had dreamed, a top notch website wasn’t an option...it was a necessity!
Of course, one of the great things about being a Maker with A Makers’ Studio is that so many branding elements are taken care of for you! As an affiliate, you can send customers to our beautiful e-commerce website 24/7 using your custom links. You get full access to professional imagery, marketing materials, and even swipe copy for promoting products and classes!
There is one piece of advice I would offer whether you are going at this task alone or are ready to enlist the help of a professional: always tailor your brand choices to your target audience rather than your own taste. Your story is the part of you that no one can replicate or replace.
For more about my story, including in-depth advice and hard-learned lessons that you can put to use, grab your copy of A Maker’s Guide.
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