When you first started your business, you were so excited to use your gifts to make a difference in this world, on your own terms. Then, things got a little complicated as you emerged yourself into entrepreneurship. Between understanding Instagram strategy, trying to attract your dream clients, and juggling the daily responsibilities of life, it’s a lot! But I have some good news: when it comes to standing out online, getting clear on your brand can make all the difference. In this post, I’m sharing my top 3 tips for branding your business with intentional strategy and authenticity.
Don’t feel like reading? Watch this video instead! 👇🏾
A solid branding strategy will help you create a business that’s built to last, makes an impact, and attracts people who want what you have to offer.
To create a heartfelt brand that stands out, you should start by making intentional decisions about the core of your business.
When it comes to building a heartfelt brand, being able to mix those more personal elements with authentic strategy is key.
When it comes to applying these tips to your business, it can take some trial and error to find what works best for your brand. Take what I’m saying with a gran of salt, and do what feels best for you and your business. I hope that you’ll learn something from what I share – entrepreneurship is truly a journey!
Branding is two-fold: There’s the strategy (the messaging you communicate) and the visuals (what most people think of – a logo, fonts, colors, photo styles, etc.).
Start by defining your brand strategy, and then use that to create your visual branding.
I love this quote by Seth Godin that explains what a brand is:
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stores and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”– Seth Godin
ACTION STEP: Start thinking about the brand experience you are creating. What story are you telling? For more about brand storytelling, check out the book Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. Highly recommend!!
One mistake that I’ve made, and seen other business owners make, is creating a brand centered around what you like – without considering your audience. If you’ve found yourself doing this, know that you’re not alone, and it’s not too late to change.
I know that as a creative it can be tempting to make your brand about what you like. It makes sense, because our work feels so personal.
However, If you’re a creative or have a personal brand, your brand should be a mix of:
ACTION STEP: Get to know your audience well, and build a brand that attracts and serves them well! Check out my blog post Developing Your Brand Messaging for more on how to research your audience and create a business that’s for them.
When I started Maya Palmer Designs as a hand lettering shop in college, I was thinking about what looked fun, what was popular, and what I liked.
As I’ve become more educated as a business owner, I’ve started to have a mindset shift. I now think about creating the strong foundation for a business that’s sustainable and impactful.
Think about your long-term vision for your business (which should go beyond what you offer right now.) Then, build a brand around that.
ACTION STEP – Answer these questions:
Wondering what I mean when I say authentic marketing and branding strategy? Keep reading!
You have to understand your audience and communicate in a way that they understand. That’s the strategy part!
Authentic marketing means that you stay true to who you are and your business values.
If that sounds scary or hard, I hope this helps:
Most of what I discover with my clients when we are going through the branding phase of the design process is that everything they need to set their brand apart is already there. We just have to find it. and be intentional about how we present it!
I’ll be the first to encourage you to choose progress over perfection. So please don’t think I’m asking you to be perfect. But you do have to be consistent with your messaging and how you show up. This is certainly easier said than done, and takes practice.
I like to think of it as showing up as my best self each and every time, in a way that’s authentic to me and my business.
It’s easy to let how life is going one particular day or how you feel at one moment affect how you show up. We’re human, it’s going to happen. But whenever possible, I try to create content and serve clients in the best way possible.
How you show up matters. As new people discover you, you want their first impression of you to be positive and genuine.
Phew, we covered a lot in this post, didn’t we?!
Brand development is meant to be a meaningful, thought provoking process.
If you’ve ever seen the movie the Blind Side, I love the quote from that movie “She’s an onion, Michael. You have to peel her back a layer at a time.” When it comes to brand strategy + design, we want to start by peeling back the layers and getting to the heart of your business.
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