Guest post by Elle Lynn, Juju Marketing.
I discussed in an earlier post, that your brand is not your logo. So if it’s not your logo, then what is it? Your brand is the sum total experience that any consumer has with your business. Building a brand is a unique mixture of many elements. Some of these elements are visual, and some are more ’emotional’ or philosophical. Each part is equally important as the other in creating the perfect recipe of your brand.
Your Brand Statements
The first step in building your brand is getting crystal-clear as to WHY you’re in business.
Why your in business should be the back-bone to everything you and your business does. This means how you answer your emails, how people purchase your product or service, your social media posts, your website and yes, your logo.
Your Positioning Statement
This is what makes your business YOUR BUSINESS. This is the unique mix of what you do, who you serve, how you go about it, what your skills are and above all, why you do it.
Your values are mixture of why do you do what you do, and how you do it. Defining your values not only concretes your business’ frame-of-mind but also acts as a solid measuring stick for taking on new clients. Creating a list of what you do and do not stand for, is key to ensuring that your brand stays ‘on-brand’. If you’re stuck on what the values of your brand are, start by writing down your own personal values – if you created this business, you can be damn sure that they’re going to align (and if not – you’re in the wrong biz!).
What’s the big goal? Your vision is the main reason you got into business in the first place. Maybe you want to help mums to start their own online business, or maybe you’re trying to eradicate fad-dieting and replace it with healthy eating habits. Whatever your big dream is – create a vision statement and declare it to the world!
Once you’ve written your brand statements, use them to craft all your bios on social media and your website. You can change things up slightly for each platform, but the crux of it should always come back to these core values, the big vision and your position in the market.
Tone & communication style
Imagine you’ve just left a big corporate job, to branch out on your own. Perhaps for you, this isn’t too far of a stretch of the imagination. You left this gig because you were ready to shake things up, be a changemakers in your industry. However, the people that are finding your new business are the same stuff ol’ clones as you were working with before!!! “Whhhhhhyyyyyy???” You ask yourself.
Well, take a look at the words on your website, your Facebook posts and especially your social media bios. What sort of language do you use? How do you differentiate yourself from others in your industry?
Do these even sound like you? Would you really talk like that?
Take note of the words you use. Next time you explain to a friend what your business is all about, scribble down some of the hot-words you use. Try and interject them into your website copy, blog posts and social media.
Ask someone who doesn’t know you to review your website and give feedback on what sort of organisation they believe to be behind the brand. Does this match with your positioning statement?
Kill the jargon. Go through your site, social media and products and create a jargon jar of the words that relate to your product or service. Start by replacing your jargon vocabulary with more meaningful words that make sense to your audience as well as reflect the way you’d really talk!
Imagery, fonts & colour
Colours, fonts and imagery are usually the first thing that we think of when constructing our brands; maybe because it’s the fun part, maybe because it’s seemingly easier than the rest. But I can’t urge you enough to delve into the above points BEFORE creating that first mood board on Pinterest!
Jumping in too early on the visual aspects of your branding will likely mean you’re acting from a place of what you desire, rather than what your audience desires.
When considering what images and colours to utilise in your branding, think about how you want your audience to feel and then build your imagery around that feeling. When they first discover you on Facebook, on Instagram or directly on your site, what feeling rises up in them that makes them crave more from you?
Write a list of the feelings and emotions that your consumers should feel when interacting with your brand. Should they feel luxurious, calm, excited, loved, supported.
Create a mood board, using these ‘feeling’ words (hello, Pinterest!). Type in the words from the above action tip – see what imagery pops up first.
Create a style guide for your brand that will serve as your at-a-glance reference whenever you’re creating graphics for your biz (or your outsourcing them to a designer).
It is personal AND it is business
“It’s not personal, it’s business” is a phrase you’ll hear from time-to-time when you’re setting up your own business. But when it comes to creating a thriving online business of your own, your brand and business IS personal. You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating your product or service that is going to change someone’s life! So let them see the real you!
In an age of being oversold, and underwhelmed by constant advertising, the key to successfully marketing your business, and building your brand is through building a relationship. So be authentic. After all, people buy from people!
Show your face. Have a profile pic of you, and interject some personal shots into your social profiles (without being too OTT)
Use language you would normally use. Aka don’t start every blog post with ‘Hey gorgeous’ if this isn’t a term you would use in your normal conversations with clients.