So you just decided to start a business. Your side hustle.
Your own little piece of the entrepreneurial pie.
You get all excited about the possibilities.
I could design website templates for people on a budget!
I could create travel guides and videos for top destinations around the world! eek!
I could create meal plans for those on a fitness journey!
Then you start thinking about the details.
I need a website.
I need a logo.
I need brand colors.
I need a brand.
Then the overwhelm sets in.
And the excitement of starting your own business slowly starts to fade away...
You begin to think that things are getting complicated. And wonder where to even begin.
And you secretly contemplate if you've got what it takes to pull this all off...
... by yourself...
Perhaps on something less than what you'd actually label a budget.
Well if you've ever experienced this sense of doubt and overwhelm when thinking about the word "brand", you're reading the right post.
Before we get started, it's probably best that we define a Brand.
How I Define a Brand
A brand is the face of your business.
It is how your business communicates with the world, as it’s the only part that your customers/clients/audience interact with.
Every interaction that you have with others is a part of your brand - from the timeliness of your email responses to the very copy that you use on your site.
And to make things as clear as possible we're going to break down the idea of a brand into 2 distinct components:
The Two Essential Components of a Brand
When it comes down to it, there are 2 essential pieces that make up your brand - your Message and your Delivery.
To have a successful brand both of these pieces need to work together, and sometimes the lines can be blurred between the two (maybe this is the only time ‘blurred lines’ are somewhat acceptable...) #yeahiwentthere
Your Message is what you stand for and includes the purpose of your brand, as well as your brand’s solution to whatever problem you’re trying to solve.
That's right. Every business solves a problem in some way, and it’s your job as the boss/designer/marketer (aka one-person-show) to find it.
Your Delivery are the various methods that express your brand’s message - like your logos, graphics, website copy, and social media interactions. This is why you need to understand your message before you work on your delivery.
I will say that again.
Your delivery (logos, websites, etc.) expresses the message behind your brand and that is why you need to understand your message before you work on your delivery.
So let's now dive into your brand's message. Then we'll talk about the "fun" stuff (logos and the like).
Your Brand's Message
As we mentioned previously, your Message is what your business stands for and includes the purpose of your brand, as well as your brand’s solution to whatever problem you’re trying to solve.
Your message includes:
- your purpose, or your big why
- the problem that others face
- the solution you have to that problem
- those who have that problem (aka your audience, clients, customers, or target market)
Essentially think of your brand's message as the culmination of your why, your who, and your what for.
Your Why: Why you decided to start a business.
Your Who: Who your business serves.
What For: The problem you're solving with your solution.
An Example of a Brand Message
The Why, Who, & What For
Here's an example, because I know you'd love to see how these words can specifically apply in the real world:
I started a business as a way for me to break past my current financial circumstances and my business helps those with debt or other financial obligations find a starting place - from finding their brand to establishing the crucial systems they need in place to run it.
Why: get out of current financial circumstances
Who: others who have debt or other financial obligations
What For: find a starting place - from finding their brand to establishing the crucial systems they need in place to run it.
Now let's move on to your brand's delivery.
Your Brand's Delivery
If your message is the why behind your business, then your delivery is how you express your message.
This can include a range of things like:
- your logo
- your website
- blog post images
- product & services copy
- and even how you interact on social media
Your delivery is how you get your message across and is the means with how your audience, clients, and future purchasers interact with your brand.
It is how they remember you and what you tend to be known for, so yeah... it's kinda important - though I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear (#truthbombs).
In order to nail this you first have to make sure that your why, or your message, is in place so that you can authentically express what your business is about.
When you are authentic in your message and delivery, then you begin to build a brand that others want to be a part of and support.
Basic Visual Elements of a Brand
This is the basis of a visual identity. It should be based around a central concept or theme. Once you create this you can change it up a bit to make other elements like site favicons and headers.
This is the home base for all of your services and product offerings. You also want to use it as a space to showcase your expertise/talent/knowledge by providing content (blog posts, guides, vidoes, etc.) for free to give others a taste of what you or your product can do.
This is what will attract people to your site to hear what you have to say and can double up as a graphic to use on Pinterest! Try to tie this to your concept/ message if you can.
SOCIAL MEDIA TEMPLATES
These are also templates to be used on the various social media outlets - instagram, twitter, facebook - to aslo attract people to your website. Their size and dimensions should change to whichever platform you're posting them on.
*Also keep in mind your visual identity extends to the totality of your website plus the videos, books, products, and courses that you create. These are just the essentials.
Do You Still Feel Overwhelmed About Your Brand?
After reading this post you should know that the FIRST STEP is working on your message.
And that all starts with understanding the problem that you solve and who you solve it for.
It you need further help with this I created a free course called Do THIS Before You Brand.
I cover all the things needed before you start to design a visual brand - from figuring the problem you really solve, to creating a brand inspiration mood board.
You can sign up for the free course here.
That's all for today. If you have any questions then feel free to reach out - I'm only an email away.
Until the next time...