Branding for your business, whether it be online, a huge corporation, a small mom and pop shop, an Etsy shop, or just a vague distant idea is extremely, immeasurably, and without a doubt one of the most important part of “getting started.”
Now I know what you are saying: “Uh, hello, designer, can you say biased?” Well, yes. I might be biased, but I also know that it’s true! Branding helps your business in so many ways – it's more than just looking pretty, too.
I’ve started TheShop because branding shouldn’t be intimidating, off-putting, or an idea killer. Now, TheShop isn’t the end all, be all of branding – but it’s a place to start if you aren’t bringing in a ton of cash yet and want something that says, “I’m professional. I’m legit. I’m valuable.”
If you’re still like, wait, what’s branding? Check out this post but if you’re ready to know why you need to focus on branding in your business, read on!
GIVES YOU CLARITY
Going through a proper branding process gives you clarity on your overall business. By a proper branding process I mean one that asks the hard questions so that you can create a strong base for your business.
A mistake I see business owner’s make is that they jump into business, super excited about an idea, but not taking time to think about their “why”, “who”, or “how”. Which – trust me – I get. I did the same thing, even though I actually knew (and was taught) better. It’s just an exciting time and you’re ready to GO! It’s not bad to GO but eventually you’ll need to come back to branding to give you real clarity on your overall business goals, your brand vision, your target audience, etc.
If you’re stuck on those sorts of questions, I highly recommend checking out Building Your Base, my eBook that goes in depth with those questions, your brand’s vision and mission, and more.
Branding, once you’ve gone through the foundations and moved into visuals and eventually a website and social media strategy, works to create a great brand experience. Trust is built through that brand experience, so you want it to be flawless, wonderful, and memorable.
I talk a lot about building trust in your business because trust = sales and sales are necessary for your business to be an actual business. To build trust, especially in an online business, takes time and energy – but your branding can definitely help. How? Branding creates consistent experiences, so your audience learns and understands you no matter where they see you: on your blog, in a guest blog somewhere else, on Pinterest, in a Periscope, etc. You are always the same person, offering the same sort of advice/expertise, and consistently teaching or giving awesome information out. Think about the people you trust the most in your life – is it not because they’ve consistently been there when they said they would, were a steadfast and solid person who didn’t flake or waver on their values? Your business can embody those sorts of ideals too.
For more information on building trust, check out this post.
LOOKS DO MATTER
I know I said earlier that branding is more than just looking pretty – and that is true – but there is something valuable in realizing that in business looks do matter. By that I mean: looking professional does matter.
Say you go into a store and everything is disheveled and thrown about and messy and gross. Do you want to buy things? Or do you want to turn right back around and head to the next store, where maybe things are more expensive, but at least you aren’t scared of what you might step on or breathe in. I know that’s extreme, but the same idea exists with your business. You can’t have a messy and unorganized mess of a business and expect people to think you are professional or valuable or worth spending time and money on.
Beyond just looking professional, going through a branding process will help you create a branding identity (or “looks”) that do work and appeal to your target customer for you. The right color combination, paired with the right strategies behind your social media and content, paired with great copy, and so on, will pull in your target audience for you, show them your value, and prep them for purchase.
SHOWS YOUR COMMITMENT
Investing in your business shows that YOU take it seriously. I know that in the beginning investing in branding can seem like the last thing you want to do, which inspired me to start TheShop to cover some of the visuals for you. But, best case scenario, you are investing in a great branding package that includes strategy, visual identity, and a website that are all cohesive and professional.
To your customers or audience this will showcase that you are a “real player” in whatever your industry is. You are a niched, focused, and capable business that can provide real results and want to display your best self.
If I can’t find a website for a business, they’re off my list of potential people to buy from. If I can find a mediocre website and no social media presence, they’re off the list too. I want to work with businesses that are excited, passionate, and I can understand from their branding.
A quick way to start being seen as an expert in your field is to be recognizable. By that I mean, someone sees you on Pinterest, but then stumbles across your Instagram and knows it’s you. Or sees your name on a guest blog and remembers how great your blog is. Having cohesive branding can give you that recognition.
Recognition is valuable as a factor in building trust, which we talked about earlier. It’s also valuable because it shows that you are an established business with a great presence that is putting out content that people like. That sort of social proof is so fantastic for your business.
You can build recognition by having the same profile pictures across social media, and somewhere on your website. Also, creating a brand mission statement and featuring that across social media and online is fantastic. Finally having cohesive graphics to represent your business is hugely valuable (I’ll be having some blog graphics in TheShop).
If you’re still on the fence about branding, I have a lot of other posts that talk about the value, how to get started, etc. that I’d love for you to check out. I get that branding can be a scary step in your business, but I’m happy to offer you many outlets to make sure you can get started on the right foot. Whether it be working together one-on-one or getting templates from TheShop, I know we can get your business looking professional, capable, and appealing to your target client.
I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! Let's set up a time to chat!