Have you ever felt that there are some things holding you back from launching your business? Or even, starting to promote your passion project?
There’s a lot out there about branding and quality visuals nowadays, and when you're starting out it can be utterly overwhelming with all the things you need to do.
But what if you don’t have money to do it all? There are some branding elements that are nice to have, but then there are some that you need to have.
This is perfect if you're in the beginning stages of your business and want to get moving without investing a lot into branding on the onset. Today I would love to go over the elements you need to get started and look legit.
By far, this is the element most people think of when they think of branding their business or graphic design for their business. And yes, it's important.
The logo is the graphic design element that distinguishes your business at a glance. Whether your logo be designed with strong typography, an image, or a combination of both, your logo is what’s used to instantly communicate what you do and who you’re serving.
Sometimes logos can be intricate and mysterious and sometimes they’re pretty obvious and plain. But whatever your logo is, it’s the mark of your business. You need this.
If you're looking to just create a logo, you can contact a graphic designer to do that or a site such as 99 Designs, where different designers compete for your design. But whatever you choose, go for something on the classic-er side. So that you can use it for years and years to come, rather than something that's trendy.
2. Business Cards
Some people debate about the necessity of business cards when a lot of things are moving to online. But, in my opinion, as a business owner you NEED to have a business card. Not only can this be your calling card for potential interested clients, but it’s also a physical representation of you and your business.
In my experience, when I hand out my business card, it’s met with “OOhh”s and “Ahh”s at the quality of printing and the clever logo design (I used a raised spot gloss to make the R stand out and it’s pretty cool). But this also gives you permission to sell yourself and offer something tangible in return for interest. And, I don’t know about you, but sometimes in the beginning you need to feel legit.
If you want some ideas for how to make a stand-out business card, check out this post. For my printing needs, I go to Moo. They offer a great selection of high quality papers and print options for both small and larger quantities.
Your website is your home base. This is where people can come to find out about you, your work, and what you offer. Having a website is vital. Not only to present yourself with purpose and professionalism but it’s a chance to showcase your personality.
Take at this post to find out some simple ways to make your website more effective, and this post to find out how to infuse more of your personality into your website copy.
Your website is your digital store front and the great thing about it being digital is that it can be updated and changed whenever you want to. Even if you’re still finalizing your offering or which colors for your brand, you can always change them in your website. It’s in your control and you can make changes as often or as infrequently as you want.
For website platforms, I recommend these two: Wordpress and Squarespace. I have worked on both and I prefer Squarespace because of the simplicity and simple yet classy layouts. Squarespace is perfect for the non-techy type of person who wants something professional and easy to manage. Especially for the creative types. There are a lot of beautiful gallery options in Squarespace.
I recommend Wordpress because of its capabilities. Although I found it to be very difficult to use myself, many people use it and it's wonderful. It's a very robust platform and perfect for tons of content and information.
The reason I don't recommend Weebly, Wix, or Showit, is because they are not the best when it comes to SEO and Google searches. It's also not as easy to manage or design. When it comes to website design the easiest platform to use is Squarespace. Although there is a bit of a learning curve, it's well worth it in the long run.
I’m very passionate about not only using professional photography for your website, but customized photography. Your website is a big space and you have room to fill with, normally photos.
When you choose photos from a online stock gallery or even if you pay for a package, other people will have those same photos. In order to be completely original and to maintain a very unique look and feel, having customized photography to match your customized design is necessary.
The thing about customized photography is that it's an investment, just like with branding, photography branding is about creating something unique to you and your site that sets you apart but it can propel your business to new heights if you execute your brand correctly with beautiful imagery.
If you're looking to do some DIY for brand photos, take a look at this post for helpful tips on how to get started.
Although there are many other elements that go into branding, these 4 will get you going in the right direction. Now, this may seem like a lot of work, that's why choosing to invest in branding at the beginning of your business venture is a worthwhile investment that will save you tons of time and money in the long run.
But in case you were to DIY, start with these 4 things. I would love to hear what you think.
What do you think about this list?
Would you add or take away something?