If you're a business owner and you wouldn't identify as particularly creative, chances are the areas of branding and design frustrate you to some extent.
I had the opportunity to talk with over a dozen business owners recently for some market research. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with each person about their top frustrations with branding and design and I thought it would be helpful to share my findings, in case you struggle with these things as well.
Some of these frustrations, I completely relate with and others I went on to write blog posts about to better understand them more myself. So today I would love to share with you some business owners top frustrations with branding and design and hopefully the answers I share can help you too.
Yes, that's very true. Especially with the social media age on the rise in marketing.
It's not just about your website anymore, it's your social media accounts, your email marketing, how you show up in FB groups, Instagram, Pinterest, and the list goes on and on.
I think one of the main things you can do is recognize the outlets that will get you the closest to your goals. So if you offer a product, you need to focus on image-heavy outlets like Instagram. If you offer social media strategy, maybe Twitter would be a good outlet because you could tweet relevant quotes, tips, and strategies to market to your audience.
I would focus on 2 or 3 platforms in the beginning. It's better to be good at a few platforms than bad at multiple platforms.
Take a look at this post for some tips about how to cut back on content overload and focus your efforts where it will make the most impact.
But no matter which platforms you choose, it's important that you focus your efforts to your mailing list.
Whether you're a brick and mortar business or an online one, building your mailing list is crucial to making sales in your business. I talk about all the things in this post such as why building a newsletter list is important, how to get subscribers, what to talk about, and how to keep your subscribers in this post.
As a brand designer who branded myself, I can totally relate! It's very difficult when you're working on your own brand, but what if that is currently your only option?
I would suggest keeping your brand simple and professional. The "less is more" approach. I would also suggest that you get feedback from friends and better yet, a brand designer, to find out if your messaging is clear and consistent.
If you would like me to give you a brand review, contact me!
Over time, this happens. You start out with a brand that suits you but you grow out of it as your work matures and your clientele changes. In this instance, it's time for a rebrand.
I talk in detail about how to know if you need a brand refresh or a full rebrand in this post but in this case, save money so you can invest in a brand that meets you where your work is now and also one that can grow with you as you continue to expand your reach and as more people come in contact with your work.
You must look at branding as an investment in this case. Even though a full rebrand may be expensive it's important to understand that the ROI is well worth the initial cost of a rebrand.
This is one of the main reasons that people shy away from branding, especially in the beginning.
But that is the beauty of handing over your headaches to a professional.
Designers know how to format photos and files for web and print. It saves you so much time as you are heading toward your goals of serving people with what you're best at.
If you're having trouble setting up your files, I wrote a post called The Creative's Guide to Printing to help guide you through the need-to-knows when it comes to printing. But as far as formatting things and sizing for social media, Pinterest has a ton of information about that.
This board is particularly helpful with the technicals. And there's always YouTube. But if all else fails, reach out and ask for help from a designer.
Nowadays stock photos are becoming the norm and you can find them everywhere. You can get free stock photos, or as a freebie when you sign up for a newsletter, or you can pay for a styled stock photo bundle such as from SC Stockshop, or you can pay per photo in sites like iStockPhoto, and there's also sites with free images such as Unsplash.
Photos are all over the place.
But, as a brand photographer, I would highly suggest getting original photos from a professional photographer. I discuss the importance of getting custom photos in this post but brand photography is a way for you to stand out in your industry, it's reenforces your brand and it enhances professionalism. I believe brand photography is definitely a worthwhile investment.
If you're interested in joining my newsletter, I offer a free, monthly styled photopack. You can join here.
Ahh, yes. This is the main concern with most folks. And I totally understand. It's hard when you're just starting out and invest thousands of dollars for branding, especially when you can DIY that stuff, right?
Like I mentioned earlier, branding is an investment.
Having professional branding means you can walk away with knowing that your message is on point, that you have professional images to show potential customers and most importantly, that your website is easy to navigate and showcases your best work so that people can buy your product or purchase your services.
And and truth of the matter is, the best thing with getting professional branding is that you will save so much more time, money and stress down the line. Yes, it's an investment up front, but the time it will take you to learn how to do everything will cost you more in the long run.
I've written several posts on branding and how to come at it with a very thoughtful understand of how each aspect works:
Color Psychology and How it Affects Your Brand
20 Elements to Solidify Your Brand,
How to Narrow in on Your Brand Style
4 Ways to Stand Out with Your Brand,
3 Ways to Use Copy in Branding
Using Typography to Correctly Represent Your Brand
It's important to note that the world as we know it is becoming increasingly more visual. And the more you can make a spot-on first impression with your visuals and brand, the more likely you are to build trust and ultimately get clients.
What did you think about blog post format?
Did you find any solutions helpful?
What's one of your top frustrations design or branding?