Branding your small business is one of the best things you can do to make yourself recognisable to your customers (and potential customers). And it helps you stand out from the rest of your competitors.
And it’s not as difficult as you might think.
It’s all about your logo
Your logo is a great starting point as it’s the visual mark which makes you instantly recognisable.
Whether you create one yourself or hire a professional, make sure you have a good logo which represents you and your business.
Pick a font or two
Fonts are like people, they each have their very own characteristics and personality.
What we’re aiming to do is pick 2 – 3 fonts that complement both your logo and your business personality – fun, quirky, traditional, modern.
Then try sticking to these fonts for all your marketing – your business stationery, leaflets, website and social media images.
Create a colour palette
Choose 3-5 colours that complement your logo and make a note of the RGB and # values.
Choose images that reflect your brand
Whilst I always advocate getting professional photography where ever possible, it’s not always possible. So stock photography has its place but choose wisely.
I’m a big advocate of Pinterest and always advise creating a branding board. Pick images that you feel reflect your business and its personality. Try create a theme or style – it might be particular colours, or a background, or objects.
Keep referring back to it when searching for stock photography.
Find your voice
The way you write is as important as the way you look. Again, it has to be consistent with your logo and your business personality.
Now that you have the basics in place, all you have to do is make sure that every thing you put in front of your customers follows these brand guidelines as you never know where your customers will find you.
Check all your print and make sure everything is consistent – colours, fonts, images, logo. And most importantly, make sure your message is consistent. Customers need to know at a glance who you are and so make sure your business card, flyer, leaflet or brochure is properly branded.
And while we’re at it, check everything you ever send to a customer – quotes, invoices, freebies, information sheets, envelopes. Everything you give or send your customer should have your logo and contact details.
Keep your social media as consistent as possible – use the same image, icon or photo of yourself.
Although each platform is very different, a common style running through your accounts is important. Make your headers similar with your style of image and colours. Create posts that are uniquely your style and voice so followers can recognise you in their feed.
Your website is your 24 hour shop front.
Your print, social media and website should all balance and complement each other, and give the same message about your business. If they don’t work in harmony, your customers will get mixed messages making it harder for them to buy from you.
Apparently blogs are one of the most believed forms of marketing and people are more likely to believe the information they read on them.
Having a blog on your website helps build trust with your customers and potential customers.
Face to face
If we run our own business then we ourselves are the face and personality of that business. How we present ourselves to the world is just as important as having a good logo or the right imagery.
We can hide behind social media and our websites but at some point we all face our customers – in a shop, networking, meetings, videos or Facebook Live.
Keep following the guidelines you’ve created will make your design and marketing so much easier as you won’t be spending hours looking for the right images, colours and fonts. Your print, social media and website will all look consistent, no matter where you customers find you.
This Guest Blog was written by Liz Hall, from Liz Hall Design
Make your customers notice you and engage with you from the minute they see your business card, website, social media, newsletter, leaflets and postcards.
Interested in working with me? Get in touch!