Branding is one of those buzzwords that few people genuinely understand despite being seen and heard all over the business blogosphere.
We all recognize brands like Google, Nike, and Oprah.
But what is branding?
Few businesses get branding right, and most miss the mark entirely. This is especially true with small businesses and coaches trying to make their mark in the world.
Branding for Small Businesses and Coaches
A brand is more than a logo, website design, or color palette.
It lets people know what you do. But, more importantly, it lets the world know who you do it for.
Your audience has to know, like and, trust you before they’re ready to pay you for your services.
Your brand increases awareness of your services and products, making it easier to attract the right clients so you can do your best work.
Three Branding Myths You Need to Avoid
There are branding myths that keep today’s business owners and professionals from achieving their business goals.
Myth 1: Branding is for the Big Business Players
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Branding is more critical for small businesses and coaches.
Why? Larger companies have big marketing budgets that make it easy for them to gain visibility among their target markets.
Let me put it this way: Those businesses don’t have to work as hard to get noticed.
You, on the other hand, don’t have this luxury, which makes branding more critical to your success than ever.
Myth 2: Focusing on Branding Slows You Down
Yes, you can spend way too much time, energy, and money on your brand. But the real problem is that you’re focusing on the wrong things.
Your logo, website design, colors, fonts, and profile photos are essential to building an online presence.
But you can spend too much time on these areas instead of connecting with others online or in-person, calling or emailing prospects, or showcasing your skills through your content.
Does this sound familiar?
Here’s the thing, the content you create, and the services and products you provide are a crucial part of your brand. They do more for your brand than any logo or tagline could ever do.
Focusing on branding doesn’t slow you down as long as you focus on what matters.
Myth 3: You Don’t Need to Invest in Branding When Starting a Business
Working with a brand consultant or web designer can be costly. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in your branding.
You do need to invest time and energy into developing a brand that represents your services in ways that attract your target audience.
Branding is not a “set it and forget it” strategy.
Even though you may not be able to invest too many of your resources early on, you need to test, optimize, and scale your branding efforts as you grow.
Brand Guide Fundamentals to Help You Get Started
Choose Your Business Logo
A logo makes it easy for others to recognize your business. It can convey emotions, quality, and authority.
So choose your logo wisely. But don’t get hung up on this step.
Use your logo consistently throughout your website, email marketing, advertising, and social media. The more people see it, the more memorable it becomes.
Discover Your Brand’s Colors
Colors do more than make your website look pretty. They elicit emotional responses and build trust among your audience.
When choosing a color scheme, think about the feeling, emotions, and personality, you want your brand to portray (instead of just using your favorite colors).
You can google “color psychology” (the study of colors in relation to human behavior) to learn about colors’ meaning.
Here are some resources you can use:
Canva is a graphic-design tool for non-designers that makes it easy to create beautiful and professional designs.
Design Seeds pairs beautiful photography with color palettes that you can’t help but feel inspired.
You can explore by color or collection for ideas on creating your color palette. I could scroll through Design Seeds for hours on end!
ColorPick Eyedropper and Coolors
ColorPick Eyedropper, a Google Chrome extension, lets you identify color values used on other sites.
You can take those color values and plug them into Coolors, an online color scheme generator, to find other complementary colors or even get inspired with their beautiful color schemes.
With the Coolors platform, you can export or share your palette, which provides the Hex# (web) RGB (screen) and CMYK (print) color codes.
You’ll need these color codes for your Canva designs and to give your web designer and developer or graphic designer.
Find the Right Typography and Fonts for Your Brand
Typography is the way you arrange type to make your message readable and appealing. You can use modern, traditional, playful, or sleek font styles to represent your brand.
Focus on two fonts: A clean font for the text on your marketing materials and one with some personality to accent your brand.
Think about your clients and services. How would you describe them? Formal? Casual? Serious? Playful?
Canva’s Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing can help you learn more about typography and be a valuable reference for your business.
Find fonts using resources like Creative Market, Adobe Type Kit, Google Fonts, and MyFonts. There are plenty of others, but these are some go-to resources to make it easier for you to get started.
If you want to stick with Google Fonts, check out TypeWolf’s blog post, A Curated Collection of the 40 Best Google Fonts.
These resources can help you start building your brand guide.
But remember that your brand as a small business owner or coach transcends design–it grows and evolves alongside your business.
As you work with more clients and deliver the highest level of service, your brand will secure a strong position in your current and future clients’ minds.
You become the obvious choice when they need the solutions your services and products provide.
For small business owners and coaches, branding becomes less of a marketing strategy. It becomes a way of life.
To help you get started on building the foundation of your brand, download my Brand Clarity and Business Competition workbooks. After all, to build a successful business and brand, you need to lay the foundation first.