Guest blog post
How and why your brand should feel like ‘you’
How and why should your brand feel like you? In today’s guest post, London-based designer Jane McGrath shares her expertise on branding, and how we can do this best for our small business.
First, let’s talk about 2 different brand types, a personal and a business brand.
A personal brand is all about one individual. It is about building a connection between that person and their audience. Good examples of this are marketing gurus Jenna Kutcher or Jasmine Star. They are very much at the forefront of their marketing.
A business brand is a larger company, with many employees. It’s not usually focused on one person. Think Asos or Anthroplogie.
Why you should build a personal brand
If you are a small business, or solopreneur – you have a huge advantage over large corporations. Your Uniqueness! You have the ability to connect with your audience on a personal level and engage with them in a way huge companies can’t.
It begins with your story, your values and your reasons for starting your own company. Your personal brand goes way beyond font and colour choices, it should embody who you are, what you believe in and what makes you feel good!
How to build a personal brand
1: Your magic
In a world where tools like Pinterest and Instagram are so accessible, it is really easy to look at your competitors and want to imitate them – be it in their visual brand, their content or their messaging. This will not get you clients. You need to stay in your own lane and create a brand that is fresh, new and YOU.
People buy from people, and they want to see who you really are, and connect with you.
Yes, you may offer the same service as someone else – but you are completely different. Think about what sets you apart from others, and how you can communicate that across your brand. Do your research into your clients problems, and think about how you solve them in your business – in a way that someone else might not.
For example, I recently did a brand identity for a baby sleep consultant. When we really delved into her WHY, and her business journey – she told me she’s always wanted to help people holistically. That she didn’t want new mothers to struggle in the way that she did and that her service also focuses on connecting other mums, so they also have a social interaction to help build their confidence.
The result? We totally focused on this nurturing nature of her brand. This is her magic. What’s yours?
2: Attracting your ideal clients with your visual brand
Being authentic and communicating your values across your messaging and visual brand also attracts like-minded individuals.
Think about your dream clients. Those projects / workshops etc that you have run that have gone SO well you just didn’t want to stop working with them. Think about WHO they are, and chances are, they will have similar values / passions / interests as you.
Your visual brand will play a big part of this – it is the first impression that your audience will see. It needs to communicate your personality, your business and your values. A cookie-cutter Etsy logo is not going to do this, it’s about creating a complete identity that is personal to you that will grow with your business and attract those dream clients.
For example, I recently worked with a marketing coach. Her style is casual and informal. She is a mum of two and is very honest and wanting the work / life balance in her brand message. The result? We created an identity that would attract similar clients, with a laid back feel that was non-corporate and set her apart.
3: Building a cohesive brand
A complete cohesive brand is when your brand message is communicated across everything.
If, for example, you sell eco-friendly clothing, these values and your WHY need to be obvious across your website, social, emails, and your visual brand. When this is clear, your audience gets a real sense of you and your business, and this establishes credibility and trust.
When you feel connected to your visual brand – you show up differently.
This is something that my clients always validate. Prior to working with me, they didn’t really have the confidence to market themselves at all, or were embarrassed to send potential clients to their website. When everything is aligned you feel an inner confidence that shines.
Jane McGrath is a brand designer. She creates visual brands to help women to stand out from the crowd and attract their dream clients. Download her free 5-step guide to creating a successful brand, or check her website for more information about working with her.