Have you identified your brand or more importantly, can your potential clients or customers identify your brand? In its simplest form a brand is a symbol that signifies ownership but as a business owner, you understand that your brand is so much more than a logo. Your brand is your businesses’ personality. It’s the language you use, the colors you identify with, the types of images you use, the values you espouse. Your brand is an extension of your vision and your mission.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN MY ONLINE BRAND?
Simply put, everything you do in the public becomes part of your brand. The uniformity and clarity of your message, your graphics, even the fonts you use tell your audience who you are and what you’re about. Look at the posts on your Facebook business page or on your Instagram account. Take a big picture look at your recent content. Does every post speak to your brand or are there topics, photos, or links that you’ve shared that seem to stray from your message? Are there things that you’ve shared that might be considered a promotion for someone else’s business?
ARE YOUR PHOTOS CONSISTENT WITH YOUR BRAND?
Part of your company’s visual story-telling needs to include images that are identifiable as yours. While we’d all love to have a photographer at our disposal, for those of us who don’t have that luxury (yet) there are simple ways to use your photos, even stock photos, to reinforce your brand. Using an app like Canva, you can create a set of graphic templates, choose a palette of colors for your brand, and even a set of fonts that you’ll use to represent your brand. The more consistent you can be visually the better. If your business cards use a feminine font, you’ll want to utilize the same font or something similar for your graphics. Research font pairings to create primary and secondary fonts. While a swirly script font is lovely as a heading or in a short caption, it can become difficult to read with longer quotes. By pairing the script font with a very clean unadorned font you’ll create balance. You may find that a watermark is a good way for you to brand your photos. There are apps for your phone that will help you create a watermark.
HOW DO I FIGURE OUT MY BRAND?
One of my favorite tools for branding is a simple online survey that will help you identify your branding archetype. The archetype will identify not only the personality of your brand, but some suggested colors and fonts that will speak to your audience. If you’d like to take the quiz, here’s a link! An archetype will help you not only identify your brand but will also help you identify the clientele that will connect with your message. By aligning your archetype with your content, you’ll share a message that speaks directly to your ideal audience.
MAKE SURE ALL THE MESSENGERS CARRY YOUR BRAND’S MESSAGE
Once you’ve identified your archetype and focused on each aspect of your brand, create a brand sheet that you will share with everyone who works on your content. The brand sheet should include your fonts, colors, photo types, watermark, and other cues that will keep your team on track with creating consistent content that your audience will be able to identify and share. Once you are clear on who you are, what you do, and most importantly why you do it, you’ll want to share it so clearly that the people who follow you online will be able to share about your company the same way you would! That’s what successful branding does.