This month’s blog post is written by Gitte Louise Lamb, from Presence Brand Management. She attended our ‘Write your Business Plan’ workshop, back in November 2018, near the start of her business journey and it has been fantastic to see her business grow over the last five months.
Below, Gitte Louise explains more about the importance of branding and its role when you are developing your business plan. Interestingly, she highlights that “having your values, your reason for being, your ideal clients, your brand story, etc. written down” is incredibly important – areas which are all covered in your plan (and discussed in our trainings).
Read more about what the term ‘branding’ truly covers and how the research and work that goes in to your business plan can also help with how you to create and communicate a trusted brand to your ideal client.
You may or may not have thought about branding as part of the process of setting up a business. Particularly, if you’re “just” a solo entrepreneur or small business owner. But actually, branding your business should be part of the process especially as a solo entrepreneur. Let me tell you why.
Branding is more than just a logo…
I am not just talking about having a logo created here. Yes, obviously a logo is a vital part of your brand identity, but a logo alone doesn’t make up your brand. What people buy into is the experience and the story behind your brand, so you’ve got to make that part of your branding. Have a good think about why you’re wanting to do this; why are you setting up your business? Who are you doing it for? What drives you? What gets you up in the morning? These are the sort of questions your ideal clients are going to want answered.
Getting to know the person behind the brand is step one in building the ‘know-like-trust’ factor with your ideal clients. Once they get to know you a bit, they will start liking your content, visit your website, perhaps, consider a purchase, but it’s not until they trust you that they will actually be converted into profitable clients. The trust is built through engagement. Crucially, you can’t engage, if you don’t know what to say (other than “please, buy my services/products.”).
So, having your values, your reason for being, your ideal clients, your brand story, etc. written down, to stop you from going off on a tangent, will really help you in building the trust.
Considered, consistent, conscious use of colour
Once you know what you’re all about and you’ve nailed your core messages, you can start to work on your brand identity. Your brand identity is made up of your logo, fonts, colours, photography, etc.
The real gamechanger here is using colour in a considered, consistent and conscious way. Decide on a palette that you think really speaks your language, looks and ‘sounds’ like the brand you want your business to be. You could look into colour psychology and seasonal identities to help you determine which colours to go for. The important thing here is that you choose a set of colours and you stick to them!
The answer to building a brand identity that really breaks the mould is found in colours, fonts, patterns, illustrations, textures and good photography. As someone only just starting out, you might not have the budget to have a bespoke design style made for your brand, but as a minimum have a brand colour palette and complementary fonts that you use actively and consistently.
The main point here being: a brand is not just a logo! A brand is the sum of all the visible parts that make up your business, as well as your values, your ethos, your goals and aspirations. And so much more…. If you get your brand down to a T, then you are able to send a consistent message across to the right people at the right time!
Make time for branding
I get it, there’s enough to think about when you’re setting up your own business. It can get a bit overwhelming trying to do everything at once. You want to be able to launch your business and start working. But, if you haven’t thought about your branding, then you’re going to really struggle when it comes to marketing your business.
So, that is your mini branding masterclass done! Be sure to add branding to your business plan. It may not appear to be such a vital part of your business when you’re going through all the other steps, believe me though, the information within it will really help you define your brand and once you’re out in the “real world” selling your products or services, you will soon see that your brand is so much more than just your logo.
By Gitte Louise Lamb
Many thanks to Gitte Louise for writing a guest blog post. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and take a look at her website to see the great value packages she offers to help with your branding.
And, if you would like help identifying your values, your goals and your ideal clients as part of your business development, join us on our next workshop to learn how all of these form key parts of your business plan. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org