As a small business owner, you know that establishing a presence online is crucial to the longevity and sustainability of your success. Intentionally establishing a presence — not just hoping that it will happen organically as you go — will truly set you up for great things.
A massive — and critical — component of that online presence is your brand design. Without crafting a cohesive and consistent brand, you’re likely to get lost in the digital noise (tweet this!).
With so much content available to consume online — on social, search, and more — your audience only devotes a split second to evaluate whether or not they want to delve deeper into your content. You have less than a second to win their attention, and that first impression is made by design.
Your brand is more than just a logo. It’s a system that should mold and shape your every piece of content — verbal, visual, textual, etc. — into a predefined experience shaped by your brand’s personality and voice.
If you read the words “system” and “mold” and are immediately nervous that you’ll just be shoved into a box that doesn’t fit you, don’t worry.
If you are intentional about honing your brand identity to be unique to you and who you are in the beginning, using that brand identity to mold your content won’t feel like you’re trying to fit into a box. In fact, it’s more like putting on a perfectly-tailored piece of clothing that makes you feel most like yourself.
Creating brand identities is my favorite part of being a designer. I get to spend time problem-solving the best possible look for you and your business. And, just as important, I get to figure out how your brand should feel as well. It’s like being a detective and putting together all the clues to solve a crime. It’s the best feeling!
The first step when establishing a strong brand presence online is visualizing your brand in its entirety, not just looking at each piece or asset one-by-one.
When I was an in-house designer, I saw many large and successful companies work through this challenge. It really isn’t easy! One way that we did this is to take all elements from print to web and place them side-by-side and discuss what feels out of place.
The look and feel of all these pieces together (fonts, colors, imagery, etc.) is more important than how they are separately. This process is a very kinetic way of designing a brand identity or presence. It’s the way I was taught and my favorite way of visualizing it all.
Here are some questions that you’ll need to ask yourself when working through this process:
What experience do I want my audience and potential clients to have when they engage with my brand?
How do I want them to feel differently after engaging with me or my brand?
Visually, how does my business look? Is it dark and moody or light and airy?
What feelings do I want my brand to evoke?
What makes you different and unique from your competitors?
It probably won’t be an easy process to answer some of these questions, especially if you are brand new to your business. But doing the hard work and getting to the bottom of what you want your brand to feel like as a whole will elevate your entire business.
Now, make a map of all your touchpoints, which is any instance your audience, prospect, client, customer, or peer comes in contact with your brand. This could include advertising, stationery, your website, all your social media profiles.
With the large companies that I worked with when I was an in-house designer, there were so many touchpoints to manage. With your small business, though there are fewer touchpoints, they are still extremely important — the idea of a cohesive experience still applies.
How will you position your brand via each of these touchpoints? If you’re overwhelmed with the possibility of needing an overhaul on your brand as a whole, we can start with the two where you get the most engagement, while still keeping the others in mind.
Creating brand identities is my very favorite part of what I do, and I would love to help you with yours. Learn more about what’s included and see some of my work here.
What does it look like to work with a Squarespace designer?
If you’re ready to make the switch to Squarespace, or if you’re ready to build your brand’s home base online, I’m here to help. With my Brand Design and Website package, we work to establish your brand foundations and design your website so that it’s ready for launch in two weeks.
Through the process, I consult with you to determine what’s currently working with your website and content, and what’s not. I then select the perfect Squarespace template for you and fully customize it with your brand identity, creating a site that speaks uniquely for your brand.
Interested in learning more? Book a consultation call with me to learn more and get started!