What is Branding?
What is branding? Is it a logo? A business name? A color scheme or certain fonts? Well, a brand will encompass all of those things, but that is not all that branding is! Branding is more than just the visual branding. Branding is your voice, your personality, your vision. How you make people feel. It is how people recognize you and how they perceive you. Branding is more than just the visuals. Branding is your voice, your personality, your vision. Click To Tweet
So, let’s talk about the visual part of branding. Here is a list of some do’s and don’ts to think about when you are creating your visual brand.
Do’s and Don’ts of Visual Branding
Do… have a cohesive color palette. You want to choose 3-5 colors that look good together and stick to those colors when creating graphics, designing your website, etc. If you don’t yet have an idea of what your brand colors will be, check out Design-Seeds. It is an awesome place to look through their color palettes that already have colors put together for you. Find something that speaks to you and your brand. You can also search psychology of color and see what different colors mean and how they are perceived. This article is a good starting place.
Don’t… choose too many colors or patterns. You don’t want your brand looking chaotic or unrecognizable because there are too many colors or patterns. You want it to stand out and be recognizable to your customers. 3-5 colors is sufficient, one or two main ones and the rest accent.
Do… choose your brand fonts. Next, you will want to look at different fonts and choose two or three that look good together. You don’t want them to be too similar or to busy. If you choose a script, or something bold, then choose something easy to read for your main text font. Here is a good article about how to pair fonts.
Don’t… have too many. Like I said, you will want to make sure they are visually appealing together and not too busy. You want them to be readable and recognizable, so 2-3 fonts max is perfect.
Do… create your own graphics. Don’t be just another consultant in your company if you are in direct sales. Stand out and brand yourself by creating your own graphics instead of sharing company graphics. Anyone can create them. There are websites that make it so easy, no matter how creative you are! I LOVE using Canva to create all of my graphics. I use it on my computer, because I find that easiest, but there is an app as well. Another good website is PicMonkey, and there are lots of good apps such as WordSwag, Spark Post, and Rhonna Designs.
Don’t… just use pictures you find on google. PLEEEEASE don’t do this! Don’t just hop onto google and download a picture from there! Did you know that it is illegal? It could cost you lots of money and your business! Don’t let that happen to you! Many, if not most of those pictures are copyrighted and you don’t want to get caught violating copyright laws. There are lots of good sites for stock photos that you can use for commercial use (check the license first). Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash, are some good ones that I use, and you can use pictures from Canva as well.
Do… be active on social media. You’re going to need a place to post those graphics you made, right? Be active on social media! Posting frequently on your Facebook business page or Instagram can be positive for your business so customers and potential customers can get to know your brand. You want your target market to get to know, like, and trust you, so using those social media outlets for this is a great idea (as is blogging! 😉 ). Just be sure you create a business page on Facebook and keep your business posts on your personal profile to an absolute minimum.
Don’t… be too salesy… While using social media for your business is a must, you don’t want to be salesy or spammy. You will want to follow the “80/20 rule” (or 90/10). For every eight or nine non-salesy/product posts, you may post one or two sales post. People do not get on Facebook to be sold to. The want to connect, build relationships, be entertained, etc.
You will also want to be sure to post different things on different platforms. This means you don’t want to push your Instagram photos to your Facebook business page automatically. If you do this, people will realize it and choose to only follow you on one platform instead of both so that they don’t see your posts twice. You may repurpose your graphics on the other platform at a later time (I suggest at least a week), just don’t post them on both at the same time!
Do… stick to your visual brand. Once you have your visual brand created, stick with it! Use your colors, fonts, images, patterns, etc in everything! If you do this week, people will start to recognize graphics as being yours, before they even see your logo or name!
Don’t… change your branding frequently. There is a time and place for rebranding, and rebranding can be done well, but you definitely don’t want to do it often! Stick with your visual brand as long as possible until it become necessary to rebrand for some reason. If you are frequently changing things up, people will not know what your brand is or recognize it when they see it.
Do… be consistent. This goes along with my last point. Be consistent. Use your visual brand everywhere and on everything. Stand out from the crowd and own your brand!
Don’t… copy someone else’s brand. Create your own brand, don’t try to copy someone else’s! You want to make it yours. Yes, you will see other’s color palettes, fonts, graphics that you admire, and there is no harm in using them as inspiration, but change it up and make it your own. Don’t copy someone else. Be authentically you and you will shine!
Do you have any other tips for visual branding? Please leave me your tips, questions, or input in the comments! I love to hear from my readers.