2022 Narrative International Photography Awards
By Emily Magers
Branding your business, It can seem overwhelming at first glance. Deciding on color palettes, fonts, taglines, copywriting, AND website layout feels impossible. Probably because your brand goes beyond visual aesthetic, it also touches the heart of your business; who you are, what you’re about, and what sets you apart from the rest. I always say, “You are your business,” and that will always be your greatest strength. No one else can be you! I think we all can come up with aesthetically pleasing brand elements and dreamy color palettes, but while that IS important, it’s not everything. I personally think the heart of our businesses is the harder part to pull apart and dissect. Looking inward can often be vulnerable and uncomfortable but there is SO much you have to offer there that the rest of the world needs to see! What you bring to the table in your business is already good enough—believe in it.
When it comes to marketing, showcasing the entirety of your brand from logos and colors and fonts all the way to mission statements, core values, and the ‘why’ behind what you do is so important. These are the things that set you apart and give your audience and potential clients a look into what they can expect! With clear messaging you will be able to attract your ideal clients and weed out the ones who might not be a good fit. How can you show that throughout your social media? There are tons of ways! Having consistency in your visual aesthetic and messaging across social media platforms is the most important! Organizing your feed in a way that stands out, engaging with your audience, making the things you love and care about in your business known. For example, I write that I love dogs, National parks, and community just about everywhere my business has a home. This helps with relatability and attracting my ideal clients who are also excited about these things! Messaging, visuals, and engagement are so important, and dabbling in them all as often as you can will help get your brand voice across. Consistency is always key.
But wait! Maybe you’re sitting here thinking, “I’m not sure what my branding is all about yet!” I get it! You can’t accurately brand yourself without first sitting with some deep questions and discovering the foundation of your brand. Branding doesn’t have to be overwhelming! I’m all about starting with the basics to get ideas flowing. To do that, I’ve created 5 questions I think every business should answer before creating a brand. These questions will help lay the foundation that you can build the rest on. I challenge you to take 30 minutes out of your day and sit with each question to get a better idea of the direction you are wanting your brand to go!
Think of it this way, you are your business! YOU are what sets your business apart from the rest so describe your personality and ask yourself, what do you value? What is important to you? What interests you? What do you gravitate towards? If someone else was to describe you, what would they say?
What is the heart behind your business? What are you most passionate about? What do you want to bring to your industry that doesn’t already exist? What drives you?
It is so helpful to look at other brands you love and see how they are doing things and why you love them so much. Is it their marketing skills? The message they por- tray? Their all around aesthetic? Do all of these brands have a common theme? This helps you hone in on certain aspects of a brand that you are drawn to!
We all have those projects or clients that really made us feel alive and so excited about the work we created! What are some of those projects/clients for you? What about that specific project made you excited to take it on? Was it that they gave you full creative freedom? Did they have a fun mood board? Were they just your kind of people and you felt like you could be best friends? What is your ideal project/client?
Are you unhappy with how your brand looks currently or how your message comes across? What does not sound or look like you as a business? What do you wish was present but you don’t know how to make it happen? The best part about being the face of your business is that you get the freedom to be yourself ! That is so import- ant because it’s what makes your brand valuable and unique.
I love this question because it exposes our fears and brings them to the light. By writing these things out, we no longer harbor them and give them power but in- stead, visualize them so we can put action behind them! What is holding you back from starting your business? From expanding your business? From re-branding? From creating something you are proud of?
Want to take the next step and dig deeper into creating a brand you love? You can learn even more in my Complete Branding Guide For Creatives in the shop! This interactive, self-paced guide that leads you through each stage of your brand, helping you dream up your visual identity, find your voice, and implement it all into each area of your business. With examples and workbook pages, you will leave feeling inspired, ready to attract your ideal client, and portray your message clearly and confidently!