Branding is a multi faceted thing that’s constantly evolving as your business grows. That said, there’s a lot of things that stay consistent and don’t really change in your needs in branding. So here’s what I recommend as a top 10 brand to-do’s that’s almost always rinse and repeat:
Always start with strategy and make sure that you’re checking in on if you’re staying aligned with your strategy or if you need to pivot.
This goes hand in hand with strategy. In order to have good strategy, one must have some sort of vision and goals set in place. The best way I’ve found to do this is to start with a big vision (10 years). This can be as big or as little as you want it to be – but really treat it as unlimited potential. Then write down your 5 year goal, and then your 1 year goal. Within your 1 year goal, break this up into quarterly goals (3 month increments). All of these timelines will help you build up to your big dream and it’ll help you stay aligned and focused on your marketing.
- Logo Design
Invest in a good logo. Whether that’s your money hiring a designer or your time doing it yourself. Don’t half-ass it and base it around your strategy. You can make this simple. In fact, I recommend if you’re doing it yourself and you’re not a designer, stick to making only a word mark and ditch any icon/logo mark designs.
- Brand Colors
Limit them to 3-5 colors. You don’t need the entire rainbow, I promise. These colors should also stem from your brand strategy: who you are and who your target market is.
- Brand Fonts
Make these compliment your logo. Don’t use the same fonts in your logo – use ones that look good with your logo. Like a cute pair of shoes and earrings that complement your outfit.
- Brand Photography
This one is a big investment, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, you should have your face on your marketing materials somewhere. To start, maybe it’s a headshot or a brand mini session. There are plenty of site that offer affordable (and/or free) stock images like Unsplash, Pexels, Haute Stock, Social Squares and of course, iStock.
- Brand Guidelines
Make this as detailed or a simple as you want it to be. If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t need the 100 ways to use your logo and all of the platforms. But you should have an idea on what your brand colors are, fonts, how to use your logo (and spacing recommendations) as well as what kind of images/visuals you need to have and use.
- Brand Voice
Invest in a copywriter. Whether you find a copywriter who can help get you started on your brand voice like sharing types of words to use, not to use, catch phrases, taglines etc – or it’s a copywriter who can do your social media, email marketing and website. You don’t have to do allll of the things with a copywriter, but at the very least, invest in one that can help lay the foundation for you.
- Marketing/Content Plan
This is going to go hand in hand with your strategy and goal planning. Pick as many social media outlets as you want, but don’t over do it and only pick the ones that your ideal client is gonna be at. It doesn’t make any sense marketing to a bunch of people that want nothing to do with you. Write content and market things that will help you reach your goals.
- Monitor Your Brand
Check in on your brand every quarter. Make sure your finances are in order and your meeting your goals. Find out what’s working and what’s not working so you can adjust, make pivots or do what needs to be done so you can continue to be amazin’ AF. 🙂
- Web Design
As a bonus – make sure you have a website. This can be a landing page, sales page, single page or whatever page – just have a website. You don’t own social media platforms. They can die at anytime, any day. Control your brand experience and have a website.