Strategies and tactics to elevate your personal brand - get in the brand elevator, we're going up!
I help start ups, bootstrapping entrepreneurs & small biz owners get more visible online with DIY professional branding photos.
Does your business even exist without branding? To you, perhaps, but not in any meaningful way to your potential customers. It’s for this reason that I’m talking to you about the possibility of DIY branding.
Branding is crucial to the success of any business, no matter how big or small. It dictates whether you will be recognised and remembered by your audience and shapes how people perceive your business.
But the process of branding can be daunting – and expensive. If you are just getting started, you might be worried about the cost of a branding exercise.
So, you may be asking yourself if you can still build your brand without spending the big bucks? Is DIY branding even possible?
Yes, with the right tools, it most certainly is. Let’s chat about how to get started creating your brand identity from scratch!
Before we start talking logos and colour schemes, we need to clarify that branding is much more than just your visual identity. Don’t even start browsing through fonts until you are crystal clear on core business concepts like your purpose, tone, brand personality, and target audience.
All these factors will influence your visual design and content going forward, so nailing them down should be your first branding task.
So, let’s jump forward and assume you have already done the required background slog to get to the fun part. You know your style, you know who you want to connect with, and you are ready to create some brand materials. What next?
There are tons of experts out there that can help you create a professional brand. This is definitely an option for those who are short on time but have a pretty generous budget.
However, for the rest of us, DIY branding is not only possible; it can be downright rewarding.
You get the chance to really dig deep into your voice and style as you select the elements that personify your business. This process allows you to answer all those burning questions and get clear answers to two crucial questions:
1. Who are you?
2. Who are your ideal customers?
Once you have that part down, you have got a head start not only on branding, but on content creation and marketing too.
Of course, DIY branding can also save you a lot of money. Outsourcing branding is out of the reach for many start-ups, but you can still get professional results by using the right tools. Plus, you learn a new skill-set to add to your resume!
Call me biased, but I think branding is one of the most enjoyable parts of building your business. You get to play with colours, fonts, and images, experimenting with design until you find something that feels right.
But that’s not saying it’s easy! If you are not especially creative or tech-savvy, creating the visual elements of your brand can feel overwhelming.
Luckily, the internet has tools for everyone – from the digital-newbie to the design pro.
Here are some of the key branding components you will need to design, along with some great tools to help you on your way.
First things first! If you are tackling a DIY branding project then you need to sort a colour scheme/theme, choose your fonts, and design a logo.
The internet is awash with tools to help you do all those things; here are some to get you started.
I recommend choosing no more than two fonts, one for headings and the other for content. Try to select them from the same font family. These sites have plenty of options to choose from. Just make sure you select a font that is available for public use.
Font Squirrel – thousands of free fonts for inspo
Google Fonts – providing loads of free to use popular fonts
Stylify.me – use this on your favourite websites to get insight into the fonts they use
Think about the emotions you want people to associate with your brand. Do some research into the science behind colours, and pick tones that complement each other.
Can’t even draw a decent stick figure? No worries, there are dozens of logo makers that do it all for you.
Canva – free or paid platform with fonts and images to help you design brand assets
Hatchful – free online logo maker
Creative Live – plenty of logo templates to browse
Free Logo Design – a free brand logo creator to get you started
Every business needs a website, but your site doesn’t have to be the fanciest or snazziest to begin with. It can be simple, straightforward, and even just one page – as long as it has all the critical pieces of information your audience needs.
Nowadays, it’s a snip to create your own website using tools such as:
WordPress – for the more tech-minded, but even inexperienced users can create a simple site using templates and page builders
Sure, you can just throw up any old photo on Instagram, but it probably won’t get you noticed. Professional branding applied to your social media feeds helps you look professional, remain consistent with your branding and be memorable.
Use custom filters or watermarks to personalise your feed, or get a little help with pre-made templates from tools like Canva.
Diving into email marketing? Good call! If you have got your branding visuals sorted, there are plenty of email marketing platforms that help you create professional, branded emails.
Personal branding is another vital aspect of business growth. People want to know who they are buying from or talking to, not just a faceless logo. Your personal brand helps your audience trust you.
I learned to do my own brand photos, even though I’m selfie-averse! In fact, I learned so much from DIY photos that I put together a Pro Selfies Masterclass to help others create brand-appropriate pro selfies with ease.
As you can see, there are plenty of tools to get you started if you choose DIY branding for your business. Don’t be afraid to get creative with them. Just because you are choosing a DIY option now doesn’t mean you can’t engage a professional branding expert later down the track.
Don’t let branding be the obstacle that stops you from launching your business. Just get out there and test the waters and have fun doing it!