So you want your small biz to look pro, but you're DIY branding on a budget. You don’t (yet) have the MOOLAH to invest in pro web designers or pro photographers.
I get it! That’s preeeeeetty much why I’m here. Because I’m confident you can DIY some of your branding on a budget, and still look professional. Who wants to end up looking like a DIY Design Disaster?! You just need some insider tips to help you along the way. You need some DIY branding tricks of the trade!
What exactly are those tricks?
Firstly, it’s about investing your resources into the right places. Those resources could be time, money, skill or just pure determination!
But since you’re DIYing your branding on a budget, let’s look at some ways you can bootstrap your branding with minimal financial outlay.
5 Low Cost Ways To Make Your Small Biz Look Pro With DIY Branding
1. Level Up Your Logo
Logo design is important, for sure. But, it’s not important enough that you should spend big bucks on a pro if you’re working with a bootstrapping budget. There’s no shame in starting off your DIY branding with a simple logo to identify your business. You can always upgrade down the line as your resources grow.
Not all small businesses even need a fancy image-based logo – and in personal branding, it’s common to have your name (or your face) as your logo, and simple can often be better.
There are plenty of free tools out there to help you design a logo. Canva is the most popular, but a quick Google search will come up with a list of other candidates.
Check out this article for some excellent pointers on DIY branding tools: THE BEST TOOLS FOR DIY BRANDING ON A BUDGET
My top DIY branding tip is to make sure you create it using a platform that supports “vector” graphics. These are completely scalable, so you can easily put your logo on a t-shirt, a pen, or a billboard without altering the dimensions or quality. In Canva (affiliate link) you can simply export as an “SVG” file!
2. Coordinate Your Colour Palette FOR DIY BRANDING
Branding is all about consistency. You need to be recognisable wherever you show up. Your colour palette is just as crucial as your font and your logo design, so before you start designing a bunch of brand elements, make sure you have picked out the best colours to represent your biz (NOT just your personal favourite colours!)
For inspo, jump on Google or Pinterest and search for similar branding types that you’re after, like “soft and feminine logo designs” or “cheerful vintage-style branding.”
Don’t forget to check out what colours the competition is using, so you don’t accidentally match!
Once you have a selection of colours you like, you need to grab their hex codes (every hue has a specific code attached so you can recreate it on any platform.) Use Colr.org to analyse your images and generate the right colour codes.
One more DIY branding tip for choosing your colour palette: head over to Coolors.co, start the generator, paste your colours into the slots, and press the spacebar. You can chop and change colours, locking in the ones you like until you have a complete colour palette to use throughout your branding.
Related: DIY Branding 101: What You Need To Know Before You Get Started
3. Whip Up A Website
Most professional businesses these days have a website. Don’t assume that this is out of reach if you don’t have a budget for it. The wonders of technology mean that even non-techy people can create professional-looking websites for minimal investment.
It doesn’t have to be super fancy. Just start with a homepage, an about page, and a contact page and go from there.
WordPress is the most common platform for websites in the world. There is a bit of a learning curve, but with custom themes and page-builders, it can be done by anyone!
Squarespace, Rocketspark and Wix are other popular options if you crave simplicity, although they come at a slightly higher price.
Related: How to get your small business started fast
4. Brandish Your Business Cards
Networking is an essential part of marketing your business. You never know who’ll you run into at the bank, at school pick up, or in the supermarket, so make sure you have a way to share your business details with potential contacts by creating business cards.
Again, no need to break the bank on this one. There are so many low-cost services offering pre-designed templates. Design your cards using Canva (affiliate link), then head to your local printer to create quality cards to enhance your DIY branding efforts. Local printers are great as they will normally do smaller batch printing than the big guns!
Related: 3 insider tips for launching a new brand
5. Polish Your DIY BRANDING Photographs
When you’re building a personal brand, your face is an integral part of your branding. You’ll be posting it on your online profiles, so a blurry bathroom selfie just isn’t going to cut it.
But you don’t have to splurge on a professional photographer to get great headshots and brand images. With the proper lighting, prep, and insider knowledge, you can take awesome shots with your smartphone that you’ll be proud to share on social media.
Find some natural lighting, read up on the best angles for selfies, and remember to take photos before you head out for a drink with the girls or when you’re all spruced up for a business meeting.
Want to know more about taking fantastic DIY branding headshots and photos for your business? I can help you take professional brand photos to make your business stand out and look legit. Start with my Pro Selfies Masterclass!