I have a confession to make.
I really sucked at branding when I first went into business on my own.
I’d been so used to working with large brands in the magazine industry over the course of 16 years – as both a Journalist and then Account Manager. In those roles I rocked up, learnt the company spiel, presented beautiful branded concepts to clients and took the whole polished performance for granted!
When it came to creating my own brand for the first time… well, let’s just say I had some pretty average looking logos…
And personal branding?
Well, that was about networking with a different elevator pitch each time and a headshot on LinkedIn a previous employer had taken..
Let’s just say I attracted some fairly average clientele and I wasn’t making much of an impact..!
So how can you navigate the world of personal and business branding, to create the impact you desire? To achieve polish and clarity?
There are logos, fonts, images and colours to decide on – and that’s just the visual stuff. So what do you really need to consider when building both your personal and business brand?
If you’d like to go from clueless to feeling clear about your branding – What do you need to consider?
It is 80% strategy.
Depending on your stage – it’s also about getting started.
When I headed out for my first networking event as a solo business owner I thought yes, I need business cards.
- I had no logo
- No idea of what my business stood for
- I didn’t have a clear idea of my ideal customer
What I did know – I wanted to help small business owners to better promote themselves and I had a lot of transferrable skills from time time in the magazine industry.
It was a good starting point.
But without a clear brand I had business cards printed with a simple logo the printing company generated from a template.
My online presence was non-existent – so it was about me showing up and representing myself as someone ex-Publishing who wanted to help.
OK for a while..
Establishing a clear brand
It took me lots of trial and error, muddling about and terrible social media posts to discover what it took to really create a clear brand. Not just something pretty – but a brand my ideal clients might actually feel aligned with. A brand that showed who I was, what I stood for and why I wanted to work with someone like them.
So, what is the difference between and business brand and personal brand, and what do you need to put in place to get it right?
Answering this will depend on whether you are a solo business owner, like a freelancer, course creator or consultant – or whether you handle marketing for a larger business.
As a solo business owner, whether you have support staff or not, you are the face of your business – so your personal brand and business brand can be closely entwined. There will be a visual representation for both – ie logo, colours, fonts as well as professional photography.
All will come back to getting clear on your:
You’ll also need to have a firm grasp on:
- Your ideal client
- Who your competitors are so you can differentiate
- How you’ll position yourself – ie are you High-end and premium or more accessible and affordable?
How will you communicate? This means understanding the messages you want to share – both via words and your visual identity.