Ellie is a freelance graphic designer based in country NSW Australia with a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. Ellie work's with small biz rockstars to better brand their businesses to ensure they aren’t another start up-shut down statistic in rural/regional Australia.
Whether you’re a fresh new start-up or a well-oiled business machine, here are 5 simple tips to help you build a strong, consistent brand…
1. Know your brand.
Before the logos and the advertising and all the marketing collateral you need to be able to define your brand and clearly verbalise what you’re about.
Have you ever had someone ask you what you do for a living and you’ve been stuck thinking of ways to explain it while feeling all flustered and put on the spot? Yeah, I’ve been there too. Let’s never go through that again.
Take a piece of paper and jot down some words that you might associate with your brand. What do you do? What words/themes/emotions best describe your brand? It may even help to have a mission statement or “tagline” that clearly describes what you do (and refer back to it on the regular!)
2. Get consistent with your brand.
Have you ever been scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram and seen an image and known instantly which business or brand it came from? THAT is consistent branding. You want people to be able to recognise your marketing material and instantly think of you when they see it. Think about your colour scheme, font choices and layouts. Talk with your graphic designer (that could be me!) about the colour theme you want and how to create layouts for marketing material such as Pinterest posts, blog posts, Facebook adverts etc so as to implement consistency for your brand.
3. Get social.
So you’ve got this rad business and you know you’ve got the goods when it comes to service and skills you just need some clients to help keep the dream alive – so get out there and share your message! Start by getting social and across platforms you know will reach your target audience.
I’m a firm believer in social media but I disagree when people tell me I need to be EVERYWHERE. I choose to be active on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest only because I feel these are the best social platforms for me to reach my target audience.
Don’t let social media overwhelm you – why not start with Facebook and build on from there?
And if you’re already on social media remember to be an active participant; it’s not called “social” media for nothing!
It really bugs me when I come across an amazing business on Facebook and notice their most recent post was back in 2014. Be a regular poster, aim for at least a couple of times a week on FB initially and grow from there.
This may sound so formal but networking with other business people (either in your field or just in business in general) is so beneficial to the growth of your own business.
I first started to network after working with my business coach and joining her Facebook community. I’ve met so many great solopreneurs and other creative business people who have the same struggles, triumphs and questions as me! I also get a load of motivation from these people when I’m feeling flat or drained.
Facebook groups have been a great forum for me and my business and it also helps to get my name out there! I’ve been super fortunate to have managed to even find some clients within these groups which is an added bonus! They are definitely worth it.
Two of my favourite Facebook community groups for business growth and inspiration are Creating A Thriving Online Business and Blog + Biz BFFs. Check them out and get networking!
5. Develop a home on the web.
I recently wrote a blog post about how imperative it was for my business to develop my website. I know it can seem a little daunting at first but finding your own home on the web can be so beneficial in business. Even when I was active on my Facebook page and other social media platforms I still had potential clients asking if I had a website – people like to be able to see more of what you’ve got to offer than just what they can see on Facebook.
If you’re savvy with the interwebs there are a tonne of ways you can get a website up and running without the huge price tag and in no real time at all. And if not, there are a tonne of web designers who create amazing websites without costing the earth if a tight budget is a problem. I highly recommend taking that next step in your business; you might be surprised at the edge it gives you and your brand.
Building a brand doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a little effort and a lot of heart you can build yourself a strong brand any biz-boss would envy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ellie is a freelance graphic designer based in country NSW Australia with a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design.
Ellie grew up in a small town in upper north-west NSW and she has big dreams for helping rural entrepreneurs and solopreneurs grow amazing businesses through better branding. She believes that together we can all put an end to the stigma that country-based businesses are outdated and “behind the times”.
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