Happy Friday, Friends! Here are my top creative tips when it comes to defining your brand and reaching your dream client! Your branding checklist is more about defining who you are rather than what you want your aesthetic to be.
Checklist #1: Only you can be YOU.
This may be a no-brainer, but you are uniquely you. As you’re creating your brand, ask yourself this: what is it that I do or offer that others in my industry don’t? This could be anything from your personality, to your client experience, to your mindset that will attract like-minded people to your business. Your story makes you different – I say use that to your advantage! Here are some things to think about when figuring out what makes you unique:
- What’s your story and how has that made you who you are?
- What are your core values and beliefs?
- Why do you do what you do?
- How does your personality differ from everyone else (are you more outgoing or do you seek to know people in smaller, intimate settings)?
- How do you capture people’s stories (do you take a more photo-journalistic, fly on the wall observer approach or are you right there in the middle of the action with your client’s?)
Thinking about these things will help you hone in on what makes you stand out from the rest. Once you know what your unique characteristics are, your brand’s foundation can be built upon that, and that’s what creates an unwavering brand foundation.
Checklist #2: Create a standout product or service
Using your unique characteristics and values that we defined in Checklist #1, now it’s time to implement that into the product or service you’re providing! This is what will make your specific service stand out. For example, if you’re like me, I approach all of my photography with a photo-journalistic approach. I love taking photos of little moments I notice throughout the session or wedding – moments that most people might overlook. If you’re anything like me, this is something that can be used to capture the attention of your dream clients! Those who are looking for authentic reactions, reminiscing on the little in-between moments, and raw emotion will be drawn to your work. You won’t feel like you’re “selling” your product or service when you’ve honed in on the ability to create a product or service that shows your dream client their solution to wanting raw, genuine, emotional photos is you.
Checklist #3: Define your brand & be a solution-seeker.
Building on the foundation of your brand, defining your brand is where you get to do some deep digging into what your brand entails and who you’re serving, and most importantly, why. Your WHY will determine the heart behind your brand. Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to define your brand:
- What is the mission of my business?
- What are the problems my dream client’s are facing?
- How can I be the solution to those problems through my brand’s values and beliefs?
- When people think about my brand, what words come to mind?
- If my brand were a person, what would they be like?
These questions will help you think about how to truly define your brand and make it unique to you! These are the questions I ask all of my branding clients because I want to know exactly what their brand will feel like before designs come into play.
Checklist #4: Your brand’s visual identity
Now that you’ve defined your brand, we can take everything you’ve come up with and start creating a visual identity. A visual identity is the overall look and feel of a brand – it’s the practical application of your values and beliefs through your brand. What colors represent your brand? What kinds of elements encompass the feeling you’re wanting to show through your brand? Is it defined through strong, bold elements or soft, whimsical designs? What words describe your brand? These are all questions that can help you determine the look and feel of your brand based off of the first three checklist responses.
Most people start with this step, and end up changing their brand direction a few years later because it just didn’t live up to their expectations of what their brand truly encompassed. When you start with the foundational elements of defining your brand without a visual identity, you create a brand that withstands the test of time and grows with you.
Checklist #5: Brand Consistency
This step is all about creating consistency for your brand throughout all marketing materials, social media platforms, client experience, etc. Who you are is who your brand is and that should be clearly and consistently seen throughout your business. You can keep consistency through the content you create, the captions you write, and the way you serve your clients. Every aspect of your business should be identifiable through your brand. When people see a post, receive an email, etc., they can expect to feel your values and your brand throughout the entire process – that’s when you know you’ve created a lasting brand!
Here is a practical list of a branding visual identity to help you create & define your own:
- Brand Elements
- Social Media Templates
- Investment and Welcome Guides
- Content that stands true to your brand
Each of these elements are provided in my Build Your Brand Course – enrollment for Build Your Brand Round #2 is opening sooner than you think 🙂 Your brand is who you are – let me help you tell your story in the most authentic way possible!