You would think that because I am a graphic designer that branding myself would come easy. Confession - It’s the most difficult thing to do. EVER! Branding is something that has always come naturally to me BUT only for other people. Since I am a designer, I am constantly looking at inspiration everywhere. Naturally, I like good design so I like a lot of styles, color palettes, and fonts. Since my options to brand myself are endless, it’s so hard deciding what will feel good for my business and visually speak to my potential clients.
When first branching off on my own and starting my own branding company, I was really into black and white with a pop of mint. I liked the playful illustrations and imperfection of hand drawn elements. I was like BAM! This is what I want my branding to be! A week later, I was onto the next thing.. and then the same cycle happened the next week. I was going branding crazy!! I couldn’t commit to one style for my brand. I realized that I had to calm down because not only was this an extreme time suck, it’s important to create a solid brand identity. This is something I teach my clients and apparently had to teach myself too.
Then it hit me - I needed to gently separate myself from my brand. If I didn’t I was going to go NUTS! Instead of trying to represent all the visual aesthetics I loved, I chose a couple that were important to me and narrowed it down to one. I also thought about what my ideal client would want to see. What would make her excited to work with me? I married these two ideas and I’ve never felt more clarity in my business.
A common mistake I see with my clients is that they want to be all things at once. They get lost in the mush of the many things they are trying to convey through their logo, website and copy. They want to serve everyone! When we hone in on who we really are as a brand and what type of audience we want to attract, then we can better serve our readers, clients, or customers. We can’t be scared of losing the people who aren’t necessarily attracted to our style. When you speak and show up in your business with clarity, even people who don’t like your aesthetic will notice and respect your sharpness. Experiencing this first hand has helped me better serve my clients. I can guide them out of confusion and into beautiful brand precision.
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- Grow Your Creative Biz With Instagram - Part One
- My First Instagram Giveaway - 6 Lessons Learned
If you aren't following Jessica Safko on Instagram yet, I REALLY encourage you to do so. You can tell she is a Creative Director within the first five seconds of looking at her Instagram feed. It is just that beautiful. Jessica writes for her own blog, Love Plus Color, where she offers inspiring mood boards, healthy recipes, biz tips, and an interview series called Creative Crush. Ahem...she totally interviewed me so please check it out. Jessica also offers a full suite of branding services, which you can read more about at Love Plus Color.