Starting your Brand seems like a huge task but that’s only because you have been baffled with bullshit.
A brand is just a way for you or your business to be distinguishable in your industry, so think very carefully about what makes you and the way you do things unique. For example, my brand is different to others because I leave room for my audience to perform the same tasks that I do for themselves, but I also allow them to pay me to do them; because, I am more practiced and seeing as this is my means of work, I have time set aside for this; whereas you might not.
Where do you start?
As I said in the paragraph above, you could probably figure this all out by yourself if you spend enough time googling. But, who has time for that? So I made a list for you:
Here are the 5 most important things to consider when starting your Brand:
1. What are you selling?
This is more on the business side of things but it really does have a place in your thoughts when you are thinking of branding. For example, imagine buying Biltong:
You come across two different brands; the first has spices and raw and rustic wood on the packaging, the second is pink with floral patterns similar to any cleaning product, which one would you buy?
If you aren’t selling a physical product, but rather a service: The same principle still applies, if you are selling cleaning services you would want a very serious and clean aesthetic, whereas if you sell children’s party entertainment; you would be looking at something a little sillier and bright. This leads me to the next thing to consider:
2. Who is your target market?
A large part of looking to attract certain crowds is to look at what actually attracts them. How do we do this? Easy. Look at your competitors. It’s not shameful, everybody is doing it.
Look at your competition for the following things: Aesthetics, Sales tactics, How the audience receives those sales tactics (for instance, if it’s a Facebook post – read the comments) and then look at yourself and figure out how to patch any gaps in the market.
Use this tactic as well to be competitive in terms of pricing. I don’t like the toxic attitude the world has developed towards healthy competition, it keeps things affordable and fair, so go wild, look up those prices, there’s no shame.
This is also very important in establishing your thoughts in my next point:
3. What are you all about?
This is very important when it comes to branding yourself or your business. You need to be clear and concise in this because you need to be telling people why you are so awesome. Nobody wants to buy from the guy who “might be able to help” it sounds shady and incompetent. Be firm, be yourself and then put that onto paper.
But what do I put down on paper? Literally, anything about you that people can love. If you can’t find that, please see a therapist because literally every person on the face of the planet has something that people will like about them.
4. How should it look?
Figuring out your general vibe will help you to figure out all sorts of things in terms of branding: Aesthetics (your style), the crowds you attract, the way you interact with those crowds and also the way you operate in terms of business. So you see, it is very important.
A good way to start figuring this out is to look at your choice of fashion (I know, sounds weird, but your clothes are literally what you wrap yourself in so it makes sense to start there). You can also look at various colours and figure out which ones grab you.
I recommend having not more than 3 colours, but it’s definitely not a strict rule, if it works for you then wield it.
side note: Check out this colour tool if you’d like to start exploring colours. It’s called Coolors and it is completely free for you to use.
5. How will it grow?
Never start a brand without a bigger picture in mind. Consider where you want this to go, goal setting is how you draw your map so plan carefully and build it with growth in mind. This way you minimize the growing pains and can handle your challenges in a pro-active manner.
Okay, so what’s next?
Sometimes this step comes first and that’s okay too. Neither one of these absolutely has to go first but they do absolutely go hand-in-hand.
Choose your business name.
Google the name you have chosen. Why do we do this? well firstly, you would want to see if the name is already taken. And secondly, it allows us to see what other industries have used that name if it has been used. The original name I had chosen for Fat Unicorn was actually shared by a restaurant and a funeral home, so I opted to change it.
side note:You can even go so far as to see if there are any available web domains in that name. I use Whois for this, you simply type in your desired domain and press search. And it’s free.
Create your logo.
Now I genuinely don’t recommend doing this part yourself. If you have and it worked, cool, but the vast majority of self created logos are, to be quite blunt; dreadful. I will always tell you when you can get away with doing something yourself, but your logo is just not one of those things.
Grab a professional, compare quotes (and portfolios) and get it done.
Set up your social media.
Take care in telling people who you are and what you’re all about in the description section. Make sure to use specific words that’ll help people to find you. For instance if you sell carpets and you want people to be able to find you with the sole intention of buying carpets, simply include the fact that you sell carpets in your description.
Pay attention to your cover image, you can use it to announce the launch of things like your brand and various sales you may be having.
Personally, I create my own content in Adobe Illustrator, but I know that it can be tricky to learn to use, so I recommend you look at this free tool called Canva, they have all sorts of templates and things you can use. Create a few different things, pick the one that most grabs you, improve that further, create a few copies of different options to improve, choose the best one and then it’s just rinse and repeat until you feel that it is perfect.
You could probably run your entire business through your Social Media, but I wouldn’t recommend it. So let’s head on over to my next point:
Design your website.
Now you absolutely could do this by yourself if you took enough time to learn how to. I will actually be publishing blogs in the near future with tips on doing exactly this. But if you’re looking to find out just the basics, take a look at this article: Website Design: Think About it First.
However, if you don’t have the time to learn, contact me. You would only need to pay for the Page Builder tool that I like to use (you can actually view it here) and my time. I’m not here to make things more complicated than they are in order to make money off of you. My time is where my value lies, the expertise that I currently have, all come from learning. You can absolutely achieve it by yourself if you put enough time into it.
These are just the basics to get you started. There is of course more that you will need to consider further down the line.
Was this helpful? Is there more you would like to know? Let me know in the comments!