Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today I’m talking a little bit about my branding process for this site. I tweeted out the other day asking for suggestions on posts to write, and Megan gave me a great idea! In the past I had written a super in depth post about branding, but I really didn’t dive too far into talking about my own brand.
I fought for forever when it came to deciding on my branding colors. I battled with trying to strike a balance between my personality and looking professional. I was afraid to settle on colors that were too ‘girly’ as the advice I’m giving here on MT is great for any online trailblazer, and I didn’t want to isolate any demographic.
Ultimately I ended up throwing caution to the wind when it comes to the visual aspect of my brand, and just went with what made me happy. Is it a bit girly? Sure. A little less professional than I was aiming for? Maybe. But I think it really fits who I am as a person, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
Here are a few of the color schemes I came up with when I was just beginning to plan this site:
So they are all pretty similar, now that I look at them together. Neutrals with a pop, really. These themes were all drafted up when I was trying to play it safe. I figured I would go with mainly shades of gray or navy to appeal to everyone.
I quickly realized that while these color schemes are pretty great (in my opinion) they weren’t really true to what I had wanted for this site. Ultimately (and obviously) these are the colors I went with:
Ok, so I wouldn’t put too much weight into color psychology (you know whether or not the colors you are considering leave you feeling inspired!) but it was something I did consider a little bit.
When I decided that I wanted to go for something more ‘me’ and less ‘professional’ I knew that I had to incorporate yellow. The infographic I looked at on Pinterest described yellow as representing positivity and cheer, something I really wanted people to feel when they came on my site.
Deciding between navy and purple was tricky, they both had their pros and cons, but I realized I was holding on to navy simply because it was the more ‘gender neutral’ of the two. Besides it being my favorite color, purple is also associated with creativity, which is something that is so important for any online entrepreneur!
PUTTING A FACE TO THE BRAND
Ok, color themes are definitely my favorite part of branding, but when it comes down to it, there is really so much more that goes into creating a strong brand.
One thing I wanted to be sure of is that people were coming to my website to have me teach them awesome blogging and business tips, not coming to my website just to learn awesome blogging and business tips.
That might leave you confused, but the point is I wanted to play a strong part in my brand. There are plenty of websites that are super informative, but you have no clue who is behind the website. Call me a narcissist, but I wanted to make sure that I was front and center in my brand.
This approach helps humanize a brand (obviously!) and it’s great for building trust. The faceless approach works for some sites, but for me it was a major no go. I thrive on connecting with the lovely people reading my site, and creating those personal relationships would be rare if my readers didn’t see the face behind the brand.
FINDING A VOICE
A consistent voice is also super important, and this one was easy for me as I’ve been blogging for two years. I use the same voice here as I do on my lifestyle blog, which is basically just how I talk in real life.
If you’re taking the same route I am in putting yourself as the face behind your brand, generally you are going to really want to strike a balance between informative and friendly. You want your readers to trust what you have to say, and also like you!
- Don’t rush things – as excited as you are to start your new site, branding is so important so you want to take your time.
- Don’t settle – I was so ready to settle with a visual brand that didn’t feel right because I thought it might make people like me more – that is NOT a mistake you want to make!
- Play around with it – I spent collectively about 8 hours making headers on Photoshop, and despite the one I settled on being very simple, it only came after about two dozen rejected headers.
- Everything you do either works to build your brand, or destroy it. If you don’t respond comments, you blog inconsistently, or you quality is lacking; eventually that is what you’ll be known for.
- Never get sucked into believing that branding is simply how a site looks – I’ll reiterate the fact that everything you do contributes to your brand.
- Don’t be afraid to hire a professional. I am not a branding ‘expert,’ though I know a lot more about branding than the average Joe. With that said, even with my background I would have hired an expert in a heart beat if it were in my budget. Now, I’m super happy with the brand I came up with on my own, but I could have saved a ton of time by delegating to a professional!
After you have your brand figured out and you’ve got the ball rolling make sure you stick with your brand. If you ever want to rebrand, do it carefully because your brand is how people come to know you.
If you ever have any questions about branding, feel free to email me or reach out in the comments (in case others have the same questions!)
If you’re wondering how you can carry your brand over into your social media, you may be interested in this post all about creating a ‘theme’ (i.e. brand) for your Instagram account!