You started your small business but now you’re at the crossroads trying to decide whether or not to invest in a brand designer or build it yourself. And obviously the daunting question how and where do you even start when building your own brand. In today’s episode, I’ll be going through When it’s right to invest, and when it’s perfectly fine to DIY your brand, you’ll leave here with the confidence knowing you’ve made the right decision and how to get your brand identity off the ground with little to no budget. Welcome to the BrandMade show notes. If you’re a little busy right now you can do the washing up whilst listening to – episode 006 on >>Apple Podcast<< or >>Spotify<<
Giving you Permission to DIY your Brand
I think it comes down to what type of business you’re running. If it’s a small startup, but a team of people I think investing in at the start is a great idea for you and for your whole team to get on the same page at the beginning, but if you’re a one person team, sort of a personal brand and just starting out, I would say I don’t think it’s necessary. The first thing you need to do, obviously, having a brand in place before you launch is a must. But investing in one might not be right for you at the beginning. I understand that this might sound strange coming from a brand designer telling you not to invest in one by want to debunk this myth that you need a professional design to start with, I didn’t become a brand strategist to force other business owners to work with me. I want to work with people who actually want to work with me and are excited to build a brand together, not riddled with fear and doubt because that will just take us down a road that isn’t going to be beneficial for either of us.
Obviously, I do want to talk about it. Because I want a lot of people to know I offer the services. And I’m passionate about it. But it’s not my job or I’ve never been inclined to force it upon someone that’s not ready. Yeah, I think there’s there’s a lot of pressure online from for small online business owners to spend lots of money before they’ve even started making anything within their businesses. And I don’t agree with that, I just want to sort of rewrite that narrative today and say, investing doesn’t grant you a ticket to success. I’ve learned firsthand that it’s not one thing that will make you successful, it will be down to multiple things that will play a part within your success. I’d recommend if you’re just starting out. And you just want to sort of you know, test the waters get a feel and some clarity around what do you want from your brand or small business time to experiment really and figure out who is it that you would actually like to work with and what services or products do you actually want to offer. If you do this before investing, you’ll be able to have a better understanding about what it is that you want from your brand.
I will warn you that if you do decide to DIY your brand later on, you may obviously hit a few hiccups down the road. And you could avoid these by investing sooner rather than later. And these could cost a little bit obviously, but it’s a toss up between launching with a DIY brand now or launching with debt or even never launching because of the little budget. And I would always encourage you to start with the DIY brand option. And that’s why I actually do offers consultations to give as much help and support I can within an hour. Obviously by having a professional create your brand, you will make a better first impression with your audience and figure out things maybe a bit quicker. But it doesn’t mean to say that if you design it yourself, no one will like you. But I think your brand is going to be successful because of you at the end of the day.
Money VS Time Debate
So you may hit a few hiccups obviously down the road. And unfortunately that’s bound to happen if you DIY your brand, you haven’t done it before with someone’s with someone who has experienced with it. And I also think we need to be mindful that everyone has a different budget responsibilities. speaking from personal experience here because I definitely didn’t have a great deal of funds to start my small business. So I understand the struggles. Obviously I was fortunate enough because I had the knowledge and the design skills to design my brand professionally. But one thing that kind of frustrates me is sometimes when people talk about money versus time and they say that time is money or whatever. But for some of you listening, I’m sure you might have more time to invest their money right now.
And sometimes we have to use time as our currency to start out with, you shouldn’t make to feel guilty that you’re not investing in someone else’s services.
Everyone has a different journey and yours is should look different from the person next to you. I mean if you have a family and that you’re supporting and you don’t have the budget to invest in your brand, I don’t want you to stop you I don’t want that to stop you from starting your business I think you should be able to start anyway. And if if three figure budget isn’t there, then I recommend doing a DIY brand instead obviously may need to have some budget of for necessities like website hosting and maybe the Canva I know there’s a free option of Canva but maybe going on to like the paid version. And there’s there are certain areas that you’re going to need a little bit of money to invest in, but in my eyes is far better to grow slowly rather than throwing yourself into the deep end getting yourself into debt and then growing from a place of fear and anxiety is perfectly accessible to build build your brand identity and DIY from home. There are so many resources out there. Plus with the points that I’m about to share in this episode today you will have the tools to put your brand into place in no time and feel less worried about doing it all yourself.
Before you get carried away pinning swoon-worthy visuals | Build your brand strategy
I will always suggest that you start with strategy as the first point in your DIY branding building exercise because it will give you so much more clarity and you’ll get to ask yourself the right questions even if you’re not 100% sure on the answers at that stage. Obviously you can tweak things up as you go along and DIY in your brand allows you to do this, you’re not investing at this point. So you can kind of take the time here to figure out a few things. So actually is so important because you need to have some clarity around what you want to achieve from your brand. And in my brand I think I built I built it a little bit haphazardly without it and it did not work out. strategy will help you build a brand with more depth and meaning and should be getting a better and clearer understanding then if you just had brand visuals to go on. your brand’s actually should include things like your story values, your why ideal client unique selling point your competitive research. And I have done already a >>full episode on how to build your brand strategy in five simple steps<< from home. So if you do need guidance, then definitely go and listen to that episode after this one. I think it’s episode number three. But I understand obviously we are all tempted to jump into the visual side of building a brand. That is my favourite part in the process of building a brand. But strategy pushes you to see your your brand beyond the design and really without those visual cues. You should be able to describe your brand’s personality easily and in depth to someone as if it was actually a real person that you’re describing. Have a booklet with all your brand strategy information, research, even questions that you’ve left unanswered, but keep it in a file on your laptop, or print it out as a physical copy is what I like to do and have it somewhere you can actually refer back to and add thoughts and make adjustments as you need to.
Building Your Brand Visual Language | Logo Design
Then we have building your visual brand language. And this is obviously the exciting part where you get to have some time building a sense of who your brand is in a visual sense. So refer back to the strategy and align your look and feel with this. So are you more bold, edgy, traditional calm. working this out. First is best practice before your brain washes you with current trends. The best way to gain a sense of who your brand style is is through a mood board. And this shouldn’t be limited to logo designs and colours, but textures, objects photography. So once you’ve picked a logo, fonts and colours, they look like they fit within that mood board. So how to design a logo on a budget. Well, there’s a couple of ways to go about this you have no budget and you want to try your logo. This could mean using either Canva, or I think Adobe offers one free month trials or something. So you could sign up to illustrator and create your own logo design on there. Obviously this would mean taking some time to teach yourself and how to design a logo and if you’re thinking of doing this, I would always recommend going simple as possible. Literally picking a very nice font, and john and your brand name. Don’t try and add too many elements icons because then it can look quite childish quite quickly if you haven’t got that design eye. And that’s not me being mean or anything I just want to put that out there. The more elements you add the more opportunity for it to basically look like a two year old that and we want to stay clear of that. So your logo needs to be clear, flexible and recognisable.
My preferred method if you are do DIY your logo, is with pre-made logos. If you do have a small budget you can then browse and purchase pre made logos online and edit them. This means you can take your time looking for the right logo and finding something that actually looks pretty professional that you wouldn’t have been able to create yourself. So if you are thinking pre made logos are the way forward for you I do have some very exciting news that I will be >>launching the brand shop << This will include logo collections so you don’t just have to decide on one when you purchase it you’ll be able to have a look at a range and edit the templates. So if you do go out one you have a collection of others to choose from. But the best part is I’m excited that each pre-made logo collection they come with a new font that I’ve designed specially there’s been a lot of time and care and attention to detail within these. The only reason of the lower price tag is because they are being sold as a mass product and not on a one to one basis or one off purchase. This makes it more affordable for everyone. Top tip if your DIY your logo or picking a logo stay away from anything that is too obvious. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you don’t need a camera as your logo symbol It’s so generic and just really not needed. If you’re not sure on what to pick, I always say simple is a good rule of thumb.)
How to pick your brand’s visual tone of voice | Fonts
So moving on after logos, then you need to pick some brand fonts. And I like to look at this as your visual tone of voice. So make sure you’re referring back to your strategy and working out how you would like to come across your ideal customers. Within a brand you will have a collection of fonts to use form, I suggest having at least four to six fonts, a font selection, for each, a main title, subtitle, paragraph, and then a little accent one is always nice. This creates a font hierarchy on how you’re use each one and where to keep in mind certain rules for each of the fonts a paragraph on main priority needs to be easily to read, whether that’s on a laptop or mobile. Where as the main title font, you can play a little less, you can pay be a little less safe here and actually pick something with more contrasting thickness, extra details or in bold.
Make sure to evaluate how they look together. So your fonts can be different, but should work as a pair or complement each other in some way. So you might be wondering where to find fonts. While again, you can find some pretty great free fonts on either >>Google Fonts<< scroll on and D a font, as well make sure to look at the terms and conditions with each font that you download, just to make sure that you can use it for business purposes. But if you want to splash out a little bit on some nicer, possibly more unique fonts for your brand, then I would recommend browsing creative market, buying a unique font will help you up level your brand visuals and make your brand look more special in a way so I do think it is worth doing. However, if you do not have the budget then don’t stress you can stick to Google fonts. And that’s absolutely fine too.
How to Increase Brand recognition by 80% | Colour Palette
Next phase is DIY your colour palette, you need to pick your brand colours. And it’s actually a really powerful tool within your branding, because it can increase your brand recognition by 80%. And just to do like a little exercise, if you think about Facebook, honestly, the colour blue pops up into your head. And if you think about Coca Cola, the colour red comes up into your head so is it’s so powerful. So do make sure you take great care and picking and picking a good colour palette, and are using them actually actively and most importantly staying consistent with them. So you might now be wondering how to pick colours and there’s a few different ways to pick colours. Looking at the meaning behind each colour, and picking one that represents your brand best is definitely a way to select one. Another method is looking at the colours popular within your industry and actually deciding to pick something different to stand out from the rest. And another method is you could also do a combination of these both these methods I suggest you having three to five colours out of this one or two are your main brand colours, Hero colours, and the rest are either supporting or neutral colours. So you have a palette that works and supports each other together.
Extra | Your Brand Touchpoints
I’ve actually already done a full episode on touch points you should be including. But I just want to take a moment here and to give you a few things that is important to set up for your brand and one is your website. There are so many Do It Yourself hosting websites out there such as Squarespace or Wix show and WordPress, make sure you’re choosing the best platform for your business. Now a website is where you need to create a good first impression, provide important information and make sure it’s easy for your audience to use and know fast. So what we don’t want to do is making our audience work harder than they need to because the likelihood is they will exit out. Now your website is a great opportunity to display your brand personality even more. Now that can be done through the layout through the photos you include. And through the fonts that you’ve already selected and colours and textures and the background and also the dynamic elements that you decide to implement. So definitely do take time figuring out how you want your website To look and also if you need more information, then definitely go listen to the >>five powerful touch points.<<
Extra | Your Social Media Presence and Content Pillars
Now also, if you’re a small business, you should probably have a some sort of social media presence online. And, for example, let’s just look at Instagram because they have a feed with images. And that’s sort of an extension of your brand. So it’s great to actually make your own templates to edit, and saves you loads of time when you need to post something next, and keep your feed in keeping with the brand guidelines that you’ve already DIY before. Now, you’ve probably already heard about content pillars, but this is also quite a important part of your branding. So put some great time and attention into which content pillars you want your brand to be associated with. So I suggest having about one core content pillar, usually related to the product or service that that you are offering, and then having four others or up to four others supporting around this. Just to give you a bit of an example, my content. Core pillar is anything to do with branding, because obviously, I have branding services. I also have small business content, productivity tips, and graphic design. So you can alternate through these within the month. And it’s to help you out. Essentially, if you run dry within one topic, and you feel inspired within another so from week to week, you can sort of rotate through these.
Wrapping up the DIY Brand Blueprint
We have come to the end of today’s episode, I’m so glad you stayed up to the very end. And I hope you’ve taken that pressure off investing within your brand and feel motivated to start DIY on your own. You now have the steps to build your brand identity. It’s just now up to you to start putting it into action. Once again, if you haven’t heard the >>brand strategy episode<< , then do go have a listen. It’s really in depth. And if you do have any issues while you’re trying to build your brand, I have a free resource section for you to ask your branding questions. Either I’ll answer them on here on the episode or I will email you directly with my personal advice. I also have another paid service. Besides the full branding service, I offer consultation calls and we can go through your brand together over zoom and I can give you a full hour of advice and answer all your questions. If you already know what you’re doing with your brand. Just need some professional visuals for a quarter of the price I have you covered because the branch out will be launching very soon. And I’ll be offering for a limited time only 10% off your first order. So if you do want to go grab that code, sign up to my email list, and the link is in the description bar. So now you do have everything you need to start DIY in your brand today. And take back control of how you want to begin in your small business rather having to invest large amounts of money before you feel ready.
If your not ready to DIY your brand logo from scratch go check out the brand shop for all your brand logo needs. The best part is they are created and design with original fonts design by Olivia! >>Visit the Brand Shop now!<<