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Brand Identity

Branding is so much more than a logo

Branding Is SO Much More Than Your Logo

Designing a new logo can be a daunting task especially considering that it only takes up a few pixels on your website or business card.  How can you possibly squeeze in the entire identity of your brand into a few pixels?  How can a font, color and an icon represent who you are as a business owner?


Do you need branding?

This is one of the questions I ask on my contact form.  And I often get the answer "Nope, I have branding that I love."

I often wonder what that means to my prospects (clearly I need to change this question to get more clarity).

Do you love your logo?

I suspect for some, they do have a logo that they love.  But once again, what does that really mean?  Do they simply love the font, the colours, the icon?

If we dig deeper, what is it they love about the individual elements of their logo?  Why do they love it?  Is it just a feeling or do they have logical reasons that they can actually articulate?

Do you love your persona?

And for others, they may love how they project themselves as a personality.  For example, they may be beautiful, edgy, vibrant and innovative.  They dress beautifully, they have a lot of energy, and they may think outside the box and challenge the status quo.  The question is, is that how they are truly perceived by the world and what does that mean to their clients and visitors.  Will their visitors resonate with this vibe or will it push them away?

Do you love your design elements?

And yet for others …. It may just be pretty pictures on their website, their favorite flowers or colours, or something they encountered on their journey in life that brought them joy.  The photos may have great significance to them and elicit a certain feeling when they look at them.

Their visitors may not have the same view of the image and it may not evoke the same feeling in their visitors?  What we perceive as warm, inviting and inspiring may not be what our prospects perceive when they visit our website.

The truth of the matter is that branding is all of the above and so much more.

Imagine for a moment that you have a beautiful brand that you absolutely love and are confident to share with your clients.  Imagine that you have…

A brand that attracts more clients to your business – but not just any client… the right clients.  You know, the ones who energize and inspire you.  The ones who are willing to invest in you because they truly appreciate your value.

A brand that builds trust and credibility because it is authentic to you, reflects your passion and positions you as the expert that transforms the lives of real people.

A brand that captivates your audience because it resonates with them – they feel like you really get them and can picture themselves working with you.

A brand that creates an authentic client experience and a deep desire to connect with you that will lead to amazing referrals.

A brand that makes it easy to market yourself because you are presenting yourself from a place of serving rather than selling.  It conveys that you truly care and want to help make a difference in people’s lives.

A brand that allows you to reach more people and transform more lives.

What is branding?

Branding is a culmination of messaging + visuals + interactions based on the words you use to describe your business.

When you use the right words to describe your brand and voice, you will rediscover your authentic self and amplify your brand.

I refer to them as your “personality words” and they help define how you interact and how your potential clients perceive you.  They help define the overall brand experience and are the common thread that runs through the visuals, messaging and interactions you have with your clients.

Your brand words can reflect what your brand aspires to be or how it has been described in the past.

For example, you could describe yourself as approachable, passionate and minimalist or creative, vibrant and edgy.  Client feedback can be instrumental in determining how you are perceived and can strategically position you as an authority in your field.

Once you have your list of brand personality words that describe who you are as an Entrepreneur, you can capitalize on them with the right visuals, interactions and messaging to help you attract the “perfect fit” client.  I refer to these as Brand Messaging, Brand Visuals and Brand Experience.

Brand Messaging

Have you ever met someone and felt there was a disconnect?  You can’t quite put your finger on it but you don’t fully trust something about them.  You may have been expecting someone who was inspiring and guiding and yet when you chatted with them they were bossy and telling you what to do.

On the other hand, have you ever met someone and felt like you have known them your whole life?

When clients see no disconnects between what you say and how you portray yourself, your clients will believe that you can deliver the results that you promise.

Your messaging builds on your personality words to describe what you offer and how it will enhance your customer’s life.  It needs to clearly convey what aspects of you make you the perfect solution for this client.  And it needs to do so in a tone that embraces your personality words so your brand is in alignment.

When your messaging is in alignment with your brand words, prospects can picture themselves working with you and get excited about the possibilities.

Brand Visuals

We’ve all heard the old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words”.  I would go as far as to say that a picture is worth more than a thousand words, it could be worth one thousand dollars or ten thousand dollars if it creates a deep and compelling connection with your audience.

Combining images, fonts, colours, patterns and layout help emphasize the personality of your business and form an identity that customers will recognize.  Your visual brand amplifies your brand message.

People buy from you when they can pictures themselves working with you and experiencing the results you promise.

One of my clients, Louise LeBrun, offers “a powerful new context and framework for personal evolution and change that expands awareness and awakens potential”.  As such, we were looking for elements that create a sense of intention and empowerment that visitors could identify with.

We chose an image of a woman in a power pose enjoying her success and imagining the possibilities for her future with an inviting and personal font to convey a message of personal responsibility.  The lime green colour signifies new growth with a sense of adventure.

All elements were intentionally selected to create a certain vibe and connection with our visitors.  Simply, beautifully and intentionally.

 

Empowering branded design

 

The visual elements you use on your website give your business a unique vibe and create an emotional connection with your visitors.  They are authentic to you and amplify those parts of your personality that will enhance the life of your clients.  They are designed to captivate the clients you dream of working with.

And yesss … it is possible to have a brand that is both beautiful and strategic when you take an intentional approach to web design.

Brand Experience

Your brand words also help define your brand’s engagement style which is a key piece of the unique experience you provide to your clients.  This experience amplifies what makes you special to the clients you want to attract.   In other words, what about you makes you the perfect solution for this client?

Will you gently inspire them to take action or will you push their boundaries to accelerate their transformation?

Will you collaborate with them so that they feel like they are contributing or will you simply tell them what to do so they don’t have to worry about the details?

There is no right or wrong answer!  It is simply a matter of amplifying how you naturally interact with people that resonate with that type of experience.  Some people like to be told what to do and yet others need the gentle nudging that moves them forward without feeling pressured to do so.

When you build a brand around how you naturally interact, it’s more authentic and your clients are going to notice the difference.

You will get better clients.  You will get better experiences.  You will get better results.

Imagine attracting more of the perfect client to your business…

What if it were possible to have a brand that is perfectly aligned with your business right now?

Engaging clients that value what you have to offer and trust that you will deliver the results that you promise.

When your branding is in alignment, you will attract the clients you dream of working within your business.  It is that simple.  And it’s what I want for you.

Branding Is SO Much More Than Your Logo Read More »

Business owner working with dream client at coffee shop.

Dreaming of landing the perfect clients? Do this first.

Have you ever wondered why you are captivated by some websites and not others?  What makes you remember one brand and completely forget the rest?  Stay tuned as we dive into how and who your brand engages so you can attract more of the clients you love to work with.


Have you ever noticed that when you really engage someone, they only focus on you and hang on to every word you say?

They are not distracted by their thoughts or worries.  They are not thinking of what to make for dinner.  That person is totally captivated by your message and really hearing what you have to say.

We’ve all had that experience, right?

So, what makes you and your business captivating?

When you understand how the world sees you, you can connect in a more authentic way.

When we communicate genuinely and authentically in our most natural ways, we are more persuasive.

So it’s important to build your business around your core personal strengths and use it to appeal to your ideal clients.

Being authentic and in line with who you are can evoke a strong emotional response and give your clients an emotional experience that will keep them buzzing about you.

Simply sharing facts does not create a connection with your listener and facts are easily forgettable.

People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.
~Maya Angelou

So what is branding and how does it relate to our dream clients?

If you are asked that question, how do you respond?  Many people think that branding is about a new logo or some trending new colors on your website.  But it's not that simple - it goes much deeper than that.

Your brand is about creating an experience for your customers.  By replacing the word “brand” with “experience”, it becomes easier to understand that your brand is certainly more than a graphic logo and the colors you’ve chosen to represent your business.  It’s about shaping the world’s perception of your business and emotionally connecting your ideal client with your services.

It took me a little while to realize, that as a designer, my brand is not solely about me. It’s about the piece of me that is relevant to them – my clients.

My brand is focused on my ability to nurture someone else’s vision.  My best work is the result of going beyond what my client tells me they need along with my ability to translate their vision into a design that captivates their audience.

Your brand should reflect your style and embrace your essence, but it’s not all about you!

Your own brand should be an intersection of who you are and who you believe your client can be.  It’s about how the world perceives your business, which by the way, should feel very true to how you naturally interact.

When you understand how you draw people in, you will attract your dream clients – you know, the ones who energize and inspire you.

How do you define your brand?

Is your brand trusting, fun and inspiring?

Is your business soulful and organic or button-up professional?

Or is it elegant, provocative and mysterious?

Defining your brand identity helps you create an experience for your clients that will have them talking about you for months to come.

Create a brand you love and you will attract more of your dream clients.

Doing more of the work you love requires connecting with more of the right people.

Your ideal clients.

The people who truly energize and inspire you.

The ones you most want to serve.

Imagine that your business is thriving.

You’re only working with clients who understand and appreciate your value.

Sounds great, right?

It is possible.  Simply follow the steps below.

1.     Explore your brand personality

Think of your brand as a person and work on describing that individual and what a relationship with her would look like.

How would your brand be described?  Bold and confident?  Inspiring and empowering?

How would your clients answer this question?  Is their perception of you what you expected?

A great way to learn how you are perceived is to go through your testimonials.

How do people describe the experience of working with you?

How do they describe your personality and your skills?

How did they feel while working with you?

My client's experience working with me reflect my brand ...

Their testimonials embraced what I was intending on providing for them.

  • "Transforming their vision into a beautiful website."
  • "Collaborating and working as a team."
  • "Pushing them beyond their comfort zone and thinking outside the box."
  • "Creative, passionate, personable, engaging and encouraging."

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my client's experience reflect my brand ...

Their testimonials actually describe my brand personality.

This is how people naturally see me and connect with me.

So I can use these to words and phrases to emphasize my super powers, amplify my personality and infuse it into my website.

Your personality words and the way the world defines them creates the emotional response you intend.  You don’t want to try and be something you’re not.  In fact, it’s the opposite, you have to become more of who you are.

When you become more of who you are, it feels effortless, there’s no energy, no resistance in becoming who you are so you can naturally succeed.

2.     Emotionally Connect your Ideal Client with your Services

Have you ever purchased a service based on a testimonial that touched you to the core?  A story that described exactly how you felt and what you were struggling with.  A person that came out the other side feeling inspired with hope?

I have.  More times than I ever imagined.  That testimonial resonated with me.  I felt like they were in my head, reading my journals and knew exactly how much I was suffering.

A great way to emotionally connect is to identify your most valuable clients and imagine you are speaking to them as individuals (I do this all the time when I am writing blog posts).  Look for pain points in your social media groups and create solutions specific to those issues.

Write a blog post that will help them move forward.  Use their language back to them, and by that I mean their exact words and phrases.  This will help them feel heard and understood.  When they feel validated, they feel that you care and that builds trust.

Oprah says it best when she gives this piece of advice ...

I see you.  I hear you.  What you say matters.

The best brands inspire us to feel something.

Particularly when you focus on the experience and benefits rather than just the features.

For example, decorative bins are quite popular these day and while you may want to know how strong and durable they are, your dream clients are much more likely to resonate with this if they are busy moms with young families …

Imagine waking up every morning to the fresh aroma of coffee while you sit in your fresh living room admiring your colorful garden growing outside.  You look around satisfyingly knowing that everything is in its place, no clutter, no toys on the floor, no phone cords laying around, just simple clean beauty.  Even the kids know where to put their stuff.  And best of all, Kathy’s bins match your décor perfectly and even add a splash of color in your home.

When potential clients believe that you can deliver the results you promise, they can picture themselves working with you.

They get excited about working with you. They can picture how their life will be different when they're done.

It’s all about the customer experience you provide.  It’s about being intentional about who you are and what you want to stand for.

3.    Incorporate visual elements that are consistent with your brand

Your brand must amplify how the world is drawn to you.  It must represent how the world interprets the words you choose and the design elements presented.

If your focus is on elegance, thought provoking and empowerment, you will want to use a classy, polished photography style, luxurious fonts and a tasteful color palette.

If your focus is on simplicity, thoughtfulness and intentionality, you will want to use a simple, quiet photography style, simple fonts and plenty of white space.

What you say must be in alignment with what your potential client sees.  You want to help them picture themselves working with you.

If you are using words like bold, daring and ambitious in your services, don’t water things down with a flowery bohemian brand just because it is the current trend or that is what you love today.

If your services focus on keeping things simple, intentional, minimal – don’t confuse your visitors with a loud edgy brand.  Your potential clients will feel the disconnect even if they can’t pinpoint why and this creates a lack of trust.

When your message aligns with your visual brand, this leads to credibility and trust.  When there is no disconnect with what you say and how you portray yourself, clients will believe that you can deliver the results you promise.

4.     Be authentic and unique – Just BE You

The magic of having a website that attracts the clients you love to work with is that you get to be you.  Not who you think you ought to be, not who all the marketing gurus say you should be, just you.  The best version of you that people love and naturally connect with.

You don't need to waste your energy on being somebody you're not (besides, clients will eventually see through this).

By focusing on what lights you up and inspires those around you, you will attract more of your dream clients.

Just remember ...

  • If you want to speak to everybody you end up speaking to nobody.
  • You’re going to have to put yourself out there and let your true self shine.
  • Some people won’t like it but you probably wouldn’t work well together anyway (this is a great way to screen out the wrong clients).
  • You may not be for everybody, but the people who love you, will really love you!

Think of it like Ice Cream

When I was 18, I lived with my best friend in Montreal for the summer.  On one hot summer evening, she eagerly introduced me to her favorite ice cream shop several blocks away from her apartment.  It was the creamiest most decadent ice cream that brought absolute bliss to my taste buds.  I was hooked!  No, I was addicted!

For the first few nights, my cousin gave into my cravings and joined me as we walked the long journey to La Crémière.  As the nights passed by, my cravings grew more intense.  I even bribed her with offering to pay, I loved it so much, even though I was still paying my way through university.

When people love a brand, they really really love it.  They will walk across town for it.  They will pay more for it.  They want to talk about it?  They become a raving fan.

Have you ever experienced that with a brand?  Think of your favorite planner, journal or purse.  Do you proudly brag about them to your friends?  Are you willing to pay more for the pleasure and convenience they bring to you?  There is something unique and authentic about it that makes it a guilty pleasure.

If you want people to care about your business then you need to be authentic and when you do, people will passionately care about you.  Your clients will spread the word and you will attract more of the same.  It’s a snowball effect that attracts ease in your business

Be Your Best Self and you will attract more of your dream clients.

Have you ever had that experience?

Where you tried to be somebody you’re not?

Did it work?  Was it stressful?

This is what I most feared and then discovered that I most loved about being in business.

I could be me and succeed.

As a matter of fact, the more I showed my true colours, my passion and creativity, the more successful I became.  And I attracted the people I love to work with.  We connect and it’s like we’ve known each other our whole life.

The best gift you can give yourself and your clients and your business is to ...

JUST BE YOU!  BE YOUR BEST SELF!

Where to start?

Running your own business is refreshing, exciting and empowering.  Knowing you can have an impact on others and transform their world into something they never thought was possible is such an incredible experience for both you and your client.

Knowing that you can succeed by creating a brand that authentically captivates your essence and personality is a blessing that brings simplicity and ease into your business.

You can get started by exploring your brand personality and identifying how you can create a compelling experience that engages your audience.

If that sounds overwhelming to you, I can help.  We begin with a journey of discovery.  My approach combines your personality and vision with the ways your ideal client perceives your work. We explore using visual elements to convey your brilliance and captivate your audience, authentically and in a way that sets you apart in the marketplace.  Ready for some magic?  Let's chat!

Dreaming of landing the perfect clients? Do this first. Read More »