Today’s guest post is written by Karen Marten from At First Sight Creative
21st Century Struggle
The struggle: We’re bombarded with content. Every day. Every where. There’s no lack in our lives for knowledge, entertainment, or something to keep us busy. We have nearly infinite amounts of information we can consume at any time. It sits in our pocket and goes with us everywhere.
It’s true. We have all the information we could want, but here’s one thing we don’t have: endless amounts of is energy. And it takes energy to look at all this content that’s being presented to us on our endless scrolling adventures.
The point I’m trying to drive home is that it’s hard these days to stand out in (almost) any industry. But it’s exceptionally hard to stand out in a creative industry.
It’s been proven that it takes 5-7 brand impressions for a business to actually make an impression. –Pam Moore That means you need to be seen and recognized as your brand in order for people even recognize the fact that you are a brand.
“72 percent of marketers say branded content is more effective than advertising in a magazine” – Business2Community
“The average revenue increase attributed to always presenting the brand consistently is 23%.” (Lucidpress)
All that being said, there’s one thing you should know.
A brand exists in the minds of your customers.
I underlined this because it’s really important. So no matter what you say online about your business, product or self, it doesn’t matter half as much as what your audience thinks about your service/product.
Why your branding matters
Good branding increases your customer loyalty.
When you’re creating content, you have to think about the kinds of people that you want to attract to it.
I am a brand strategist who helps develop brands through graphic design services and website design. So we’ll touch on both hard branding practices and soft branding as well.
“The greatest negative impact of inconsistent brand usage is the creation of confusion in the market.” (Lucidpress)
And to piggy back off the quote, “When you confuse you lose.” – Donald Miller
So. The question is: HOW?
Get started with hard branding
Standing out in an over-served market isn’t easy. But here are the Hard Branding steps you can take to help establish your personal brand:
- Get a quality logo that your ideal audience will relate to. It may not be the most common practice for personal branding, but it will help people remember you. If you can afford a designer, go to a designer. I also wrote a blog about the common mistakes people make when hiring a designer for your convenience. That being said, if you can’t afford a quality designer, look for a student of graphic design to employ. There are plenty of students out there who would love for a chance to flex their design skills for a minimal fee. If you’re in the video production business, you might also consider finding a designer who knows how to animate your logo instead of just using a static image.
- Before you get your logo, think about your audience. They’re the ones who you want to reach, so they’re the ones you should be designing for. One of my favorite questions to ask people is where does your audience shop at? Once you have an idea, think about what those stores branding looks like. What other brands does your audience interact with? Often times our audience will look similar to us, but other times your ideal audience might look much different than you! Another trick to begin brainstorming what your logo will look like: look at some of your well known favorite horror films and see what production company has created them, and what their branding looks like. You should never copy, but knowing what your competition is doing is invaluable knowledge.
- Your branding needs to be memorable, so don’t make it too crazy or detailed. The more detailed it gets the harder it will be to recognize. The harder it is to recognize, the less people will remember it, or you.
- Color is a key factor in being remembered. That’s not an opinion, it’s science. On average brands with strong branded color are 80% more likely to be recognized.
- Stay consistent like your job depends on it. Because it does! Whenever possible use the same brand voice, brand designs, brand colors, all over any promoting that you do.
- Develop a voice to use to reach your audience. It can be easy to just write however you’re feeling, but when you use different kinds of words, you attract different kinds of people. Think about it: are you going to use slang? What about technical jargon? Two brands that are exactly the same but one uses a casual voice and the other a technical one, makes up two very different kinds of brands. All based on the words you chose.
Soft branding steps to take
- Practice authenticity. Don’t regurgitate stuff you’ve seen or heard someone else say. Be real about your outward facing content.
- It’s been said over and over, but if you’ve heard it a lot and ignored it. Please let this be your calling: find a NICHE! If you try to be everything to everyone you’ll end up being nothing to no one.
- Don’t be afraid to be different by being completely yourself. The world has enough basic stuff, insta models etc. Focus on being you!
- Show up. Consistently. This can be hard when you’re a business of 1, but it’s really important. Pick something you know you can commit to and do it.
Thanks for reading! You can find Karen and her brand online here: