As an innovative brand creator, and I describe myself as that, because I am more than just a graphic designer.
Primarily I work one to one with clients on their visual branding – the face of their business if you like.
I come from a very deep seated marketing, PR and branding background. Branding is more than graphic design, it goes beyond that.
In the first instance, yes, what I do is the graphic design part of the branding process but I also get you to start thinking differently about your brand, which includes things like your messaging, words, content and visibility.
It’s about going beyond your visual brand. It goes beyond your mood boards, fonts, colour palette, textures, your icons and your brand guidelines, or style guide, as it’s commonly known.
But once you have all your social platforms set up and you’re ready to get going – what next for your brand – what do you do now?
These are questions I hear a lot, including, “What next? How do I build that brand?”
9 Ways to Build Your Brand Beyond Your Visuals & Logo
Here are my simple tips to help build your brand beyond your visuals and logo…
1. Facebook Groups
I cannot advocate enough how much socialising and helping in groups, has helped me build my own brand.
I personally, shmoozed the back side of my business in paid for and free Facebook groups when I first started out. I made the most of those opportunities and made the most of being an online entrepreneur – mixing with my people and my potential market.
I personally don’t think it’s as busy as it was three years ago, yes it was buzzing back then and I think it’s bigger now, but it doesn’t feel as fake and inauthentic as back then.
Now it feels more genuine. It feels more organic and the real experts have really shone and stood the test of time.
Your niche will be in those groups, as well as finding like-minded business owners who can help you get through the tougher or lonely days.
Working by yourself can sometimes feel quite isolating so connecting with people and building long-term trusted relationships is key to staying sane – promise!
TOP TIP: Listen and read what they are asking within your field of expertise. What are they struggling with? Listen and respond. Why? Because this is where your magic is – this is key to your content creation – the struggles, people’s questions and problems – this is where you can start writing content and creating programs that help and solve their problems that speaks directly to them.
2. Growth Over Time
When I say growth over time, I mean personal and business growth. Instant growth and six figure businesses do NOT happen overnight – despite what the Facebook Ads say!
Confidence does not come overnight either. Confidence comes afterwards. Doing Facebook Lives and Instagram Lives can be scary. But as you do more and more, your confidence will grow.
Personal growth is key to your confidence – it will help you discover who you are, it will help you find your voice and give you the courage to show up every day and be visible.
You will grow into you brand as your brand grows.
3. Planning & Refining For Success
I am never one to be shy about the fact that I’m a massive planner. I do like a good plan!
I use my Happy Planner. My whole business is in my planner.
I visually plan my business – using a simple marketing plan that I colour code and find visually engaging – which works well with my creative brain.
I do refine and tweak and plan for success.
I don’t always stick to the plan all the time, but what I do, is make sure that I know how I want my business to feel and look like, and then set goals that will help me reach my desired business model.
4. Watch Others & Take Note
Soak up everything you can. Read. Listen. Watch.
Then ask, “Right, well how do I put my spin on this?” “What is my version of this?” “How can I make that work for my business?
I am not saying COPY – I am saying – what is your version of that – how can you do something different?
Believe me I have been copied and it’s the worst feeling – so not copying – inspired action is what I am talking about.
5. Be Intentional
Your visual brand is a reflection of you BUT so is everything else you do. Emails, blogs, guest blogs, guest experts, content all add value.
Let’s not put your whole visual brand aside though, I am not saying forget about it.
Your logo is not just a nice to have or beautiful for beauty’s sake – it’s there as a visual representation of you and your business – your brand.
So it IS super important.
What I am saying though, is there are other elements that will add value – be intentional about what you choose to do, in terms of opportunities to grow your brand.
Being intentional about it is what will sell your services.
Pushing yourself a little bit every now and again will grow your business. Staying safe can often mean keeping you small. Stepping outside your brand and saying no to opportunities will not help you grow.
Give a damn about your brand.
Show people you care. Say yes to things that scare you but will help you grow your name and brand.
And take the time to look and feel great, everywhere, whilst you’re doing it.
Video will grow your business and take you beyond your brand.
If you’re really scared about getting yourself out on video, then it holds your brand back far more than you know.
For me, building my branding via blogs, content, marketing, newsletters and promotion is all key – but video is also factored into how I build my brand – I can hands down say right now there are not many graphic designers who do video!
And I know why, because it can be absolutely petrifying for people.
Creatives can find it difficult to market themselves because they’re busy doing the thing they love and forget about the marketing part of it – including video!
HOWEVER, starting will give you so much confidence to do the next then the next and you’ll get into the flow. I promise live video becomes addictive and natural. It allows you to connect and speak directly to your customers.
Have a play on your phone and record a couple before you do one for real.
You don’t have to do a live either – it can be prerecorded. There is no pressure to do a live video.
What I do want to mention is the power behind showing up on video. Your followers will get to hear your voice, see your personality and you’ll get to share your expertise – they get a feel for you and your business and what you are actually like.
You are turning the intangible into the tangible. It’s magic!
And the more you start doing, writing, recording videos, the more you will find your own voice – it will start to shine through.
Showing up and saying what you need to say, to the RIGHT people is what will build your brand and take you beyond your visual brand. No more hiding! Step in to and be your brand and more. Once you start you won’t be able to stop because connection with the right people and being able to help will make you feel incredible.
TOP TIP: how will you style your videos? Is it reflective of your visual brand? Does it align with who you say you are?
7. Be Spontaneous
This goes against my planning point above but spontaneity does also play a large of building your brand.
Ideas are your gold.
Your spontaneous ideas or ‘lightbulb moments’ I like to call them, can be your business building genius.
Your business can be planned, yes, but those other more inspired actionable ideas, that you have do now will build you brand in ways you never imaged months before.
8. Build a Sustainable Business
Something I’ve learned over the last 12 months is how important it is to scale my business.
Now if you aren’t familiar with what this means, then what I am referring to is adding on more product based items into your business. Some people call it passive income or the one to many model.
So for example, let’s take my business model. Yes, you can work with me one to one but I only have so many hours in the day to fit in designs, calls and also work on my own business. When you break it down in school hours – I have six hours a day, Monday to Friday. My one to ones can often go over an hour and then I try and do all calls in one day and then set days for designs only. On average logo design can take anything between four to seven hours. So you see my time flies.
Over the last 12 months I have added new products and courses into my business so that my customers can work with me on all levels.
I have a logo shop where people can buy a logo and I personalise it for them.
I also have three online courses where I teach branding and design.
I addition I have a creative market shop too where you can purchase premade branding kits, Instagram puzzle grids and logo icons – just download and go.
Think of the different levels of packages, services and products you offer.
All those ideas in your head – get them out there in the world.
Think of the possibilities for your business and what other ways people can work with you.
9. Show Up and Be Honest
If you haven’t figured it out yet the biggest take away today should be to show up.
Show up in your business every single day. Even when you think, “You know what? I’ve got lots of other stuff going on,” just be open and transparent and tell people, “You know what, I’ve got the kids off to school today. I don’t have time to post, but I’ll be back tomorrow.”
Building your brand and going beyond your brand is about showing up consistently and being the face of your brand.
Don’t hide behind any façade or any logo. Your logo is really important, but I don’t want you hiding behind it. I want you to put yourself out there and just show up.
But be human. Be yourself and be honest. People connect with people.
To Sum Up
Take your brand beyond your visuals. Go beyond your visual brand. Step outside your comfort zone. Say yes to opportunities and I guaranteed it will grow your brand.
Do you know what you need to next to grow your brand and go beyond your branding? What will you do? I’d love to know in the comments.