If you’re just starting out in your business, or are ready to get more professional, it’s time to look at how you brand your business. Branding includes everything from your website to your logo to the message you put out on social media sites. You want your branding to be consistent, appealing and professional. Here are five tips to get you started. Also, don’t miss our free Branding Basics webinar March 8, 2012.
1. Know How Colors Make People Feel
Colors make people feel a certain way. That might be anxious, calm or energized. Be aware of the message you’re putting out through the colors you use on your website and on your business cards. Consider the colors that are associated with your industry. For example, recycling or eco-friendly companies are often green, as that’s the color associated with healthy actions. Professional companies sometimes use a dark blue to signify seriousness. You don’t have to use these as a rule, but know that some colors will give off a more casual or serious vibe, and use them accordingly.
2. Invest in a Designer
Small businesses often assume they can’t afford to hire a graphic designer for logos and business cards, but sometimes you can’t afford not to. Freelance and contractor designers offer quality designs at a fraction of the cost of larger firms, as do college students. Another option is crowdsourcing design on sites like 99designs, which gives designers the chance to present you with several options for a design for one flat rate. You pick the one you like best.
3. Keep it Consistent
If you have a whimsical website, your logo and business cards should also be whimsical. Tie in elements from your site or logo on your social media platforms. The more consistent all of your branding is, the more people will begin to remember your brand.
4. Let People Take Assumptions from Your Branding
Even if you work in your pjs at home, your logo doesn’t have to say that. Professional branding can make your company seem bigger and more successful than it is. Let it! People want to have confidence in the companies they work with, and branding helps them feel that way about yours.
5. Stick With Your Branding…But Don’t Be Afraid to Update It
It’s important not to change your website design or logo every six months, because you want to create a lasting impression with customers. However, after a few years, consider updating your logo to ride with the times. Make small changes so it’s still recognizeable (check out how Pepsi’s logo has evolved over time).
Photo source: ilco on stock.xchng.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Mashable, Small Business Trends, FutureSimple, BizLaunchandLead411. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.