There are literally more than a thousand people who do what you currently do in your business.
But the key to differentiating yourself from them is designing your brand.
There are more copywriters, social media managers, graphics designers, virtual assistants, videographers, and so on, now than there were a few years ago.
You need to understand that you are not the only one who is working so hard in their online business to get it out in the open.
You are not the only one who is trying so hard to build a personal brand on social media or get the word out about what you do.
In fact, you are not the only online business owner who wakes up every day with thoughts about how to design their brand.
If you need an ebook that teaches you how to create an online business from start to finish, you can get it below.
You need to understand the keys to building a successful online business.
The key to differentiating yourself from your competitors and building a distinguishing brand online is thoughtfully crafting and designing your brand.
Look, I know that I’m not the first person to write on this topic and this is not the first post you’ve seen on it.
You’ve heard, watched and read a bazillion topics on this issue of building a brand.
If you hop over to Pinterest, you’ll see hundreds of blog posts on the topic of designing your brand.
But unless you start working on it, you won’t see the growth that you desire in the business you are running.
You may be lost or confused and you don’t know the first step to take to start designing your brand.
In this blog post, you’ll learn the practical steps you need to take to start designing your brand from start to finish.
You know the drill, for those who are lovers of this blog, you already know there’s a video on this topic on YouTube.
Click below to watch it.
Right! So what are the practical steps to designing your brand from start to finish?
1. Write Your Purpose Statement
This is the first-ever step to take for clarity purposes.
Your purpose statement or your mission statement is a few sentences that describe what your online business is about.
It expresses the purpose of your business and how you will serve your customers.
While crafting your purpose statement, you don’t want it to be too fancy, just use between 15 to 20 words.
For example, my purpose statement is “I help career professionals who cannot wait to run from their corporate jobs build digital businesses” that’s about 15 words.
Anything besides this that comes under my radar will not get my attention.
For instance, I will not work with people who are looking to go a step higher in their careers.
If I did, that will be moving outside of my territory, and I’ll suffer burnout.
So your purpose statement helps you to work within the confines of your purpose for the business.
It also allows your target customers to understand what you do and reach out to you and people who do not need help in that area won’t bother.
It will help you ensure that any DMs, any emails or any calls you get are actually from people who need your services or products in their lives.
The best way to make sure that this happens is to boldly spell it out on all your online platforms.
Doing this helps you qualify the right kind of people so that people who are not in your target audience will not bother reaching out.
2. Create Your Target Audience Biography
So many books, online courses and copywriting teachers have always told us to list out bullet points of our target audience.
We’ve been told that if we want to create our ideal customer profile, we had to list out their demographics; age, interest, occupation, gender, marital status, etc.
The truth is listing out bullet points no longer cuts it anymore. You need to know your target audience inside and out.
Your target audience biography is an account of the life of your ideal customer in detail.
It helps you to understand not only their demographics but also their psychographics.
Your target audience’s demography includes things like the ones I listed above, while their psychography includes psychological characteristics and traits such as values, desires, goals, interests, and lifestyle choices.
In marketing, psychographics is all about understanding the consumer’s emotions and values, so you can market more accurately.
So instead of representing them with bullet points, you want to go deeper into their emotions and understand their behaviour so as to know what will influence them to buy.
You are going to write it as if you know them absolutely well like you’re writing your own biography.
In biographies, the author usually touches every angle of the person’s life so that at the end of the book, you’d feel like you’ve known the person for ages.
That’s what you want to do for your ideal customer. This will greatly help in designing your brand.
3. Develop Your Brand Voice
A brand voice is your brand’s personality and in today’s competitive business world, it can be easy to get lost in the noise.
You must be strategic about choosing the voice with which your brand should use to reach its audience.
This is why knowing your target audience inside out is very important.
Let’s say you have a well-written biography of your target audience and you understand that they are young mums who are still nursing and would like to work as virtual assistants.
You also understand that they are educated but have no source of income because they are at home and not doing any work.
The tone of voice with which you would use to pass across your messages will be enlightening, hopeful and trusting.
You would not want to come across as independent or overbearing.
Once you have figured out the tone of voice you want to use, you’ll then ensure that it reflects in all that you do and share.
If you are communicating in videos, your brand voice must reflect and the same applies if you are writing your weekly newsletters.
This brand voice must run through all your communications or social platforms. It must reflect in your online courses or any kind of offering you put out.
4. Create Your Visual Elements
After you have figured out the first 3 points, the next thing to do is to go ahead and start designing the visuals.
For many people, when it’s time to start creating visual elements, they put themselves or their designers under a lot of pressure.
This is partly because they jump into the visuals first.
The thing is, designing visual elements is not the first step to designing your brand.
If you do not have a purpose for the online business or know your target audience, you will be confused.
So make sure you get those things out of the way first before you start designing.
To avoid pressure, start with the following:
Create an Inspiration Board
An inspiration board (or a moodboard) is a visual representation of images, designs, texts, etc. that is put together to inspire you when creating your own visual element.
One of the best places to have that is on Pinterest. Just create a board, make it secret and put those things in there.
Make sure the images you are pinning are of good quality and high resolution.
And remember, you’re not saving other people’s work just to copy them but to get inspired by them.
You would usually give this task out to a designer to design your logo.
But if you’re designing them yourself, like I did, you want to make sure that they are timely (i.e. they don’t look too old school or too futuristic), relevant (it has to be relevant to your target audience), unique and simple.
Sort out your colours
You need to know the difference between primary colours and secondary colours.
Colours are powerful communication tools and you need to know what they mean for your brand.
Research what primary colours are and what secondary colours are, then pick as appropriate.
Choose/Pair your fonts
The fonts that you choose must be legible. Don’t go overboard trying to be fancy, just make sure they are readable.
In my online course, I taught how to pair the right fonts. Not only that, but I also spoke about all of these things in detail.
Click the image below to access it.
When you are done, take a step back and ask yourself if the people in that target market will see your visuals and still make a purchase.
5. Create Your Style Guide
Now that you have done all of these things, you need to document them.
This document is what is called your style guide/brand guide. It holds all the necessary information on how to properly communicate your brand.
A style guide or manual of style is a set of standards for the writing, formatting, and design of documents
If for instance, you want to hire a new designer to work on a particular aspect of the brand, you give them the style guide.
If you are hiring a social media manager, or anybody to be a part of your team, you need to give them the style guide.
It can either be a digital document where you share the link with users or you have it in a physical file.
Now that you have finished reading this article, what is the first step you need to take?
You can access the online course here to give you more information and you can simply get started.