How do you create a brand that stands out? This is an important questions for coaches.
One way is by creating a brand look and feel that is undeniably YOU. But that requires laying a solid foundation for a consistent look and feel..
Bottom line… details matter.
Here are some suggestions for creating a consistent look and feel for your brand:
This is perhaps the most important part of your brand – what is the feeling you want your brand to evoke… when people land on your website, get your business card, or view a quote card from you? Do you want them to have a feeling of classy or casual? Professional or personal? Rustic or refined? Luxury or ‘lifestyle’? This starts with understanding what you perfect client is looking for. What are they drawn to? What is the solution that answers their pain? What is the feeling they want to have in their life and that you are promising to deliver?
Brand Mood Board
One way to begin building a look that evokes the feeling for your brand, is to build a ‘mood board’ in Pinterest. Gather together images, colors, fonts, environments, paint and fabric swatches, landscapes, etc. that all evoke the kind of feeling you want to convey with your brand. Is your brand more Pottery Barn or C2B? Primary colors or shades of gray? White backgrounds or dark? Clean lines or not so neat? Brown paper tags or gold embossed? This is a really FUN exercise and will help you begin to identify what design elements help to convey the feeling you want to evoke. [The image above is one from my mood board.]
Now we’re ready to move on to HOW we create that feeling…
Select the fonts that convey the feeling of your brand. A font that communicates whimsy is different than a font that communicates luxury. I suggest you select no more than 3 fonts, and use them CONSISTENTLY across all your media – website, quote cards, lead magnets, flyers, Pinterest posts, landing pages, business cards, PowerPoint Slides, etc. Know when to use what fonts – for example, you may use a script font for sub-heads in blog posts and/or for emphasis on a quote card, but that’s it. You may use a small cap version of the font in your headers, etc. But the idea is to be consistent with the fonts you use and when you use them.
Choose colors that convey the feeling of your brand. What does your mood board tell you? Select 3-4 colors that you will use consistently across all media. Know the Hex # of those colors (this is something your web designer can help you with OR you can also discover the hex number of a color you like by using the ‘eye dropper’ feature in PowerPoint or Keynote, click on the color and PPT or KEY will save that color and reveal the hex number. Again, use these colors consistently across all media.
Images are powerful. It’s why 90% of advertising is about the image. Selecting the right images, whether for your website or PowerPoint, are powerful. Our mind thinks in images and images evoke emotion. So, what helps to convey the feeling of your brand – professional photos or cartoon images? Black and whites or color? Sepia or neon? Vector or photos? Funny or serious? This makes decisions around your brand much easier. For example, white board videos are very popular these days, but if that style of video does not support your brand look and feel, then don’t even go down that road. On the other hand, if a professionally shot video of you speaking at a live event, or a professional photo shoot of you living your life at the beach does further your brand, then that may be an investment worth making.
Brand Design Elements
Design elements include everything from your logo, to the background for a website section or PowerPoint slide to a watermark you may use on Pinterest or quote cards, to things like borders. For example, do you want to use a wood grained or brick texture or a simple white for a website section? Do you want your logo to have a rustic or refined feel? Do you use a border on your quote cards and PowerPoint slides or not? Do you have an unexpected design element that shows up in your ads, your website your presentation slides – I use fun Jack Russell pictures as an unexpected and fun feature in different places in my media. What are the design elements that help to further your brand?
Brand Style Guide
As you begin to define these brand elements, begin building a Style Guide that you can refer to yourself and/or refer your web designer, graphic designer, assistant to, in order to maintain the consistency of your brand across all media. I’ve created my Style Guide in Evernote and shared it with my assistant. It includes my Hex colors, what fonts to use when and where, my Keynote style guide, website background images, and all my social media headers. I like that the attachments in Evernote are easily downloadable from the document so that we can easily grab the design elements we need in one place.
What is the feeling you want people to have when they land on your website or interact with your brand in any way? Feel free to link to your Pinterest mood board in the comments below.
Here’s to the difference in the details!