Earlier this month I talked about how strong branding can help you book more clients, so it’s only natural to think about the next steps, which would be working with a designer to develop that branding for your business. Let’s be honest, there’s no shortage of designers out there to work with on branding, but it’s not as simple as picking a name out of a hat and moving forward. It’s also not as simple as just putting a couple things together and calling it your new brand.
When you’re getting ready to invest in a custom brand design, there are some important things to consider to make sure the investment actually benefits your business instead of turning out to be a waste of money. I want to help you make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck and a new brand design that’s going to help propel your business forward, so today I’m breaking down the four biggest mistakes to avoid when getting custom branding.
Hiring the cheapest designer available
Most established business owners understand the old saying “you get what you pay for,” so this mistake isn’t one everyone makes, but it’s one I know newer business owners are making. The problem is that when you don’t have a lot of income coming in, it’s easy to want to go with someone who will charge you the least so you can hold on to as much of your profits as possible that way you can pay your bills and invest in your business in other ways (like by buying equipment, for example).
Now, I’m not saying the designers with the lowest rates out there are terrible, but often when you find someone with the cheapest rates it’s because they have less experience with what they’re doing. That means that your investment may not end up being a good one if you have to hire another designer a year or two later because you need something more upscale, more professional, or more along the lines of the strategy you need to grow your business.
When you’re researching designers, pay attention to their work in addition to their rates. Don’t get too caught up in what they’re charging. Take a look at the designs they’ve created for their past clients. Read the testimonials to see if their past clients have had any great benefits in their business since working with the designer. If you really want to hire someone but can’t afford them, instead of going with a cheaper designer, start saving up a little of your profits each month so you can make an investment in your business that you can be proud of.
Not fully developing your brand strategy
It’s important to be really mindful of what you’re getting when you hire a designer to develop your branding. Creating a great brand design isn’t just about making something that is aesthetically pleasing. While you obviously want a design that looks great, you also want to know that what was created for you was done so with your brand, your audience, and your goals in mind.
This is where a lot of less experienced designers get hung up (and I don’t say that in a judge-y way). A lot of inexperienced designers may not understand the value of really going deep with your brand so they can fully understand it and be able to create something that is a beautiful and well thought out representation of your brand. In fact, if you’re a newer business owner, you may not realize how beneficial it is to work with a designer to fully flesh out your brand strategy. So instead of actually taking the time to help you develop your brand strategy in addition to your design, they’re just focused on creating a logo and moving on.
If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about here, I’m referring to what I call the “inside” of your brand: why you got started, who you target market really is, why they need you in the first place, how you stand out from your competition, and more. It’s vital to really dig deep with your brand strategy so you can walk away with something you know is going to help you accomplish your goals, and when you’re investing potentially thousands of dollars into working with a designer, they should be able to help you with this to a certain extent.
Being too subjective about the design
One mistake I see a lot of business owners making when getting custom branding is they’re too focused on their likes rather than what works best to attract their target market. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you are your business, it’s okay to consider what your favorite color or type style is. However, you don’t want to let that get in the way of getting a design that will attract your target market and keep you from growing your business.
Whether you’re working with a designer or DIY-ing your brand, always bring it back to your target market. If your target market is made up of women who like to use organic products, grow their own food, and love spending every second they can outside, then creating a brand with bright, feminine colors and script fonts is definitely not going to work in attracting them. Yes, you may still reach a portion of your target market, but you’d be holding yourself back significantly by creating a brand design solely focused on your design taste.
This is another reason it’s so important for your designer to be willing to do some sort of brand strategy work. You want to know that neither you nor your designer are being subjective, but instead focusing on creating something that will attract the people who want to buy your products or book your services.
Not keeping things consistent
Last but not least is the biggest thing I’ve heard business owners and bloggers struggle with: consistency. It’s one thing to work with a designer to establish your brand, but it’s not going to do you a whole lot of good if you don’t continue to build your brand with a consistent message and design after the project is over.
If you find yourself stuck a few months after the project wanting to create something but unsure of how to keep it consistent with your design, don’t hesitate to reach out to your brand designer to get their opinion. Even if a past client couldn’t afford to hire me for something after the project, I’d be happy to give a certain amount of advice rather than see the brand I worked so hard to help bring together be muddied because my client wasn’t sure what they were doing and didn’t feel like they had help.
Furthermore, if you need templates for things like social media or blog post graphics, business cards, or another kind of collateral, reach out to your previous designer for those things (unless you had a bad experience, of course). By doing this, you’ll ensure that you’re getting collateral that is consistent aesthetically and created by someone who already understands your brand inside and out.
Are you ready to work with a designer to create a more well-rounded brand that helps you stand out and start booking more of the right clients? Then let’s chat, friend! I specialize in crafting strong, stand out branding for my clients that helps them bring in more clients and income, even when they’re used to being just another fish in the sea of online business owners. I’m currently booking new clients, and I’d love to chat about how we can work together to see these results with your business. Get in touch to learn about what I can do for you and your brand!