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Branding: 4 Tips to a Better Business Image

Hooray – you’ve come up with an AMAZING idea for a business! Now comes the hard part – getting your idea out to the world and into the hands of people who need it.

But, before you can take the world by storm, you’ve got to build a solid foundation for your brand. Read on below for 4 simple tips on how to get started – and let Jamie Alcala Creative know how we can help!

1. Identify Yourself Clearly

One of the most important steps to creating a successful brand is identifying yourself and your business very clearly and cohesively on all of your marketing assets – your website, social media accounts, printed collateral, etc. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it is absolutely crucial to making sure your business is aligned with the unique solutions your specific audience needs.

In order to identify your business as the preferred resource for potential clients, you will need to be able to answer the following questions:

  • What are the specific services we offer?
  • Who is my target audience? What market/area are we catering to?
  • What is the unique value we can offer clients, and how will they benefit from it?
  • How are we unlike our competitors? What makes us stand out?

Developing a mission statement is a great way to clearly illustrate the goals, values, and exceptional services your business offers. Publish this on your website and make it easy to find on any other digital or printed collateral!

2. Develop Your Own Style

Every message that comes from your business needs to be clear, cohesive, memorable, and most importantly – uniquely YOURS. This means developing a standard voice, writing style, and assets that clearly and consistently communicate your business’s identity.

Before publishing any messaging for the first time, sit down and create your own internal style guide. This guide will help keep you on track when it comes to:

  • Writing style/tone: How do you want to be perceived by your audience? Professional, knowledgeable, creative, playful? Will you stick to a particular grammar/punctuation style such as AP, MLA, etc.?
  • Color palettes: What are your brand’s specific colors? Pick one or two (keep it simple!) and stick with them.
  • Logos: A logo is key to being easily identifiable by your target audience. Having your logo professionally designed will set you apart from your competitors. Decide how you will use your logo – and more importantly, how you WON’T.

Add to your style guide every time you develop a new standard for your brand – photography style, typography choices, graphic design, etc. By developing this internal guide, you can be sure that every message your business produces will be 100% on brand.

3. Build for a Long-Term Journey, Not Short-Term Gain

It’s easy to get discouraged when your efforts to build your brand initially fall flat. Maybe you’ve posted to Twitter and only gotten a few “likes,” or your website traffic is slow-going, and you’re tempted to throw your entire plan out of the window.

Remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and folks weren’t always singing “I’m Lovin’ It” going through the McDonald’s drive-thru. Building a successful brand for your business takes time, dedication, and most importantly – perseverance!

Make sure you’ve built out a long-term plan for your brand. This may include scheduling regular blog and social media posts, gathering email addresses and developing an eBlast schedule, hosting free webinars, or going “live” on Facebook as a subject matter expert in your field.

At every turn, ensure that your messaging is cohesive and your creative assets are consistent, and you will develop a successful brand for your business that will last for the long-term.

4. Make it Easy for Others to Understand

One of the cardinal rules of branding is that your audience shouldn’t have to work to figure out what your business is all about or how to engage your services. Make sure your messaging is clear and simple enough for potential clients to understand by:

  • Reducing “jargon”: All industries have specific jargon – but folks from the outside looking in may have no idea what any of it means! If they don’t know what you’re talking about, they may not utilize your services.
  • Simplifying your website: Don’t make your clients click a dozen links to get to where they need to go. Make sure your website’s site map flows and reduces the click-through rate.
  • Have your messaging proofread: Ask a friend, colleague, or hire a professional proofreader to read over your messaging and give you feedback on clarity. Could they understand it? Why or why not?

Are you ready to get started? Jamie Alcala Creative would love to help you on your branding journey! Click here for more information, and let’s start building a solid brand for your growing business.

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