Branding is one of the most powerful tools to use to tell your story to the world and get noticed.
Every business has its own branding, no matter big or small. And believe it or not, no branding is branding too! 😉
If you’re just starting out, I know thinking about all the bells and whistles can be overwhelming. And while trying to squeeze everything you should do in a blog post would be impossible, I can tell you what not to do.
Here are some branding mistakes I’ve seen a lot of beginners make, so hopefully this tells you what you need to watch out for.
1. You think branding is colors and fonts only
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word branding?
If it’s logos, colors, and fonts… let me stop you right there. Yes, all of that matters (and color psychology is a real thing!)
However, branding is so much more than that.
It’s about the message your brand sends and discovering what really makes your target audience tick.
The colors and fonts you choose are only tools you use to convey that message – and more often than not, they get chosen far later in the process than you may realize!
2. Your messaging is hit and miss
Brand messaging is the way you talk to your audience, in both written and spoken forms.
Most of the time, I see that people struggle with being relaxed and casual with their messaging. Too much academic language isn’t going to help you get noticed! (Unless your audience is corporate… but even then!)
A brand, especially a small, personal brand, doesn’t need to be uptight and corporate. Quite the opposite! Use simple, engaging language – and don’t be afraid to sprinkle some of your personality into it.
Pro tip: Here’s a quick way to get better at this. Research your ten favorite brands. What’s the type of language they use?
3. You try to appeal to everyone
In the beginning, it’s really, really tempting to try and make your brand a brand EVERYONE will love. The bigger the audience, the better!
Unfortunately, that *always* backfires: when you try and speak to all, you’re heard by none.
The truth is, it’s impossible to be liked by everyone. Pick your niche and stick with it!
The more niched your branding is, the easier it’s going to be for your audience to find you.
4. You’re missing the WHY
Knowing why you do what you do is the navigational compass of your business.
Your WHY is so much more than a fun story in your bio – it’s the motivation, the powerhouse behind your idea.
Brands that are missing the why often struggle to make an emotional connection with their audience.
If you don’t know why you do what you do, then why should someone trust you with their time and money?
5. You don’t practice what you preach
If the WHY is the foundation of a brand, then the brand values are its main pillars.
Brand values aren’t just a little bit of text you throw in to add some personality. If the why is the compass, the brand values are the guide – they tell you which road to pick when unsure.
And it doesn’t really matter if you’re building a personal brand or not.
Once you set the right values, you have to do your best to honor them.
Let’s say, if one of your values is open communication but you fail to communicate properly, then it doesn’t really matter what you say… actions speak louder than words!
6. You brand a bit too much in the wrong way
Choosing a stronger color or making the logo bigger won’t make your brand pop more.
In fact, it may have the opposite effect. No one likes pushy brands anymore!
If you want your brand to get noticed and build some traction, work on getting the basics right. Define your why, your brand values, and sketch your target audience.
It’s only then that you get to build a brand that’s impossible to resist.
Want to get branding really right?
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