Growing an online platform isn't just about finding a niche, it's getting really clear on your brand.
Whether you’re establishing your personal brand online or building your business, branding is a game changer.
Branding is a huge, overarching concept in any business. Some would say it’s the heart and soul of a successful one.
It’s a powerful tool at your disposal, to ensure your content stands out. So here are 5 top tips to start getting clear on your brand...
1. Your USP
First off, what makes your content stand out? If you have this figured out, it should be crystal clear across all your branding. If you’re a fashion blogger obsessed with adding colour into people’s wardrobes, your branding should reflect that fun, vibrant feel. If you’re sharing advice on taboo topics on a podcast, your branding might be open, approachable and not too polished, with a colour palette to match the relaxed mood. If you’re creating content to promote your Etsy crafts business, you might use the same colours, textures, fonts and carry your work’s style throughout your brand.
2. Colour palette
Create a colour palette you love that fits with the vibe of your content. Is your content fun? Use brights! Is your content professional? Maybe incorporate black and white. Remember to use complementary colours and incorporate some light medium and dark shades, so you're covered for any aspect of your work (think background colours, text colours, prop colours, etc.) Use traditional paint swatches in store or online to decide your colours, then Google to find its hex code to use it anywhere online (e.g. #DFBBA is my dusky pink colour!)
3. Tone of voice
You should already have this down if you’re creating content, but it always helps to get clear on it. Whatever you create - visual, written or otherwise - your tone of voice leaves a lasting impression. Are you light-hearted, or deep and meaningful? Do you swear? Do you use slang or any particular phrases? How does your content make people feel? Sometimes it helps to pick 3 top words that describe your brand in a nutshell.
Visuals are the first impression of your content - and we all know first impressions count. Create a story with your visuals. Incorporate your brand identity into every photography - from your facial expression/location/pose, the colours in the background, all the way down to the filter you use. Use an app like Preview if you want to play around with your Instagram layout and test which photographs work well for your aesthetic.
5. Consistency is key
Take stock of everywhere you are online - from social media banners, profile pictures, thumbnails, all the way down to the invoice template you send to clients. Try and incorporate your brand across everything to give your work an instantly recognisable look. Make a note in your phone or a document on your laptop detailing your chosen fonts, colour hex codes and anything else you need to remember.
* Don’t take branding too seriously! It matters, but it should be an enjoyable part of creating a vision for your content.
* Your brand evolves with you and your content. No branding decision is concrete - you can always tweak as you go.
* It’s a process and takes time. It’s okay to spend a few months getting confident with how you like your photography, then maybe thinking about your tone of voice, then moving on to your fonts, etc.
* If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, Pinterest is the perfect place to get inspired. Start building your ‘brand board’ and fill it with images, colours, fonts and any other content that inspires you and you feel aligns with what you’re trying to create. Come back to it regularly and you’ll start to see a pattern in the look and feel of things.