I did a talk on this at an event for entrepreneurs looking to gain free tips on how to run a successful business, that was hosted by two of my amazing girlfriends. They asked what I would draw on from my 10 + years in communications and from continuously chipping away at my graphic design side hustle.
What did I want to talk about? What would be the most valuable tips for these people to walk away with? The audience was made up of both current business owners and those aspiring to start one, it had to be something that resonated with both camps. The best thing I could think of to best prepare them was partly selfish to make my own life easier – the top five things to have nailed down before even thinking about approaching a designer. Any designer worth their salt should be going over these main, basic questions anyway so if you’ve thought about them in advance, it will only create a smoother and faster exchange.
1. WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
Every brand has a story. A unique one to tell. What has brought you up until this point? Your story is what makes your business original and also relatable – people want to hear about how you got where you are today and what’s inspired you to get there. Just remember to keep it simple – if you can’t understand it, how can you expect anyone else to?
2. WHAT’S YOUR OFFER? CAN YOU SUMMARISE YOUR VALUES AND WHAT YOU DO IN 1-2 SENTENCES?
Your elevator pitch. I have to admit, this took me a long time to get right. And I’m still tweaking it. Could you summarise what you do in a sentence or two if someone asked you? This is a great thing to nail down from the beginning as not only will you use it as the basis of your offer, you will also refer back to it again and again to build upon your brand values. This will also be what your ideal client sees on your landing page, so they know your offer is exactly for them.
3. WHAT MAKES YOU CREDIBLE? Why should people choose you over someone else? What is your USP?
We all have a wealth of personal and professional experiences that we draw from, and it’s important to be aware of what you have over your competition. Is it your drive? Know how? Creative expression? Make notes of what sets you apart as this will set the scene for attracting your ideal audience.
4. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE? Who are the type of people you would love to serve/do business with?
Think about them in detail beyond their age and where they live – go deeper. Think about where they spend their free time, what their interests are and what they spend their money on. Every brand needs to be tailored to a specific audience so spend some time really thinking about who it is your product/service is for.
5. AND FINALLY – HOW DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO FEEL WHEN THEY INTERACT WITH YOUR BRAND?
I like to ask my clients to list 5-10 (or more) words to describe their brand, or how people should feel when engaging with it. These words are key in determining your style, typography colours and tone. Are you calm or controlled? Bold or light? Classic or contemporary? At the end of the day, starting is the hardest part as you can always tweak, amend and refine as you go along and your designer should help with this.
Ready to start you branding journey? Visit my services page to learn more about my offer.