Branding has basically become the buzzword of the decade. If you're running a business online, you likely already know the power of building a full brand, not just a business.
This is especially for anyone who's ever thought (or even asked a designer), "Can't I just start with a logo for now?" Or, "Could we just tackle the website now, and revisit the brand later?" (Or for anyone looking for confirmation on the direction of an in-the-works brand/web design.)
The short answer to those questions is...no, not if you want to build something that connects with people now, and will be able to easily scale in the future.
Let me break down why that is.
A logo is not a brand.
A logo is a piece of imagery that takes your brand’s essence and distills it down into a simple graphic for quick recognition.
Your brand, on the other hand, is all-encompassing: it’s the ideas, emotions, voice, values, imagery, and aesthetic standards that drive your business.
You can have a logo (or even a full website) without actually having a brand.
And without a full brand, your potential clients have nothing to connect to, nothing that makes them really click in and engage emotionally with your business.
What is your content strategy? What is most important to include on your site?
What will you offer to nurture your audience and move them from visitor to engaged follower?
What tone of voice will you use to connect with your audience and reinforce the overall message?
What visual styles connect with and support all of the above?
If you don't know, or are using rationale like, "My brand colors are pink and black because I like those colors," you are not clear enough on your brand identity or how it relates to your audience and their needs.
Your strategy should not be informed by your own preferences and little else.
This is a huge blind spot where most new entrepreneurs get caught, and it keeps them from being able to actually connect with and impact other people--because their brand is mostly about themselves, and not actually about the people they're supposed to be helping!
I'm going to say what few other web designers will actually admit: your website's design is totally secondary to the energy and intention behind it.
I believe in the power of good design. And I want my tombstone to read that style matters, and you'd better make yours count.
BUT: design itself only exists to clarify and reinforce the message, vibe, and intention that's already there.
How can you design anything when there's no defined objectives, emotions, or core mission to inform the design?
So start with idea and energy. Develop strategy from that energy. Build out and create visual expressions based on the energy/strategy combination.
Then share that energy/strategy/expression as often, and as consistently, as you can.
This is the way powerhouse brands are built.
You'll end up with holes in your strategy and communication, for sure. You'll also likely end up with holes in your systems and processes overall, if it hasn't been intentionally built out with your specific goals in mind.
I speak from experience. There was a time when my systems and processes had gaping holes, because I was focused on client work and "the essentials," and figured I'd revisit later.
Since I was doing all my own design work, it wasn't necessarily costing me out of pocket to redo things over and over again. But how much time did it cost me to do that?
How much more could I have made if I'd spent that time on things that would actually move the needle in my business?
In the case of those who are hiring a designer, or a virtual assistant, or really anyone to support your operations: it is quickly going to become quite expensive for you to be anything less than crystal clear on what you're doing and why.
Think about it. Think realistically about the cycle of creating, testing out your creation, wondering why your creation isn't working/isn't converting for you, scrapping parts of the creation, guessing and implementing new creations, wondering why those aren't exactly right either...and on and on.
It's expensive. It's time-consuming. It's totally frustrating.
I have had so many clients come to me, disheartened and nearly burnt out, after finally getting off that carousel themselves and admitting they needed to bring in some help to get their strategy nailed down.
I don't want that for you.
Save yourself the guesswork, the self-doubt from wondering why you can't seem to get it right, the hassle of doing and redoing the same bits over and over.
Do it once, with clarity and conviction. Start yourself off with solid foundations that allow you to grow and evolve over time.
And watch as people are drawn to you, magnetized by your conviction and the powerful messages you're simultaneously expressing visually, verbally, and energetically.
This is the potency of a full brand identity and strategy at play. (Feels dreamy and kinda delicious, doesn't it?)
If you haven’t yet defined what energy you’re leading with, or where you want it to go, or how you want to use it to direct your client process and create an experience for them...you’re going to run into many roadblocks along the way.
Since my website design process centers on leading with energy and supporting with visuals, it's designed to help uncover all of this along with you, so you're all set if you're working 1:1 with me.