Imagine this: You make a cup of chamomile, sit down on your comfy sofa and open Instagram for 10 or so minutes of inspiration, socializing and girl crushing.
The women you follow are all incredible lady bosses who seem to have it all figured out and it's pretty easy to get dizzy and disheartened by their perfectly looking brands.
You start to think, "I can’t possibly compete with that!"
And you’ll be right. You can’t.
And most importantly, you absolutely should not. Because that’s not your job here. Your job is to create, serve and be a part of a loving community, not to adopt an outdated business model from a century ago.
Last week I talked about the seven steps you need to take to start your own business and today I’d like to tell you about the bare minimum you need to brand that business.
I’ll repeat this over and over again: Nothing beats working with a pro graphic designer on creating your unique brand. But if that’s not possible, the next best thing is to start small and start now.
Do the best you can right now and grow as you go.
The 3 essential brand elements you need to start your business today
When starting a business there's a lot to do (see How to Start Your Side Hustle Business This Weekend here), so you need to be smart and start with as little as you can get away with, or you might be in the "pre-launch" stage forever. So, what are the 3 essential brand elements you need to start your business as soon as today?
1. YOUR STORY
I can talk to you all day why you should start with your story and not with your visuals but instead I’ll just give you three things to think about:
Your story is the one thing that’s truly unique about you. Your products and services most likely aren’t that different from anybody else's but the person behind them is a one of kind.
- “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. ..." (Simon Sinek). Your story is the best way to broadcast your 'why' to the world.
We are overloaded with graphics, videos and visual content every day. But what we remember at the end of that day are the people and their stories. It's in your DNA — we evolved telling each other stories around the fire and that's still the easiest way for two souls to meet.
Your logo can be as simple as your name written in a beautiful font (there are thousands of those on Creative Market) or it can be as complex as digitizing a drawing and turning it into a logo.
I’ve created the Branding Kits if you don't want to start from scratch. Each has 21 brand designs to choose from and you can add brand elements to your logo as your business grows.
Related article: How to Choose Your Color Palette - Part 2: Pick Your Colors
Unless you are Seth Godin — a master wordsmith who relies on the immense power of his words — you’ll need images to show off your products and your charming personality.
My absolutely favorite place for images is Unsplash.com. All images there are free and you can easily find photos to suit your industry and your brand style. Premium images and bundles are also great and you can find plenty of those on Creative Market.
To shoot your own photos you might need a little bit of help. If you need more than just Youtube tutorials, Miss Chaitra from Creative Convex has more for you there: iPhone-o-graphy (no affiliate links or anything, I just love her work).
With just these elements you should be able to build a website. Pick a platform (I’m using Squarespace, so it might be a little bit different for Wordpress) and add your brand elements to it:
- upload your logo
- set up your colors
- add your photos
- use your story to write the content for your home page
And that's it!
Are you afraid of starting small (and a little bit scruffy)?
Do you think that you need everything to be stunning for you to get started? Are you're suffering from the CPD (Comparing and Perfection Disorder) epidemic that's plaguing our hyper connected world? What is the one step you'll take today to heal and grow?