Branding your own creative business

Updated: Oct 6

Even if you live and breath design, doing anything for your own business is somehow 1000 times harder than for anyone else. Perhaps it's that thing about the cobbler's shoes...But fear not, I just went through a rebrand of my own business and picked up some helpful tricks to get you from "I have to change" to feeling proud and excited about your new brand.



OVERVIEW:

  • Start with the motivation

  • Do some serious research

  • Treat yourself like a client

  • Follow through

  • Make life easy

  • Let yourself have fun with it



Start with the motivation


All strong brands have a business strategy as their starting point. Before you think of ideas and new directions, make sure you really dig deep as to why you want to change. Is it because you want to reach a new type of client or maybe you have outgrown your personal brand. Find out what bothers you and write it down as soon as you think of something. This will become your roadmap for what to consider in your new strategy and designs. For example, if your logo was really detailed and it doesn't work well as a social media icon, the new logo needs to be clear and work at all sizes. You should spend much more time on this than you think and I highly recommend forcing yourself to spend at least a week on this step to make sure you have all the requirements clear before you start.


Do some serious research


Your brand needs to appeal to your perfect customer. Instead of guessing what they want, ask them! In our guest podcast episode called "how to nail your brand messaging", Louise talks about sending a short survey to past clients and if you are starting from scratch and don't have anyone to ask, you can use social media to look for answers. A big part of branding is your messaging and how you speak to clients and collaborators so make sure you know what tone to use. If at any point in your creative process, you feel unsure of what to do, try using A/B testing to ask potential customers.


Treat yourself like a client


We have all been there. We have the perfect process down to the T and every client gets the royal treatment, but when it comes to ourselves, the rulebook goes out the window. Try treating yourself just like you would any client. Write a clear brief, come up with different ideas and evaluate the benefits of each and then refine the best idea until it will really work for you. If you find this hard, schedule in meetings in your calendar just like you would for a client but work on your own brand. This is also perfect to prevent you prioritising all your other work over working on your business.


Follow through


Once you have your new brand, make sure to launch it at the same time everywhere and be consistent. Prepare how your new brand will look on social media, your website and in print in advance so all you have to do is click the launch button on the day. This will not only help avoid confusion among clients and your fans but it will also make sure you avoid an in-between state where some of your marketing has the old and some have the new brand. You will feel more proud and excited knowing that everything looks intentional and is all finished.


Make life easy


For things you create often, like social media posts, make templates and save them somewhere easy to grab at any time. Now that you are spending a lot of time and effort both on your business strategy and your visuals, it is the perfect time to create consistent marketing materials so you can save time once it is launched. If you want to go the extra mile, create a design system for your business.


Let yourself have fun with it


Usually you design for clients and with that comes restrictions and outside opinions. When you create for yourself, make sure you experiment a little and design something that makes you happy. Try using a new technique, a new program you really wanted to test out and even though a timeline is good to make things happen, don't stress it.


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