VisuallyAppealingBrand
Branding, Branding Balance, Freelance, Resources and Tools

What a Visually Appealing Brand Can Do For You: A quick reminder of what you already knew with a few things you haven’t thought of.

Let’s face it. People like pretty. Admittedly, pretty doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone (and I’m grateful for that), but regardless, people like what they think is pretty. When it comes to your brand, the best thing you can do is make it as universally “pretty” as you can.

Need help thinking through your “pretty”? I created a little sumthin’ sumthin’. Tell you all about it a little later.

YourLookPageShots

Moving on, by achieving a level of visual attraction to your brand, you open yourself up to a few realities. Some are obvious (although it is always nice to have a reminder), but there are some you may not have thought about.

Honestly anything that will motivate you to continue working your entrepreneurial hustle is worth talking about in my opinion (I almost wrote IMO because I actually just learned what that meant this past week while hanging with my girl Regina Anaejionu, but I got nervous). Let’s talk about some of those benefits.

Credibility

An attractive brand says, “Trust me!” You don’t feel weird after interacting with an attractive brand. You worry less about whether you are getting screwed with something that looks like time and thought went into it.

If you bought a phone from a guy named John who had a table set up in a side alley vs. a guy named John who had a fully branded business with a clean website and a memorable brand identity and the phone broke, what would you think?

I’m willing to bet that you wouldn’t be too upset about the phone from the alley. It looked like a shady operation, but you bought it anyway. Would you demand your money back? Would you leave a negative review online? Probably not.  However, John #2 would likely experience the depths of your demands from  money back to a replacement phone. You expect more from John #2.

Okay, okay . . . my example is extreme,  but bottom line: A well-done brand comes with expectation because it looks credible.

Tie Breaker Capabilities

You didn’t know that your brand had super powers? It has the power of influence. Have you ever been deciding on a service that you needed and after research and recommendations, it came down to two businesses. I can’t speak for you, but in this situation, I would look at both companies’ websites and social media accounts to determine which looked more credible.

Don’t judge me, but sometimes it comes down to which one looks better. If the services and prices are comparable, then I ask myself which brand catches my eye. Taking the time to develop your brand will help people choose you.

Ups Your Shareability Potential

At first, I considered using the analogy of new parents showing off pictures of a baby that wasn’t quite cute yet, but then I thought someone may take offense. (All babies are cute, right?) So instead, I’m just going to remind you that people like to share/see attractive things.

It’s so much easier to post something about your brand to my Facebook or link to your website from my own if I’m showing off something that ups the value of my own brand.

This is also the case for referrals and collaboration. Let’s say you are a blogger and a friend asks you to help  share a new product, but the website is not done well and their overall brand looks terrible. You are hesitant because your name will be forever tied to this unattractive brand.

Same thing goes for collaborations. Maybe your friend is an incredible writer, has tons of great content and wants to collaborate with you on a post. Is it worth the risk of being associated with a brand that others may not trust based on the look alone?

Produces Confidence

Do you remember the first day of school? I don’t know about you, but I had my new outfit hanging up and ready to go because knew I was going to look good that first day. My new outfit (and awesome new school supplies) gave me confidence.

Now imagine going to a swanky networking event. Your friend invited you, so you are a little bit out of your element. People are talking shop and as it moves around the circle of strangers, someone asks you what you do. How amazing would you feel being able to pull out an incredibly designed business card and allow your brand to speak for itself?

When you have something to show off, you feel good and when you feel good, you make things happen.

Ability to Build Anticipation

One marketing tactic that I’ve seen a number of successful people do well is the pre-launch promotion. They put up a great coming soon page if the landing page isn’t finished, start making big pushes on social media and even release small teasers of their product. Now, this wouldn’t be possible if there wasn’t something awesome to show off.

Your brand should have the ability to wet someone’s appetite and get them excited about what you have to offer.

Steers the Direction of Audience Impressions

I have a theory. When a potential client sees something from your brand, it will either inspire him/her to continue to look for more negative details or more positive details. Essentially, the first impression will have a domino effect on the other impressions.

If someone lands on your website and thinks your logo is cheap and designed poorly, then, in theory, that person will look at the rest of your website just to see what else is done poorly. If that same person lands on your website and appreciates the look, then he/she will want to know what other impressive elements you have to offer.

Always steer your audience’s impressions with a well-planned brand design.

How do you plan out your brand effectively?

I’m glad you asked. I do have an answer for you, but before I tell you that, I want to specify that my answer helps you with the visual side of your brand only. For a comprehensive experience when it comes to planning an amazing brand, check out The Branding Effect, an e-course that walks you through everything you need to come out with the right brand for you and a few other goodies as well.

For now, I want to share with you the Your Look Branding Workbook. It contains information on the significance, uses, and design tips as well as a full planning worksheet for each of the following visual branding elements:

Logo
Business card
Flyer
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Website
Other quick elements

Oh, and did I mention that is just $6? Check it out and start planning for your brand’s look.

YourLookPin

Are you currently branding or rebranding? What has been the most challenging part? I would love to hear from you!

10ConfessionsCover
Branding, Branding Balance, Freelance

10 Confessions from an Ordinary Person Who Happens to Run a Business

Today . . . I’m finding my community. I’m talking about my peeps that think the way I do, but it’s hard for me to wrap my head around finding people with whom I share common ground if we haven’t defined the ground on which we stand. (Wow, that was dramatic). So, I’m defining the ground. Below are 10 confessions that may or may not be interesting to you, but they sum up my thoughts. Oh and I have included some shareable images with each. My thoughts in graphic form. Please share if you agree.

1. I’m a reluctant blogger, but I do it because connection matters.

I’m not sure if you can tell (hopefully you can), but I consider myself a writer. Well, maybe. The true writers of the world may snub me for not treating this craft with the respect that I should, but I do love writing. I’m just a reluctant blogger. I’m learning over time, but it was difficult to believe that people cared about what I had to say. Who am I? Turns out at least a handful cares. So . . . thanks!
reluctantbloggerconfession1


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How to Avoid Sounding Like a Jerk When writing for Business
Branding, Branding Balance

How to Avoid Sounding Like a Jerk When Writing for Business

Hopefully, we are all familiar with the concept of social cues. You know the hints that guide conversations and social interactions both personally and professionally.

Some people have a hard time with social cues, and, as a society, it’s important that we are patient with each other. However, when it comes to business, I don’t want to you to go out like that (slang for look bad or get labeled negatively).

So, my goal in this post is to remind most of you and teach the rest of you how to avoid sounding like a jerk when you are writing for business (books, blogs, social media, etc.). By the way, when I say business, I don’t mean big business and I don’t mean instruction manuals either.

I’m talking about helping out your fellow entrepreneur, freelancer, small business owner, etc. You may be thinking, “Actually Brittany, you sound a bit like a jerk right now.” Sorry. (Remember that little bit I said about being patient with each other?)

#1 – Humility is a tricky thing. If you admit to being humble, you aren’t.

Arrogant person thinking he is a king of the worldThere is a fine line between communicating your accomplishments and boasting about them. I believe the difference comes with the tone and context. If you must talk about what you’ve done, that’s fine, but do it in such a way that it doesn’t alienate or diminish others. Also be sure that the situation calls for it. For instance, if you are writing a book, every example shouldn’t be about that time that you did something and it made millions. Or, even about that time that you tried something and it failed, but then, out of nowhere, it made millions. There is a time and place for that, but not every time and every place.

#2 – It is a fact that Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway and Andrew Jackson were horrible spellers, but that’s why spell checkers exist.

Learn 2 SpelI’m going to attempt to be vague and specific simultaneously in this example. (If it fails, at least I told you what I was going for). Years ago, my BFF and I decided we were going to take a class on self-publishing. We walked into a professional environment, scoped out the instructor wearing her conservative business suit and took the book she was handing out that had her very professional picture on the back.

Here is where it gets bad. We start reading from the book and there were so many spelling and grammatical errors that we left. That’s right. We left. Having a few errors here and there is understandable. I’m sure I could pull 10 out of this post right now, but when your errors become a distraction, you will not be taken seriously in the business world. Edit. Please.

#3 – Say what you need to say and move on. Save your ramblings for people with longer attentions spans.

Keep It Simple sign with clouds and sky backgroundIn college, one of my English professors would take off major points if the assigned essay exceeded the suggested page amount. I assumed it was because he wanted to have a life outside of grading our papers, but later, I realized that it is a challenge to write concisely and say exactly what you mean. Going off on tangents can lose your audience.


 

So where can you apply these little golden nuggets of goodness immediately?

How about when you use the month of May to write a book?

Yep, you heard me. You will write a book in 31 days.

Introducing InfoBoMo (Infopreneur Book Month)

Infobomo website - write a book in a month

The Details
Four other awesome infopreneurs and I are going to take you through a month of writing, editing, publishing, designing and promoting a book in 31 days.

There are two tracks.

download

You can go join the Free InfoBoMo Challenge and get an awesome 20-page Welcome Kit filled with writing tips, design tips, checklists and a lot more as well as join in some Twitter chats. Again, that’s 100% free.

OR

You can join the inexpensive InfoBoMo Guided Community that includes guided lessons for every weekday in May, a suggested schedule and breakdown of tasks, personalized support from your hosts within a private online community, the immediate support of others writing a book and checklists galore.

To register and find out more, visit InfoBoMo.com.

Don’t worry (because I’m sure you were), these won’t be the only tips I have for you during InfoBoMo, but when you write your book in May, I really didn’t want you to sound like a jerk.

rebranddiary4
Branding, Freelance, ReBrand Diaries

7 Things You Must Learn to Love to Stay Motivated in Business (and Life)

Have you ever wanted to throw your hands up and say “I’m done!” I know I have. You work so hard to get your business or blog off of the ground by chipping away at your content plan, gaining a few more Twitter followers, getting a couple more likes on Instagram and then you do it all again in hopes that you will reach some sort of break that will launch you to the next level.

If you are like me, you just hope you aren’t wasting your time. That’s why I started writing the Rebrand Diaries. I felt it was worth it to chart the journey of my business as it related to my life and family in hopes that it would encourage others.

Here is what I have learned to love so far.

Love the Process

Apparently endings are not a priority anymore. What do I mean? When was the last time you actually enjoyed the ending of a movie…not the movie itself, but the way it ended. I remember being in middle school (junior high for some) and reading The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney. I loved the book while I was reading it. It was the first time a book engaged me that way, but the ending was a cliffhanger.

Angry, I went to my mom and told her it was the stupidest book that I ever read. She laughed at me and said, “How was the book stupid, if you couldn’t stop talking about how much you loved it?” I realized I loved the story…the journey to the end. (I wasn’t old enough to appreciate the cliffhanger)

You don’t know what life has in store. Major life events occur and mess with the balance of your life and your work. The time you have to devote to certain things could change or the capital you have to make things happen professionally can decrease. Because you don’t know…you have to learn to love the process. Learn to appreciate your place in the present while setting up your place in the future.

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17 Classic & fresh ideas for gathering customer feedback that builds your business and improves your brand
Branding, Branding Balance, Graphic Design, Resources and Tools

17 Classic & Fresh Ideas for Gathering Customer Feedback that Builds Your Business and Improves Your Brand

I love to play a little game on my phone called Trivia Crack, and I often play against my husband. You can have multiple games going simultaneously, so he sometimes asks me for answers and I forget to check who he’s playing before I give him the correct one (I have no shame in sabotaging his game if it means I will win…don’t judge). Because the game has 6 different categories of questions (history, art, geography, sports, science and entertainment), I am quickly reminded that I don’t know everything and there are certain categories in which I don’t score well…at all.

This is exactly how your business works. It contains so many different categories like customer service, accounting, sales, data, etc.. and you can’t be great at all of them. Customer feedback can provide the right-on-time, specific suggestions that can help make your brand memorable and relatable.

So without further ado…let’s get to it. Some classic and fresh ways to get great feedback from your customers that will build your brand and further your business.

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