1. CREATE A LOGO
A good first step in establishing your brand is to create a logo. Although this is not necessary early in your business, the sooner you can create a logo, the easier it is to incorporate that logo into your brand.
2. BUSINESS CARDS
Whether you choose to create a logo now or later, you need to have business cards as soon as you get your business started. A serious mistake made by many people just getting their business started is to print their own business cards. This says, “I’m New and inexperienced” and is certainly not the image you want to portray when creating your brand.
When you create your business cards, be sure and splurge a little and get your cards with a glossy finish which will give your business cards that “professional” look. Remember, both your identity and the image you portray are your brand.
3. FONT STYLE AND COLOR
When you are building your brand, it is imperative that choose the right font style. You want to choose a font that easy to read, not too fancy, fits well with your logo and most importantly, is easy to reproduce. You want to choose a font that is available to you in your word documents on your own computer. Remember, consistency is key to branding! Choose a font that you know you like and don’t settle for a font that is just OK when you look at it. Also, don’t get too fancy and stay away from fonts that have a lot of curvature to them or are very small and/or very “thin.”
4. STATIONARY AND LABELS
Can you say Consistency? Repetition works! When people see the same thing over and over, it sticks and that is how your brand is born! Whatever design and fonts you choose for your business cards, the same design and fonts and colors should be used on your letterhead, fax cover sheets, labels and even your bank checks
5. CHOOSE YOUR THEME
You should practice creating your identity through sampling different styles, colors and tastes before spending a lot of money on your business supplies. The brand you want to build will help you establish company credibility and stimulate customer trust. You need to make emotional connections with the audience and your brand is your first way to attempt to do so.
6. SOCIAL NETWORKING
Social networking is another way to build your brand and the best part about it is that it’s FREE. Social networks are widely accepted by the business world, are easy to set up a profile on and are less often used just to “chat with friends.” I find that LinkedIn has remained the most profession all of these more common and mainstream social networks. To help build your brand, you should open up a profile and start connecting with colleagues you know from previous work experiences.
When you create your profile use the same easy to recreate font where you can on these sites as well. If you have options to change font colors use the same colors you use on your business cards and other stationary.
7. BUILD A WEBSITE
It’s not good enough to simply have a website, you must also reflect your brand image. If you’re known as a top-notch photographer, the last think you want is a website designed 10 years ago. It doesn’t reflect well on you. Most everyone uses the web today to check references, If someone recommends your service, you can almost guarantee that they will go online to search for your business. Your website design should be updated at least every two years to stay current.