When you are running your own business, it’s important to do whatever you can to make your business appear professional. Especially when you are starting out, you don’t have years of business history or hundreds of glowing testimonials to act as strong credibility boosters. This is where consistent branding comes in.
One simple thing – having consistent, attractive branding – will boost your credibility even if you just opened shop a month ago.
Because it sends a message.
The message it sends is “I care about my business. This is a serious operation. I have invested for the long-term and details are important to me.”
This is powerful. It works on a sub-conscious level more than anything, but what it does is reassures your prospects that your business is important and professional. This translates to suggesting high quality in everything you do – including providing services and products to your customers.
So, What Do You Need?
The first step is a company identity. This would be a company name and a logo. I recommend having a professional design your logo unless you are artistically talented. You don’t necessarily need to spend thousands on a branding expert, unless you want to at this stage. Just spending some time thinking about who you serve and what feeling you want to convey to them will be a great basis for your logo design.
Another thing you will need is an excellent professional headshot. Not only will you likely use this in your website, but also on your social media profiles and in PR materials. Having a great headshot or two will give you so much more confidence to reach out to organizations for speaking and publishing opportunities.
Of course, you need a great looking website. If at first you can’t afford a full website with professional custom design, use clean templates and perhaps just brand with a banner which includes your logo. Make sure the design coordinates with your logo colors!
Make everything consistent. Use your logo and “company colors” on everything you produce – stationery, business cards, sales pages, blog, website, videos, brochures, etc. Even more than the “fanciness” of your branding, consistent application will convey professionalism.
Web Action Steps
- If you don’t have a logo, get one designed. Lean toward a simpler design, especially if you feel you still need to define your target market or positioning better.
- Once you have your logo, select 3-5 colors from the logo design to act as your “company colors” use these whenever designing communications for your business.
- Have professional photographs taken. Get a few different shots – full length, 3-quarter length, headshot, and facing both right and left. Keep the background as simple as possible.
- Purchase your domain name and get at least a basic web page up with your logo, some info about your business, and your contact info.
- Order business cards that include your logo, and possibly your headshot. Don’t forget to put your website on them also!
- As you start adding to your online and offline marketing materials, keep your graphics and colors consistent. Everything doesn’t need to be identical, but it should “go together” if set side-by-side.
Consistent, attractive branding will improve your professional image fast. If you need help getting your business online fast, check out my Online Quick Start Package.