When I first started my photography business almost 10 years ago, I thought the only things that mattered in my brand were colors, fonts, and a logo. I was so excited to be starting a new adventure and I couldn’t wait to add my personal touches to everything. I chose the colors and fonts based on what my personal preferences were at the time (a.k.a. whatever looked prettiest) and I designed the logo myself.
I had no idea that the decisions I made on just these three simple choices would determine how I attracted my ideal client (I seriously didn’t even know who my ideal client was) and how my clients perceived my brand.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s just starting out or making a branding change, chances are you sometimes feel overwhelmed with all of the decisions and costs that go into promoting your brand.
It can be challenging to distinguish a smart investment that’ll lead to more money down the road from an investment that’s just a waste of your already limited funds. But certain investments can make all the difference.
Four years after starting my business, I realized the decisions I initially made about my brand weren’t serving me well. That’s when I decided to get a handle on who my ideal client was so I could rebrand.
During my rebranding process, I chose the colors and fonts that would appeal most to my ideal client and had professionals create a new logo and website so that my brand was cohesive.
STOP! Do you know who your ideal client is? This should be decided before any decisions are made about branding. Determining who your ideal client is will help you understand how you will interact with them – and that includes your logo, website, and personal brand photography.
Are you stuck on figuring out who your ideal client is? I’m not an expert to help you with this. It took me months to figure out but I can tell you what made it easier… theblueprint™ by Abbey Kyhl.
Abbey is my business coach and she has THE.BEST system called theblueprint™, which are educational courses that focus on different parts of business and life (seriously everything – business plans, marketing, workflows). Abbey focuses on fundamental and foundational lessons that lead to success and the ability to achieve harmony between business and family. Want to learn more? Check out theblueprint™.
GO! After deciding who your ideal client is, here are three core investments I believe every entrepreneur should make in their brand.
- Website: After 13 years of being a service-based business owner, I realized my website is essentially my storefront. It’s what sets the tone for my entire brand. It’s usually the first exposure potential clients ever get of who I am and what I can offer them. And while there are free tools out there to help build a website, I have always gotten the most benefit by working with a skilled web designer. They know what your website will need to convert website visitors into clients.
- Logo: My logo is the soul of my brand. I believe a logo should be beautiful, memorable, and thoughtful. Getting a unique, professional-level logo doesn’t have to break the bank either — hiring a freelancer can be a very economical way to go. But definitely look for an expert. An expert will help you design a logo that speaks to your ideal client. After all, your logo will be all over your email newsletters, social media, website, business cards, and beyond. TIP: Ask your web designer if logo design is something she offers.
- Personal Brand Photos: To be completely honest, this is something that took time for me to come to terms with (I do not like being in front of the camera). It wasn’t until I rebranded to my new business name, Sarah R Peterson Photography, that I took having pictures of myself seriously. Personal brand photos are what brought my current brand to life. Since my name is also my business name, it made my entire brand more human and relatable. Personal brand photos allow your potential clients to “meet” the absolute best version of yourself and get a sense of who you are before they meet you. A great personal brand photographer will help you come across as likable, trustworthy, and professional after just a glance. (It’s also a great way to build up content for social media platforms and blog posts!) Many people think Personal Brand Photography is out of their budget but I offer various packages to fit your needs.
These three investments are crucial to help you solidify your brand and achieve success in your business. Investing in a great website, unique logo, and professional personal brand photography will always be worth it.