How To Create A Brand Identity for Your Creative Business (In 2 Hours Or Less)
I’m a perfectionist by nature. Yet the “better done than perfect” mindset switch is the best thing that ever happened to me.
I spent 10 years dreaming about the day when I would have the perfect idea, the perfect topic, the perfect blog design to start my own business.
I read everything there was to read on the subject of blogging, content marketing, digital marketing, social media — you name it.
Yet I never started my own thing. Not because I didn’t believe I could ultimately do it, but because something was never quite… Perfect enough.
10 years, people.
And if not for a kick in the behind from a certain friendly soul, I wouldn’t be here writing these words today.
Today, I am going to teach you how to create a solid brand identity in the time that it would take you to enjoy a good Sunday brunch.
Grab a notebook, and write down something for each of the questions I ask you below.
By the time you are done, you will have a decent foundation to build your awesome brand identity on.
Step 1: Your mission.
This is not as huge as it sounds.
- What do you do? Are you a web designer? A freelance writer? An Etsy shop owner? Whatever the case may be, get clear on what it is that you actually do.
- Who would you most like to help? I work only with creative entrepreneurs. You might be in the business of helping busy moms, or stay-at-home dads, or career-driven boss ladies. “Everyone” is not an option here, okay?
- Can you get more specific than that? For example, I’m not just a writer for creative entrepreneurs; I’m a copywriter specializing in writing high-converting website copy (About Me pages, Sales Pages etc.) for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to get serious about their business.
Action step: Write down a 1–2 sentence description of your mission. Be specific.
Step 2: Your personality.
Okay, you’ve figured out how you help people. But when it comes to actually doing the work, how do you go about it?
- What is your best quality as a friend? Are you supportive and warm, or all about the tough love? Do you love to bring people together?
- How do you want your readers to feel when they interact with your content? If you are naturally warm and friendly, it’s going to be easier to make your readers feel the same when they interact with your content.
- What makes you feel those emotions yourself? People, places, other bloggers? Go on Pinterest/Tumblr/WeHeartIt to find images that evoke your desired feeling.
Action step: Find 5–10 images that represent the feeling you want your brand to project.
Step 3: Your color scheme.
If you already have something in mind for this, great. If not, follow the steps below and you will have something to show for it in 10 minutes.
- Download your favorite image from Step 2.
- Upload it to Canva’s Color Palette Generator. It will give you a pretty cohesive color palette to start with.
- Play around with lighter/darker shades of this color palette in Coolors until you can say “yeah, I could work with that”.
Action step: Download a PDF version of your color scheme from Coolors for easy access later.
Step 4: Your signature fonts.
This one can get a bit tricky if you aren’t a designer.
What you will need:
- A heading font
- A body font
- (Optional) A fun brush/calligraphy font to get your blog posts Pinterest-ready
If you already have a font you love, you can ask Google what other fonts go great with it.
If you don’t, check out some of the font combinations these guys came up with.
Action step: Come up with a combination of 2-3 fonts that would look good on a Pinterest image.
Step 5: Name your baby.
Some solid ideas:
- Your full name, plain and simple.
- Your full name + the word “creative”, “design” or anything else that describes what you do
- Your target demographic + action verb
Think of this as a baby name, and plan accordingly. Try to think about what will happen when your brand baby gets to middle school.
Are you going to be able to keep your head held high if and when someone decides to make fun of it? Will it look good in a New York Times headline?
Action step: Come up with a list of 3 names/3 variations of the same name that you could see yourself living with.
Step 6: Design a logo.
This does not have to be an elaborate masterpiece of floral drawings and watercolor splashes.
Not yet, anyway.
Sometimes, a logo is just your brand name written in your signature font. For a first time entrepreneur, that’s perfectly okay.
And when you’ve got the resources to spare, email a logo designer to get it done professionally.
Action step: Download the PNG image from Canva (transparent background and all) and save it in your business folder.
Step 7: Put it on a brand board.
This is one design occasion in which I prefer PicMonkey over Canva - they have some stunning brand board templates that will give your new business a professional look at feel.
Just do it - put it all on a brand board. Doesn't it look better than you expected it to?
That's the key here, peeps - keep moving forward. Good is good enough.
Your final action step: Tweet me a picture of your brand board @coldbrewcopy.
I'm rooting for you.
PS — If you've got the brand identity part down, and want to move on to the next step, click here to work with me on your awesome website copy.