(This is a free lesson, straight from Module 1 of my new e-course: 90 Days to Your Blog’s First $1k!)
Branding is a HUGE piece of the puzzle, yet is also often one of the most overlooked aspects of a blog or business.
You need to have a strong brand in order to be successful. It is how people remember you, it’s what people associate you with, it’s what you stand for.
If you don’t have a solid foundation when creating your brand (or if you think you can get by without strong branding), you will not survive out there! All successful business owners have invested time and effort into developing their brand, and it’s a huge part of how they ended up becoming so successful.
Branding can be complicated and overwhelming, so I understand if you are dying to skip it, but I really, really don’t recommend that. Your brand is the foundation on which your blog or business stands.
Luckily, I’ve created this awesome 3-step process on creating your brand. Let’s take branding and break it down into something that’s simple and understandable.
Creating Your Brand: My Easy 3-Step Process
Step One: The “Feel”
When creating your brand, the very first thing you should think about is what kind of feeling you want to immediately impress upon your audience when they come to your blog, and what type of things they should think about and associate with your brand upon leaving your site.
Maybe your first thoughts are that you want to:
- Be edgy and “different”
- Inspire people to create art
- Promote wildlife conservation
It could be literally almost anything! Just try to define, in a sentence, what type of online personality you want to have.
What should people think about when they come across “YOUR BRAND”? Is there an action you want them to take? (Donating money to a cause? Purchasing a product?) What feelings should your website give them? Are they happy, relieved or ultra-comfortable around you?
Branding is actually a lot more about your CLIENTS than it is about YOU. This might surprise you, but it’s true!
Creating your brand is all about the perception of yourself that you want to create for your readers, in order to get them to react in a certain way.
Step Two: Taking It a Step Further
Now that you have at least one sentence about what your brand’s purpose is, it’s time to focus a little bit more.
Of course you want to appeal to as many people as possible, but your brand should be specific enough that there is no way it could appeal to everyone, because you need it to extra appeal to certain people.
Let’s go back to my brand for a second. (Sorry to talk about myself, but it’s the one that I know best, so it’s easiest for me to use as an example!)
My first thoughts were “feminine” and “pretty.” That’s great! But it’s definitely not specific enough. So I began to add more adjectives to this list. I also wanted my brand to be: friendly, clean, modern, and informative.
If you have a list of 5-6 adjectives that describe exactly how your brand should come off to your readers, the next steps are actually pretty easy!
Once you can accurately describe your brand in a few words, you can start making decisions about your blog or business using those words, and work on creating your brand.
Let’s try another example.
One of my students used these 5 words to describe her brand: elegant, calm, strong, genuine, feminine. From those words, we were able to easily answer any of the questions she had about her blog!
- What style of text should she use? Because of her responses “elegant” and “strong,” she should use a nice bold font, but also have an elegant and feminine accent font as well. Most brands have 2-3 fonts: one decorative, one headline, and one for body text.
- Should she have a static homepage or use her blog as her homepage? The word “genuine” implies that she really wants to make a personal connection with her readers right up front. I’d suggest going with blog posts on the homepage, as it’s more personal and less sales-y.
- What colors should she use? Purple! Her use of “femininity” makes me think pink, but the words “genuine” and “strong” bring cool blue tones into my mind. Combine them both and you get purple! I would go with almost a grayish cool-toned purple? Something very soothing and, as she put it, “elegant.”
- What should her first blog posts be about? Absolutely, she should start with introducing herself. If she wants to be genuine, you can’t get more genuine than that. I would suggest that she tell a personal story and really allow her readers to get to know her.
See? Once you have a concept of your brand, the rest all starts to fall into place!
Step Three: Your Ideal Audience
Now that you know what you want your brand to convey and how you are going to convey those things, it’s time to find the people who are interested in listening to what you have to say.
Are you a copywriter whose brand is quirky, colorful, creative, intellectual, and bold? Well then, you are going to want to find an audience who appreciates all of those things and maybe even is a few of those things.
Perhaps you could try to attract new bloggers in the artistic niche (jewelry designers, artists, crafters) who want brutally honest constructive feedback about their advertising copy.
Once you narrow down who exactly your brand will appeal to, you can begin to become even more specific with your branding. When you know who you’re targeting as potential customers or readers, you can use that information to create a website that makes your brand even more approachable to that precise group of people.
If you’re targeting people who are creators like artists, crafters and jewelry designers, you’re probably going to want a fairly well-designed site, because they will be attracted to one that is similar to the types of products they sell: creative and designed to market itself.
As these are people who are maybe very unfamiliar with the basic of copywriting, you’ll want to have a lot of helpful information on your site. I would suggest that, as your lead magnet, you create a free PDF printable like “How to Write Intriguing Instagram Captions” to get these people to sign up for your email list.
That is a perfect example of how you can use your audience to narrow down your brand, because those creators you’re targeting will all be hanging out on Instagram, as that is where that niche is most often found. So you will want to take advantage of that knowledge and combine copywriting + the basics + your niche’s preferences, which should allow you to create something that will appeal to virtually every single one of your target audience members (and will have people visiting your website and downloading your freebie like crazy!)
Did you like that free lesson? It’s just the tip of the iceburg!
Click now to learn more about my course for new entrepreneurs: 90 Days to Your Blog’s First $1k.