How to start branding your business

You’ve registered your business but what now? If you have never tried to start creating and marketing your own business it is scary and it is hard, especially when you do not know where to start. In this article, I hope to give you a starting point by focusing on what branding is important and why through my experiences creating LionessLilo and other companies. 

I created LionessLilo in a market where work is scarce and as a result, the market is flooded with new businesses created by people trying to make ends meet. However, before you can market yourself you have to first create a professional look and image for yourself. I know that when I am looking for products or services I am far more likely to choose someone with a logo and a  website than someone sending me a message in my inbox begging for me to choose them followed by a Whatsapp number. Therefore, it is important to first create a logo in order for it to be used in the rest of your branding. 

It is extraordinarily hard to create a logo for yourself, mostly because of 2 main reasons. The first reason is you are unlikely to take an unbiased approach, which is needed to create a logo that is more for your clients than for yourself. The second reason is that when you are busy working for clients and to get clients, you don’t spend as much time on your own brand because it is unpaid work that you could rather spend on paid work or marketing. I probably spent less than half the amount of time on my logo and website than I would on a paying client.  branding

Effective Training logo, colour and black

Next, you need an email signature.  An Email signature immediately makes you seem more professional which will help me when emailing potential new customers. It goes back to where I said that I am more likely to be attracted to vendors who look professional than someone who has inboxed or emailed me with no branding. It is all about looking more professional than your competitors because in a consumer’s mind the more professional you seem the higher your quality of work is likely to be.  

Effective Training email signature

The next priority is your website. The first branding elements to go into the website are your logo and colour scheme. The next part to consider is what sort of style you want your website to represent, do you want a clean corporate look, a rich and colourful look or something more playful? You need to consider which style will best attract the customers you want. The website and its branding is your online business card and Portfolio, and you would like to make sure that your branding carries across platforms and represents you in the best way possible.  

Effective Training Website snippet

Once you have the immediately important branding done you need to set up your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Social media has become an important way to engage with your user base and when it is done effectively will turn into sales leads.  Remember how the first thing we did was create a logo? Here we need it again for all your profile images and possibly to create a banner. Once your social media has been set up you can start to do regular posts and even market from these social media accounts. Beware though, the way you post can affect how you are perceived, so the more professional your social media the better your clients are likely to be, and a social media account without structured and planned posts can be to your detriment. The idea is to win the trust and admiration of your user base because once you have their trust and admiration they will be happy to support you. A good example of this is an American company called the futur who started doing Youtube videos and expanded to selling courses to teach the basics of Graphic Design. The company received so much support from something they gave out freely that their user base were prepared to buy their courses and products which lead to the company turning down any new clients looking for their design services and focused on creating Youtube videos and courses on Graphic Design and creating a successful Creative business. 

Effective Training Facebook mock-up

This is a starting point towards branding your business and the first few steps to give your business the best start possible. These are the steps, in order, that I took to start branding LionessLilo and branding other businesses. You need a logo to help brand everything going forward, a website for people to find information about your business, an email signature to make your emails look more professional and Social Media accounts with regular posting to gain the trust and loyalty of your user base.

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