Finding Your "Style"

In life, we each have our own personal style that makes each of us unique and special.  

In business, we call that branding.  Instead of defining an individual, we want to take these ideas and apply them on a slightly larger scale.  This helps others, especially potential clients/customers, to be able to recognize our business easily.  

Here are five ways you can do that.

1.  Pick a color palette, and stick with it

I started with my favorite color, which happens to be purple.  There are tons of articles about color theory and psychology, so take a look and see what people associate with the color you like.  For example, purple is thought to suggest wealth and beauty, two things I wanted to imply with my products.  It is also associated with creativity and tends to resonate better with women.  Again, things I definitely am wanting to utilize.  You may find that you change color selections many times until you find the perfect one for yourself.

Since I had my primary color chosen, I needed to think about secondary colors.  What goes well with purple, and helps to convey the same messages?  For my purposes, simpler was better.  I chose to go with black and white as my accent colors, and I love the clean look it brings to my branding.  

If you need some color palette inspiration, Design Seeds has some great images and color combinations to browse through.  

2.  Have a logo for your business

Whether you design your own or not, a logo is an important part of your business.  I used Valerie at inkblot to design my logo, and I am extremely happy with it.  She gave me a list of questions to answer about what I wanted my logo to convey, and from those answers she was able to create the perfect logo.  I ended up with two shades of purple, the black and white, and an image that perfectly captures my business name.  

Some things to think about when designing a logo:

  • Do you want all text?  Only an image?  Or a combination of both?
  • Do you want to include a statement of purpose or tag line into your design?
  • What style are you wanting to convey? 
  • Do you have an image in mind already, or an inspiration image?  

3.  Pick the same (or very similar) name for all social media outlets

One of the reasons for having social media accounts is for people to be able to find your business in multiple locations.  Marketing is key to growth!  Be sure to pick the same account or display name in all of your business social media channels.  For example, I am either TheSoapingSoprano or SoapingSoprano in all of my social media accounts associated with my business.  The difference is usually dependent on the number of characters I am allowed as a name.  If you know my business name, you can easily find me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or more.  However, if I used a different name for each, there is no way to easily find me.  

In addition, try to use the same images as your avatar across all accounts.  This lets people know it's really you!  

4.  Keep your photography consistent

I love being able to say "Oh, that's So-And-So's picture!"  Many times, it's before I even see who has posted the picture.  I'm able to do this because they consistently style their pictures in the same way.  There are many ways to do this.  Sometimes they use the same props, sometimes it's the lighting, the background, or even a specific angle.  Find what works for you and then stick with it.  

Also, edit your pictures.  Sometimes you might get lucky and have a perfect shot on the first try with no editing.  But most of the time that's simply not going to happen.  Realistically, we need to be prepared to edit our images to best show off our products.  

This is one that I'm stick working on myself!  I've finally found what I really like, but sometimes I forget to use it consistently across all social media platforms.  

5.  Define your target clientele as specifically as you can

Who are your trying to sell your products to?  If you don't know, then who does?  No one!  

I mentioned earlier that purple tends to appeal more to women, and that it can convey creativity, wealth, and beauty.  These are each aspects of my ideal customer.  I spent some time and drafted out the "perfect" person to whom I am trying to market my products.  Include things like gender, age range, income range, environmental concerns, lifestyle beliefs, and anything else you can think of.  What is important to them?  How do they live?  Where do they shop?  What will make your product appeal to them?  What problems will it solve?  

When you have the answers to these questions, you will be ready to create your brand so that it will be perfect for these customers.  

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