5 Personal Branding Tips For Small Business
Whether you realize it or not, branding has been a large part of your life. Fact is, you make buying decisions every day based on branding and marketing. But, these concepts are no longer solely designed for big companies. With influencer marketing changing the way consumers discover, learn, and purchase goods and services, personal branding is becoming more important–regardless of whatever industry you belong to. Keep reading to learn some personal branding tips to boost your small business or brand and find your target audience.
Understanding Your Personal Brand
Building a personal brand is often the missing link between customers and connecting with your business. A personal brand is very similar to a traditional company brand but directed towards an individual. Personal brands also have core values, a mission statement, and even brand colors.
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Just remember this as your mantra: People buy from those they know, like, and trust. With social media today you are better positioned than any time in history as a small business or personal brand to show your potential customers what you're all about, that you're likeable, and you're trustworthy. And the best part is you can do this for free with the phone you already have in your hand.
1. Define Your Personal Brand Personality
Ideally, your day-to-day personality and personal brand’s personality are very much alike. Still, you want to make sure you understand your personal brand’s character. It needs to come across in every social media post, article, video, and interview you share with the world. Consistency is key. There are many ways to help you find out your brand’s personality, but asking yourself these questions can also help:
2. Find Your Niche
As you start to discover your brand’s personality, you’ll ultimately find its niche too. Determining your specialization, that thing you can do better than anyone else, helps you focus on your brand’s messaging. The best way to create a distinctive personal brand is by becoming the go-to, recognized authority, and expert on a specific topic.
For example, I'm a logo designer in Portland but I also do photography. Within the many types of photography I'm best at shooting portraits in Portland so I have built my brand and marketing strategy to reflect that and attract those in need of portraits, instead of weddings or family photos. If you market to everyone you market to no one.
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Another example, maybe you're a graphic designer but you specialize in logo design and have no interest in designing business cards, posters, or brochures. If that's the case make sure that's crystal clear to your potential clients so you don't waste time or resources attracting the wrong clients.
3. Build Your Social Media
The power of social media is undeniable, and you must capitalize on it to build your personal brand. Think of social media as the modern way to network. It isn’t just about posting beautiful photos and engaging videos anymore. You have to engage and interact with your audience. Reach out to others who share similar values or interests, follow other influencers within your niche, stay up-to-date with the latest conferences and events. These small actions will help you build a personal brand as you start to find your spot in the market.
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4. Use Visuals to Reinforce Your Brand
Companies have products, storefronts, and advertising to reinforce the brand. As a small business or personal brand you can use the same concept. Use color, images, design, and other branding elements to strengthen your brand.
7 Reasons why a Logo is Important to your Brand
Consider getting a custom logo, a personal brand website, or using consistent color palettes and fonts in your social media posts. These are great ways to reinforce your brand. Then, consider more subtle and traditional branding methods like having personalized checks, business cards, and pens you can hand out during meetings or presentations.
A great example of personal branding is @jake.pnw on Tiktok. Jake has over 9 million followers thanks to defining a niche and brand on TikTok. All of Jake's videos are of him interacting with sea life in an entertaining way. He found what works with a very niche audience and built a very profitable brand around it.
5. Be Authentic
Last but not least, be authentic. Customers are becoming savvier and savvier, and they’ll quickly call out fakes on social media. When you’re recording videos or taking photos, remember to create an emotional connection with your audience. When it comes to personal brands, well-designed videos with high production won’t cut it any more. Customers want real-life interactions that show the true you. The explosion of TikTok is a perfect testament to that. Have anything to add? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
10 Social Media Marketing Strategies That Work
There's no way around it. It's time to stop avoiding the inevitable. If you own a small business you will have to invest ample amounts of time or money into social media marketing, and for good reason, as I write this there are over 4 billion active social media users. That's literally twice as many users as there were just five years ago and they aren't going anywhere. The average user spends at least 2 hours on social media platforms every single day.
So why wouldn't you leverage that time spent on social media by your potential clients to build brand awareness, develop customer relationships, and even make sales directly within social platforms. In today's fast paced economy it is critical for your success and survival. Social media seems to be in constant evolution. This is why spending time developing the right social media marketing strategies for your business is so important. While this might seem daunting, following these tips will help you set up your social media for success.
1. Set Goals That Make Sense for Your Business
Most people focus on followers when they think of social media, but your goals should go far beyond followers. Some businesses use their social media to build a community, while others want followers that convert and drive more revenue. The goals for those businesses will be different. And, sometimes you might even need to have different social media accounts to track other goals. Take, for example, dog backpack retailer K9sportsack. Their main account (@k9sportsack), focuses on their products and branding. Their community-based account @k9sportsackcommunity shares photos of their community, funny memes and has a more community-based outline and goals.
Here are some social media goals to consider for your business:
2. Leverage the Power of Trends
Sure, not all trends will be relevant to your business. That doesn’t mean you can’t see the bigger picture and leverage the power of trends on your social media accounts. In this day in age if your business isn’t creating video content you’re losing a huge opportunity for exposure, reach, and engagement. Specifically with TikTok, no DSLR camera required. Make sure you’re investing time and effort in short-format videos, Reels, or TikTok videos to connect with your audience. All of this can be done with the cellphone you already own.
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Danny Wang Design is a perfect example of how small businesses are leveraging social media platforms like TikTok and seeing huge returns. DW Design is just your average pool, landscape, and interior design firm with over a million followers consuming their incredible before-and-after and demo videos on TikTok. Founder Danny Wang includes clickbaity captions in the thumbnails for his videos (like “Lake Size Pool” or “Never Ending Construction”), and makes sure the big reveal is covered by an underwhelming “before” scene. All of the videos then cut to an over-the-top luxury design created per the client’s request. To mix it up, Wang will share time-lapse videos of an entire project as well.
Another example is Washington-based R&A Treeservice who now has almost 600K followers on TikTok. Time-lapses of the R&A team sawing down massive trees to hip hop sounds get tens of thousands of views.
While his business is limited geographically for their main service offering, R&A is now able to sell merch to fans all over the country. For small businesses like this that operate in specific regions, consider the secondary revenue streams that could come from viral fame.
Instagram Stories are also another great way to stay in front of your audience and on their minds. Because stories are time-sensitive material (only last 24 hours), you’re tapping into customers' FOMO (fear of missing out), which is why they drive so many views and engagement.
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3. Focus on the Right Social Media Platforms
The biggest mistake small businesses make is trying to be on every social media platform on the horizon. Instead, analyze your audience and their social media behavior to help you narrow down your social media platform presence. If your audience isn’t spending time in TikTok, why bother? Instead, invest your time and money on the social media platforms that make sense to your business. Here’s a quick breakdown of demographics per social media platform:
As you can see there are simply to many social media platforms to mange on your own so I would play around with a few and find out what 3 platforms brings you the biggest return on your time investment.
4. Hire a Virtual Assistant
As you can see with all the multitude of social media platforms it can get overwhelming to keep up with. This is where a Virtual Assistant comes in handy. If you have a marketing budget you can pay a VA to do pretty much any task you can think of for as little at $6 an hour. An over seas VA can not only create content for your business specific to each platform but they can also post that content for you and even respond to comments in your place. Full automation.
5. Follow your Competitors
No idea where to start or what to post? Check out your competitors, see who's successful and follow their lead. Analyze what they are doing that works and do that. Doesn't even have to be local. If you're a logo designer in Portland, Oregon or a photographer in New York, or a real estate agent in Miami, you can find people all over the world doing what you do and killing it on social media. What are they posting? When are they posting? What are their captions like? What are they putting in their bio? How are they interacting with their audience?
6. Go viral with Humor
One time-tested social media marketing strategy is using humor. Humor marketing can be tricky, and it needs to be sensitive to what’s happening in the world at the moment. But, when used right, it has the potential to go viral. Sharing memes or creating funny quotes that relate to your audience can be pretty engaging and help boost your social media presence.
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7. Engage with your Audience
I see so many small business accounts post great content but then they never respond to comments. This is the fastest way to lose your audience unless your Kim Kardashian. Take the time to respond to every comment.
8. Collaborate with other Kickass Brands
The power of collaborating with like-minded and complementary brands is undeniable and will introduce your brand to a completely new and hopefully engaged audience you may have never reached on your own.
When another Instagram user discovers you through a collaboration you’ve done they are more likely to crush that follow button because odds are if they found you from a collaboration they are the demographic you’re looking for.
Collaborations with complementary brands will double your organic reach and are 25 times less expensive than digital advertising! Just make sure that your collaboration is mutually beneficial and both your audiences will benefit from your collaboration.
On brand collaborations for example: Because I shoot alot of fashion it makes sense that I would collab with influencers, models, designers, and makeup artists because their audience will be similar to mine and thus mutually beneficial. 7 things I look for in a collaboration (meaning not paid). What's their following like? Whats their engagement like? Will their audience connect with my work? Will mine connect with theirs? Do we have similar values? What kind of connections do they have? How skilled are they?
I try to find people and brands that have a similar or bigger following than me but will collab with someone with little to no following if they are incredibly talented. The 7 things I look for are important. If you're just collabing with anyone and everyone with no intention you will fail in your industry, miserably.
So how do you find people and brands to collab with? Do your research, join local facebook groups related to your industry like Portland Models. Search local hashtags on Instagram like #portlandmodel or #portlanddesigner or portlandMUA
9. Don't Buy Followers
Buying followers and joining engagement groups and Instagram pods is the quickest way to be shadow band or even having your account disabled. All of these things are against Instagram rules and guidelines but more importantly they just don’t work.
It’s blatantly obvious when someone has purchased followers, I see it all the time. 100,000 followers with little to no engagement on each post makes your account worthless. You’re not fooling anyone and it’s not helping you gain clients. So stop it. Not to mention purchasing followers is a huge waste of money.
10. Keep Adjusting
At last, as everything is digital, things move at a rapid pace. Remember to check your analytics, see what worked and what didn’t. Keep looking at your competitors and how your audience interacts with your posts. Then, readjust. Every month, you should carve out some time to analyze your social media efforts and adjust your content calendar for the following month. Eventually, you’ll find the secret sauce that works for your business.
Have anything to add? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Connect with me on Instagram.
Whether you notice it or not, every color around you has a personality and strikes an emotional response in your brain. Yellow makes you feel upbeat, happy, and cheerful, green evokes serenity, healing , and quality, while purple signifies luxury and royalty.
Designers understand the meaning and purpose behind colors in logos and branding but as an entrepreneur with no design background you may not know the psychology of color. Of course when hiring a designer you expect them to know all of this already but if you have a general idea of what emotions are provoked from each color you will be ahead of the game when approaching a new designer.
In this article I will list 11 colors used by top brands to market their business and the emotions they provoke. So with your brand in mind let's discover what colors are right for you and your business.
1. Black provokes Power, Sophistication, & Elegance
Black symbolizes professionalism and substance. It helps make bold statements or convey a sense of authority. Black logos do well for already established brands, where there’s no need to use flashy colors to grab any attention.
2. Blue provokes Loyalty, Wisdom, & Stability
Blue logos are universally liked but not too powerful. These exhibit a sense of assurance. Most tech brands like Facebook or Twitter favor blue because it represents trustworthiness, intelligence, calmness, & loyalty. From baby blue to navy blue this color is sure to have your brand taken seriously.
3. Brown provokes Rugged, Trustworthy, & Dependable
Although brown is the less utilized color in logo design, different shades of brown are often used in the legal, construction, coffee, & outdoor industries. If you’re wanting to portray an earthy, rugged, or warm feeling, brown is your best friend.
4. Green provokes Tranquility, Organic, Quality
Green suggests relaxation, healing, growth, healthy, nature, organic or money. Above all, it indicates that the brand is environmentally-friendly. It’s great for companies that strive for ethical and organic practices or are into finances.
5. Gray provokes Practicality, Timelessness, & Classic
It’s a pretty neutral shade and is ideally used as a secondary color for brands to portray a classic and timeless appeal. Lighter shades of gray seem more accessible, and darker ones add mystery to the brand.
6. Orange provokes Energy, Playfulness, & Change
Orange is refreshing and helps you stand out from the crowd. But only a correct combination can evoke the right feelings as orange can be both enthusiastic or aggressive. It’s an excellent choice for brands that aren’t too serious but confident.
7. Pink provokes Compassion, Femininity, & love
Pink is usually associated with brand logos that are more female-oriented or linked to sweetness, fun, beauty, fashion, and physical sexuality. It’s soothing, nurturing, and feels both modern and luxurious.
8. Purple provokes Authenticity, Luxury, & Success
Want to appear wise, cutting-edge, and royal? Use purple. Your imagination is the only barrier when it comes to purple. If you're a luxury brand purple and gold are the perfect color combination.
9. Red provokes Confidence, Energy, & Intensity
Red evokes urgency, appetite, and intense emotions. It’s a universally utilized color to grab more attention. Go for red if your brand is loud, modern, youthful, and playful.
10. Yellow provokes Happiness, Warmth, & Cheer
The classic smiley emoji is yellow, but danger signs are yellow too. Yellow conveys a sense of happiness while grabbing attention. It radiates youthful energy, affordability, and accessibility.
11. White provokes Clean, Simplicity, & Innocence
White renders clean and sophisticated logos. So if exclusivity, goodness, and luxury are your brand traits, try white with other colors like red to evoke a feeling of excellence.
Look, design trends are always changing and ever evolving but the use of colors and the emotions they evoke will never change. Choosing the right color for your brand is far more important than simply going with your favorite color. Your favorite colors may be red and purple but as you can see those 2 colors wouldn't convey the right message if your marketing to customers looking for something organic, healthy, or nature related. I hope this article helped. I would love to hear from you in the comments below. See our work HERE
Are you one of those entrepreneurs who thinks that their business will do just fine with an old outdated logo? If so, then you probably aren't paying attention to big companies like Nike, Pepsi, Google, Firefox, Ford, Apple, Starbucks, Burger King, IKEA, etc. who have all updated their logos over time.
A logo is much more than just your business name on a sign out front of your business. Not only does it go on your business cards, flyers, letters, website, merchandise, and all of your business documents, but it also serves a greater purpose. It is essentially the face of your business. And if you don’t have a visually appealing, updated, memorable logo, you're most likely losing business to your competitors.
Below are 4 of my top reasons why you should update your logo in 2020 or 2021.
1. It makes you look more professional.
If you get your logo updated for nothing else, at least update it so that you look more professional to your customers. I mean just look at the difference between the first google logo and the most recent google logo. Without a quality logo, a company seems like a new startup that does not have everything working for them yet. Look, we've all been there, when we start a new company or brand we are bleeding cash.
We try our best to get everything done as cheap as we can just so we can open the doors. Price is more important than quality to a lot of people starting a business and let's face it, we all have a cousin who's "in school for graphic design" who will design a logo for cheap if not for free. However, with a custom, well done, professionally-designed logo, from an experienced, seasoned designer like the ones we have here at Kickass Designs you're sure to get an updated logo that customers will connect with and know immediately that you are a well-established and credible company.
2. It makes you stand out.
In the fast paced economy we live in today it's important to remember you don’t operate alone, meaning there are competitors who are seeking to attract and retain the same clients you are. It's more important now than ever to stand out. Now is your chance to reposition your brand, so you don't get over looked or left behind. Just look how much more the current IKEA logo stands out than the 1954 version. A well done professionally-designed logo will help you stand out from the crowd and outshine your competitors. The first impression lasts, and a high-quality and visually appealing logo can make sure you have get the first impression right.
3. It makes your brand memorable.
One of the best parts of getting a custom well-designed logo is that it will help your customers remember your company. Just look at Barbie, we all remember the logo and the pink colors when we hear the name. To be successful, a company has to build and retain its customers and without an effective memorable logo this is almost impossible. I'd bet on my life that I could name any well known brand like Instagram for example and you could probably picture their logo in your mind. If your current logo doesn't seem memorable, now may be the perfect time for a facelift from one of our seasoned designers.
4. It is one of the core elements of branding.
Another great reason to update your logo is to start branding your company again. There will come a time when your old logo simply isn’t accurately branding your business anymore. Every business evolves, and so should every logo. If designed professionally and properly, not only will your updated logo become the new face of your business, but it will also become associated with your exceptional products and services. And isn’t that what a great branding strategy is all about? Shell has done this numerous times over the years.
Now is the time to assess your current logo (ask yourself, Is it professional? Does it draw my attention? Would it attract a customer’s eye? Is it memorable?) and consider new logo design ideas. Think about what your business does and its mission statement and how you might convey it in a logo. If you feel under-qualified to design a logo, there are plenty of companies out there like ours willing to do it for you. Logo designers can walk you through the process and help you develop the perfect design to convey your message.
Remember, in order to best represent your company to the outside world, it is important to have a logo that evolves with your business. Hire a professional designer that can create a logo that is adaptable to ensure long-lasting success. And if you're reading this and maybe haven't started your business yet and you're in the early stages, here's 7 more reasons why a logo is so important to your brand. Make sure to connect with me on Instagram HERE
If you've ever asked yourself "do I really need a logo for my brand?" This article is for you. Every business needs branding and a logo is the most important part of your branding. Think of the infamous bitten apple representing a famous hardware and software firm or the double-tailed mermaid of the world’s largest chain of cafes or the one and only swoosh that instantly reminds you of shoes and apparel — this kind of instant recognition is the Holy Grail for any company or brand.
Even though brand names are not always integrated into the design like the ones I just mentioned, most people recognize these symbols. This is why companies pay good money for their logos. Your logo is literally the face of your brand and usually the first thing people remember.
If brand recognition and dominance in the industry is not enough to convince you to hire a good graphic designer here are 7 more reasons why you should consider hiring a seasoned Portland logo designer to design a great custom logo for your business:
1. It gives a great first impression.
You have one chance to grab the attention of a potential buyer — make the most out of it!
Hire a creative logo designer that will align your business values and interests with your brand logo. Yes, a logo is the central element of your brand. It adorns your storefront or marks most packages to pique your customers’ curiosity, prompting them to look beyond the design. A well-planned logo compels your audience to look at what more your brand has to offer.
If you are selling luxury, organic, cruelty-free, premium skincare products, for example, incorporate these elements into the logo. Choose a logo to shine bright and introduce you as a specialist in the professional space. An effective simplistic modern logo will resonate with potential buyers and make them want to learn more.
2. It gives your company an identity.
Your buyers brain is searching for pleasing visuals — people need an image or some visual clues (relaxing, fun, high-end, trust worthy, organic, local, or professional) to choose your brand over your competitors.
Of course, the quality of your products and services is the primary determinant of your success — a logo alone cannot help you build a reputable brand. But having a distinguishable logo acts as a memory cue for people to identify your business.
Great logos communicate things about your business that words cannot. So hire a custom logo design service that will match your brand identity with your mission statement.
3. It builds trust and professionalism.
Ever heard the phrase “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”? Same can be said for your logo. Don't choose a logo that represents the clients you have but rather the clients you WANT.
Remember, this is coming from a guy who named his company 'Kickass Designs". That coupled with my "viking" logo attracts the kind of clients I'm looking for (fun, easy going, edgy, diverse, progressive, etc.) and dissuade the kind of clients I'd like to avoid.
An experienced logo designer understands that your logo goes on almost every consumer-facing merchandise or material. So, it must immediately convey what your business means to you. The more trust you can build in your potential buyers, the more success you'll have as a brand.
4. It builds the brand’s foundation.
With sooooo many small and large brands trying their best to make their way up, you must leverage every opportunity to stand out and be unique. A logo is the face of every brand. It sets the stage for all other branding. (Website, business cards, letter head, flyers, packaging, etc.)
While it may not be the only element of a company’s branding, it serves as its foundation. Every color, font, and graphic defines what you’re trying to convey to the audience. All these elements translate to your branding material, giving your business a solid identity. Hiring a high-quality yet affordable logo design service will empower your business to thrive and reach greater heights.
5. It is a prominent element for the brand.
Our objective at Kickass Designs is to instantly connect your brand’s logo to that of your mission. Think about how you want the logo to make your buyers feel. Let’s be honest, people do forget brand names, but they immediately remember the logos. Your brain is more likely to remember a symbol before a name.
So, designing a memorable graphic that also resonates with your buyers is priority number 1. This graphic goes everywhere, and the last thing you would want is potential customers not connecting to the logo on a personal level. Hiring a top-rated logo design and branding service provider will help you create a logo that attracts more buyers.
6. It sets customers’ expectations.
Your logo defines your company. If the logo does not match your brands’ values, customers are sure to get confused, and confused customers are hard to retain. A logo sets their expectations about your beliefs and your operations. Believe it or not, this ingredient is the key to long term success. By not having a striking and relatable logo, you miss the opportunity to glue your brand to the customer’s mind.
7. It will be everywhere.
From merchandise, website, social media, signage, marketing, to packaging, and more, your logo will be placed anywhere and everywhere to advertise your brand. It is one of the universal ways to consistently and successfully convey your brand message and that puppy is gonna be on everything.
Something I tell my clients, "your logo talks behind your back" -- make sure it's sending the right message. With so much of your success riding on how effective your branding is, it's never worth cutting corners.
At Kickass Designs, we design logos that reflect your brand. From scratch, all custom.
Give us a chance to help you make the most critical choice for your brand — developing the best logo possible. We are one of the best logo design services in town with hundreds of clients all over the US. Whether you want modern or vintage, corporate or edgy, elegant or whimsical, simplistic or sophisticated we can handle it all with the our personal touch and unlimited revisions means no one leaves unsatisfied.
Call us at 541-760-7293 or email us for a quote today!