Go get a mirror, put it in front of you and introduce yourself, please. Or better yet, switch on your webcam and make a little video about yourself. Or three. Should be easy, right. Well, let's see, amiga!
Let's start with a little game. How would you describe yourself... to yourself? Nobody’s listening, this is just for you. Go!
Next, I'd like you to imagine you are at a party and you've just met a gal, who's work you love and who you'd love to collaborate with. How would you introduce yourself?
Now, imagine you are writing your about page. What would that text sound like?
We could go on but I think you get the point. You came up with three different stories describing one and the same person - you. They are all true, no doubt about it, but each time you’ve had a different audience, so you’ve created three different manifestation of yourself—you’ve created three avatars.
Avatar = manifestation of a person or idea
Now, imagine doing the same for your business but with as much awareness and intention as you can muster. This is what branding really is.
Your brand is your business avatar, a manifestation of your ideas and your personality to your ideal audience.
After my bold statement that your logo doesn't matter, and it is in fact your brand story you should craft first, let me introduce you to the three absolutely non-negotiable things you must do before starting your logo design (or any other part of your brand design, for that matter).
The 3 things you must do before designing your logo
1. Write your story
Who are you?
What if I told you that you can recreate yourself right now. It won't be easy but it isn't impossible either. All you need to do it tell your story in a new way. Tell all the facts, from the moment you are born until now, highlighting the lessons, the blessing and the gift in each and every situation you've been through. Can you do that? Can you tell your story in the most positive way possible? I know you can.
That's the first thing you need to do. Don’t tell the same old story you’ve been telling yourself and your friends for years. Think of all you’ve been through. What did you learn? How did it change you? How did it make you a better person? How does it help do what you do better?
Tell your true story in a way you've never dared before—tell it from the light of your heart. Aim to inspire people with every word. Everyone has their dark moments, but you learn and you grow and you help others do the same. (Hey, look at my about page, I spill some dark beans there so I can give you the hope I found while recreating myself after them.) And the fact that you're here tells me that you overcome more than you know, to get to the point of starting and branding your own business.
So, grab your workbook and tell your true story with brand new words.
As part of that first exercise you'll get to tell the story of your business, too. This is where you have the chance to craft a magical fairy tale for your business, one that is not only inspiring, but also true.
2. Define your market
The second thing you need to do before even touching a pencil or a graphic design program is to find your (business) friends.
And this isn't an easy task, I can tell you. It's a lot of guesstimating at first but as a general rule of thumb you have to follow your instincts. You feel drawn to some people and not so much to others. And that's OK.
First find, who your dream customers are. What kind of personality attracts you instantly? Party girls? Stay at home mommies? Fitness gurus? Who’s the person you click right away with, without even trying?
Chances are if you don't want to hang out with somebody, you won't be very happy (or good) doing business with them either. Your gifts are made for someone specific and it's your job to find who that person is.
This is what "find your niche" really means. Ask yourself this: Which is the group of people that’ll benefit the most from what you have to offer AND also the one that you’ll enjoy working with the most?
If you know yourself and your business well (and after writing those stories, you should) and if you make the effort to find your business friends, you'll have no problems finding your niche.
3. Find your purpose
There’s more to life than being happy and making money. I think you know that already but I want you to think about what that means for you and your business.
As a human you go through the world making choices that determine what kind of person you are. The same is true for your business. The choices you make, like whether your materials are ethically sourced or not, for example, are a huge part of your brand.
Your purpose, or your mission as it often called, can greatly influence how your dream customer sees your brand. Are you in business to make money and be happy? That's fine. Or are you here to share your gifts, make a difference in the world and earn a living in the process? Now, here's where the real magic begins.
What do you stand for? Why did you start your business? Besides of making money, what other reason do you have for doing what you’re doing?
Your third task is to figure out your WHY. The one that goes beyond yourself and your personal gains. You need it because, and I know I've quoted this guy a million times already but his words are so darn true,
Why are these three things so important for your business?
Branding is not all about design, it's about telling your story and that of your business in an inspiring way. Design and text (copy) are just the tools you use to communicate that story.
Get your workbook and start working on your brand story now:
Make sure you get your early access to the branding kits:
The Branding Kits
Coming this autumn
Branding your creative genius is about to get a lot easier, joyful and yes, you've guessed it, magical!
The Brand Shop is opening on October 13th and The Branding Kits will be the first thing in it.
If you'd like to be the first to know when they launch, get your early access here:
How did it go?
Now I want to hear from you. Did you have any difficulties telling your story? What was the most difficult story to tell of the three? Tell us in the comments below.
Keep sparkling, love!