Branding is what makes you visible, unique and desired to your prospect clients, readers, followers, etc. Yes, we all know that. We hear or read that we need to have a proper branding. After all, big corporations spend tons of money on their branding… but in reality, in real life, for our own small – home based businesses, as Authors, Coaches, Healers and Mentors, do we really understand how this “branding” thing adjusts?
There has been a lot of misunderstanding on what branding is and what to do about it, so, for this reason – as I am not a branding expert myself – I interviewed Eve Voyevoda, a branding expert to solve this mystery once and for all.
But before we dive into the “real stuff” of our subject, let me introduce you our guest, Eve Voyevoda:
Eve Voyevoda a Branding & Visual Communication Specialist, helps women entrepreneurs to connect with their clients on a deeper level through powerful visuals and brand strategy so that they can confidently grow a thriving business.
She was born in an artist’s family, studied art in National Academy of Art. After that, She has been in the advertising & branding industry for over 17 years. Her clients are all around the world. She has worked with small and large businesses like PwC, Radisson Blu, JSL, etc.
Every bit of branding from an idea, strategy, customer psychology, to tiny design elements builds a brand image in a client’s mind. In her program, she collects all these pieces together to create a relationship between a brand and a customer. Knowing that branding is also a constant self-discovery, she encourages lady entrepreneurs to unleash the power of their personal brand and attract clients with ease.
What is branding?
Branding is our appearance. It is how we appear all around, in physical life, among social media and through advertising. A branding can be product focused, company oriented, or it can be representing an individual. For us who are solo – entrepreneurs, we are our brand, we are our business, and we are our real product… because our clients are coming to us, because of us. So, we might focus on just our products or programs, or we can step into the light, and present proudly our own ourselves.
You may find branding on the following:
- All printed material: Logo, Business cards, Letterheads, printed advertisements, billboards, posters, folders, items like mugs and t-shirts, book covers, pintables, etc.
- Our online presence: website, social media pages, appearance of our posts and the images we upload, quotes, appearance of online programs and e-courses, newsletters and emails.
- Our style, our attitude, our essence: What kind of people are we? Direct? Kind? Soft talking? Straight forward? What are we mostly talking about? Business? Love? Spirituality? The meaning of life? Health? Fitness? How do we dress? How do we appear on photos? Are we open and smiley? Thoughtful? Strong and powerful?
- If we use videos, our videos are becoming an important part of our branding. Observe your rhythm, are you talking fast or slow? Is your editing just one frame, or it changes fast like a music video clip? What colors do you choose? What style of music do you add to your videos?
- When it comes to Authors, the style of your writing, the way you use words, the way you present your characters or your ideas is also your branding. Your niche is part of your branding. If you try to support all kinds of people, you are not niching, and thus, you do not have a specific branding style. If you write for gardening the one day, and a romantic novel the next, this is a confusion for your readers (if you are inspired, don’t stop writing whatever you like, you will have to market a lot harder though).
In short, everything is branding, you breathe, and you exhale your branding… just like that. But there is one important element: you need to be consistent, so people will recognize you. If you change your appearance every now and then, people will not remember you and they will never become loyal followers and clients. But if you stick on one specific branding style, then promotion will not be that difficult.
Getting clarity on what you represent, and for whom
I know, this is a big-big chapter, especially for creative people and self-development professionals. The creative ones hate the idea that they will be restricted on one style, one form of art or one type of plot. Well, you don’t need to fit yourself into one little box, but it is important to be clear on what you represent and for whom. Many authors, who are working on different categories, have different pen names, just in order to be consistent on their brand. Think about this.
How can branding change your life – literally!
As Eve Sais, Branding does not restrict you, but in reality it sets you free. When you work with a branding specialist, you will not be restricted to fit in only one role and stile, but you will find out who you really are and how you would love to appear in front of your prospect clients and readers. In this way, through branding you flourish and you bring out your best self, through your most valuable qualities.
A positive “side effect”, according to Eve, when you have a proper professional branding, is, that you get confident and proud on presenting yourself and your brand – your business. Many clients of Eve Voyevoda have almost changed their character to the better after they had a clear branding strategy created for them. They became more confident, joyous, enthusiastic, professional, focused and efficient in their work. This has been a fact for both women and men. As women have been raised in most cultures believing that “showing off” and “taking a stand” is not appropriate, branding gave them what was missing in their confidence and now they can reach out for new clients with much more ease and enthusiasm, without guilt or shame, without their past limiting beliefs. When it comes to men, they find that a professional branding gives them great status… and for a man, that is all that matters in order to thrive professionally.
Memorable aspects of a good branding
Branding can work only through simplicity. People do not remember many colors, fonts and images. They remember only One Color, One font, one style of images. And that should be your objective when it comes to your branding on the visual level: to stick into one color, one typeface, and one style of images… otherwise, people will not recognize you from distance, or while “zapping” among blog posts, Google listings and social media.
So here are the 3 main memorable aspects, in a little more detail:
- Colors: It is interesting how colors impress peoples’ memories and As Pavlov’s dogs’ experiment, when you give quality content to your readers, and you add your main color on the screen, your readers will keep the memory of the color as a feeling of appreciation for the content you provided them with. So, next time they see your colors, they will bring back their appreciating feeling and they will be open to expect from you the best quality information. So, don’t change colors every time you promote a new webinar, a new blog post, another Facebook post or even a new online program… don’t change colors and style on your book covers. Make a stand, on who you are, and make yourself visible. Make sure you are the author that your readers will come back to buy more books of yours and they will know how to spot them easily. Of course, we don’t say that you will only use just one color, but you defiantly need to have just one color to stand out of the rest in such a way that everyone will resonate this particular color with you and your branding.
- Fonts: Fonts are the styles of the typefaces – the letter style – you will choose to accompany you, not only on your logo, but even on your blog posts. You may choose to use free fonts that are easy to download, such as Google fonts, but the ones you may buy, most times have a lot greater quality and they are unique in such a way that they will be imprinted on your prospect clients’ mind as “you”. You may go here at mightydeals.com where there are many good type fonts in really good price. When you see a name written on a billboard with the Coca-Cola fonts, most probably you will instantly read “Coca-Cola” even if it writes something totally different…
The typefaces suggest to their observers the expectations they can have from you. Times new roman style is elegant and classic, and it gives the atmosphere of fine and expensive. More grotesque fonts show a straightforward character, powerful, and pretty simple. It makes you look honest and direct. Script fonts, are overused by women solo-entrepreneurs and bloggers. Unfortunately, script fonts, especially the free ones, are not of the best possible quality, and they are too difficult to read. For this reason, are recommended ONLY as side decorative elements.
- Images: Images can be photographs, vectors, illustrations. They should all follow a specific style. This is not that easy to achieve when you download randomly free stock images, but it can be easily accomplished when you shoot your own photographs. It is ideal to work with a photographer, but if you are enough talented and you have a good smart-phone (of course DSLRs are accepted as well) you may shoot your own photos. Check this article and interview for more on shooting your own photos with a smart phone.
- Book Covers: this includes everything, fonts, images and colors. If you want to find out how to create book covers that sell, click here.
Well, having all those great ideas, applying your visuals, being confident on your branding appearance, essence and values is not enough for your business (I speak about authors as well, if you want your book writing to be your main source of income). You need to introduce your branding to the world, to your prospect clients, and here comes the last ingredient on branding, which is, promotion.
About 10 years or more ago, big corporate organizations were the only ones who could promote their products properly, because traditional advertising, (such as, magazine ads, billboards, tv trailers etc. ) has always been extremely expensive. But now, with the internet we can all promote our brands as much as we want. We can do this through the social media, appropriate SEO, YouTube videos, teleseminars and telesummits, podcasts and blogging. In our days, we all can compete big corporations, as log as, we follow the right promotion strategy.
So, if you want to choose how to promote yourself through internet, you need:
- To choose the right social media. This means, that you might want to have active accounts on some social media, post reguloarly, make connections, find clients and partners, network and socialize. Of course, you can’t do this in all the social media that exist. You would never have the time and the energy for such task. You have to know where your branding would sell more, where you would find more followers and funs, as, not every social media platform is for all kinds of people and interests.
- Decide on the most appropriate medium: Blog posts might be all that you need to be doing, although videos, webinars, podcasting etc. are also a great form of promotion. You need to choose wisely though, because, first of all you can’t do them all, and because some forms might not be convenient for you. If you hate talking in front of the camera for example, live Facebook videos won’t work for you. On the other hand, maybe you can’t write easily (I hope you can though, especially if you are an author), and you are more confident talking. So, in that case, videos or podcasting might be a lot better for you to promote your brand.
- Your personality is your actual branding. People need to know you so that they trust you and buy from you. It is not only your “buy now” posts that they want to see from you. Your entire presence is what will actually attract them. And make sure you reply back to all their comments. Prove that you will be “here” for them, and so they will be here for you as well.
- Be regular and consistent. Nothing can bring you enough traffic and sales if it is done once per month. You need to be Clear, Focused and Consistent. For more information on how to thrive and achieve any goal through clarity, focus and consistency, read the additional article. Be patient and assured that if you have a good branding, in short time, you will see great results in your exposure and income.
Eve offers and incredible program on branding that will be launched on the end of February, so, stay tuned for more information.
You may download her free gift “GET 4 KEYS FOR YOUR SUCCESSFUL BRAND CHECKLIST & AUDIO COURSE” from http://brandplusphoto.com/4Keys
In addition to this, if you are a woman, you might want to join her Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/PowerfulBranding .
Please, let me know: how did you find the conversation? Have you had any “Ahas”? Have you got any questions that you would like us to answer for you? Give us a comment below!
Here are some of my own Books: Written by Vassia Sarri…