For any entrepreneur, first impressions are everything, and time is not on your side. On average, people spend just a few seconds on a website before moving on, so it’s imperative for a business to capture and engage people as quickly as possible.
A strong, consistent brand is the key to engaging potential customers and becoming more visible and recognizable to your audience. Brands encompass everything from customer perception and experience, to quality, look and feel, tone and voice of communications. With so many different components, nailing a cohesive, relevant brand across platforms isn’t easy.
No. 1 Your Why: Share Your Story
Before anything else, an entrepreneur needs to be able to answer the question “Why?” What is your story, and why is this your passion? What do you want to share with current and potential customers and partners?
The answers to these questions will become your mission and vision, and will manifest themselves across your brand in the logo, tagline, graphics, font, and voice you share with others.
No. 2 Your Voice: Be Consistent and Engaging
Attracting your ideal customer or client is often a matter of using a few key words that guide your voice and brand. The first step to finding your voice as a brand is to determine your business name, social media handles, logo and tag lines. These elements set the tone and help keep you consistent.
When establishing your voice, focus on:
Clarity: Use short, simple words that anyone can understand. Cut out words that you don’t need.
Personality: Don’t confuse formal with professional. It’s important to be professional and polished, but you don’t sound like a robot – you want your own personality to come through!
Think Like Your Audience: Know who you are talking to and write copy that answers the questions they have and what they want, not just what you think is important. Co-Creator Billy Polson offers tips on nailing the design for your client avatar.
No. 3 Your Style: How will people recognize you?
The key elements of style new entrepreneurs should focus on are:
Color: The color you choose will not only make your brand recognizable, it will also help convey confidence in your brand personality and can evoke emotion. When you’re determining your color, think about your audience. What color do you think they would be attracted to? What color speaks to you? What is the happy medium?
Font: Maintaining a consistent font across platforms is important for brand recognition. Choose one or two fonts, and use those on your website, image overlays, blogs and newsletters.
Layout, Shapes and Graphics: These elements of style are often overlooked, but can have a huge impact on your brand. When designing your layout, keep the background clean. White space is beautiful. Look for ways you can consolidate text with bullet points, columns, buttons and shapes. Breaking up the text on your page with photos and graphics will also keep your audience engaged and interested.
Focusing on your why, your voice and your style are key to developing a strong, recognizable brand, and a first impression that engages your audience and turns prospects into customers.