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Links Mentioned: The Visual Personal Branding Workbook & The Ideal Client Workbook
In this post I will be covering topics that are powerful and important, and this is great information for you to utilize and take advantage of in building your business. At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I wish I had known this information, so I’m sharing it with you because I don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I did.
We will be talking about a logo versus branding, and how to save time and money by knowing which one you really need as an entrepreneur.
A lot of marketing out there says, “You need this or you need that,” so I’m sharing some really honest thoughts that may not necessarily benefit me by being really honest with you guys about what I think you need.
I want to see you guys not waste your time and money and energy, because most of us as entrepreneurs are not graphic designers. We’re not brand strategists. That’s not our skill set.
Our skill set is usually something other than that, and we should really stay in that niche within our strengths.
SO What is a logo?
A logo is simply the visual representation of your brand in business.
We know this stuff intuitively. It’s not rocket science.
A brand is really the logo, which is the primary visual element of your brand, but additional visual elements plus clear imaging.
Therefore, a brand is really more of the parts. You hear people say, “Oh, a brand isn’t what you say about yourself. It’s what other people say about you. How people perceive you.”
While that is true, for our purposes in this post, especially for online business owners, what we really need to know about and focus on is the logo, the visual, additional visual elements, and the messaging piece and understand how they help us to become profitable.
That’s why I’m going to make the case that you need a brand more than you need a logo.
You’re saying, “Brittney, you just said a logo is part of a brand.”
Right, but even though we live in a highly visual world, and a logo is very important, out of all of the things that I’ve mentioned, experience, visuals, the messaging and the logo mark itself, colors, textures, all these different things, the thing that is the most important about your brand is your messaging.
People say, “Well, that’s not a visual thing. Why does that matter?”
The messaging informs the logo.
The messaging informs the visual.
The messaging informs the experience.
The messaging even informs the brand voice, which is kind of like the tone with which you write your copy. Your copy is the words on your website or the words in your marketing materials.
If you’re thinking, “Do I need a logo or do I need a brand,” I always encourage clients to consider starting with the brand, and making sure that the foundational elements are laid.
A successful brand is a whole lot more than just a pretty logo MARK.
If you’ve been in business for any time at all, you know that to be very, very true.
I would encourage you to consider that if someone is offering to do a logo for $50, they’re probably, and I’m saying probably for a specific reason and I’ll get to that in a second, not thinking about your overall brand.
When I was first getting into design, and I was self-taught, I did my first logo for $50. I found out that it was really hard when the client did not know who they were talking to, when they didn’t have a very clear message, they didn’t have a very clear mission, and I didn’t know how to encapsulate who they were in a logo mark.
So, when you have those foundational pieces in place, THEN you can work with a designer, someone like me, or someone who is NOT me. You need to find somebody who you connect with, who you can communicate clearly with.
I took the time to continue digging and exploring and finding answers to those things, but I thought a logo initially was, “Oh I have a general idea of who they are, what they do. I think I could put something together for them.”
It depends on who your designer is. If they are getting started and this is really what they want to do, sure, consider going with someone who’s $50, but I would encourage you to consider evaluating how are they approaching this.
Is this just a random vector, or is it just letters to them? Are they just trying to make a quick $50, or are they invested in your business and your business’s success as much as you are? And if they’re not, I would say keep looking.
Keep looking for someone who is going to be the right fit for your business.
Right now, I only offer a signature package for most of my design clients unless I can determine they’ve been in business for a while, they know what they’re doing, and they are clear on who they are and who they serve. If that’s the case, then I will do logos for my clients, just the logos because we already have those foundational pieces in place.
But if you’re just getting started, I would encourage you, especially if you’re really going to take yourself seriously as an entrepreneur, if you’re really going to make this happen, this year you’re going to hit your financial goal, you’re going to hit your impact goals, your list growth goals, your visibility goals, you’re really going to be serious about what you’re doing and build and online business, to invest in a brand package of some sort with somebody who feels good to you.
Someone whose portfolio represents well the style that you would like to go with, and that’s because you know that they can do what you’re asking.
Sometimes people ask me questions such as, “Hey, can you do this kind of Photoshopping for this picture?” My response to these types of questions being, “That is not my style of Photoshop. That is really comprehensive and that goes beyond my scope of ability, and you’ll need to look elsewhere, right?”
It’s totally okay to reach out and say, “Hey, can you do this? Is this within your scope of ability?” Generally as someone’s portfolio is going to reveal what their focus is, their style is, their skill sets, those kinds of things.
I just want you to know that when you come across designers, or brand strategists and you’re saying, “Whoa, that is a steep price for some pretty pictures.” I want to ask you the question. I really just want to leave you with this thought. Oh man, and this is such a hard question for people to hear.
How much is the Nike swoosh worth? That little check mark, that’s it. That’s all that it was. That probably, in your mind, took five minutes to create, but how much is that worth?
Chip and Joanna Gaines, they have a brand called Magnolia. It’s on everything that they do. They have real estate and shops, and all kinds of different little sub-businesses under the Magnolia brand. How much is that brand worth? It’s just a tree.
How about Chick-fil-A?
These brands are probably worth millions of dollars and probably more, and they didn’t just go with a $50 logo.
I want you to think about that as you think about your business and your brand.
How much is your brand really worth?
How much would you value your services at, and what you can do for your clients because when you think about it, you really start to see this as an investment. You’ll also know that it doesn’t pay to be scattered.
It pays to be focused, and when you’re able to bring that focus into an encapsulated logo mark, that is really powerful and it’s going to force you to stay consistent and not be super scattered or distracted by shiny objects and trying to do all the things for all the people.
That is not going to get you as much profitability.
It might get you a little for a little while, but it’s going to be exhausting. It’s not sustainable. It’s just not a great long-term strategy.
I know a lot of you feel as if some of these investments in yourself, in your business, whether that’s coaching or branding, professional personal branded photos, these are steep investments for quality work.
And you know you can see the difference between quality work and a $50 or even a Fiverr logo.
I’ve listened to my clients, and I know that a lot of you are needing some starter tools for getting a brand going that you can grow into. I’ve been conducting market research interviews, literally sitting down for 30 minutes at a time interviewing folks who are saying, “I’ve got this vision. I’ve been taking action, but I haven’t been able to be consistent in my visuals, and I’m really struggling to figure out my brand because I try this one on and it feels like a big coat,” or “I try this one and it feels too constricting.”
Therefore, I am working on something (a couple somethings actually) behind the scenes here to be an affordable alternative for those of you who are just getting started in your online business, so that it can be an alternative to working with a designer.
It will prepare you for working with a designer or a brand strategist to help you interview them well and know exactly what you’re looking for in a designer so that your experience is really positive.
It could be something that you continue to maintain on your own for a little while until you start to see those numbers come in.
I want you to know that if this is something, an area where you’re working through right now, I do have a good number of other resources available. I dropped two at the bottom of this post so you can click on them and snag those.
One is the Ideal Client Workbook. That’s part of your brand messaging. In order to develop your messaging, you need to know who you’re talking to. The Visual Branding Workbook is there to help you figure out what visuals best represent you, especially as a personal brand online.
There are different things to consider if you’re a bigger business or you’re running more of a corporation style organization, verses when you are a personal brand. A personal brand is what wedding photographers, coaches, consultants and online designers need; they need to be able to brand themselves.
If you are interested in learning more about the affordable alternative to working with a designer, I would love for you to drop a comment letting me know that’s something that you’re interested in.
That way I can know what you guys are really wanting and needing support around, because I hear you saying, “Man, this is steep. Man, this is an investment. Man, this is an obstacle to me moving forward in my business and I really need support to get over this place.”
There’s a lot of you out there saying, “I need this to happen yesterday, but this is an obstacle I’m struggling to get over.”
I don’t want to see you guys spinning your wheels here when there are alternatives and solutions for you to get momentum.
The biggest difference between investing in a logo versus branding is that a logo is really smart if you already have these other foundational brand pieces in place. If you don’t, you need to start at the beginning, understand who you’re talking to, your messaging, and then build from there because everything else will be informed by clarity around those pieces.
All right guys, drop your thoughts and comments about anything that I’ve shared with you today, but particularly on investing in a logo versus branding.
What do you guys think about me saying this is an investment and maybe you shouldn’t go with a $50 logo person unless you know they’re willing to consider the rest of your brand?
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