So you’ve updated your profile image, thrown some key words into your bio, have begun playing around with your custom social media templates… but, what happens when a prospective client starts to connect with your business outside of the social media space? Is your visual identity woven into your brand experience, every step of the way?
As more and more businesses flock to the online space, lasting success hinges on a seamless brand experience beyond the first (Instagram) impression.
Here are the first five things to consider when it comes to building a brand that instills trust and lasting connection through a memorable visual experience:
01 // Branded Proposal Template
Picture this: your prospective client browsed your Instagram feed, fell in loooove with your vibe, and wants to take the next step with you. You hit it off on your first discovery call, and they’re ready to receive your proposal so you can rock their world, with whatever-it-is-you-do.
What has a higher chance of sealing the deal:
A) A straightforward, text-heavy (dare we say, cold?) email, listing your prices
B) A customized proposal template brimming with branded imagery, your recognizable + glorious logos all over it, cohesive font pairings and colours that scream *I AM AMAZING AT WHAT I DO, YOU’D BE SILLY NOT TO WORK WITH ME* and maybe a picture of your sweet + capable self in there, too!?
Yeah, it’s the latter. Trust us.
02 // Branded Stock Photography
Your messages are vital, your images are the vehicle. Well-branded images = more powerful words. When your visuals are unique and memorable, your audience is likely to stop and hear what you have to say.
We’re sure you’ve heard about branded lifestyle shoots, and the importance of showing your face online when it comes to building a connection with your audience – but there’s also a less-acknowledged upper-hand for businesses who used styled stock photography, crafted exclusively for your brand.
Those cute flat-lays you’ve been saving from Unsplash? Those coveted, curated scenes you see your competitors sharing? You could have those CREATED FOR YOU. Or, you can create them for yourself. DIY your next brand shoot with this step-by-step guide.
03 // Signature Preset
Preset, Filter, Editing Style – call it whatcha want, but giving your photos a distinct look does more than create #gridgoals.
Lightroom Presets can be tweaked slightly to be aligned with your brand colours (try muting reds if your branding has a blush pink look, or altering the hue of blue to lean more towards teal if that’s your thing), and different textures and stylistic changes will tell a different brand story (faded + grainy can say vintage and timeless, while bright and crisp can have a trustworthy, professional vibe).
Figuring out what style suits your brand – and sticking to it – will allow you to have cohesive, lasting imagery throughout all platforms, even if the photos are taken months apart in different environments.
04 // Mailing List
Not only does this allow you to connect with your audience more directly and establish yourself as a positive presence in their weekly inbox-check, building a mailing list community is an amazing way to elevate your brand instantly.
With a few well-branded email templates, you can ensure your visuals are being recognized and appreciated in a new, more intimate space (and the sales will follow!).
We recommend Flodesk for a seriously beautiful email marketing experience, and a simple process for adding in your brand assets. More on why we love it, here.
05 // Continued Investment in Your Brand Design
When you’ve noticeably invested in your own materials, your clients will feel more comfortable investing in you. Period. Investment doesn’t just mean money – this could just be taking a little extra time and care to ensure everything you put out into the world does your brand justice.
But, also, keep this in mind: You do what you do, really well – someone else can do other stuff, really well. Outsourcing that “other stuff,” so you have more time to focus on your purpose and your people – that’s how dreams become reality.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to determining the natural next level for your brand visuals? Reach out – it’s kind of our thing.
// More tools, tips, and resources for entrepreneurs over on @ohsierracreative!
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