Starting a new business is so exciting, and at the same time can be so overwhelming! I see a lot of women with awesome businesses hold back from launching until they can afford all the pretty things: a professionally-designed logo, a custom website, luxurious business cards… the list of “must haves goes on forever!
Here’s the thing, though. You can’t start helping people (and making money) until you put yourself out there! So, if professional graphic design isn’t in the cards yet, don’t let that stop you from starting. Here are three things you can do TODAY to present a cohesive look for your brand without spending any money:
1) Choose a palette of 3-5 colors and stick with it. Using a few colors consistently will create the appearance of cohesive brand identity, AND saves you time because you don’t have to make color decisions every single time you do something! Double Win.
Not sure what colors to choose? Look beyond the usual places (ahem, other people’s brand boards on Pinterest) for inspiration. What colors do you love to wear? What colors do you use to decorate your house? When you’re shopping and pick up impulse gifts for yourself, what color are they? You are drawn to the colors you love for a reason- so if they’re a good fit for your life, they’ll likely be a good fit for your brand.
2)Choose 2-3 fonts and stick with them. Using a couple fonts consistently is another easy way to present a solid brand presence. When pairing fonts, opposites attract. So pair a modern sans serif with a playful handwriting font if your brand has a casual vibe or pair a traditional serif with an elegant script if you’re more fancy and formal. BONUS TIP: Write your business name in one of these fonts. There’s your logo! You can always add a graphic later.
3)Decide on a style of photography and stick with it. You may not fancy yourself a photographer, but every business uses photos in some way or another. Whether on your website, on social media, or in promotional print materials, photos draw clients in and tell your story instantly. So sticking with one consistent look for your photos can do wonders for your brand! This may mean using the same filter on all of your Instagram pics, using photos with similar backgrounds or similar lighting, or downloading stock photos from the same place.
Have you noticed a theme? STICKING WITH IT! You can always change your mind down the road- even the biggest brands change their look over time- so today, make a choice and stick with it for a bit. Consistency trumps perfection, here. Using the same fonts, colors, and photography style will make you look like have your brand shit together, and it costs nothing!
Want to further improve your visual brand identity? I’ve created this free, self-paced Brand Checkup to help you diagnose your branding ailments and remedy them on the spot. Click Here for Your Branding Checkup
I’m Emily Roach- a graphic designer, brand educator, and owner of Fresh Paper Studios. And, I’m so excited to be partnering with Portland Doula Training for their upcoming Business Mentoring and Birth Doula Mentoring programs! If you’re ready to take it a step further and really dig into designing a fabulous and authentic brand identity for your business, enrollment in either mentoring program includes my six-week course, Branding from the Inside Out! I can’t wait to see you in the class!