Consistency is key in a lot of aspects of business for creative entrepreneurs - but for the soloprenur's who are the face of their brand, a cohesive brand is even more important in building trust with your potential clients and creating a unique experience that will get your clients raving to their friends about you. What does having a strong, compelling and cohesive brand do for your business? It builds a brand experience that your dream audience will seek you out for - it's the reason that your clients will choose you over your competitors because they want to feel the way that your brand promises them they will.
In this post I've outlined some of the ways that you can achieve consistency in your brand so you can think of this as a bit of a brand audit - you can use these tips to see where your brand is reaching your goals of cohesion and where it might be missing the mark. It will help you go through your brand and find the loose ends you can tie together to create a stronger and more consistent brand experience. In each section I would challenge you to think of your ultimate goal - what do you want your audience to feel and think of when they experience your brand? Use that to guide your choices and no doubt you'll start to find the best visual references for your brand and tie in the cohesion that builds trust with your dream clients. :)
Use Fonts That Match Your Brand
Finding a font that speaks to the experience your brand provides is possibly the easiest, quickest fix to establishing cohesion in your brand. Thinking about the way you want your clients to feel when they read what you write, what you want them to associate with your brand, and how they should imagine your voice is key to finding a good font to represent your brand.
Take these two fonts for example - there's a massive difference in feeling when you look at the fonts Chewy and Playfair Display. Chewy feels like a generic brand granola bar, it doesn't speak to a high end experience and it makes me assume the product or service I'm buying isn't very expensive. Playfair Display on the other hand makes me think of a high class service or a big name magazine, I expect to feel important and I associate a higher priced value with services and products that utilize this font.
Think about all the places you share text on your website, blog, Pinterest graphics, Instagram stories and try to find one similar font that you can use throughout. Doesn't matter if it's a generic font like Times New Roman and it doesn't matter if everyone uses it - you just have to find those few fonts that build your brand experience so that you can cohesively use them throughout your marketing.
Tell Your Brand Story
As creative entrepreneurs who are the faces of our brands, we utilize storytelling to connect with our audience and repeat our values as a brand and business. Having a consistent and cohesive brand story lets your dream clients know what you do in a relatable and authentic way and makes your brand more memorable. Weaving your brand story throughout your marketing will help build recognition and help your audience feel connected to you in a more intimate way, leading them to trust you which leads to an easier conversion - see where I'm going here?
Your brand story should tell your dream audience why you do what you do, give insight to how your clients will feel when experiencing your brand, and highlight who you serve and why you serve those people specifically. You don't want to work with literally anyone - you want to attract those dream clients who love what you do and the experience you provide. So being clear and authentic in your brand story will help build trust and connect with your ideal babes, and repel the clients who wouldn't understand your dad jokes.
For example, I share my brand story in snippets in various places allllll the time. I talk about how I pursued my passion of photography to create the career of my dreams, I talk about how I work with creative women in Chicago to build their brands through photography, and I talk about how goofy I am - all cause I want to connect with my specific dream babes and I want to create cohesion in all the content I put out online.
I'll say it again - you don't want to work with anyone who will hire you, you want to work with your dream babes who love what you do in your unique, original way. Telling your brand story consistently will help that happen.
Create a Consistent Color Palette
Similar to finding a font that best represents the experience your brand provides, finding a consistent color or color scheme to use in your branding will help create cohesion on your website, your social media, and anywhere else you share visual representations of your brand. I found it easiest to start with one color that I really liked (forest green) and build additional supporting colors, though you can also start with pre-made color palettes that are already cohesive (easy to find on Pinterest).
Finding that one color that will represent your brand can be intimidating, so you may want to find a few favorites to sit with for awhile before you choose. A super helpful and great tool is the Adobe Color Picker - basically a smart color wheel that builds cohesive palettes in different tones that are amazing starting points. The way I did it was I uploaded my favorite photograph from the year that I felt showed my brand and how I wanted it to look and then the Adobe Color Picker used the photo to create a unique color palette for me.
Share Only Current, On-Brand & High Quality Headshots
Your headshot is what your clients will associate with your brand and how they envision the person they're going to be working with or buying products from. According to studies it takes less than 50 milliseconds to form a first impression, so having a strong, memorable headshot will help your dream clients remember your face and the feeling your brand experience gives them. It's much easier to remember a face than a name, right?
Think about all the places you share your headshot - your home page, on your about page, your Instagram bio photo, on your Facebook, etc. Sharing this same headshot over and over again in all your marketing will create face and brand recognition with your audience, so they know who they're hearing from and remember who you are. And if you're sharing an outdated photo that doesn't represent your brand, it will lead them to feeling confused and confusion kills sales.
If you've ever met with a client and they didn't recognize you because you've changed your hair style or it's been years since you updated your headshot, it's going to cause confusion and that kills the trust you've built with them. Your headshot should reflect who you are now- it should be current, on-brand and high quality.
Use the Same Brand Voice
How you communicate with your audience from your word choices, to the punctuation you use all the way to how you talk about what you do will give a fuller sense of the experience your brand provides. Think about the difference in the way a lawyer for corporate businesses would talk compared to a daycare for toddlers in a young family neighborhood. The language and voice you want to use in your brand should relate to the people you're talking to - so thinking about who your dream client is, where they are in their lives, what kind of shows they watch or the slang they use will help you figure out what type of voice fits your brand.
What I've found useful is to narrow down on some phrases I use while working with clients that helps to show my personality and share bits of what my brand experience will be like. For example, I say like a lot, I make goofy jokes, and I speak passionately about the work I do because I freaking love it - so in my copy I make my weird jokes, and I talk about loving on my clients and I share what it feels like to actually talk to me in person, so that when I meet my clients they aren't surprised.
Using the same brand voice consistently will help your brand feel more cohesive because you use the same language in everything you share online - so find those little phrases you love to say and start sharing them. Remember, you are literally talking to your audience (not just postin' on Insta) so talk like you plan to talk when you start workign with ya dream clients.