Branding your business is an important step in helping you look professional and encouraging your audience to take you seriously. Strong branding can speak for you and will narrow down your ideal client by attracting only those who resonate with your visuals and messaging.
But when you’re just starting out and the list of investments is piling up, how do you know when to prioritize branding? Working with a professional can be a big financial step for your business, and it’s important to be clear on when to pull the trigger.
First of all, let’s narrow down when not to invest in branding:
- When you aren’t clear on your business goal(s) – don’t invest in branding.
- When you don’t know your ideal audience – don’t invest in branding.
- When you aren’t sure about your offerings – don’t invest in branding.
- When you know your business will be shifting in 6 months or less – don’t invest in branding.
- When you have no idea what messaging and visual style you’re attracted to – don’t invest in branding.
Put simply: when you aren’t clear on your business strategy – don’t invest in branding. Your visual branding means nothing without the strategy behind it; I truly believe that the visuals of a brand are completely irrelevant without a strategic foundation for them to stand on. My advice for this: put your efforts to your strategy. Get clear on the foundation of your business: who you serve, how you serve, why you serve and shape a plan around that, before hiring a designer. Consider DIY-ing your brand visuals while you figure out these elements (skip to the end of this post for some resources to help you DIY your brand and get started on your brand strategy!).
Once you’ve gotten clear on your brand strategy and have started shifting your messaging to reflect that, your business will start to thrive. Eventually you’ll be able to grow out of the DIY branding and invest in a designer.
The signs you’re ready will be clear:
- You’re frustrated every dang day with the visuals representing you.
- You’re ready to attract a different kind of client and need help representing them.
- You’re expanding your services and/or your team and need a more polished look.
- Your business is growing and you have too many clients taking up your time to fiddle with DIY design.
- You want to make the investment and it doesn’t feel like a burden.
Investing in your brand strategy, messaging, and visuals with the help of a professional is an important step in the growth of your business. Don’t jump in before you’re ready; when you’re clear on your solid-gold ideas, they are capable of shining on their own. Level up when you’re truly ready to make the financial commitment.
If you’ve already invested in branding, how did you know it was time? Drop a comment and let me know!
Some quick resources to help you DIY (for now!):
- This video with Design by Laney will break down some simple branding tips for small businesses.
- This Instagram post gives you actionable steps to find brand confidence.
- This short worksheet will help you narrow down your brand values – the first step in your brand strategy!
- The Client Bundle from Design by Laney and Carley Zuercher of Twocan has seven different resources to help you find clients and grow your business. Included is the entire step by step process I take my clients through to clarify their brand strategy, messaging, and visuals.
- Feel refreshed without the price-tag of a one-on-one experience: The Library, my semi-custom brand template shop is waiting for you!