A little more than a year ago I stepped out of my comfort zone (more like jump OFF the cliff!) and started my own business. I'd like to say that life as an entrepreneur is pre-planned, scheduled and wrapped up in a bow. But the reality is, I feel like I'm flying blind most of the time!
I launched a website one month after jumping off that cliff, before I even knew what my product or services would be. I started creating content, helped edit and launch a book, and immersed myself in monthly business training before I made a single dollar in my new business.
A year later, I was serving a handful of clients and my website had gone through constant rebrands based on my mood at the time. Not a strategy I'd endorse! I decided it was time to get serious and get some help building my brand. It's one thing to help others build a brand, it's an entirely different beast to build your own!
So, I hired the best in brand development, Nicole Nieves of The Brand Vibe. This powerhouse businesswoman helped me define my brand and walked me through all the steps to creating what you now see on my website and in all my content. Building a brand is A LOT OF HARD WORK. But, there are definitely fun elements to it. Here's a behind the scenes look at what we've accomplished in just a few months time!
First Things First
In all honesty, before you can get to all the "fun stuff" of colors and photos and graphics, you have to do the hard part of figuring out who you want to help and why you want to help them.
I am deeply passionate about helping women share their voice with the world because for a long time I felt my voice wasn't being heard.
No matter how hard I worked, or how skilled I was, I felt that my contributions were minimized and undervalued. I don't want another woman to hide her gifts for fear of being undervalued. I truly believe the dreams you have for your life, and the skills you have be blessed with, are gifts from God. I also believe that God equips those He calls into service.
Following your dreams and sharing your gifts with the world is your calling - and I want to help you get there!
Curate a Brand Vision Board
One of the best parts of building your own brand is curating your Brand Vision Board. I used favorite pins on Pinterest to create the mood, color schemes and style I want to evoke through my brand.
I was born and raised in Southern California, so the ocean is in my blood. It's my calm place, my retreat from the chaos and bustle of day-to-day life as a working mama and wife. I love pops of color - like the bright purple bungalow below (photographer unknown). I also love the texture and whimsy of the red brick wall and the ornate teal doors.
The best part of creating a personal brand vision is curating elements YOU LOVE.
Use what speaks to who you are, where you come from, where you're going.
Designing a Logo and Color Palette
I designed my first logo using Canva, but Nicole Nieves provided me with my final logo - I love it! She also helped me find the perfect fonts.
The color palette was extremely important to me. In fact, I intentionally choose more colors than is typical for a single brand. I believe color is a critical element of any marketing strategy and I wasn't willing to limit myself to only using a few colors. Don't be afraid to go against the norm when you're designing a brand that works for you!
We went back and forth to find the perfect color combinations and landed on four separate color palettes that all complement one another and can be interspersed throughout my marketing content.
No brand is complete without crisp, professional photography to bring it to life. I had the pleasure of working with a phenomenal photographer, Deepika Haldankar Photography.
I'll admit, this was one of the most uncomfortable aspects of building my brand. Simply stated, I was a nervous wreck. I've had business photos taken in the past, but there was something different in putting myself out there for a personal brand that took these shots to a whole new level.
Gratefully, Deepika Haldankar had my back and provided me with stunning photos to use in my graphics portfolio.
Pulling Your Brand Together
Now that you have all these beautiful design elements in hand, you are set up for success in creating meaningful content that engages your target audience.
This quote from Zig Ziglar is quickly becoming my new motto -
"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."
There is no perfect time to start a business. There are no requirements to color inside the lines.
Build your brand by taking imperfect action step by step, day by day ... and watch what you've built, grow!
Regardless of how good your website looks, or how incredible your credentials may seem, the only way to move forward is in SERVICE.
Clients, customers, your target audience, they are the heart of your business.
For me, it's all about YOU. A pretty website doesn't do me any good if it doesn't help you reach for your dreams and provide you tactical tools for attaining your goals. I built this business to help entrepreneurs, small businesses and authors implement practical marketing solutions that bring their dreams to life.
Whether you need fresh inspiration creating a cohesive content strategy, looking to master your MailChimp email automations, need an editor for that manuscript you've tucked away, or are short on strategy for promoting your upcoming event or product launch, I would be honored to serve you!