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Building Your Brand: Part 1 | 5 Branding Mistakes You’re Making

Branding, Business, Design Tips

I hope you’re having a fantastic summer so far! Are you feeling inspired for what’s to come in the second half of 2019?! I know I am! I’ve been working to set myself up for a successful next six months – and if you’re looking to do the same, your branding is going play a huge role in that!

I want to help you identify where you might be making some common branding mistakes, and how to fix them. This is how you’re going to create a gorgeous, cohesive brand that you feel confident enough to share with the world. One that helps you connect with your ideal clients and stand out amongst your competitors. Who doesn’t want to do that?!

Let’s turn these branding mistakes and into opportunities for growth and success in your business!

1 – Trying to do it All

A huge mistake many people make is trying to do everything all at once in their business. It’s incredibly hard to connect with your audience if they don’t know what you do. If you’re trying to do everything under the sun, and don’t have a clear business, you’re going to have a hard time creating a cohesive visual identity.

I’m not saying you can’t pivot or start new areas of your business, but do that once you’ve already established your initial business and built those relationships with your audience (more on that in tip #2!).

How to fix this mistake:

Get clear.

  • Who are you? What are your business goals? What service are you offering or product are you selling?

Pick a focus, niche, business.

  • Think of your audience and how you’re going to serve them. Are you a copywriter for female entrepreneurs? Are you a wedding photographer for high end, luxury weddings? Are you a health and wellness coach for new moms?

Don’t burn yourself out.

  • Don’t try to keep so many balls in the air at once that you eventually drop them all. You can’t do it all and do it well!

Download the FREE Brand Audit Checklist TODAY!

And start avoiding the most common branding mistakes immediately.

2 – Underestimating the power of relationships

A successful business is all about the relationships you build! It’s key to build the know, like, and trust factor with your audience. My business is nearly all based on referrals, and that’s amazing! I’ve taken the time to cultivate meaningful relationships with my clients (big shoutout to them – they’re the best!) and they’re excited to refer me to their network!

How to fix this mistake:

Engage your audience.

  • Comment on people’s photos, ask thoughtful questions, reply to Instagram stories! 

Meet people – in real life too!

  • Go to local networking events and connect with like-minded people! I’ve met some incredible women at events, who are now my best friends!

Start conversations and follow-up.

  • That person you met at an event? Shoot them an email, get together for coffee! I can say without a shadow of a doubt that you never know what a coffee date or brunch with a new connection will lead to. I have some pretty unbelievable stories!

(Photos by Alyssa Dawson)

3 – Not being consistent

If you have too many voices across different platforms, you’re going to lose that trust with your audience. You want to be authentic, and show up consistently. Those relationships I mention above? It takes time to cultivate meaningful relationships with your audience.

Think of all areas of your brand: Instagram stories, email newsletters, the way you use emoji’s, how you present yourself in person. Those are all opportunities to be consistent in your brand and messaging, and to connect with your audience.

How to fix this mistake:

Be authentic.

  • It’s easy to be consistent and cohesive if you’re being true to who you are!

Establish solid brand values.

  • If you know what your brand’s core values are, as well as its spirit and personality, you can tailor your images, copy, and any content you put out to speak to those.

Schedule and plan ahead of time.

  • Planning helps you show up regularly for your audience. When are you posting to Instagram? On stories? Sharing a blog post? Sending our an email?

My very first dream client, Vancouver Fashion Truck, is such a perfect example of being consistent and cohesive across her entire brand! Everything from Meghan’s truck, to business cards, to social media, to her shopping parties speak to her brand values and visual identity!

4 – Thinking it’s going to be perfect overnight

Building a successful brand or business takes time. You don’t build relationships or trust with people from one day to the next, and that’s okay! It means you have time to experiment with what works, try new things, develop your brand, and niche down.

How to fix this mistake:

Be patient but committed.

  • You’re going to have to put in the work and show up week after week. Be fully committed to creating a successful brand and business! 

Learn what works. Tweak and repeat.

  • Things aren’t going to be perfect on the first try, so you can adjust as needed. Maybe a certain message didn’t resonate with your audience – all good, just try again!

You’re in it for the long game.

  • If you started your own business, it’s because you’re super passionate about what you do! You’re in it and want to see your business succeed, so think long-term!

This is a fun example of my first website back when I started a lifestyle blog and it was called “Charles and Bella”. I’ve been tweaking and updating my website for years now, as my brand and business have developed and grown!

5 – Not investing where it matters

This isn’t just about money, you can invest your time and energy as well. If you care about something, you nurture it and spend time cultivating it. You invest your time to create valuable content, buy a course to teach you a specific how-to, or hire professionals where your skills aren’t quite there. It’s important to see the value in investing in your brand and treating it with the respect it deserves!

How to fix this mistake:

Establish where the most ROI is.

  • Where are your skills best used? Do you love copywriting, great! Write all your content! But maybe aren’t so great at photography, hire that out! Identify where you’ll get the most return on your investment in building your brand.

Make the time and effort. 

  • You can’t put in a half-ass effort and expect to create a beautiful brand and thriving business. You need to show up, commit, and show the world and universe that you’re ready!

There you have it! I hope you found it helpful learning what branding mistakes you might be making in your business and how to fix them. If you have any questions – let me know in the comments! 🙂

Stay turned for the rest of my branding series! I’m going to be sharing all about research and strategy, brand identity, and creating touch points!

Don’t forget to download your free Brand Audit Checklist above so you can work through all of the above on your own and take your brand to the next level!