In terms of branding, what do you really need to sell your business services online? Certainly, if you were offering something really low-cost, then you could throw up a website overnight and you might make a few sales. But to secure enough sales to sustain your business, and to secure the confidence and trust of your customers, your business and its services need to look professional.
But branding goes deeper than merely looking professional. There is a sense of cognitive resonance that we all get from looking at a brand’s consistent appearance.
When we visit a website, and then look that same company up on social media, finding that the branding is identical makes us feel safer. A consistent brand makes a business look and feel trustworthy, and this is vital to making sales.
If this is starting to sound expensive or complicated, then don’t worry. You can absolutely do this all yourself very simply and with a very small budget.
So, what do you need in terms of branding so that you can sell your business services online? Here is a handy checklist of the essentials, with tools to help you create it all yourself.
Your brand name
There are many schools of thought on how to pick a name for your brand. Some teach keeping it simple, and basing your name on what you do. Others teach that words taken out of context, like Apple, are the best way to go.
If you are a one-man band or your business is around a personal service that you offer, like coaching for example, then your own name may be your brand name too. But whatever you decide to go with, don’t worry about trying to say it all with just one or two words – an impossible feat.
Instead, think about choosing a name with a tagline, which can add the context of what your business does.
“Every little helps”, by Tesco, is a perfect example of a tagline. It reminds the shopper that they can make helpful savings in store. It also uses the power of three, a linguistic technique that makes words stick in our head.
In short, the rule states that words which come in threes are catchier, more powerful and more engaging. This has been used in marketing and in speech writing for generations.
While your tagline doesn’t have to consist of exactly three words, it is worth experimenting with this, as it’s a good trick to use.
Your brand palette and font
Choosing your brand look can feel like a big responsibility. This is because the look can speak volumes about the service you offer and how reliable or professional you are.
Most industries have preferred colours for branding. For example, the financial industry is full of brands using green as a main or an accent colour. You can fall in line with the theme for your industry, or you can make a statement by standing out with a surprising colour choice.
When making your choice, don’t only consider your industry, but your customer avatar too. Are your typical clients bold and vibrant, or are they sensible and traditional? Know your customer and play to their personality.
Similarly, the font you choose makes a statement about who you are as a business. Generally, keeping things simple and clean works best across the board. But there is an opportunity to inject some personality here, without overdoing things.
Consider how your font will look, not only on your website and social media, but on your logo too.
Speaking of your logo, there are a few things to consider. Your font is one of them, and your colour another. But have you ever thought about the psychology of shapes in a logo?
It’s interesting that shape can infer a lot of context. A simple triangle can suggest growth, a square gives a stable vibe, and a circle suggests inclusivity. Of course, these are just the basics. Combinations of shapes and colours, if you are creatively minded, can give you endless opportunities.
Think about the logos that you admire from other brands. The monochromatic blue circles of PayPal are a great example. The colour says trustworthy, the shape says inclusive, and the font has personality but is still simple and clean. When you are ready to start testing out your own design ideas, you can try https://www.graphicsprings.com/ for a free design app.
Once you have your brand name and tagline, your colours and fonts, then you are ready to add them to your website.
In years gone by, having a website designed was an expensive job that required expert help. These days, any one of us can set up our own site using a service like Wix, Squarespace, or any of the other similar options out there.
You don’t need to pay a designer if that’s not in your budget. There are many good templates available to use. To make it your own, simply upload your logo and change the fonts and colours to match your own branding.
When choosing a template, the best choices for 2021 are the cleaner, more minimalist options with plenty of white space between elements. This trend for white space is here to stay, so keep your layout simple and clean.
With your social profiles, you already have your branding ready to add. Many brands use their logo as their profile picture, and this is a solid choice. You can also easily create header images to fit all the social media platforms using a tool like Canva.
Simply upload your logo, set your brand colours and fonts, and get creative.
Other online assets
You will have other online assets, and it’s easy to forget about them. So this is your handy reminder to also upload your logo and branded graphics to your email newsletter software, any landing pages you have online, and even the signature on your own email address – never miss an opportunity to spread brand awareness!
I hope this helps you to feel ready for branding your business and selling your services online. When you have got your branding in order, you can put your business offerings out there confidently, knowing that you look the part.
None of this is expensive to do, and I hope you can see that it is absolutely possible to do the essentials by yourself.
Keeping the process simple, as well as your branding choices, helps to make everything seamless and affordable. Now you just have to get your brand out there and share it with the world.