When I first started Lynsey Creative in 2008, I was still in graphic design school just figuring out what this whole “branding” thing meant. My world revolved around sketching out ideas on graph paper and fumbling my way through Adobe Illustrator, tweaking every little anchor point on my design in hopes of turning it into a beautiful logo. Not just a picture, but a branding mark with concept and meaning behind its form.
Back then, I thought I knew so much about branding. What I actually knew was how to physically create a logo. You know, turning a sketch into a vector graphic, testing out about a thousand fonts until I found one that “felt right” and adding in some color for good measure. (Note: I’ve come a long way from my first logo designs … since I actually have a process for that now, too!)
But when it came to branding, it felt very much like this mysterious thing that was both separate and equal to logo design. It took me years and a lot of “doing the work” to realize that branding is way more than just a beautiful logo.
Branding is the foundation on which your business is formed, like qualities in an online dating profile that help steer you to finding your perfect mate. Except instead of dating, you’re actually being incredibly intentional with your words, vision, styling and processes to attract your ideal client.
Now that sounds like much more than just a beautiful logo, right? I thought so, too.
Okay, so we know that branding is the foundation to attracting the right people to your business, but how do you actually go about that? Well, that’s what I’ve spent the last two years figuring out for my own business and for my clients.
If you’re just starting your business or plan to start one soon, now is the perfect time to be intentional about your vision and long-term plan for your brand. You won’t have all the answers right now, but give yourself permission to dream big and think through what your business will look and feel like 5-10 years into the future, even if that feels really unattainable right now.
Don’t get discouraged if you’re already a few months (or even years) into your business because guess what … you can always do some foundation repair by reframing your messaging and set some intentions that are more aligned with where you are at now. Brands (and people) are allowed to change.
Did you know what I was once a full-time wedding photographer? I studied both graphic design and photography while in college, and Lynsey Creative focused 100% on weddings and invitation designs back when I first started my business. Crazy, right?! I had to give myself some grace when I realized my passion for design and branding outweighed my love of wedding photography.
Sometimes brands need to shift, and it’s important to figure out where you’re going before switching gears in a new direction. Just use the questions outlined below to clarify what your new direction looks like before you dive into making changes to your website (again).
Let’s start mapping out the foundation of your brand:
- What do you envision doing day in and day out?
- Why does that make your heart happy?
- How will your skills or products make a difference in your client’s lives?
- How are you uniquely created to best serve your tribe?
- How will you make money from your skills?
Define your ideal client or tribe
- Who will you be speaking to?
- What matters most to them?
- What problems do they face that you can help solve?
- How will your skills and/or products best solve their problems?
- Where is your audience already spending their time?
I can’t wait to see what plans you have in store for your brand! Next week we’ll be talking about goal setting and creating milestones for your business that help keep you on track with your brand vision.
If you have questions about vision planning or want to learn more about what it’s like to work with me, I’d love to hear from you – email me!