Day 15 - Consistency Is Key
Welcome to Day #15 of the 31 Days to Better Branding series! To learn more about this series, click here and find links to the other days so you'll be able to follow along or catch up if you happen to miss anything. I am by no means an expert but after hearing a lot of the same questions, I figured others could benefit from a few lessons in branding. Hopefully it will give you a place to begin or even just a few tips to improve your business and bring you more clients. Feel free to add in your thoughts and what has worked for you in the comments!
Nice work! We've made it through 7 days of "Identity" and 7 days of "Appearance." Now that we're looking great and clear on who we are, it's time to move on to 7 days of "Online Presence!"
This week we're going to get our website, blog and social media networks in shape. Since the goal is for clients to come to us, there needs to be an irresistible web experience for them to find.
Before we get too far in detail though, I want to emphasize this idea of consistency that I touched on earlier...
Here's what I mentioned on Day 5:
"Consistency is key in creating the experience because you never know how your client might get their first impression. Let's say that you have an elegant website, elegant packaging, and an elegant studio. But when your ideal client (who likes things elegant, professional, serious) gets your contact info and they receive an email response like this, "Sup homie? Hit me up on the web if you want to see my work, yo." Are they even going to go look at your fancy elegant website? Probably not, because they were looking for professionalism and this sounds really casual. So everything you do and say and create should be infused with how you want to come across. It should have your personality and brand stamped all over it."
So how can you make sure you're being consistent? Here are a few places to start...
1. Logo/Branding on every digital doormat.
Find your digital doormats - the first places your clients land when they find your business online. They could take the form of a blog header, a Facebook timeline, an email signature, a website landing page, etc. Do these spots reinforce that your clients are in the right place? What is the first image or focal point that will be ingrained in your clients' mind? Make sure that image/logo/wording represents your brand and subtly tells them something important about you. That way, if they only stay for 10 seconds, you've made a great first impression.
2. Cohesive appearance
Think of your online presence like a close family unit. Each member of the family has its own purpose and actions, but they should all look and act similarly. A stranger should be able to tell that your Blog and Facebook pages are siblings. They don't have to be identical twins, but they should clearly be related. An easy way to do this is to just add in similar elements like fonts, patterns, colors, or image style to each one.
Have you been practicing using voice in your writing since day 6? A good way to stay consistent is to check all of the written areas of your business to make sure it appears to be coming from the same source. If you sound different on Facebook than you do on your About Me page, your readers are going to get confused or they won't feel like they're connecting with you. When on social media, picture yourself speaking directly to your target client. If you are writing copy for your website or blog, make sure they would relate to what you are saying and how you are saying it. When you're sending an email, make sure it sounds personal and not just like an auto-response so they know you care enough to connect personally.
You might be feeling like this step is only for perfectionists, but I really encourage you to do it anyway. Think of it this way - if there's a chance that you might drive your clients away by confusing them, is a little extra effort that big of a deal? Try to put yourself in the shoes of your clients and followers when going through your online presence.
Homework: How are you doing on your consistency? Take a look around your current online presence and quickly note areas to improve.