How to Create a Style Guide for Your Holistic Business

Social media is a great way to market a health and well-being business as it’s effectively free to do – well other than your time!  That appeals to many practitioners.  And now with lockdown, social media is one of the marketing activities most of us are focusing on.

Are you making the most of the social media posts you create?  Do people recognise they’re from you?  Or are they a mishmash of different things, that have nothing in common?

I’ve always prided myself on having a consistent look to my brand.  I put it down to training as a graphic designer many, many years ago!  I didn’t continue with design as a career as I wasn’t as gifted as others, but it gave me a good eye for detail.

Recently, one of my mentors, Janet Murray, was running a brand styling class which, I didn’t really think I needed.  I started to notice the lovely style sheets some of my peers were creating so I re-visit my brand guidelines and realised how much I could improve my social media posts with a few tweaks.

{Click on the podcast player above to listen to this episode and/or read on for a detailed blog. Scroll down to the bottom for the show notes and links}

How to Create a Style Guide for Your Holistic Business

 

Anyway, I’m in the process of refreshing my branding and thought I’d share a few ways you can update your brand appeal.

Colour palette

Colours emote feelings and they have personalities all of their own.  They mean different things to different people, and a great way to understand what different colours represent is to google the psychology of colour.

There are certain colours preferred by certain industries, but your brand colours are a personal choice and should feel right to you too.  Start with your favourite colour or the colours you often wear and build out your colours from there. If you already have brand colours you use, keep them if you like them and use this article to help you make more of them.

how to create a style guideI already had teal, coral and gold as my colours and I added a couple of tints of the teal to give me a broader range and include lighter colours I can use for different types of artwork.  You may want to add a pop of colour into your existing palette or a few different tones of a single colour – it’s up to you.

If you need inspiration for colours that go with your main brand colours, check out Pinterest – search for your colour plus the word palette.  You’ll be amazed at how many colour options come up that you may not have even considered.

Select your main brand colours and have a couple of secondary lighter colours you can use to create your different images with.  These colours will then inspire your choice of backgrounds and photos to use on your social media posts.

Pick your fonts

To keep a common look to your posts, limit the number of different fonts or typefaces you use.  This will help you to create a combination of elements that are recognisable as you build your brand.

I picked fonts that are in the Microsoft Office library as it’s the main software I use for everything from documents, to presentations, to creating artwork for social media.  I kept things as simple as possible for me and the way I work.  Bear this in mind when you pick your fonts – are they easily available from the software you use?

Images

Especially on visual platforms like Instagram, it’s good to have a theme running throughout your images.  If you use a combination of photos and quotes, you can tie them together using your colours and fonts so there is a consistent feel to them.

how to create a style guideYou can pick the type of photos you use to reflect the feel of your brand.  I use a lot of colourful images from nature so I look for ones that have a touch of the colours I use in my brand.  When I create quotes, I either use photos or I use tinted backgrounds that again match my brand so there’s a link between everything.

If you are a great illustrator or have your own brilliant photos, use these over using stock images as they will be unique to you.  If you have to use stock images, make sure they are royalty-free so don’t just use anything you find online.  My favourite source of free images is Pixabay where you can also share your photos for others to use which I feel is a fair swap.

Create templates

Once you have a look decided for your social media posts, create templates you can simply fill out with the new images and copy.  This will make the whole process easy, save you time and allow you to keep a consistent look.

You can use online software such as Canva which is popular with online marketers and there is a great free version.  I use Publisher which I find it easy to use as it’s part of Microsoft Office which I use on a daily basis and can create artworks in a matter of minutes.

Create your own style

Create a style sheet as a reference point for your social media posts.  You can use it for inspiration when creating images and as a brief for outsourcing the task.

As your brand builds, your posts will be recognisable by the look as well as your name.  Having a clean and well-considered brand style will help you to stand out amongst all the noise.  Also, you’ll stand out against your competition.  You can create a polished and professional look with a little effort.

If you’re struggling with your brand, contact me to find out how I can help you.

Podcast 12 show notes:

Join the Holistic Business Matters Facebook group

Janet Murray*

Microsoft Office 365

Pixabay

Canva

*Affiliate link