Practitioner Branding on a Budget
Whilst branding is an important aspect of your marketing, often there isn’t the money to invest in having yours created professionally especially when you are starting out. Even if you are established, check the following basics to make sure you are making the most of your brand:
Get a good profile photo
As a practitioner, you are your business so your profile photo plays a huge role in your branding. Your photo is a key player so make sure it reflects the image you want to portray in your business. These days it isn’t good enough to just grab a photo from a party or holiday and stick that on your website or social media profiles. Remember, your photograph is all about connecting you with people and clients so you want them to reflect you.
This job is best done by a professional but if you don’t have the money to hire a photographer, you need to put in some effort to get a good image that you can use in the meantime. Take some time to consider the following:
What you need photographs for?
By knowing where you are likely to place these photos, you can plan to take them in a way that will make life easy for yourself down the line so, for example, images for websites are generally landscape and need a lot of background especially if you are putting them on a banner. By leaving space around you in the photos, it will make your life easy if you want to appear with a quote next to your photo as you can write the copy over the background to the side of you.
What you wear
Does it look right for your discipline and business? Do you feel comfortable and happy? Pick a few different outfits so you can have some different options to choose from.
Where you can be photographed
If you don’t have access to a professional studio, it is best to take photos in natural daylight but not in full sunlight so where can you do this?
What’s in the background?
Remember this will show up in your photos so what looks right? Also if you are intending on putting text over the top of it, will that work?
Now team up with a friend who takes a good photo to create your profile shots. Make sure you take loads – you can delete any that you hate and it’s best to have more to pick from than not enough. Relax, have fun and you will find that you are able to capture photos that reflect you brilliantly.
Designing your logo
When you have the budget, this is definitely another job for the professionals. A graphic designer will be able to create graphics that will not only look beautiful but represent your business brilliantly. If you have the time and money (or a friend in the business) you can start with this, but it can also be re-visited at a later date once you have established yourself.
Start by keeping it simple and pick a font (typeface) that you already have on your computer, one that you like and make sure that is easy to read.
Now pick a colour that you like and that you think your clients will respond well to. This is a great article on the psychology of colour and branding by Help Scout if you want inspiration to help you choose.
Now create your logo using your font and colour and make a note of them. This will become your consistent image to use for all of your marketing efforts whether that is online or for signage.
As a side note, avoid using anything like clip art as it will tend to make your logo look cheap and homemade.
Create your colour pallet
I always recommend once you have picked your main colour to pick two or three colours that complement or contrast it to use to help to give your marketing a bit more life. So for example, my main colour is teal but I have accent colours of gold, coral and black. This way you have other colours to make your efforts look more interesting whether it’s for headings or graphics.
Create your brand guide
This may sound technical but it really doesn’t have to be. All you want is a page that includes your logo, colours and any other aspects that you have decided such as fonts for your copy. This will then become your reference point for any marketing you do, whether it’s creating your website, a presentation or client information.
Now you have the basic elements of your brand, the key is being consistent. This way you will have a consistent look and message being communicated.
If you need support with your brand or creating it, contact me to see how I can help you.