So why would branding be so important as a small business?
Even 20 years ago, marketing was much easier because there was still a decently high barrier to entry in business ownership, and marketers had tv, radio, ads, print, and direct mail to reach their ideal clients. That is what marketing was, but today it is not that straightforward.
Email was gaining traction, but it was kind of a side note at that point.
Think on that, just 20 years ago, email wasn't a really used to get your message to the world, and now it's a huge way to sell to people.
Now we have so many options that are free or nearly free to get our message out, but it also means the 1000 other people who do the same thing that you do are also courting your ideal client.
Today when we think of marketing, we think Facebook, Instagram, Email, Website, Blog, Guest Blogging, Networking... and that doesn't even include the behemoths of the past being TV, radio and direct mail ads.
There are so many ways to get our message out, but if you look like ALL the rest of the competition then your message will be lost in the white noise unless you find a way to STAND OUT.
If you've read any amount of marketing info, you've heard the premise of being a purple cow. (Purple Cow by Seth Godin) While the book is now 15 years old, the tactics are still on point.
The premise is that if you are driving in the country and you are staring out the window at the farmlands and you see cows, you won't even blink because you've seen 1000 cows. They are there, they are expected and they are doing the same thing as every other cow. But what happens if you see a purple cow? I'll bet you'd money you'd stop and marvel at that purple cow, take a couple selfies and then share it with the world because it was so different.
Branding, visuals, and message are what makes you a purple cow. Or at least the first step in the process.
And many people here the word branding and think "I have a logo, I'm set" but branding is how your clients see your business. What they think of it and how they react to it.
It may start with your logo, but that's just the first step. Your brand has to do with how you speak to your audience, what offer your audience and how you make your audience feel.
And great visuals and great copy are the ways to create the narrative your audience has.
Your visual story in today's Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest world is an ever important part of your branding story.
So think on your website, your social media feeds and other marketing channels, do you have a consistent message and consistent look that would make people think of you everytime they see it?
If you want to be that Purple Cow, you really need to.