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business branding

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5 Steps to Figure Out Your Branding Style (Plus a FREE Workbook!)

Bold & Pop :: 5 Steps to Figure Out Your Branding Style (Plus a FREE Workbook!)

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, your brand is a wholeeee lot more than just your logo and brand colors. Yes, your brand is how you are distinguished from your competition which includes your logo but it’s also the feelings your brand evokes in your ideal audience.  Think of it this way, your face is your logo but your personality and values paired with your face is your brand. See where we’re going with this?

We get it though. It can be pretty overwhelming knowing where the heck to start when it comes to your brand. How in the world do you figure out your brand style???

While a designer can help you come up with some of this, there’s some homework you need to do ahead of time. Luckily we’re sharing a handy-dandy step-by-step process to help you get that crystal clear vision for your brand! (Don’t forget to download the workbook to go along with this blog!)

Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Audience

The first thing you need to do is identify who your ideal audience is. Without knowing who you are targeting, there’s no possible way to develop an effective brand. You’ll just be grasping at straws. (Don’t worry you’ll still infuse yourself into your brand as well!) Identifying your ideal audience is a little more than say women between 20-30 years old. You’ll want to develop as full of a profile as you can including their likes and interests, where they hang out, etc. If you’re not sure where to start with this, we have a fullllll step-by-step right here for ya!

Step 2: Identify Key Attributes You Want Your Brand to Reflect

Now that you have an idea of who your ideal audience is, it’s time to identify the key attributes YOU want the brand to reflect. While your brand is what attracts your ideal client, you still want it to reflect your values, personality, etc. This is how you want your brand to make people feel. The way you want people to describe your brand to others. These attributes will help lead the design of your logo, the colors you choose, the voice you use, etc. It boils right down to the heart of your brand.

To get started with identifying these attributes, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are at least 3 words you would like to describe your brand?

  • What types of designs are you attracted to?

  • What are the words you’d use to describe the designs you’re attracted to?

Once you identify how you want to describe your brand and what types of designs you’re attracted to, you can start to piece together the similarities. What attributes pull you in while also speaking to your ideal audience? What are the attributes you don’t like and want to avoid in your own brand? (Yes, finding what you don’t like is just as important!) Having a list of words, attributes, and emotions will help steer the rest of your brand development.

Step 3: Identify Your Design Aesthetic

Now that you know the attributes you want your brand to reflect, it’s time to translate those into visual design elements like your logo and website. So get out that list of words and attributes you’d like your brand to reflect because we’re getting ready to brainstorm!

With your list front and center, start different lists for each of these:

  • Colors you’re attracted to and that reflect the words on your list

  • Symbols you may be drawn to that also reflect the overall vibe you are going for

  • Design elements you liked about other brands that have similar attributes you are going for

Now that you have a better idea on some visual elements, it’s time to put together your inspiration board! This is where you solidify your colors, the typography you’d like to use (script vs. serif vs. san serif, etc.), as well as imagery to evokes the brand style you are going for. Seeing it all together will give you an idea if you need to make any changes to fit the overall vibe you’re doing for and if not, it will provide direction for the rest of your branding. We typically create our own inspiration boards but you can also create a Pinterest board that will give you the same idea.

Step 4: Develop Your Voice

While your visual elements may be what others use to identify your brand, your voice is what helps bring it to life. Remember when we mentioned before that your face is just your logo but your personality and values paired with your face is your brand? You bring out that personality through your brand’s voice. So again, get out that list of attributes as well as your inspiration board and start to really think about the type of voice your ideal client would respond to. Do you need a professional, sophisticated tone? Or can you be more playful and whimsy?

This is arguably the hardest piece of a brand to develop and may take a little practice and readjusting (it took us a little while to nail ours down too!). One of the easiest ways for us to determine our voice or a client’s voice is actually through social media posts. You can see a pretty immediate response from your audience (if you have social media accounts already started) and you can see what they respond to and what they don’t. So take your time with their piece… Practice makes perfect!

Step 5: Bring It All Together

And now it’s time to bring all of these pieces together into one happy little brand! You’ve determined your key attributes, you’ve developed your design aesthetic and you’re working on your voice. Now you need to finalize that logo. Take or source photos that articulate your branding style on your website, social media and other marketing materials. Develop the copy for your website and social media posts. It all comes together in this final step to create one cohesive, strong brand.

Make sure all your pieces come back to those key attributes and are reflecting your brand as well as speaking directly to your ideal client. This is how you’ll leave a lasting impression.

Don’t forget to sign up for access to the workbook to help you as you read (or reread) through this blog post! We want this to be an easy but still comprehensive process for you whether you have hired a designer or not!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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Why You Need to Get Real With Your Audience

Bold & Pop : Why You Need to Get Real With Your Audience

Raise your hand if all those “make 6-figures in 6 months” blog posts and over-the-top Instagram posts about how easy business is make you want to pull out your damn hair. I know we’re not the only ones and the reason it drives us nuts is while yes making 6-figures in 6 months may be possible, let’s be real, it’s a tad unrealistic and running a biz is not all rainbows and unicorns either.

Now think about your favorite business owners… You know, the ones that you swoon over and admire. Why do you love them so much? What makes you feel connected to them on a more personal level? It’s because they are REAL. Like really, seriously real with their audience.

The first year of our business we were guilty of hiding behind the Bold & Pop brand. We put the brand front and center and while it worked for us at the time, we quickly realized going into year 2 that we needed to put ourselves out there. This was mainly after watching our favorite biz owners and thinking “How do we get to that level?” And the answer always went back to their authenticity. So year 2, we put ourselves out there. We shared the good, the bad, and the ugly with the focus of helping fellow business owners. Whether it was just letting others know they’re not alone or providing some valuable lesson we just learned, we wanted to share all the #realtalk.

Not only did it feel good to get all of it out there but it has also had a positive impact on our business. So we’re here today to tell you why you need to get real, like really real, with your audience this year and beyond!

Creates a Stronger Connection

Let’s be real… no one, and I mean no one, has it together 100% of the time. Trust me, I’m the queen of pretending to have it all together. Nothing bothers me. Blah blah blah. But the truth is, I don’t always and I’m just now starting to embrace the fact that this makes me human. Yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds but I personally hate asking for help or looking like I need help. (I once refused help carrying the heaviest side table ever made because god forbid I let someone help… I quickly regretted it and STILL didn’t ask for help.) And guess what? I’m not the only person that feels that way or has a certain type of struggle.. Especially when it comes to being a female business owner.

But when I do share those feelings or struggles, I typically have at least one person reach out to say they’ve dealt with or are dealing with something similar, thank me for sharing, or offer words of encouragement. And let me tell you… connecting with others on that level feels really freaking good. You cut through the BS and get down to the nitty gritty to make a true connection with that other person. You can support one another whether it is directly or indirectly and isn’t that what we’re all looking for.. People to connect with and support? (My answer is a big ol’ hell yes right here!)

Builds Confidence and Trust

This personal connection automatically build confidence and trust between you and your audience. You’re adding this level of transparency and vulnerability that most brands don’t want to show or discuss. Why don’t they want to show this side of things? Because it’s “not professional”. Listen, I get why you might feel that way and no, there are some things you don’t need to share with your audience and also a strategy that goes into sharing these vulnerable types of posts. But here’s what you need to know…

Your audience won’t see you as unprofessional.

Let me say it again for the people in the back.. No, your audience won't see you as unprofessional. Because guess what? They have either been there, are going to be there or are there right now. So your chances are pretty high that your audience will actually appreciate this honest perspective so they feel like they can relate to you, learn from you, and ultimately trust you. 

Attracts Your Ideal Audience

Is there anything worse than feeling like an imposter? No one wants to fake being something that they're not. It just doesn't feel good. It's inauthentic. But not only is detrimental to you mental state to fake it, your audience will also take notice. And trust me, that’s a turnoff because it feels like they're being lied to and when it feels like you're being lied to, you lose all trust, right? 

It also makes it a heck of a lot harder to market yourself and share your message. I mean being who you are is natural and automatic. You don’t have to try. You don’t have to be anything but you. Not only does that create a stronger connection with your audience but it also can help you weed out anyone that’s not in your ideal audience. 

This is the scary part. This is why we aren’t always authentic… the fear that people won’t like us. Gasp! We get it. But here’s the thing, there will always be someone that doesn’t like you and there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. (There are people that don’t like dogs or donuts out there… and those are pretty much the best things everrrr!) It might sting but once you get more and more comfortable embracing your authenticity, it will bother you less and less and you’ll realize, a lot of people are sticking around to see what you have to say because you are being YOU!

And those people that stick around (or end up following you later)... well, they are YOUR people. And that's your sweet spot. 

Being really open and more vulnerable isn't something that happens overnight. Anna and I started slowly by talking about things we were more comfortable discussing then gradually we got more and more comfortable sharing more personal details and stories. It will probably always be a work in progress but we really enjoy connecting with our audience on this level. Because well, we're not alone and you're not alone when it comes to this whole business thang. And a little does of #realtalk is the best reminder there is! 

Have you started getting real with your audience? Tell us how it's helped your brand in the comments! 

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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Why Your Personal Brand is as Important as your Biz Branding

Bold & Pop : Why Your Personal Brand is as Important as your Biz Branding

We spend a lot of time talking about developing your branding and marketing your business using social media but what about your personal brand? Believe it or not, that matters too! People want to get to know the person (or people) behind your brand which means it’s important to take the time to develop your personal brand too.

Think about it… Anna and I spend a lot of time developing our brand as Bold & Pop but what if you wanted to get to know us better and found us on our personal social media accounts. What would you think if we had no mention of Bold & Pop on our personal accounts? Might look a little weird, right? Now what if you went and looked at both of our accounts and they were exactly what we posted on Bold & Pop? Also a little weird. That’s because your brand and your personal brand are always going to differ but if you do it right the two will work seamlessly together to show both your professional and personal side which can have some serious benefits for your brand!

Gives Clients and Customers a Better Idea of Who You Are

Since this is your personal brand, this is a more in depth look at who you are as a person rather than just a business owner. The easiest way to do this is through social media since you likely won't have your own website or necessarily be marketing yourself separately from your business.

Those cute pictures of your dog? Share them. The pictures from your vacation or weekend getaway? Share those too! Every now and then throw in something about your business but sharing a more well-rounded look at what it's like to be a business owner is really what people are looking for.

They're also looking to get to know you better so sharing these pieces of your life helps people feel more connected to you ultimately building trust. And let's be real, trust is like pure gold when it comes to running your own business!

More Visibility

When you work to build your own personal brand alongside your business, you increase your visibility and reach exponentially. While you may have some people that follow both you and your business, you likely have two different audiences you can share new products, blog posts, projects, etc. with thus increasing your reach. If you're doing this make sure you alter your approach/caption to fit the audience you are talking to (and make sure you’re not doing things that will piss off your friends and make them say adios!)

Another way you can increase your visibility is by positioning yourself as an expert. You can provide your insight and expertise to various blogs and/or press outlets. While you’ll be quoted as your equivalent of "Mallory, co-founder of Bold & Pop", this positions you personally as the expert. Press like this is a great way to boost your name and business name simultaneously! (Check out HARO and sign up to get our free pitch templates!)

Opens New Opportunities to Connect

Because you are giving people a more in depth look at your life this opens opportunities to connect on a new, more personal level. How many times have you seen someone you admire post something you can totally relate to that either makes you feel like you know them personally or spurs you to comment on their post?

When you connect on this new level, you are solidifying the relationship that you're developing with your followers. So whether you are posting about your dog or your love of donuts, you can begin to form those personal connections that can possibly tie back to your brand or be developed into a personal connection.

I get it though.. one more thing to add to your plate. Good news is that this is supposed to be easy and effortless since hey, it's YOU! Share what you normally would, engage with anyone engaging with you and use that little extra power your personal brand can bring to your accounts. No need to overthink it.. just be YOU!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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