Hiring a brand or website designer for your business can be expensive. It is a big investment, especially when you are trying so hard to grow your business and become more profitable. I get it. I understand how hard it is to budget for something like this and why it would be hard to take the leap and hire a professional to help you build your brand.
But I also know how much an authentic and well developed brand can help grow your business - I have seen it happen in my own business over the last few years and even more so in the last few months as I continued to develop my brand. As hard as it is to make the big investments, they end up helping you become more profitable in the end.
the value of establishing a strong foundation for your business
As part of my branding experience, I tell my clients that their brand design is so much more than just a logo. A brand is built on a solid foundation of a strong mission, clear vision, and defined style. There is a lot of development that goes into creating a strong brand that is a true representation of you and your mission. I am also a firm believer that having a strong foundation for your business in your branding will make everything else just a little bit easier. Having clarity in what you do and why you do it will make everything more cohesive as a whole. But that can't be done by simply using cute fonts and fun colors. You have to invest the time into truly developing your brand identity. Once you have that established, every other business decision can rest on that foundation and line up with your mission and values. Brand development creates clarity for your business because you are developing more than just the design; you are building a brand and an identity for your business.
how to know when you're ready to invest
Finding the right time to invest can be a little tricky. On one hand, you want to have a strong foundation and beautifully designed brand as soon as you start your business so you can establish your brand from the get go. On the other hand, you want to save as much money as you can for the many expenses of running your own business and so you can be better prepared to make this type of investment. I know that you want things to be perfect as soon as you start your business because I felt the same way. But after years of developing my own brand and working with other business owners in all stages of their businesses, I have come to realize that the best time to invest in a professional brand development is after you have been in business for a while and know more about the direction you are headed.
As creatives, we often start out doing all the things because we are drawn to so many areas and have so many ideas (I did!). It takes time for us to work through our business plan, strategize about what we want to do, and narrow down our focus to a specific niche. There are things you can do to help you get to that point, but nothing will help you more than time. Giving yourself the time to discover who you really are as a business and what is is that you want to focus on doing will put you in a better position to create a powerful brand.
Once you get to that point where you feel like you are ready to take your business to the next level, you should work with a brand designer to develop your brand and style based on the things you have learned about yourself and your business. That may be 6 months after you start your business or it may be 2 years. You may go through 4 or 5 different "brands" until you get to the point where you know without a doubt what your brand is and what you want to do. The timing is dependent upon you and your journey. Don't put pressure on yourself to do it quickly just because you see others having success. I promise that you will gain more in the long run if you spend time developing your brand the right way. It took me a couple of years to get where I am now and I went throughout changes and transitions to get here. But after spending time devoted to building my brand and discovering what that meant to me, I have finally found my happy place and know without a doubt what my brand and mission is for my business. And because of that clarity, I was able to design a strong brand that communicates that message clearly.
Working with an experienced brand designer
If you are ready to make this kind of investment for your business, I recommend doing your homework first. Hiring an experienced brand designer over a general graphic designer will help you to develop a strong brand foundation. Instead of just getting a logo and some graphics created for you to throw up on your website, you will get hours of their undivided attention to dig deep into your business and design specifically for your brand and mission. They will help you develop the important aspects of your brand and get to know you so that they understand your business and can translate that into a design.
I spent years slowly growing my business with no solid foundation. I had a mission and logo, but it was somewhat pieces together and didn't dig deep enough into what my business was all about. Once I established that foundation and took the time to invest in my own brand, my business grew by leaps and bounds. After seeing how much impact a complete and cohesive brand had on my business, I realized I needed to be able to do the same for my clients. So instead of taking any odd job and logo design request that came my way, I started being more intentional about how I was designing and developing brands for others. I used the same process I went through for my own brand to create a new branding process that was more in depth than simply designing some logo options.
I recently updated my branding packages to better fit my clients needs. When I made these changes, I wanted to make it easier for other creative business owners to get exactly what they needed to build a strong brand. I was finding that most people were coming to me either needing the whole package, just the brand design, or just the website development. So instead of offering a variety of packages, I simplified my offerings and creates two in-depth, heart-filled, valuable options for my clients. We dig deep to develop the brand first and the design second so that you can gain clarity and establish a strong foundation to build your business upon. Then we can take it one step further and develop your online presence with a website to continue your new brand to your online space. We will focus on the user experience and content flow of your site as much as the overall cohesive brand design to give you the complete brand package that will jumpstart your business.
Even though it may be hard to write that check or click the button to pay the invoice, just know that you are making a wise investment for the future of your business. If you take the time to discover your business position, do your homework on who you want to work with, and come prepared to dig deep and be intentional about your brand development, your investment will return more than just dollars. You will have intention for your business, clarity about your brand, and an overall strategy to keep your business moving forward and take you to the next level.
I am booking branding + website development projects for 2016 and I would love to work with you. Let's chat about your business and brand and how we can help you find clarity to develop a strong foundation for your business.
Have you worked with a brand or website designer to develop your brand? Did you find it valuable?
PS: If you liked this post, you might also like to read Why I love working with creatives.