In today’s digital driven world before someone chooses to work with you, they spend time searching for you online, looking at your website and your social media, seeing what they can find out about you before they purchase. This is one of the reasons why creating a strong brand identity for your crowdfunding campaign is vital. If they’re looking, then you need to make sure that what they find is what you want them to see.
Of course, this isn’t all down to your brand identity – visuals are very important and tell a lot of the story, but you’ll need to think about how you come across in your messaging and also what people say about you. Before you can think about any of this it’s important to spend some time working out what it is that makes your crowdfunding campaign unique and what you want your brand identity to say about you.
Once you know what you do, you need to consider who you do it for. You might even have nailed that part when you were thinking about what you do! Now – how specific can you get? The idea here is to imagine your ideal client, give them a name and find out as much as you can about them. What do they read? What do they like to do during their spare time? Where do they shop? What do they watch? What car do they drive?
- Ask them. If you already have questions then ask them in person, pick up the phone or send out a survey. See what you can pick up from conversations. If you make friends with them on Facebook check out their profiles and see who they are and what they like to do.
- Check out your social media analytics. You can do this on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and it can be really eye opening to see who is following you – and then to see if it’s the result you’re after! Don’t forget to check out your Google Analytics too.
Think about your business and what you believe it should be. These are the beliefs of your brand. What is it that you want people to think of when they think of your business. So grab a pen and write whatever comes to mind. These are things like “professional, friendly, quality, experienced…” but do try and come up with something different, because they are the kind of values that EVERYONE has.
What makes YOU stand out? This might sound like a really easy exercise, but it’s not – it takes time to come up with the right words, and I believe that it’s time well spent because once you have your words you’ll be able to use them to influence everything that you do. These are really crucial.You need three to five values (which can be phrases as well as just words).
Once you have your values you can spend some time thinking about each way that you interact with your customers and work out how you can communicate at least one of your values at each touchpoint, so that your brand is permeating everything you do. Now that you’ve considered these things – and hopefully a few more questions too – you can work on creating a strong brand identity online.
Your logo. You need to be happy with your logo – if it doesn’t fit with your values and won’t appeal to your audience then consider finding a designer to tweak it or create a new one. Then ensure that you use it in all the right places. I actually don’t think that you need to use your logo every single time you put some content out there – as long as you are using part of your brand identity the whole point of creating a strong brand identity is that your business should still be identifiable without your logo. BUT – it’s not a bad idea to include it if you can, and as we’re talking about online here that shouldn’t be hard and adding your website address wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Your brand colors. You’ll need to choose colors for your business which – you may have guessed this – communicate your values and appeal to your audience. Shocker. There are only 11 basic color terms although there are of course millions of colors, so honing down your color is the easy bit. Determining which shade is harder. Spend some time on this, it’ll be worth it. Then make sure you have a file with your color codes handy.
Typeface. Just as each color has a different meaning, each typeface will give out a different impression, so once again spend some time deciding which typeface you want to use for your crowdfunding campaign. I’d recommend going with something really clear for your main typeface.
You’ll need to think about the different uses you’ll have for text. You need text for the main text on my website, and text for my social media images, the images I use on my website in the sidebar and for my blog posts. I only use two typefaces, but you might think that you need more. Then you can set some rules about them – what colors you’ll use them in, what sizes, italic, bold – make some decisions and stick to them.
Your images. Now, it can be very hard to create images which look exactly the same style every time. But you can try. Even if you can’t quite manage to get the lighting the same or photograph everything with the horizon at the exact same angle, there are certain things you CAN do to help your imagery look consistent and on the brand.
- You could include one of your brand colors in each image. You could have a mascot in each image.
- You could always have a similar layout for a certain type of image.
- You could use the same filter each time – Color Story is an app you can use where you can create your own filter and use it on all of your photos to help them have a similar feel.
Pattern. This is something else you could add to your images of course – and it’s a great way to have a background image for text with very little thought whilst ensuring you’re on the brand. The pattern can also be handy for use where there’s white space and you want to make it more interesting, for backgrounds, for headers on social media such as on your LinkedIn profile and anytime you need an image but just don’t have one.
Once you have all of this in place you’ll find being consistent with your brand identity will be fairly easy. Making decisions before you start and gathering a library of images to use means you don’t need to think too hard about how to create your social media images and blog posts – which you’ll be making regularly – and gives you a great place to start for anything you need to create for your website – or indeed anything that you need to design for offline use.
Making sure that you don’t deviate from the decisions you’ve made and keep to the guidelines you’ve set yourself will help your business to stand out online. You’ll have a brand identity which shows up over and over again with images that people know to be yours before they notice the URL or the logo you’ve added in the corner. Being consistent with all of this will help your brand be memorable – which is what we all want really isn’t it? So that when someone needs what you do, they remember you right away.