Freebie / Mini Branding Guide for the Small Business Owner

Whenever I talk to small business owners about their branding the most common concern that comes up is whether or not their branding is cohesive. I get it. There are a lot of different directions you can take your branding and there are many elements that go into making a brand identity.

That's why I created the Mini Branding Guide. I'm giving it to you for FREE because I truly believe you can have cohesive and polished branding (even if you're doing it yourself) with a little direction.

If you can relate to any of the following, then this guide will be helpful for you:

  • Your branding lacks consistency and is all over the place.
  • You don't even know where to start when it comes to your branding.
  • You're worried that your business doesn't look professional. 

Defining Your Company and Ideal Client

When it comes to creating a visual brand identity, it’s important to establish the why behind it—what's important to your business, who your ideal client is, and what's important to them.

My mini branding guide has eight questions and one prompt that will help uncover the why behind your brand. By giving thought to these questions, you will have a solid foundation on which to build your brand identity.

Defining Your Visuals

I’m a list girl. I like making them and I like checking them off even more. My mini branding guide is essentially a checklist for your branding. It provides you with checklists to get your logo, font, and color palette under control.

Once you have those defined those three areas you will always know what to use for your branding. No more guesswork. No more experimenting. No more stress. Instead you will have the cohesive brand you’ve been dreaming of.

Download your copy now >>

Branding Advice / How to Create a Pinterest Board for Your Branding

For all small business owners designing your brand identity yourself, read this blog post for some helpful ideas! Find out how to create a Pinterest Mood Board that will actually aid in the design of your logo and branding. With simple, step-by-step guidelines and tips, you will learn how to curate a board that is full of the inspiration you need to guide your personal or corporate branding.

It's easy to get carried away on Pinterest, pinning every pretty thing you see, but if you're trying to create an inspiration board for your branding this will just lead to overwhelm.

So how do you make a Pinterest board that has a distinct style and will actually aid in the branding process? Follow the steps below and you'll be well on your way to an inspiration board with purpose.

1) Pin to Your Heart's Content

Ok, I know I just said that pinning all the pretty things isn't the best strategy, but it's a good way to start, as long as you don't stop there. In this stage it’s just about getting it all out there, and later you'll go back and refine.

You'll want to pin logos and branding that you like, but don’t stop there. Add some lifestyle, interior, fashion, and travel photos that have the overall style and mood of your business. This will create a more complete picture of what your brand should look like.

I like to envision brands as people. If your brand was a person what would she be wearing? What would she eat? What would her house look like? Thinking in those terms will make it a little easier to pin lifestyle images.

2) Clear the Clutter

Once you’ve pinned to your hearts content, it’s time to refine and move onto creating a "mood board". I create mine in Adobe Illustrator, but for this purpose you can create your mood board on a new Pinterest board. 

Take a look at what you’ve pinned so far and see if there is a common theme or overall style. You may find that some images don’t fit or you don’t like them as much as others. It can be helpful to delete those ones altogether. Pick a handful of your favorite images and pin them to the new board.

When I create mood boards for clients I use nine images. It can be hard to narrow it down to so few, but if you have too many images you will start to have too many competing styles.

3) Define Your Style + Color Palette

Now it's time to take stock of what you have. Does your board feel cohesive? Is there an identifiable style or mood to it? Is there a unified color palette?

You might find that you like the content of the images, but they all have a different color palette. When that happens I start searching for similar images in the right color palette. This isn’t necessary, but it helps to create a more unified mood board that will better guide you in the rest of the branding process.

See examples of past mood boards I've created for clients here. You'll notice that each has a distinct style and color palette. Ideally you want to be able define the mood of the board in a few adjectives and be able to discern a color palette of 2-3 main colors.

If you need some more step-by-step guidance with your branding be sure to download the Free Mini Branding Guide!

Mood Board / Perfectly Polished Pastels

Mood / Letterform Creative

I am absolutely head over heals for this mood board! The colors are so dreamy. It has the perfect unfussy elegance to it.

We've already finished the logo and I can't wait to share it. It's the perfect representation of this board and more importantly of the client's business, which is a cake shop....and cake is one of my favorite things in the world. It doesn't get much better than that.