How to build a brand both you and your customers love?

How to build a brand both you and your customers love?

Do you unconditionally love your brand? And also feel comfortable showing it: your brand and your love for it? And I don’t mean, are you comfortable speaking in front of camera or on a Facebook live. I mean, do you get lit up just by talking about your business, your mission, and the value you bring to people?

I really really hope you do. Because you are the most important ambassador of your business. When you’re representing your brand, it better be pure authentic love fest. Because people can smell insincerity miles away.

If you’re embarrassed by your branding (visuals, messaging, etc.) you should fix that ASAP. I understand it feel overwhelming just to think about the project. But it’s much easier than you think. The part that can be a bit of a challenge is the brand strategy. 

By “challenge” I don’t mean that it’s super difficult to nail down or anything. In fact, you as the soulpreneur service provider have all the information you need for brand strategy. You just need to know what to surface.

The process is very thoughtful and deep. It focuses on your reasons for being an entrepreneur, your passions and values in life, and — of course — how you want to serve people. So, if you’re not clear on those, the entire branding process may feel uncomfortable — or even intimidating.

The intimidation often comes from the misunderstanding people have that there must be some “correct answers” when drafting brand strategy. And that it is so thoroughly specialized field and dominated by experts, that an average Jane possibly can’t have anything intelligent to add to their own brand strategy.

I assure you: it’s the opposite. Yes, there’s some thought work you need to do, and maybe some research into your competitors and your ideal customer. But for a business founder and a soulpreneur like you, many of the brand strategy exercises are interesting, eye-opening, and thought-provoking. They offer an opportunity for deepening you bond with your business and brand.

So, as long as you do this ground work well and have the brand strategy nailed down, all the pieces will fall in place easily. And you can fall in LOVE with your brand again. And have your customers do the same thing.

Enough with the chitchat! How do to build a brand both YOU and YOUR CUSTOMERS absolutely love?⁣ The steps are below in a nutshell. You can also get my more comprehensive 7-step brand strategy framework now for free.

How to build a brand both you and your ideal customer love?

Step 1: Get clear on who you are, what you represent, and why you’re in business.

Step 2: Get clear on who you want to serve, who is your ideal customer. Define the demographics, but most importantly their needs, pain points, desires, and beliefs.⁣

Step 3: Define the personality of your brand. How would you describe your brand if it was an actual human being? How does that person talk? What do they look like? And so on… ⁣

Step 4: Discover the aesthetic preferences of your ideal customer⁣. What do they like? Pink and floral patterns? Or conservative gray and pinstripes? 

Step 5: Build a brand story that reflects who you are, what your mission is, how you’re unique, and how you bring value to your customers. Wrap that story in a visual identity that represents all the above and reflects your brand personality.⁣

As always, let me know if you have any questions, or if I missed something in this post.  ️❤️

Happy Branding!

P.S. If you haven’t already done so, come check out my free Facebook group DIY Brand Design & Strategy for Soulpreneurs where I teach soulpreneurs like you to build their own branding and create their own designs. 

How to build a brand when you don’t know who your ideal customer is?

How to build a brand when you don’t know who your ideal customer is?

You know how in the beginning of your business, for marketing purposes and for anything else, you develop an ideal customer avatar (ICA)? This is a critical process for being able to build a successful business model and offering. And it happens in the very beginning of your business when knowing your ideal customer is the most challenging. After you’ve worked with your customer for a while, the ICA becomes crystal clear. But in the beginning, it can still be a bit unclear. Yet, in the very beginning, you already have to start making important decisions regarding your business — such as creating your branding.

Along comes a starter brand. What is a starter brand and why do you need one? A starter brand is a brand specifically created for a solopreneur service provider who doesn’t have intimate understanding who their ideal customer is. But more about this later. Let’s get back to the ICA…

Quite often entrepreneurs develop a clear understanding of their ideal customer after having worked with them for 1 to 3 years. Recently, I interviewed female entrepreneurs — all service providers —  about their branding process and brand development. All of them explained to me, in one form or another, that working with customers during these first years of their business has been critical for really getting to know who their ideal customer is.

Some of them even lamented having developed a particular style of branding in the beginning. Only to now, a couple years later, having to change their branding significantly as they have come to know their true ideal customer. That’s a big investment of either time or money — or both — that they have to make again.

In reality, it’s a really good thing to know your ideal customer intimately. So, at the end of the day, these women are lucky to have the experience and understanding, because now they can build the branding that truly attracts their ideal customer.

But how do you prevent from having to build your branding twice within such a short period of time? Even a new solopreneur — a business just starting out — needs branding to look professional. And if you haven’t worked with customers yet, and haven’t been able to gain that knowledge, what can you do?

I often recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting out — especially if they are solopreneur service providers — to create a starter brand. A starter brand is a professional looking branding that is less specific than a mature brand. A starter brand will make your business look clean and nice. And you can still have some personality attributes associated with it. But it’s not so specific, it’s not so focused that it prevents you from changing your ICA during those 1-3 first years of your business.

NOTE: I want to emphasize that I am not against niching down with your ICA — or your offering. In fact, as they say riches are in niches. So, you definitely have to find your niche. And you definitely have to find your ICA. But when it comes to branding you can’t keep changing it constantly. Your branding has to stay consistent.

And when it comes to your branding, you need to understand that your branding is not your logo. It’s not your color library. It’s not the font you choose for your website. Yes, all these things are part of your visual branding, but those things alone don’t make your branding.

Your brand is an experience. It’s a sum of all the things you do and say in the context of your business. It’s all the communication your business puts out there. It’s the experience your customers get when they interact with you, or when they call your customer service. It’s the Facebook Live you do once a week. It’s the newsletter you sent every now and then. Your brand is an experience and you’re in the center of it. Your logo, colors, fonts, and other visual elements are an important part of your brand, but still just one part.

So, I recommend that new entrepreneurs build a starter brand. It’s much easier to achieve. And you can even do it yourself. And like said before, you can already associate some personality characteristics to it. Like, is your ideal customer a woman of a certain age in a certain industry? Just don’t make it so specific that you’re gonna be stuck on creating it for weeks or months, and it’s preventing you from moving forward.

Just create a starter brand, and keep moving forward. During the first years of your business you will get clarity over who your ideal customer is. And when you do that, you are ready to create an amazing mature branding. Until then you can get away with your own personality and looking professional.

P.S. If you haven’t already done so, come check out my free Facebook group DIY Brand Design & Strategy for Soulpreneurs where I teach soulpreneurs like you to build their own branding and create their own designs. 

How to create consistent branding without brand guidelines?

How to create consistent branding without brand guidelines?

One of the reasons we create visual guidelines (logo, colors, fonts, etc.) is to ensure that any marketing and visual communication we put out there is always aligned to our brand. We want everything to be consistent. If you have well-crafted brand guidelines and a design system, you’re in a good place. And this may not be a concern for you. But if you’re still trying to figure out your branding, you might struggle a bit trying to keep the cohesive and consistent look and feel.

You know, your brand doesn’t wait for you to build it. It starts building itself the moment you start representing your business and interacting with people. And there are few tips you want to be aware of in order to avoid inconsistency and misleading branding.

Before you have a stellar design system for your brand, you can still affect your brand look and feel — big time. If you know me, you know that I encourage people to keep moving forward whether they have a fully fleshed out branding or not.

Your brand is not your logo

Number one thing I want people to understand is: your brand is not one single thing but an experience. This includes your customers’ interactions with you. This includes the impression they get when they come across your marketing. This includes the vibe you give out in your Facebook lives or Instagram stories. This includes what people talk about your business. And yes, this also includes your logo, colors, fonts, and how well those are used together. Your brand is the experience your customers get when they come across with anything related to your business.

This might sound overwhelming, but it’s actually good news. One of the most common complaint I get from solopreneurs who are just starting is: I can’t move forward with my plans because I don’t have a logo. And by this they typically mean a professionally designed logo. But the good news is: your logo is just one small piece of your branding.

Yes, you will need to have a logo. But no, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive investment. Have you ever heard anyone say “I bought this service or product because the. company had such a great logo. I don’t know anything else about them, but the logo sure was great?”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a designer, I love nothing more than beautifully designed business identity. But I would never want someone to feel stuck because one piece of their branding is not perfect. If this gets you excited and ready to move forward with your logo design, I have a quick logo creation guide that you can use to design something for yourself. You can get it here. And I’ve created a check list to help you decide whether your logo is ready to be published.

Brand personality & keywords

The second thing I’d like people without fully fleshed brand guidelines and design system to do is to define 1-3 brand personality keywords to help them make decisions related to their branding.

You brand personality is all the adjectives and characteristics you want people to associate with your branding. For some people, this is super clear and they immediately have a couple of characteristics in their mind. For others, it’s tough to grasp this concept. So, let me help you figure this one out because I have a fun exercise for my clients to help them figure out the brand personality.

What often helps with brand personality is to try to imagine who your brand was if they were a person. A living and breathing person. And then you start describing this person. Are they a man or a woman? How old are they? Where do they live? In what kind of house? What kind of music do they listen to? What kind of clothes do they wear? What is their personal style? How are they as a person (social, introverted, deep, cheerful, etc.)? Are they married? Do they have kids? Do they have pets? If they do, what kind of pets? Who do they hang out with? And who is their best friend? So, you build an image in your head about what kind of person your brand would be if they were a person.

You might think that “how many descriptions of people you need to create” because maybe you’re just done describing you ideal customer avatar (your target audience). But you should not mix your brand personality with the personality of your ideal customer. They are not the same. Your brand as a person should be your ideal customer’s best friend or someone they admire and aspire to be. Let me explain a bit further.

If your ideal customer is a shy introvert who you want to coach to make their dreams come true, it wouldn’t help if your brand as a person was also shy and introverted. Now, would it? So, one more time, your brand as a person should be your ideal customer’s best friend or someone they admire and aspire to be. They should be someone your ideal customer feels drawn to, someone they can relate to or look up to.

It often helps to understand how this will affect your branding to first visualize that person. Find imagery of a person you imagine your brand would be as a person. Find images of the house they’d live in and the clothes they are wearing. Are you building an image of a person who wears colorful dresses and flower reefs or a serious business man who always wears the best-fitting expensive tailored suits?

When you have a good idea how your brand would be if it were a person, list 1-3 keywords or adjectives that describe that person. The more specific these words are, the better guidance you’ll get for your branding. For example, if your keyword is simply “happy,” it is too broad to bring up a certain look and feel. And you’d be better off trying to either define more accurately what you mean by happy. Or at least, add two more specific keywords to go with it.

But let’s say your keywords are cheerful, easily approachable, and light-hearted. That will already give you an idea what kind of language, imagery, or colors you’d associate with those keywords.

When you have your keywords down, start using them with everything you do in regards your branding until you have a fully fleshed design system for your brand. And in many ways, after that, too.

When you’re choosing what photos to use on your website or on your Instagram feed, you’d ask yourself “are these photos cheerful, easily approachable, and light-hearted” (or insert whatever keywords you’d be using). And same you’d ask for your messaging and tone of voice, how you’d present yourself during a live performance, what kind of colors you’d choose for your color library, etc.

Is it necessary to always include all your keywords? Not always, but the more you include all of them the more consistent your branding will be.

Color has a big impact

After you’ve nailed down your personality keywords, you can use them to help you define your initial color library. What colors communicate and represent the keywords you’ve chosen? You can use a photo to help you further refine your color library. I’ve collected some examples of color libraries built with the help of a single image here.

Colors have a strong impact on our experiences and memory of things. So, one powerful trick to keep the brand feeling consistent is to always use the brand colors consistently. Colors also help to catch attention and communicate your brand personality.

I’ve written about the impact of brand colors more in detail in the blogpost Color me branded: How to choose the right colors for your brand.

Branding can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. And you don’t have to wait until you have everything figured out. Many entrepreneurs will create a “starter brand” which is less specific because they are still figuring out who their customer is and what their offering will be. This starter brand doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy, but it does have to be professional to evoke trust.

And many will end up re-branding few years into their business journey when all the details are clear. Once you have those amazing brand guidelines and design system established, you’ll start using those components and instructions to always have 100% consistent look and feel. But until then follow the advice in this post to make sure your brand won’t be all over the place.

Happy branding!

P.S. If you haven’t already done so, come check out my free Facebook group DIY Brand Design & Strategy for Soulpreneurs where I teach soulpreneurs like you to build their own branding and create their own designs. 

Have a beautifully efficient year with just enough planning

Have a beautifully efficient year with just enough planning

I love planning and organizing things. I also love making frameworks and defining processes. And of course, I have my preferred way of keeping tabs with all of that. When I couldn’t find a 2019 planner that suited my planning and organizing style and goal setting methods, I made one for myself. If you want peek how it turned out, you can preview it here.

Planning for success

I think planning and goal setting should serve efficiency and successful outcomes. It shouldn’t become a project itself. We need planning, but we don’t want to get lost in the activity. I don’t think planning for the sake of planning is either efficient or helpful.

But just enough of good and efficient planning and goal setting can turn an overwhelming and stressful project into success.

In my line of job, I have to make long term strategic plans as well as shorter term actionable and tactical plans. Few times a year, I have to plan what my team — myself included — will be designing in the next 6 – 12 months. This plan will then be edited and updated many times during the year.

The second layer of that plan is to create more detailed snapshots that span from two weeks to a couple of months. The goal is to understand the big picture and the day-to-day actionable tasks. But waaay before putting projects on a timeline, I need to be clear on what it is that we are trying to achieve — and how.

Setting actionable goals

I’m a solid checklist girl. I like to see all things I need to do in a list form. And oh the joy of checking something off that list! So for me, it is clear from the beginning, that at some point I’ll be making a list of all the things I need to do for achieving a goal.

Sometimes — especially in the beginning — projects can seem like a massive, overwhelming undertaking. And this can quickly become intimidating. To help avoid that overwhelm, I like to start chopping the project off to smaller achievable goals — or milestones, if you will.

This helps with organizing the tasks in my head, and eventually on paper. For each goal or milestone, I start drafting next steps. These are the actual concrete things I — or someone else — needs to to in order to achieve that goal.

Once a massive project is chopped in goals and corresponding next steps, it doesn’t seem overwhelming anymore. Now, it has become a plan of action — a roadmap to success.

Gantt charts

After I know what needs to be done, I need to plan when everything will get done. And what resources I have to get them done. I’m a visual thinker and just writing things down or making a list won’t be as effective for me. So, I’ll draw a visual time line. 

For this, I like to use Gantt charts. Gantt charts are a quick and convenient way to visualize how long certain projects will take. I especially love Gantt charts for project planning, because it clearly shows which tasks or phases will overlap. And this I find critical with resource planning.


Daily grind

After the planning is done, I get to work. Like I mentioned earlier, I love checklists. It’s my way of keeping myself accountable and on track.

If I’m particularly stressed or have an overwhelming amount of overlapping projects and tasks, I might chop tasks into very detailed to do lists. I find this very helpful, because that way I can always return to the list to check what I need to do next. And it saves my brain power for more strategic or creative thinking not having to remember all the next steps in my head constantly.

Setting goals or milestones, defining actionable steps to achieve those goals, and placing it all on a timeline are the corner stones of my efficiency. When working with a team, I will validate these plans with team members and stakeholders to make sure everyone is bought into the plan.

For each day, I make a to do list for myself. This is a list I don’t have to show anyone. It’s for me. I love the bullet journal style of keeping lists and tracking simple. And the little visual icons and lists that come with it. (What I don’t love about the current bullet journal movement is that it has exploded into elaborate art and craft activity. It’s fine and wonderful as a hobby. But it wouldn’t serve me in my hectic project schedules.)

The secret ingredient

I’m passionate about constantly improving my process and working efficiently. This extends beyond my working life, because a distracted or anxious mind is not efficient, strategic, or creative. 

There are many things we can do to relieve stress, make ourselves feel more calm, and optimize our performance. You can exercise, eat healthy, and meditate. All things that are important and beneficial.

But for me, in addition to trying to include all the previous in my daily life, practicing gratitude daily has been life changing. I’m prone to unnecessary worrying and ruminating on negative thoughts. Practicing gratitude helps me focus on the positive things in my daily life and reduces the negative thoughts and worrying.

There’s scientific proof on the effects of gratitude to our mental and physical health. One Medical has pulled together a nice and concise list of studies about the positive effects of gratitude. In short, gratitude can improve your productivity, performance, relationships, sleep, heart health, mental strength, and stress coping skills. I can’t think of many other things that have as many positive effects.

So, in order to help myself stay focused, I do a daily gratitude journaling activity before bed. Basically I list at least 3 things I’m grateful that day. If I have more time, I’ll also try to write about the feelings I’ve had during the day, as it’s been proven to be beneficial, as well. And just before I put my journal away, I read my 3 things I’m grateful today one more time and try to really feel deep gratitude towards those things.

Making efficiency beautiful

I already mentioned I’m a visual thinker. I’m also a graphic designer and I get tremendous pleasure from seeing beautiful things, especially beautifully designed layouts.

When I started to look for a planner for 2019, I wasn’t able to find one I liked. Most of the beautifully designed planners I found were either huge with overwhelming amount of activities or plain with just calendar and room for daily notes without any visual elegance.

After the initial frustration, I decided to create a planner that includes exactly the kind of project planning activities and daily exercises that help me keep focused. That is: just enough of planning — not planning for the sake of planning.

I also wanted to feed my aesthetic side, so I decided to make it the most beautiful planner I’ve come across. I made sure the layouts are elegant and flawless. So that even without any flourishes the planner pages are pleasing and beautiful.

But I also love beautiful pictures and illustrations. So I decided to add a stunning monthly opener to delight the beginning of each month. Since I started this project in halfway through December 2018, which is rather late for creating a planner, I decided to use stock illustrations. While I draw and paint, I’m not professional illustrator. So, creating those myself would’ve taken significant amount of time and effort.

I curated each illustration carefully to ensure they all match together. I added typography on them to create a connection to the month. I changed grouping, enhanced colors, and positioned the illustrations to my liking. And the result of wonderful! I couldn’t be happier.

Oh, and most importantly, I made the planner in portable size: 6 x 9 inches. I want to be able to work wherever I feel like or need to at any time. And I don’t want to drag a thick, big, and heavy thing with me. So, portability was important to me.

Want in?

Already during the process of designing the planner, I got so many admiring comments and inquiries of where to get one, that I decided to place for sale via print-on-demand service. If you want one, you can order it here.

If you love efficient planning, goal setting and tracking, and checklists, you definitely want to check out my planner. I took the most critical piece of every activity and included it in my planner. See the pictures below.

I included empty templates for Gantt charting (12 month template and 3 month template):


In the beginning of each month, I’ve added a goal planning spread with goals and corresponding next steps:


Each month also has a monthly view for goal tracking:


Born and raised in Europe, for me the week starts on Monday. And that’s how I like to plan it. I also wanted to include simple checklists and my daily gratitude practice to my planner:


And last but not least, few examples of the stunning monthly opening spreads:


How to work with designers: design brief

How to work with designers: design brief

Do you outsource design tasks and find that often the end result looks nothing like what you were expecting? This is a super common friction point between designers and their clients. If this happened to you, maybe you hired an unexperienced designer — or just one without the right skills. There’s also a good chance you didn’t communicate your expectations clearly enough.

Every successful design project starts with good communication between the client and the designer. No matter how good the designer is, they can’t read your mind and they don’t know your products, services, or audience as well as you do. Well, what all things does the designer need to know? And how do you communicate everything in the best possible way?

The answer to your question is: a design brief. This is a piece of documentation that you should hand to the designer in the very beginning of the project. It outlines the goals and expectations for the design deliverable — the outcome.

Sometimes the client and the designer work together to get the design brief just right. Basically this means, you draft a brief for the designer. And they return it with questions and comments.

If you produce a design brief that both parties feel good about, your project is up for a much smoother ride. Below you can find a listing of things that are good to have in an effective design brief.

Business information

Start the brief by listing important high level details on you business:

    • Company name
    • Contact person (if someone else than you) and best ways to contact
  • What does your business do
    • A brief explanation of what your business does

Project information

    • Goal of this project
        • What is your project about?
      • What are you trying to achieve, what is the ideal outcome?
    • Project plan
        • When is this project due?
      • How many revisions you’re expecting
        • Sometimes the designer dictates this based on the amount you’re paying them. General rule of thumb is: more revisions mean more expensive price tag.
    • What is the design deliverable (the outcome)
      • What are you expecting the designer to deliver for you?
        • Is it an ebook, a website, a flyer, a business card, etc.
        • This can be one item or multiple. List everything you are expecting to be designed during this project.
  • Scope of the design work (be as specific as possible)
      • Quantity of each item
        • E.g. How many pages on the ebook or website? How many different versions of the business card?
    • What is the content (text, images, etc.)
      • Be as specific as possible (how many words, how many images, etc.)
      • Spell out if the designer has any flexibility with the content or if you’re expecting them to use your content exactly as is.
        • Typically designers shouldn’t touch the content. But in some cases you may want to give some flexibility, if you want to make sure the content fits on x amount of pages, etc. Or if you know the designer also has editing experience and you trust them.
    • Are you expecting to see design exploration?
      • If you want the designer to show you 2-3 different versions to choose from, spell it clearly out here.
        • Sometimes the designer dictates this based on the amount you’re paying them. General rule of thumb is: more exploration means more expensive price tag.

Client expectations

  • What are your expectations? How do you want the designer to work?
      • Does the designer have free hands to do whatever they want? Or follow your direction tightly?
    • Are you expecting something creative and unexpected? Or rather follow traditional styles and thinking?
    • What are the non-negotiables?
      • If you already know that you have strict rules or limitations you want the designer to follow, spell them out clearly here.
        • E.g. Never use red color. Or only use the imagery you provide. Or your audience is old people and you don’t want any font below size 14 pts used. Anything that is non-negotiable for you.

Brand compliance

If you have a brand guidelines documentation separately, you can give them access to that. And you don’t need this section. However, if you don’t have your brand guidelines documented anywhere, then include a section for it here. You want to keep this section rather brief. You’re including it so the designer understands the look and feel you want to convey. And to make sure they are creating designs that comply with your brand.

    • Tagline or slogan if you have one
    • You audience
        • Description of your audience
      • Demographics
          • Age 
          • Gender
          • Geographical area
        • Needs and desires
    • What makes your business offering unique
      • What is the unique value your brand offers to your customers?
    • Brand personality
        • Keywords (3-4 keywords that describe the personality of your brand)
      • Description of the personality 
        • What are the defining characteristics of your brand?
  • Visual guidelines (You should have at least a one sheet document that includes the visual identity guidelines)
    • Logo
      • Primary logo
      • Additional logo lock ups or versions if you have any
    • Colors
    • Fonts
    • Design elements (icons, illustrations, graphics, etc.)
    • Photography style

Working with designers is not difficult as long as you have good lines of communication with them. With a solid design brief, you can get a good start for any design project. You know what they say: well planned if half done.

Have you had difficulties working with designers? Tell your story below in the comments.

Catch you soon,


P.S. If you haven’t already done so, come check out my free Facebook group DIY Brand Design & Strategy for Soulpreneurs where I teach soulpreneurs like you to build their own branding and create their own designs. 

How to stand out in a crowded marketplace

How to stand out in a crowded marketplace

Are you intimidated by the competition in your industry? Do you feel like the marketplace is already crowded with folks offering the exact same services or products as you are? If you are, you’re not alone. All entrepreneurs face competition. Even if you’re offering a new and innovative service or product, you’re still competing for the attention of your audience with other businesses, entertainment, or just about anything your audience has going on in their life.

There’s no reason to be intimidated by the competition. It has existed forever. If the complete lack of competition was the defining factor for starting a new business, there would never be new restaurants, cafes, shops, or really any new businesses popping up. And yet there are. And some are thriving.

Competition or not, you need to stand out to succeed. Easier said than done,eh? Sometimes we feel like there’s absolutely nothing unique about you or your business to stand out. Well, everyone’s got something. And branding can help you find that something. Read on to find out how.

How unique are you?

One important goal of the branding process is to find a unique point of view that your business — or you as the founder — has. The unique point of view is valuable when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from the competition. Sometimes this uniqueness comes from the service or product that you’re selling. Maybe it is a completely new solution that didn’t exist before you created it. In that case, you probably already are aware of your unique approach to that particular problem. But most often, the service or product we’re selling is not completely new and there are plenty of competition in the marketplace.

Know your competition

If you’re struggling to understand how your business is unique, and what your unique point of view is, it helps to look at your competition. If you don’t know who and how your competitors are, how would you know if you’re different from them? I personally find this part very reassuring. Every time I analyze my competitors, I find something that I do differently. Or I realize the outcome would look very different, had I done it. Analyzing your competition can be very eye opening and I highly recommend you start there.

Your background

There’s always a unique point of view to be found, because there’s something unique about everyone. Maybe you have a new approach — even if your service isn’t new. You might have a slightly different way of doing parts of the process or the product itself. Or maybe you just think differently about your industry.

Sometimes your uniqueness comes from your background. Maybe you have a unique mix of professional experience that most people in your marketplace don’t have. In my case, part of my unique point of view comes from having professional expertise in both branding and experience design. Typically designers and strategists focus and specialize in one of those areas. But I’ve worked extensively in both, and can bring my knowledge of both areas to client projects. Do you have a unique combination of professional expertise or skills that you apply to your offering?

Your values

Your core values can also be part of your unique point of view. Especially, if they’re idealistic, and you’re passionate about them. For example, Autodesk designs and develops 3D software for architects, engineers, and designers. Some of their core values are sustainability, as well as diversity and inclusion. Their corporate vision is  “to help imagine, design, and create a better world.” They’ve adopted their idealistic values as part of their vision. And that brand messaging is reflected through their communications to set them apart from other 3d software manufacturers. Their messaging resonates strongly with anyone who has the same core values and feels passionate about them.

Your life experiences

Your uniqueness can also stem from life experiences. Did you overcome challenges? Can you inspire others do same through your messaging? Do you have an unusual outlook that helps you get through anything life throws you way? Your unique point of view does not have to be a huge differentiator that sticks out super obviously. It can be combination of multiple small things that each set you apart from others slightly.

Be authentic

When you’re developing your unique point of view, it is critical to be authentic. First of all, it is so much easier — and takes less energy — if you don’t have to pretend. But also, people have an uncanny way of spotting out impostors. So, take your time with this step, look inside, and develop something that truly comes from within.

Sometimes being authentic can make you feel vulnerable. Especially if you are very shy or introverted — or if you have a bad case of impostor syndrome. You might quickly think that “there is nothing interesting about me.” So, you rather create an image that is not genuine. However, you should know that vulnerability, especially when it comes to personal branding, is not a bad thing. In fact, it can be very disarming. Be authentic, be genuine — even if it feels uncomfortable.

How to use your unique point of view in branding?

Your unique point of view helps your business through messaging. You can leverage your unique point of view as you would one of your key differentiators: separating you from competition. The idea is that you will catch your ideal customer’s attention by communicating “I have this unique approach and a point of view that I’ve gained through x-y-z. It has allowed me to develop this particular process/product. No one else has this quite same point of view, so no one else can offer you exactly the same thing.” Of course, your messaging can (and maybe should) be more subtle than that — and certainly not with that exact wording.

Your unique point of view also attracts your ideal customer through shared values and relatability. In Autodesk’s case, anyone who finds sustainability, diversity, and inclusion important, feels like they’re part of the same tribe and find Autodesk’s messaging attractive. Even if your unique point of view does not include grand idealistic values, it will help likeminded people relate to your brand.  

Get to work and start thinking how your unique point of view can set you apart from competition. And as always, let me know if I’ve missed something. Or if you have any questions about this topic.

P.S. If you haven’t already done so, come check out my free Facebook group DIY Brand Design & Strategy for Soulpreneurs where I teach soulpreneurs like you to build their own branding and create their own designs. 

How to choose the right colors for your brand

How to choose the right colors for your brand

Colors are critical to your brand. The right colors will strengthen your messaging and brand personality. Whereas the wrong colors may put your audience off or even make them feel uneasy. Your prospective customer has to be able to think and feel “this is meant for me” when faced with any of your branded communication. And colors play a huge part in that.

Colors are powerful. They catch our attention quickly and affect our mood. In fact, colors are so powerful that they can provoke a physical response in a person. Red and yellow can increase your blood pressure. Whereas green can do the opposite. Colors also affect our decision making. They have such a powerful draw that experts recommend switching your smartphone screen into black and white if you suffer from phone addiction. Looking at black and white screen is less stimulating and less interesting. So it’ll lower your urge to constantly be checking your phone.

Colors have strong feeling of personality. Bright colors are considered to be lively, energetic, and young. We even describe a certain type of person with the word “colorful,” and know exactly what that means. Grey or toned down colors are considered to be serious and stable. Some might even say boring. Needless to say that your brand should use colors that match your brand personality.

Have you ever had an experience where you have forgotten a name of a brand or a product, but clearly remember what color the label or text was? Colors increase our attention level and therefore help to remember things better. The most successful brands have a signature color they use to strengthen their presence in the crowded marketplace. Think of Coca Cola red, Caterpillar yellow, Starbucks green, Tiffany’s trademarked Tiffany’s Blue (light teal), Facebook blue, or Apple’s use of white.

Choosing colors for your brand

How do you choose the right colors for your brand? The kind of colors that attract your ideal customer and strengthen the bond you have with them? The key is to know your audience but also know your own brand. It helps to have your brand’s foundational pieces like your brand’s personality and the value proposition defined. Know the demographics and preferences of your audience. Those are in critical role when you start thinking about what colors represent your brand the best.

Understanding of basic color psychology and cultural implications are important here too. You don’t have to become a master color sampler or anything. Just make sure the colors you’re considering for your brand are not in conflict with what you want to communicate. I’ve created a handy Quick Color Guide for you to help with this. Download the guide here.

Do you have to like your brand’s colors? It is a good idea to pick colors you are ok with, preferably like. You can’t just pick your favorite color, unless your ideal customer is an exact copy of yourself. Let’s say your favorite color is pink but your ideal customer is a +50 years old corporate executive male. It’s highly likely that pink would not appeal to that customer. To be sure, you could test this by interviewing few people from your audience, and ask what colors they are drawn to. Or by showing them few different color combinations or photos with certain color schemes and ask them to choose their favorite.

This is not to say that your brand can’t reflect your personality and preferences at all. As the founder of your business — especially if you are a solopreneur service provider — you need to show your personality. But depending on your ideal customer, you will have to make some important choices when and where you do this. You have lots of options. You can do this through your blog posts and the images and the tone of voice you use in your blog. Your webinars are also a great opportunity to bring out your personality. And you can include your favorite color as one of the colors in your brand library, just not the entire library.

Like mentioned before, exception to the previous rule would be if you are identical with your ideal customer. This is especially true when you have created a business around helping people who are facing the same challenge you previously faced and already solved. In this case, you are — were — your ideal customer and can choose your brand elements by thinking “what would’ve appealed to me at the time.” Many lifestyle bloggers fall into this category.

In any case, don’t choose colors you hate. Even if it would be your ideal customer’s favorite color. Find a color you are ok with. Because colors have such a profound psychological — even physiological — effect, you risk starting to grow negative feelings towards your own brand if you have elements you strongly dislike. And you are your brand’s biggest and most important ambassador. So, you have to be able to believe in it and talk about it with genuine enthusiasm.

There are wonderful exercises with moodboarding and finding photos you and your ideal customer loves. And I am working to get you an easy to follow step-by-step framework to help with that. In the meanwhile, subscribe to my newsletter (orange tab at the bottom of your browser) to get informed when that worksheet will come out.

To keep you inspired or just for fun, check out https://brandcolors.net/. It’s a collection of brand colors by known brands out there.

P.S. If you haven’t already done so, come check out my free Facebook group DIY Brand Design & Strategy for Soulpreneurs where I teach soulpreneurs like you to build their own branding and create their own designs. 

Unstuck yourself and start defining your branding today

Unstuck yourself and start defining your branding today

Are you stuck with your business because you can’t seem to get the branding done? Do you feel like the branding you have doesn’t reflect who you are or what your business is really about? Or maybe you bought a cheap logo, but it just doesn’t feel right, or something is missing.

Maybe after buying a logo, you realized that you will need much more designed assets than just the logo. But don’t quite know what to do. Or how to make everything look like they belong to the same brand. And you don’t have the budget to hire a full on branding agency right now. Or you just can’t bare the thought of paying thousands of dollars for it.

Every successful visual identity (logo, brand guidelines, brand and marketing assets) started with thorough background work of establishing the brand’s foundation. I like to call this the “Brand DNA.” You can make a pretty logo and visual identity without the Brand DNA, but it won’t be successful in attracting your ideal audience or representing your business accurately.

If you’ve taken any courses in content marketing, you might be familiar with the rule that your ad has to accurately match the content you’re advertising. Otherwise your audience will click the ad, but immediately bounce off from your content, because it didn’t meet their expectations. Branding is the same thing. If you’re brand doesn’t accurately reflect your business, it’s values, and what it stands for, you audience will “bounce off” without buying.

This is also true for when you hire a professional designer to work on your visual identity. If the outcome doesn’t reflect your business, then either the designer didn’t have clarity on your Brand DNA or it’s always possible you just hired a bad designer.

I should emphasize that no one can read your mind. It is not enough that you know in your head what your brand should be like. You’re going to have to put it on a paper, so you can brief your designer. Or have it as a reminder for yourself when you’re building your brand.

For this purpose (to use as a reminder for yourself, or add as an attachment for a design brief that you give to a designer), I’ve created the Brand DNA poster. It has a place for each of your brand’s foundational piece that you — or your designer will use — when creating the visual identity. And ultimately, your brand’s visual identity has to reflect these foundational pieces to be successful.

I’ve worked in branding agencies, and they typically have brand strategists to work on these elements with the customer. The brand strategists have special expertise to draft these pieces, but all the information they need typically comes from the customer. Sometimes the customer will hire the agency to do some market research and competitive analysis. But still the major part of the foundational information would come from the customer. That’s you. You’re “the customer.” You already have all the info, so why not start the foundational work today?

In addition to the Brand DNA poster, I’ve created worksheets for two brand foundation pieces: your “why” and your target audience. These fillable pdf worksheets will help you get your branding work started so your don’t have to feel stuck anymore. More worksheets will be coming in near future, but you gotta get these one done first. There’s a method in the madness.

Download the Brand DNA poster and worksheets here.

And for the perfectionists out there I’m gonna say: done is better than perfect. You can always go back and tweak it later, but start today and get something on paper. A perfect brand in your head helps no one and lest of all your business. But a great brand out there communicating to your audience has a good shot at success.

And finally I want to tell you that you are not alone. I am just an email away. So, let me know if you have any questions!


Create branded assets quickly with a design system

Create branded assets quickly with a design system

As an entrepreneur, you have lots of communication needs. And as a rule of thumb, this communication should be branded — and should look that way, too. But hiring a designer to put together designed assets every time you need something can get expensive and take time, when you could just do it yourself quickly.

But you’re not a designer you exclaim! Have no fear, with a proper design system for your brand anyone, yourself included, can create great looking designs. All you need is a well-crafted design system — not a simple identity “system” or mere brand guidelines. Let me explain.

If you search for branding inspiration in Pinterest, you will quickly come across tons of moodboard looking identity “systems.” These “systems” will have brand colors or gradients defined, logo typically on top of the page, typefaces the brand uses, maybe some textures, and brand photography styles. This is a great starting point for documenting the brand look and feel, but it is hardly a system.


A system is something that defines “principles or procedures according to which something is done” or a collection of pieces that work together as a mechanism (Google Dictionary). A board depicting individual branding elements is hardly a mechanism or a set of procedures. A good design system for branding has design patterns and components you can take and apply to create designs quickly and effortlessly.

The idea of design system with design patterns and components is familiar from user experience design. This concept is critical for websites and software because while designers often create the design patterns and are involved in developing the components, developers and engineers without design knowledge will be the ones implementing and putting together the final product. The use of patterns and components (i.e. the design system) will ensure the outcome is cohesive, brand aligned, and well-designed.

If you ever used one those identity “systems” mentioned in the beginning, you may have been wondering why your designs never quite end up looking like the ones your designer created. It’s because they gave you pieces of a system — not the entire system — and never showed you how yo use them. Design patterns are all about how to use those pieces. And components are already put together parts of a design you can combine to create a whole.

Think of it this way: your business is a car and your brand is its engine. The engine consists of components that are build with small parts. If someone gave you just a bag of small parts, would you be able to assemble and engine? Unless you were an auto mechanic (in this case a professional designer) you would not. But if someone gives you the pieces with instructions on how to assemble the components and how to put the components together, suddenly you’re able to assemble an engine that keeps the business running.

The key idea is: with a real design system, a person without any design experience can put together brand aligned assets that look good. This is critical if you are a solopreneur and can’t afford or don’t want to hire a designer. Or maybe you hired a VA and want to ensure whatever they create is brand aligned. And even if you hire a designer, with a stellar design system, it is quicker and easier for them to create your branded assets, which allows you to hire a more junior designer — or even a student.

Design Patterns

Design pattern is “a general, reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem within a given context” (Wikipedia). The key words here are “general” and “reusable.” Depending on the depth of your offering, you may not need too many patterns. Each of the patterns should be easily reused in a different context.

An example of a design pattern in the brand context would the different typestyles. The typeface is quite often defined, but you should also know which sizes and weights to use for a title, subtitle, body copy, or a caption. How much is there space between the title and body text? Are the titles the same color as the body text? How much is there space between paragraphs of text? What does a large quote look like? You see, just knowing the typeface does not guarantee your designs look consistent.

To ensure quick application of your brand guidelines, you should have patterns defined at for text treatment (typography), the use of colors, textures, graphic elements (illustrations, lines, blocks, etc.), and your logo. Again, the depth of these patterns depends on the offering of your business. If you offer lots of products and services, you may need to define more complex patterns to accommodate for the needs you have around designed materials.

Brand Components

Brand components is where your asset creation get really easy. A component is a reusable module you’ve put together with design patterns. Let’s say you send you customers a lot of flyers via email. These can be coupons or promotions, you name it. A component here could be a combination of an icon or illustration with a line/rule and a headline. You could always just drop this component on the top of your flyer and, voilá, you have a headline element.

So, this component we just described consisted of a title or a headline pattern and two graphic element patterns. This same pattern could be used for other communications where you want to combine title and graphics. Remember, everything we create in patterns and components are reusable.

Design Templates

When multiple components are put together as a finished design, you get a template. Templates are great when you are creating the same asset over and over again. Templates make creating designs super easy. Anyone can use a template. They are also readily available for example on Canva.com. And you can buy lots of design templates for Adobe software or Keynote and PowerPoint, etc.

But when your needs change — and they do change, you need to either change something in the template or need an entirely new design. With a proper design system, you can easily and quickly create whatever designs you need whether you’re a professional or a design newbie.



What is your Brand DNA?

What is your Brand DNA?

What is your brand made of? Most people will associate a brand with its visual look and feel — or its logo. A marketer will tell you your brand is in the stories your business tells through marketing. And they’re not wrong. But your brand is much much more than that. In fact, the visual branding is just a representation of your brand personality. And the stories reflect what your brand stands for. But where does it all come from? The answer: your Brand DNA. Brand DNA is a fancy term I like to use to describe all the things you need to define in order to have a successful brand — and business. For some, these are easy and quick to put together, but most people want a bit of help. As a business owner or founder you already have all the information to define your Brand DNA, if they want to. You’re set to start working on your Brand DNA because your business was born from your heart and is a reflection of your values. Let me walk you through the pieces that make your Brand DNA.

Your “why”

Every entrepreneur has a “why” — a reason they’re doing what they’re doing. Sometimes the reason is grand and inspirational. But it can as easily be down to earth and relatable. Only you will know what your “why” is. This is a core element in building a purposeful brand. Yes, you can build a brand without defining your “why.” But in order to have a truly authentic brand voice and reach the customers that will turn into your advocates, you need to find and surface what your passion. Your “why” is effective in creating you an attractive brand, because deep inside we all have a “why.” Each and everyone in your target audience will have something they are passionate about and inspired by. And when you find a group of people whose “why” is aligned with your “why,” you’ve found a group of fiercely loyal customers. The concept of “why” is coined by Simon Sinek. If you want to learn more, check out his book Find Your Why. This is a workbook designed to help people find their “why”. I always like to recommend Find Your Why over Sinek’s earlier book Start With Why, because it has concrete steps to help you define your “why.” And has well summarized the key thoughts from Start With Why.


Your target audience is in a key role in many aspects when it comes to your business. Your Brand DNA is no exception. Think of it this way: in order to know how you want to talk, you need to know who you are talking to. I’ve written a quick overview about knowing your audience and reference few good books to read in this post: Knowing your audience is everything. When you’re defining your target audience, the key things to think about in addition to demographics are their behaviour, attitudes, and values. These will guide you to create  brand assets and content that attracts and interests your audience. Remember: while your brand should reflect your “why,” it should be communicating to your audience, not to you.

Brand personality

Your brand’s personality is what gives it a unique flavor. It is often described as if your brand was an actual person. For example, “easily approachable” or “friendly.” It is easy to come up with two or three adjectives to describe your brand personality. But just like with your target audience: the better you know your brand, the easier it is to communicate. And any communication from your business is a reflection of your brand — even the stuff you didn’t mean as brand related. To really get to know your brand personality, you should build a brand personality grid. This is a nine square grid where each square will have a photo in it. In the center, you’ll place an image of a person. That will be your brand if it were a human being. It is not your target audience — or ideal customer avatar. It is your brand as a person. And in the eight squares that circle your brand as a person, you’ll start collecting imagery that describes the life of this person. For example, if this person lived in a house, what would the house be like (find that house and put in one of the squares). Defining your brand personality will also help you define the tone of voice your brand uses in its communications. Think of the brand personality grid and the personification of your brand: how would this person talk? What kind of things would they talk about? Where would they publish their message?

Unique point of view

What makes your brand different? This might be immediately clear for you. Maybe your business fills a void and provides something that didn’t exist before. That would automatically give you a unique point of view. Or maybe you are like most of the entrepreneurs out there: offering a product or service that competes with other similar products and services. In this super common situation, developing a unique point of view helps a lot. Your unique point of view has to come from a place of authenticity. You shouldn’t try to be different just for the sake of being different. Don’t come up with artificial qualities to add to your brand for the sake of being unique. You will only end up looking disingenuous and fake. “What if I have nothing unique” you might panic. Calm down my friend. Everyone has something that makes them unique. There is no other business owner exactly like you. You and your values — and your “why” — are what makes your brand unique. So, dig into that basket as often as you can when you’re building your brand. I’d like to add here one of my favorite quotes. I think it describes this challenge well. I unfortunately can’t remember who said it (and have not been able to find this quote online either). So, if you identify this, shoot me an email, I’d like to know who it was and how it goes exactly:

Things designed to be different are rarely ever better. But things designed to better are almost always different.

Customer perception

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said it best: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Your company’s brand is it’s reputation. And people definitely talk behind you back. You should treat your brand reputation as you treat your own: don’t do or say anything you wouldn’t want people to talk about in public. The word will always get out.  This is painfully true when it comes to your customer experience. How do you treat your customers? Do you answer their emails quickly? Do return their direct messages or phone calls? When you do, how do you talk to them? Are you helpful, respectful, and friendly? One off handed comment can turn away a customer. You may remember the customer support scandals Comcast went through in 2014 when some of their customers recorded phone calls with Comcast support agent. Needless to say, these phone calls didn’t provide a good customer experience, and resulted in a viral storm for Comcast. So, what can you do? Well for one, you should try and study your audience’s perception of your brand. How do your customers see your business? If there’s room for improvement, listen to your audience. What are they telling you to change? You can’t fix serious issues in customer experience just by changing your brand. You need to fix the issues first. But you need to be aware that each and every customer interaction with your business will affect your brand — either positively or negatively.

Value proposition

What is the value your brand offers? And how is it better than other brands in the marketplace? The value proposition can be both emotional and rational. Here we again list things that differentiate your brand from other brands. But unlike your unique point of view (which is the lens you reflect all your brand communication through) value proposition should list actual tangible benefits — either rational or emotional. When you put together your value proposition, you should be genuine in what you promise. If you’ve defined your “why” and your unique point of view, know your audience, and studied the customer perception, putting together your value proposition should not be difficult. As you’re drafting the brand benefits, make sure they are relevant to your audience, compelling, and believable. Don’t list more than a couple benefits as people typically have difficult time associating more than one or two benefits per brand.

Brand positioning

How does your brand compare to the competition? What is your unique position in the marketplace? To define this you will need to know who your biggest competitors are and how they are positioned in the marketplace. Comparison table If you have a complex product or service with lots of features and benefits, I like to build a comparison table to identify the table stakes and opportunity gaps. In the table, each column is an existing and desired benefit or feature and each row is your competitor. And of course, include your business to the matrix. Add a checkmark etc. to identify the benefits/features your competitors (and yourself) have. The columns (benefit/feature) that are full of checkmarks are your table stakes. The columns that have only one or two checkmarks (or are empty) are your opportunity gaps to differentiate and position yourself in the marketplace. Competitor matrix Quicker and easier way to define your position in the marketplace is to build a simple four square competitor matrix. Draw x and y axes (like a big plus sign). Define qualities you’re measuring on the axes. For example, high touch vs low touch and ordinary vs luxury. Position all your competitors in the matrix based on their brand and products/services. Empty (or emptier) squares become potential positioning opportunities for your brand as they are less saturated with your competitors’ offerings. If you choose to position yourself in a more saturated square in your matrix, you will need to have more unique differentiators to stand out. In the competitor matrix exercise, it is critically important that you choose the right qualities for the comparison. Otherwise you might end up with unattractive or inefficient positioning.


Defining your Brand DNA makes the rest of your branding much easier, smoother, and way more successful. Having all the things above defined will give a firm ground for the other brand building activities. Especially when it comes to building your visual identity. Have you ever hired a designer to work on your visual brand and been disappointed with the results because it looks nothing like you wanted? Or does not feel like your brand? Brand designers work based on the things defined in your Brand DNA. If your brand personality is not defined, or if the value your brand offers isn’t clear, the visual identity won’t meet your expectations. And will lack a cohesive, well-thought-out brand look and feel.

Ready to start the design work?

If you’ve got all the above things in order, and you’re ready to start building your visual identity, check out my FREE super simple DIY logo guide and share your work on Daily Creative Facebook page.
Build a brand you love and feel proud of

Build a brand you love and feel proud of

As a solopreneur, your company is your career and passion. Your business truly is what you make of it. It can be very personal, and it can be extremely empowering. Running your own business can even be a healing experience. It is also what you spend the most of your time with. You probably spend more time working on your business than you do on any other thing in your life at that time. And the face of you business is its brand. It represents your products and services and reflects how you do business. That’s why you want to get it right. And you want it to be authentic.

I’ve worked in branding for more than 14 years. I’ve worked in small and large branding agencies. I’ve worked in in-house studios and in large enterprise teams. I’ve worked directly building the brand with clients, and indirectly maintaining corporate branding through products I’ve designed. Below I’ve shared four things I’ve found super important for building a successful brand.

1. Know your audience

This is the single most powerful ingredient of building a successful brand. You need to know what your audience wants to see and hear from you. You need to understand how to talk to them and where to connect with them. What appeals to your audience and how do they see the world? If you are already intimately aware of these things, the difficult part of your job is done. All this information will be used when you start defining your brand’s personality.

2. Define your relationship to your brand

While you are building the brand for your target audience, you still want it to reflect your values and be something you can feel proud of. Some entrepreneurs choose to build a personal brand. For service based solopreneurs, this is highly recommended, but not required. People want to buy services from people, not from a faceless company. And they want to see the person behind the services. And they want to build a personal connection. Whether you build a personal brand or not, you represent your business every day. Therefore, you want to build something you can stand behind and agree with. You want it to be something you feel excited about every day. And something you won’t be bored with easily.

3. Define the future of your business

Only you have the vision of where your business is going, and where you want it to be a year, five years, ten years, or twenty years from now. You might be thinking: “What does it matter what happens in twenty years from now? I need to build this brand today!” Well, it matters for one important reason: scalability. If your plan is to sell the company one day, you want to consider that right from the start.

The super successful entrepreneur, angel investor, and analytics expert Neil Patel says he now, in retrospect, regrets building his business empire around his name and personal brand because it makes selling the business much harder as “[–] without me, many companies wouldn’t come on board as clients. If I changed the name of the company it also probably wouldn’t do as well because my personal brand is influential within the digital marketing world.”

If you never plan on selling your company, then you have more leeway to create exactly the kind of brand you want. If you’re building your business for yourself and for the passion you have in your industry, you’re in a better position for getting hands on in the branding process and making it look like you. Passion and empowerment do not exclude success. You not planning to sell your business does not mean it won’t grow and be hugely profitable one day. It just means you have a different level of commitment to it than some one who is planning their exit from day one.

4. Make sure you will be hands on in the process

If you know your audience and you’re an expert in your industry, then you are the best person to build your brand. Even if you feel like you don’t know how to do it, you actually have all the knowledge at hand. All you need is a process and a system to guide you through it.

Too many times I’ve witnessed an agency pushing hard on a client to steer them towards the solution the agency thinks is best. And I’ve sat around the table knowing that the option is not the best for them — or their audience. But the agency needed to make a sale. Or they wanted to win a contest. And I’ve seen too many creative projects left unused by the client (after they were already paid for!!!), because the agency did not care to (or couldn’t for other reasons) dive deep enough to the client’s industry to understand the challenges, the audience, and the requirements. But you are the expert in your industry: you know these things already. That is why you need to be hands on in the process. That is why, with the right process and system in place, you can do it yourself.


Branding is not easy, but it is something you can absolutely do if you want to. The closer you are to your business and the more meaningful it is to you, the more hands on role you should have in the process.