Solopreneurs are DIYers. And we need to be. When starting your business, you quickly realize you need to do so much more than what’s typically in your job description. From writing to accounting to customer service and of course, branding. Often we opt for branding the business ourselves because we don’t have the budget yet, we prefer putting most effort in getting our product or service out into the world and we don’t necessarily see the advantage of branding when we’re just starting out. What to do when you realize, you’re growing out of our DIY brand and it doesn’t align with your vision anymore?
Advantages of a DIY brand
DIYing our brand can be stressful and overwhelming but at least it will force you to dig into what you want to be known for and how you can create something that aligns with your vision and attracts the right audience. And it’s clear that this first understanding of your brand will change once you really start working and have a bit of feedback from your customer. This is the time when you realize you need to take a deeper look into the foundation of your brand and you begin to question everything you’ve created before. Don’t worry, this is a stage every entrepreneur will go through. Are you at this stage? Let’s see if you recognize some of the signs.
Related post: Why branding is a journey
5 signs you’ve outgrown your DIY brand
You hate your logo
This sounds a bit harsh but many solopreneurs at some point begin to dislike the logo they created and were absolutely in love with in the beginning. It’s only natural because when you start your own business you’re a beginner when it comes to defining what makes a good logo. But now you also pay more attention to other brands and are capable of seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Your design doesn’t fit anymore
As for your logo, there comes a time where you start to notice flaws in your design. You begin thinking about redesigning your website, getting new business cards, or even a full rebrand. We evolve and our brands do too. Especially during the first year in business.
Your message doesn’t attract your target audience
If you’re having trouble attracting the right clients, it’s possible that your design and message don’t really speak to them. You realize you’re not using the right words and images. You begin to doubt your whole brand strategy.
You want to look more professional
Your design looks good but now that your business is gaining traction you need something that looks more professional and attractive. Even if you like your design, you know there’s lots of space for improvement.
Your design isn’t functional
You came to the realization that while your logo looks great on your website it isn’t reproducible in print or it isn’t readable when you use it as an icon. When you first start creating your brand design, you don’t necessarily think about functionality. But after working with your files for some time you begin to see the disadvantages of your DIY brand.
What to do now?
You might feel the urge to instantly hire a designer, redo your whole website and change your current strategy. Before you get into any of these though, you need to do some work upfront. Throwing yourself into a redesign only makes you happy for a couple of months again. What you need, is to get really clear about your brand first. If you want a brand that lasts, it’s necessary to understand and define the core elements of your brand. This will prepare you to make long lasting decisions for your brand and finally bring you to the next level of your business. If you’re going to tweak your brand design and strategy yourself or if you hire professional help, you need to make sure it aligns with your brand and vision. Defining and understanding your brand values, brand personality, target audience, brand story, and positioning are key-elements in every branding process. It’s a critical factor for the future of your brand.
This might seem a lot of work but I’ve created this guide and workbook to take you through this process step-by-step. If you finally want to get to the core of your brand check it out!