Make Your Mark – Part 1

Your 12-part, ‘do this’ not that guide to branding

If you know deep down that those ‘something is better than nothing’ visuals are doing you a disservice, then it’s time to loosen those pants and let out a great big sigh of relief!

Because you’re in the perfect place – at exactly the right time.

OK, that’s a big promise to kick off with, so let me set the scene before we dive in.  

I’m Dee Woodward and I’ve been designing professionally for the last 15+ years – yup I started that young! I’m obsessed with the overlap between marketing and design and I help entrepreneurs, just like you, use visual persuasion to:

  • Get seen by more of the right people
  • Create momentum for your message
  • Attract the people you’d LOVE to work with

Now, I get a lil bit frustrated that business owners underestimate the power of their visuals.

This extremely powerful business tool is often a nice-to-have afterthought – which explains why there’s so much bad brand design out there!

But I can tell, because you’ve found your way to this post, that you’re ready to know the truth.

WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR BRAND, DESIGN MATTERS.

It matters way more than you might be thinking right now and for each day you rely on rushed up, poor quality, inconsistent-with-who-you-are visuals, you’re doing a HUGE disservice to you and your business.

So let’s set about putting that right.

Because you’ve worked too damn hard and come too far to let your design issues be the thing that holds you back!

It’s why I created this 12-part Make Your Mark series.

That’s 12 wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee-that’s-right-in-front-of-your-face articles to show you everything you need create ‘OMG, who is that? I want what she’s got’ visuals.

Are you in?

Then pull up a chair, pour yourself a large G&T, and let’s gossip about the good ol’ days – when brands were built around conversations with real people and there was always plenty of time for the good stuff.

Oh – and if you pop your name in the box below, I’ll send you a quick nod every time a new post in the series goes live. Deal?

Now pour yourself that drink and come join me by around the kitchen table and we’ll start exploring what it means to Make Your Mark.

** Spoiler alert! It’s not what you think **

 

Make Your Mark – Your ‘do this’ not that guide to branding

Now before we get into the detail I need to make one thing clear.

Good design doesn’t start with the design!

Yup, it’s a paradox, but I need to set the expectations here because we’re not going anywhere near colour pallets or font choices for some time yet.

But that’s a good thing!

The concept of making your mark goes a lot deeper than visuals alone.

The process of creating visuals that make your perfect customer stick like glue is the final stage of a pretty deep thinking process that gets you clear on what your visuals need to ‘say’ in the first place.

It’s one of the biggest mistakes that business owners make with their designs.

They either use design to make things ‘look’ pretty or they play around with templates and colours because they know they need to publish more than just plain text.

But they don’t know why they’re making their ‘design’ choices. They’re NOT using design to make a statement and that means the effect is pretty dire!

In short, you’ll have a brand that’s undermining your business because you’ll have no idea what it’s making your audience think about you.  

So if you take nothing else away from this article what I’m going to say next is the thing to remember.

The colours you choose, the fonts you create with, and the images you include, should all work together to tell a visual story that inspires the thoughts, feelings, and emotions you want the people that see your visuals to experience.

And the point here is with a lil design know-how, you can control that experience.

YOU CAN DECIDE HOW PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH THE DESIGN YOU USE.

THAT’S the true power of design in your business and brand.

That’s what I mean when I talk about making your mark.

It’s the process of consciously creating a feeling for your audience that makes them fall in love with you and your business – so they dive into your every word and want to buy everything you launch!

So before you start picking colours or playing with fonts to say what you want to say, you’ve got to do the thinking to ensure your visuals are inspiring all the right things.

And you don’t need to be a designer or hire a designer to help here.

YOU can do this part of the process.

And it’s a part you can’t rush.

But you’ll be glad you took the time. Once you’ve finished this thinking process you’ll have a brand that communicates exactly what you want to say – without you having to say anything at all.

OK so I know that was a lot to take in there!

I love seeing that same reaction in my clients when they get how powerful design can be. It’s like opening a huge birthday present and finding something even more amazing than you ever hoped for.

It’s knowledge that can transform what you’re able to do in your business.

And now that you’ve discovered what visuals have the power to do, let’s have a lil chat about how you begin to put together a brand that will help you Make Your Mark. I promise you, it will be fun!

Internal conversations, external visuals

So we just discovered that the purpose of your brand is to turn the vision you have for your business into visuals other people can understand and experience. Your brand isn’t some mysterious entity that only big businesses with big budgets can create.

Instead, branding is about:

  • Inspiring your clients to think and feel the same way about your business as you do
  • Making the intangible thoughts and feelings tangible
  • Allowing clients to experience your brand’s personality from where they are

That’s why when it comes to branding it’s always your vision first, then visuals.

NEVER the other way around.

And now you have this information, you need to do something with it because you already have a brand – even if you don’t think you do!

If you’ve got a business, you’ve got a brand. If you’ve been communicating with customers and selling your thing then your brand already exists in the minds of your customers.

The only difference is that until now you’ve had no conscious control over how your customer’s experience your brand.

Now the way to take back control is to focus on your brand. It’s time to put more of your vision into it.

I know you have a vision for your business.

I know you have an idea of who you’d love to work with and you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of who you are.

Just imagine if your brand communicated all that stuff and more.

That’s what you can do when you get your vision out of your head and onto paper – and the way to do this is through internal conversations.

In other words, you have to tap into the voice inside your head and translate your internal vision into external visuals.

To recap: internal vision – external visuals.

Take this approach and your branding will seamlessly link up with your vision and boom!

No more meaningless visuals.

No more confused messaging.

No more miss-match between your visuals and your business vision. Instead, everything will make sense, the path ahead will seem obvious, and you’ll be bumping into the kind of people you can’t wait to work with all along the way.

That’s what happens when you consciously make your mark.

And that’s what I’m here to show you how to do in this series.

I hope you’re as excited as I am!

But before you move on, let’s take a moment to reflect with your first Action Item

Make Your Mark action item

Why do you want to make your mark?

Set the timer for 10 minutes and answer this question with whatever comes up for you.

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And I’ll see you soon in part 2 of this series where we’re going to dive into the thinking process that will help you Make Your Mark. Can’t wait to Crack The F*ck On!

 

COMING SOON – PART 2 in the 12 part MAKE YOUR MARK series

Pop your name in the box below, I’ll send you a quick nod every time a new post in the series goes live.

 

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/

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