You’ve likely heard how important it is to hit the ground running with your brand. The second you register your domain and get hosting, you should have a brand you can build toward. You need to make a statement in a busy market, stand out from the hordes, and show people who they are. To just start with a generic WordPress theme and stock photos is to risk obscurity. Or so says a recent article on the importance of early branding from Fast Company.
But you’ve probably also heard the recommendations to take action now and revise later, to get something out there as soon as possible, and to ship the beta. You can always make changes later, right?
So what is a new entrepreneur to do: Spend hundreds on a logo design from 99Designs, even though you’re not clear what you’re all about? Or to bide your time and build small, with the belief that it’s better to do it right once than to keep changing your mind and look like a five-year-old choosing between flavors of ice cream.
It’s not easy, being a business owner. In the words of Ursula the Sea Witch, “Life’s full of tough choices, isn’t it?” Here are five tips you can use to get your brand off to a great start, even before you’ve got all the avatars crossed and YouTube graphics dotted:
1. Start with what you know. You know yourself. You hopefully know more than a little bit about your market. So find an intersection between the two. If your goal (haha!) is to appeal to septuagenarian soccer players, then you know they’re going to be hip and active, and your site and logo and personality will need to meet them where they are. That’s actually a lot to go on.
2. Start with what you love. Don’t do something you hate. Period. Even if your mentor or coaching group tells you that website fonts have to be Helvetica, if you hate Helvetica, don’t go there. (And yes, even the font you use is part of your brand.)
3. Start small. You don’t have to pay thousands to get a logo designed, and then drop a few more hundred on a Facebook landing page and YouTube channel and Twitter background. You can brand yourself with a few colors, a catchy URL, and a related profile pic and “About” page. In fact, while logos are cool and all, your content brands you more than your graphics do. (Walmart would still be Walmart even if it didn’t that blue-and-yellow logo.)