Secrets to Creating a Visual Brand Identity That Sets You Apart

8 Key Areas You Want to Keep Your Visual Brand ConsistentHave you ever wondered what your social media followers think about you?Is it possible you are sending mixed messages to your prospects?This month we’re talking about the importance of personal branding and how it helps your business. This article ties closely in with that regarding your visual brand – essentially how you come across to others.Over the years I have seen a lot of business owners who haven’t taken time to define their brand. They don’t understand when businesses stray from their brand, it dilutes their brand power and impact. Or worse, they have nothing about them that sets them apart.As a result, they complain they are attracting the wrong customers or hardly getting any leads at all…This “me too” method of marketing that mimics what competitors are doing isn’t effective. That’s why I feel compelled to share more what a visual brand is and how to build a strong one online.Whether you’re creating a new brand or updating your existing one, your brand’s visual identity is the most important factor in your marketing.Your brand is so much more than a website and a logo. It’s a user’s total experience and perception of you.So every touchpoint a prospect has with you should have one consistent look and theme. This includes your logo, website, stationery, social media, videos, brochures, business cards, and of course your personal brand in how you dress and present yourself to the world.A solid visual brand:- Helps people know what to expect from you.- Promotes professionalism and purpose.- Draws prospects who align with your ideas, attitudes and values.- Enhances confidence, trust and rapport with your followers.- Builds upon the existing brand experience they have with you in a positive (or a negative) way.Visual branding adds real power to your marketing. It increases engagement and understanding.With all these benefits to personal and professional branding, it’s more important than ever to brand your visual content and images so you stand out from competitors.How Can You Keep Your Brand Consistent?You write blog articles and posts every day. You are working back and forth on projects. How can you be certain that all the marketing you do resonates with your core brand?Creating a style guide makes it easier to keep your marketing pieces consistent.Firstly, ensure your brand is consistent in the following areas:- Headshot – Having a professional headshot goes a long way in developing brand trust.- Logo – your logo is the nucleus of your brand, everything else stems from that. Ensure it’s designed properly that includes the psychology of what it represents.- Colour Palette – Colours that will resonate with your target market and be meaningful to your brand.- Brand Message – This is the essence of your business that includes your slogan or tagline of who you are, what you do, and how you deliver value.- Fonts – Being consistent with the same one or two typefaces throughout all written materials as well as graphics- Design Elements – The use of borders, lines, shadows and filters should all become familiar to being associated with your visual brand.- Tone – Set the tone of your business presence and stick to it – whether serious, high-tech, sarcastic or soulful, this is a big part of building a solid brand presence.Create a Style Guide as Your RoadmapA style guide acts like a map that helps your team to stay on track. Sharing your style guide with key members of your team can ensure everyone knows the style guidelines and can follow them.- Your copywriter and social media manager will understand how to write with your brand voice.- Your graphic designer will stick to the fonts and colours your brand is known for.- Your web design team can make sure your website and landing pages all have the same look and feel.This is especially important for companies with virtual employees spanning in multiple geographic regions. Make it easy for your team to access your logo, fonts and templates. Always protect your brand. Double check when new marketing pieces come in that they conform to brand guidelines.Here’s 8 areas you will want to keep your brand consistent in everything you do in your business marketing and social media efforts:1. WebsiteYour website is the biggest brand statement your business has. It serves as a reference to make sure all other brand elements are in alignment.That’s why I am so against people who use cookie-cutter template sites. They may look polished, but they lack the warmth, connection and personality of a branded website (not to mention how badly they are built.)Make sure the images you use are reflective of your ideal client. Use language that resonates with your target audience. Create an about page that helps your visitors understand your backstory and why you are passionate and good at what you do.The more your website looks and feels like you, the stronger attraction tool it will be for potential clients.2. Professional HeadshotI was very camera shy when I first started my business. So when it came time to get some updated headshots, I dreaded it. But I found that going through the process brought me confidence.My new headshots are used as a personal and business branding tool that help me to be more recognized online. They are on all my social media profiles and on our website. As a result, people recognize me when I attend local networking events.Investing in new headshots can truly jumpstart your brand and success.3. Sharing PhotosSharing photos makes your marketing more personable and showcases your personal brand. Consumers love seeing the real person behind the business.So be mindful of when you are working or in group situations and see how you can snap pictures to show followers what you are up to.Take a picture holding your new book. Grab a shot with a new friend you met while networking. Show the resort you are staying at for your business mastermind.4. VideoCreating videos helps build a strong following online. It’s important to have your videos match your brand too. Dress in a manner that is consistent with your brand.You could also shoot it in similar places or locations. Whether that’s sitting at your desk, cooking in the kitchen, or standing in front of a green screen with a projected background, that consistent setting helps build familiarity.Be warm, friendly and connective. If you promise to offer weekly video tips, then get them out on the same day each week so viewers can anticipate them. Create a custom hashtag for your video tips too.5. Branded ImagesKick up the interest of your blog articles and social media with images. There are loads of free tools to help you make graphic quotes, infographics, and other visuals to add impact.Make sure all your graphic images are consistent with your brand. Adding your logo makes it easy for people to instantly recognize the content is from you.6. Social MediaSocial media provides so many opportunities for visual branding. From Facebook cover images to profile pics, to graphics, there are endless opportunities for people to learn more about what you do.The images you use can evoke the feelings and emotions you want your brand to convey. The goal is for someone to look at your social media account and get an impression that helps them understand your unique vibe.7. Free GiveawaysWhen you are offering free reports, tools, and other goodies to visitors, make sure they have the same colours, logos, and visual feel as your other materials.When it looks professional and makes a great impression, it builds credibility. Plus, it’s just one more piece of the brand puzzle that helps them understand what you do.8. Email SignatureA graphic email signature can add visual impact to every message you send. Services like Wisestamp make it easy to add your logo, picture, and social media links to your email signature.Have your virtual team members set up a signature too so you come across as a professional team to your customers.Are you a Wanna Be or a Real Brand?It’s really important to take a look at your brand as a whole to make sure everything is in alignment.Is your visual brand- Clear,- consistent,- Authentic,- Memorable, and- In alignment with changes in the marketplace, your offerings, or your success?Even if your brand was on target 3 years ago, the nature of your business may have changed where your brand no longer accurately reflects what you do or who you serve.You have become more specialized. You may have new product offerings. Maybe you are now the host of a new podcast.Take a look at your brand with the eyes of an outsider and ask yourself if what you see truly reflect who you are now as a company.How Does Your Business Score from a Visual Branding Perspective?

Online Renters Insurance Won’t Cover You If the Bedbugs Bite

Lately the media has reported stories about the rise of bedbug infestations throughout the country. Prior to 1995, bedbugs were- for the most part- eradicated in the United States. But things like air travel, an increased exchange of secondhand furniture and simple neglect of destroying pesticides have resulted in the rise of these pesky critters. Bedbugs have been found in office buildings, movie theaters, hotels and apartment buildings. That’s why many online renter’s insurance policies do not cover the cost to get rid of them.Light brown, parasitic and blood-sucking, these insects may have sought refuge in your rented home. And it’s considered your responsibility to keep your home free of all kinds of pests. While many policies will reimburse you for loss or damage as the result of theft, fire, natural disasters or water damage, most will not cover something that can be resolved by taking preventive measures.One of these preventive measures is simply educating yourself. After all, you can’t destroy what you can’t identify. So with bedbugs, keep in mind the following:• They are flat, oval and reddish brown in color.• They are usually found in and around bedding.• They can travel to your rented home through cracks in walls, wire, pipe holes and conduits, or suitcases and clothing.If you’ve recently gone on a vacation, check your luggage for these tiny insects. If you’ve recently bought secondhand furniture, check to see it doesn’t harbor them. You can also hire a pest control service to routinely treat your home for bedbugs or other pests.Online renters insurance will take care of you and your family in many instances. But if the bedbugs decide to bite, it’s your responsibility to take the steps needed to get rid of them.To buy renters insurance online is only one half the equation that makes up a whole strategy that must implemented to protect one’s home and belongings. The most fundamentally important thing to do, however, is to take commonsense measures to protect yourself. Sure, it is the right thing to buy renters insurance online at a reasonable cost for peace of mind, but it is also critical to remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.The unexpected can happen to anyone. And if it does, those without insurance will be left with an out-of-pocket expense. Have peace of mind knowing that your possessions are covered and buy insurance online today.

Guidelines When Buying Baby Nursery Furniture

Most parents would give high priority to baby nursery furniture when they have a baby in the house. In addition to the baby furniture, parents give special attention to their babies’ clothing.Tips for Choosing the Best Baby FurnitureNursery furniture is available at many furniture stores, but it is recommended that you select a furniture store that sells exclusive kid’s furniture. When you are selecting the kid’s furniture, you need to keep in mind that kids love colorful furniture. So, if you are about to select pale and dull colors for your kid’s furniture, think twice. In addition to the bright colors, kids would love to see some good cartoon images on the furniture.If you want that your child should grow up with love for nature, you should have some good flower or plant designs on the kid’s furniture. There are several good brands in the market, but you need to select a brand that will suit your requirements. One of the best brands in kid’s furniture is Cosatto. The major advantage with the branded kid’s furniture is that they are reliable and they will surely last for a very long time. Among the best furniture items for babies, you will also find baby high chairs.These chairs are not like the regular adult chairs. These kid’s high chairs are have a soft cushion seat and a belt that can be tied around the kid. When you are selecting the best baby nursery furniture, make sure that you have a good look at the furniture. If there are any sharp edges or points protruding out of the kid’s furniture, you will have to discard that furniture. When your baby is very small, you will first think of a beautiful crib.Whatever may be the kid’s furniture, you need to always think of the bedding or the mattresses that will cover the furniture. When you are preparing the bedding for your baby, you will have to make sure that you have some toys near the edges of the bedding. On the baby bed, you can keep a teddy bear at one corner or a cute little puppy. Baby beds and baby cribs need to have the raised edges.These raised edges need to be made out of the same material as that of the bed or crib. For example, if the baby bed is made out of wood, the raised edges of the baby bed also need to be made out of wood. When buying the nursery beds or other items, you can buy them in sets. A baby bed set would typically comprise a baby bed and few other items such as baby chairs. You can have a baby bed with a storage compartment under the bed.In this storage compartment, you can keep baby diapers, baby bed sheets, baby pillows, baby clothing, and other baby accessories. You need to make the best use of the compartments that are there below the baby beds. Baby beds that are made out of wood will also give an elegant touch to the baby room.You can also use decorative lights around the baby nursery furniture to create a very soothing environment for your baby.