Be bold… be brave!

Be bold… be brave!

My designer/ brand strategist heart is singing! I recently coached a client who was considering a not-so-bold vs. bold choice for their website. The resulting coaching has lots to learn from: The bold choice is more memorable. The more unique elements you use in your design, the more likely it wil be that you’ll stick in your clients’ minds. Bringing in a wide market with a not-so-memorable brand can give you a lack of results – people might sign up for your newsletter or free gift because they feel comfortable, but may never convert because they don’t feel passionate. The more you can create a unique feel the more people will feel like you’re the only option for them. Which means clients. It might not mean the biggest list-building numbers – but maybe you’re not strictly looking to build a big list. A small list of big fans can be more responsive. And then there’s the question of authenticity. Be bold, be different in your brand- so long as it feels like you and you love it. If you’re uncomfortable with the bold, don’t go for it – because your clients will see your discomfort. And that only leads to awkward mistrust. Show how you really feel. And get the people who feel your emotion and passion behind you and you’ll have the best clients ever!...

Are there any simple key things to look for in a good design? (If I say balance – what would that mean?)

Here’s today’s question of the day… and my answer… Balance is definitely one of them – and this simply means that the design doesn’t feel too heavy/light in any area. That there’s a good rhythm to the visual elements. Appropriate use of color. The color palettes they use could be refined or outlandish – either can be appropriate depending on who/what the design is for. Details. Does it feel like there’s a good scale on the details in the design? Like there’s some attention paid to the small stuff? Alignment. Good design is often done on an invisible grid. You want things to be aligned and not “just a little bit off” which can look clumsy. Consistency between pieces. If I’m doing a design for one particular thing, say, Midas Camp, I’m going to make sure that the design for the website matches the social media images, the PowerPoint presentations, the email headers, the promo boxes we use in the newsletter, and so on. That the same fonts, colors, visuals, etc. are used… but always in an appropriate way for each format. This creates repetition and a general good feeling for the...

This is why I plan for designs to evolve.

A client called me today to discuss changes to her business card. Turns out, the very act of creating the design and then getting out there and using it helps them get more clear, more focused, more straightforward about presenting themselves. When we’re designing together, there’s an expectation that how you show up in the world will evolve and change and get better + crisper because we’ve designed for it. And then the design will evolve to show...

What Is Visual Presence?

Your visual presence is sort of like branding. Except it’s a whole lot more than just that. When I used to say, “branding”, people would say… isn’t that just like your logo? Or your website? Not quite. They’re parts of your brand, but a whole brand is made up of many parts… all of the fine, delicious visual details that show the truth about your business and give it an identity all its’ own. So I’ve voted in a new word. Presence. Because presence shows that your thing exists. A visual presence gives your service or your idea body and shape that can be shared with others. Because presence is tangible. Presence has a depth, some oomph behind it. A weight and momentum to it. Because presence has the capacity to grow and change. Presence-making is not a one-time event in the life of your business. Your business is a living, growing, changing thing and as it evolves, your presence will shift too. Presence is nimble, and unless you change something at the heart of your business, you shouldn’t have to redesign completely. Because presence makes an impact. You can feel a presence when it’s in the room with you, and you’ll know it’s absence in your life when it leaves. Your clients can feel it too. It commands attention. Look at your designs from this stance. Do they exude...
Creating a new program? Consider its’ impact on your brand…

Creating a new program? Consider its’ impact on your brand…

Branding and design questions you should ask yourself when planning a new program: 1. How does this relate to your other programs and offerings? Think of them as a family tree, how does this fit in? 2. How do your clients/ people you serve want to feel when they’ve interacted with you? Your design should reflect this emotion. 3. What comes before this program and what could people go into after (you want it to make visual sense in the place where it lands, and to relate to each of your other offerings.) 4. What is the value of this program? If it’s high-end, the design should reflect that by looking more sophisticated. And if it’s lower-end, it can look a bit more casual. 5. How can you use elements of the designs you already have in place to extend the credibility you’ve already built into this new thing? It may be a color palette, font styles, photography, etc. This will also help you create...
Business As Unusual Brand Case Study

Business As Unusual Brand Case Study

Do you ever feel like you want to break the rules in business? To do something different, exciting, and out-of-the-box for a change? My client Andrea J. Lee is challenging the status quo and showing entrepreneurs how to boldly go where other businesses haven’t gone before. And she’s starting with something she’s never done in her 10+ years in business – going on a 3-city road tour. She’ll be teaching what’s working now, what’s not and what’s next for small businesses. She needed an online campaign for her event to build buzz, get the word out and encourage registrations. It had to flow with her existing company brand. We’re also transitioning her brand to showing Andrea herself in the materials, which hasn’t been a major focus in her brand in the past, because she’s a huge part of the heart and soul of her company. Here’s part of the resulting marketing kit – a registration website, Facebook banner campaign, and email marketing graphic. Note the strong design consistency between all of the materials, created by her signature red-bar look, the photo, and the text treatment. We added fun to the designs with a little speech bubble from Andrea herself. It’s generating all sorts of excitement. Sandra DeFreitas of WPBlogsites.com says, “Erin I look at the site and I think “This site is sexy and it knows it”. The first stop of her tour is next Tuesday in Los Angeles, and there’s still time to sign up – you can visit http://www.businessasunusualbreakthrough.com to find out more. She’ll also be stopping in Dallas and New York! There’s a big version of the invitation...