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Oct 16, 2023

Mastering Brand Awareness as a Solopreneur: Part 1 of 3

Read time - 5

Over the next 3 weeks, we’re going to dive into the exciting world of brand awareness. Buckle up because I’m going to share the hard-won lessons I’ve learned over the past 10+ years about brand awareness and creating a consistent and cohesive brand.

Without brand awareness, solo business owners can find themselves adrift in a sea of anonymity, struggling to attract attention and establish meaningful connections with their target audience.

Just think about how confusing it would be if Starbucks locations all looked different – with a different sign, different colors, different building designs…you’d never know if you were going to get the Starbucks coffee you’ve had and loved or if the location you’ve just arrived at is a completely different place.

It’s the same with your brand. People need to be exposed to it over and over again before they start recognizing it. And once they have an experience with your brand, they expect the experience to be the same the next time. That’s why consistency is the cornerstone of brand awareness.

Over the next 3 weeks, we’ll be diving into 3 components of consistency that you need to maintain in order to build brand awareness.

  1. Consistent Visual Branding Across All Channels
  2. Consistent Messaging Across All Channels
  3. Consistently Creating Content (Both Long-Form and Short-Form)

This week we’ll be diving into consistency in branding. And we’ll tackle the other two ways you need to maintain consistency for your brand over the next two weeks.

Consistent Visual Branding Across All Channels

If I could turn back time and give my younger self a guide to brand awareness, this would be it. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things that would’ve saved me plenty of time and effort.

Color Schemes:

Creating the perfect color scheme isn’t easy. As someone who struggles to design from scratch, I’ve found that color scheme generators like Coolors.co and inspiration from Design Seeds can be lifesavers.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll find on ​Coolors.co.​

Preset Palettes

If you look closely, you can see that people have upvoted the ones they like. So you’ll know that the palettes are appealing to lots of people.

When You Hover

This is the palette in the middle of the top row of the first screenshot. And this is what happens when you hover over it. You’ll see the color code you can use throughout your designs to get an exact match.

And here’s a taste of what you’ll find on ​Design Seeds​.

Color palette generated from a beautiful image on Design Seeds
Color palette from Design Seeds

It might take a bit more browsing, but you’ll find beautiful photos where color palettes have been extracted from them. You’ll have to use a color dropper tool to extract the color codes or you can check out @DesignSeeds on Instagram, where they have more details on each palette.

But remember, colors speak to emotions. Pay attention to the feelings you have when looking at any color palette; it really does impact who your brand attracts.

Typography:

Choosing fonts can be tricky. One of the mistakes you’ll want to avoid is using fonts that are hard to read.

You can love a font and hate how a sentence looks in it.

So, always make sure you are testing your exact words or phrases in a font before deciding on it, especially if you’re purchasing the font.

And keep in mind that, if you purchase a font to use, you’ll always have to import that font into any design tool or website you’re using. So you may need to check on the licensing for the font you’re choosing.

If you decide to stick with free fonts, that’s great. But you’ll still find that they’re not available everywhere. If the font that you’re using consistently isn’t available in some tool you’re using, stick with a different font within the same style.

For instance, the font I use most for body text is called Abhaya Libre. I can find that font in lots of places. But it’s not everywhere. So when it’s not available, I choose another serif font to use (because Abhaya Libre is a serif font).

Don’t know the difference? Serif fonts have little decorations that extend off of certain letters. Those little decorations are called “serifs.” Therefore, the fonts that have them are called “serif fonts.”

Sans means without. So sans-serif means “without those little decoration thingies.” (That’s the official definition, by the way. 😜)

Stick with the same style of text if your font isn't available in the tool you're using. That will allow you to obtain brand awareness even if there's not complete consistency.

Stick to the same style if you have to use different fonts and you’ll maintain enough consistency that people won’t notice.

Graphic Design:

We all know that visually appealing designs stand out. However, graphic design isn’t a natural talent for everyone.

Tools like ​Canva​ offer a solution. Even with the free version, you can create polished and consistent graphics that elevate your brand’s appearance.

Canva’s professionally designed templates can be customized quickly, helping you maintain a cohesive look.

With the new AI tools in Canva that have been released over the past few weeks and months, there’s even more opportunity for design-limited solopreneurs (like myself) to quickly and relatively easily generate amazing graphics. And everything you create there has a commercial license and can be used everywhere.

Logos:

While you can find plenty of materials online referencing how important it is to combine symbolism, values, personality, and mission into one all-encompassing logo, I find that advice to be crippling for solopreneurs.

You don’t need your logo to carry the weight of your brand. You don’t need it to communicate your values or contain some deep symbolism.

What do you need? Something that’s readable. Something that’s clear. Something you’ll use everywhere.

The one thing I see lots of solopreneurs failing to realize is that it’s best to have at least two versions of a logo. One that’s easily readable in a horizontal format, and one that looks great in a square.

Most social media profile picture areas are square. So if you’re planning to use your logo there, a horizontal logo will look way too small.

But at the top of a website, you want your logo to take up as little screen real estate as possible.

So it’s important to have two different files that you can use.

Bonus points if you have it in different colors so you can also place it on light or dark backgrounds, too.

Here are the 4 different logos I have for the Solopreneur Success Club. It’s really just 2 logos, but two are dark and two are light. So I can place them anywhere I need them (presentation slides, graphics, websites, email signatures, etc.) and select the version that fits best in that environment.

My logos in different formats and colors to maintain consistency as I build brand awareness

Bringing them all together:

It’s probably obvious, but I’ve been hinting at this all along…you need to use what you pull together for your brand consistently across all the places someone might find you.

That’s why I went into depth about serif and sans-serif fonts. That’s why I talked about different colors and layouts for your logos.

If you take all of these things into consideration when you’re pulling your brand together, you’ll have everything you need to move forward and scatter your brand into the world like dandelion fluff in the wind.

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.”

Paul Rand

I love that quote by Paul Rand because your visual identity speaks so loudly for your brand, but it is truly silent. But if you take my advice above when you’re gathering up or creating all of your branding elements, your brand will be heard loud and clear.

That’s a wrap on Week 1 of Brand Awareness for Solopreneurs! Next week we’re diving into brand awareness through consistent messaging, tone, & voice across all the places you might be found.

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