Branding

Why Every Business Needs A Website

In society today, everyone needs a website. We are in that day in age where your business needs a good amount of technology to be seen or heard. Now I’m sure you already know this, but do you know why you need a website? You most likely already have a website, but are you using it for its full capabilities?

Here I will discuss the top reasons why one should have a website and how it will help your business get recognized by your target audience. 

Easier To Be Noticed

Our society is all about the internet these days. With that in mind, every business needs to be online.  According to Google, Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. That is a crazy amount of searches, but that is where our society has come to. Because of that, you need a website. Social Media has become a place for you to advertise your business, but a website helps you gives you more credibility. It gives your business a home online for people to be able to find you and see what you offer.

Display Your Products And Services

Are you answering the same questions over and over again about your business and the services or products that it provides? Do you feel like you forget about some of the services that you provide when talking to clients? A website is a perfect place for that. A website is the place for you to go into detail about what services or products that you offer. This also helps when you have a client referred to you and then can see everything that you offer in detail and help you make a sale!

Now I do believe that all businesses should have a website, but this doesn’t mean you should just throw up a bunch of stuff and call it good. It takes a lot of thought and time to figure out what you are wanting to communicate with your target audience through your website. You don’t need to have a ton of pages for all the pictures and content, you just need to have a crisp, clean, simple, and professional website that signifies what your brand is about.

Bond With Your Target Audience

One thing that is most important when having a website is connecting and bonding with your target audience. Even if you don’t have a blog, the content on your website is there to help you bond and tell your story with your audience. It’s a great place for you to have your contact information so that they can reach out to you. It also gives them links to your social media accounts so they follow along with you and stay updated with the projects that you are doing.

Expansion Of Your Brand

Your brand expands across your social media, to your website, and to your services or products. A website helps improve the online presence of your brand. It tells your potential clients about what your brand is all about. With having a website for you brand, it’s a place for your potential clients to come learn about what you offer, become followers, and then eventually become customers. It’s important that your website is a good representation of your brand and communicating with your potential clients the message you want them to receive. Your website should be a true representation about your brand by focusing on the right people to help build your brand.

Do you have other reasons why one should have a website? Is your website helping you convert potential clients into followers and customers? Share in the comments!

5 Reasons Why I Only Use Squarespace

Everybody has their own preference on which website platforms they like. Many enjoy using WordPress, Wix, Weebly, ProPhoto, and many others. As a frequent Squarespace user, I absolutely love it. There are some other articles that talk about Sqaurespace and I thought I would add my opinion to the mix to shed some more light on how a Squarespace site can benefit you and your business.

Always Nice to Look at- Any Squarespace website I have seen has always looked nice. Squarespace has a variety of wonderful templates that are all customizable to your need. The templates give a fresh, clean, and bright look to help your business look professional. If you are just starting out, whether you are a business or a blogger, Squarespace will give you that professional look at an affordable rate.

Easy To Use- This is a huge benefit of Squarespace. For people who may not have a lot of design experience, this is the platform for you to use. Squarespace makes it easy to add pages, publish blog posts, different widgets to customize, and drag-and-drop features to help you customize the website the way you want it to look. I use Squarespace with my clients for this reason. When they need to update their website, it will be easy to teach them how to use the website and how to keep it updated. 

Affordable- Buying a website is expensive, especially if you are just starting out. Squarespace makes having a website affordable with starting at $12.99 a month. With it, comes 20+ pages, 2 contributors, fully integrated e-commerce, 24/7 customer support, and more. For a list and other plans with Squarespace, click here and learn more.

Great Customer Support- I know we all hope we never have to call customer service for anything. However, there have been a couple times when I first starting using Squarespace where I had to contact customer support to figure out problems. They answered every one of my questions, helped me through the process, and was just all-around friendly to talk to. I was on the phone for an extra 10 minutes because the customer support rep wanted to know about my business. Definitely a surprise and made me enjoy the experience I had with them.

Mobile-Friendly- This is a huge part of websites today. Having a mobile-friendly website is very crucial for your site as people today spend about 75% of their time on their phones. Having a mobile-friendly website gives your website that more professional look and easy to read. Other website platforms make you pay extra to have your website mobile-optimized. All Squarespace sites are mobile-optimized for phones and tablets. 

Are you still wanting to learn more about how to use Squarespace? Stay tuned for the launch of a FREE Ebook about how to use Squarespace for your business. If you have any questions or topics you would like see discussed in the EBook, leave a comment!  

 

 

4 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Designer

As a business owner, I understand the need to want to do everything yourself. The more you do yourself for your business, the more you save. However, that may not always be the best course of action. Designing your brand can be a very time consuming project if you don’t have the design skills, or want to learn design. There are so many aspects to building a business and having a well-designed brand will help you take your business to the next level.

Hiring a designer is a huge decision. It is something that you are investing in and should be taken seriously. You may be getting to that point where you need a designer to help you create your brand and establish an online presence for your business. There are many reasons to hire a designer, but I’m going to touch base on the ones that I answer the most often.

Time- This is the most common reason I see with small business owners. Starting up a business requires a lot of your time, and I know that from experience. And I said it before, you want to try and do everything yourself so you can save money. Even though you may save money, you may not harness the skills it takes to build and create a brand. You can most certainly learn to design yourself. But is that the best use of your time? By hiring a designer, you take that pressure off you and save yourself time. A designer will already know how to design and help you create a consistent brand for your business within a better time frame.

Professionalism- By hiring a professional designer, your brand will look more professional. This is a huge part that some small business owners overlook. Your audience will be able to tell if your brand was not designed professionally, and that could turn them away. You want to make sure it looks professional so that you gain the respect your brand deserves. By having a professional designer design your brand, your audience will take your brand seriously.

Simplify- A good designer will be able to help simplify your thoughts. You may have a vision of what you want and your designer will be able to put it into action and implement it into your brand. You may only know what you like and don’t like. You may have some ideas in your head but can’t get them out on paper the way you want.  A professional designer will be able to help you figure out your thoughts, the styles you like, what you don’t like, and move your brand in the right direction that it should be going.

Consistency- Having a cohesive and consistent brand is what will make your business soar. A designer will be able to help with that by making sure your logo, website, and marketing materials are all align with the same consistency of your brand. Once you and your designer talk about your vision and mission, they will be able to take it and form one flawless design.

If you start to notice that you are spending way too much time on trying to design your website, create a logo, and design graphics for your website, it may be time to hire a designer. By hiring a designer, they can take that stress off you and help you take your business to the next level.

Have you discovered other reasons why you should hire a designer? Share your experience! 

Why Branding Is Important

Many people believe that branding a company is just in your logo. Branding does include your logo, but there is more to it than that. Branding is the image of your company. It defines your company to your clients. 

What are some of your favorite companies that you are loyal to by brand? For me, Apple is a brand that I know for exceptional products and service. Chick-Fil-A, I know for amazing chicken nuggets and chick-fil-a sauce. Bed Bath & Beyond, I know for all my kitchen essentials. Think about all the brands that you love and think about what they offer you to gain your loyalty to their brand. 

Through my years in branding, I have learned 4 components of Why Branding Is Important.

Professionalism- When I have conversations with people of why branding matters this was always the first answer to come up. You want your brand to give the image of professionalism. When people see professionalism in your brand, they will take you seriously and respect your brand. You could be new to the business, but depending on how to present your business and brand, people could think you have been in business for years and wouldn't know if you were just starting out.

Recognizability- What brands do you recognize most without having their logos present? Is it your favorite restaurant? Your favorite store? If you walked into this particular store, you would see red polos with khaki pants, and red shopping carts. Target is known for their employees to be wearing red polos and khaki pants. As soon as you walk in, you see the red carts too. If your brand is consistent with its colors, fonts, etc., people will be able to recognize your brand without your logo.

Memorability- We live in a very visual society. We remember brands by their appearance. I know for me if I saw a well crafted video for a brand, I will remember it. Think of any well crafted commercials you've seen for brands and remember to this day. What stuck with you about it? I know for me, the first Gatorade commercial I ever saw was featuring Michael Jordan dunking a basketball. So immediately when I think of gatorade, I think of basketball and Michael Jordan. If your clients have a great experience working with you, they will remember when they are talking to others who might be in need of your services.

Trust- I know for me, I can trust a brand by how consistent they are throughout their business. If the company's website, logo, social media, and marketing materials remain consistent, I know that I could trust them to do the same for me if I were to be a client in need. By having a company that people trust, you will gain more sales, clients, and followers.

Share your experiences with branding and why you think it is important! 

 

 

 

5 Lessons I Learned As A Young Business Owner

In my first two years of business, I have learned many lessons. It has been an adventure to learn about business, how to market, protocols for how to do business, and learning from other entrepreneurs in the field. Of course there were many times at the beginning where I would want to give up and think that I can't do it. Honestly, that is part of the process. It's getting past the fear that you have when you start a business.

I'm sharing the 5 most valuable lessons I have learned and that have helped me to where I am today. 

You can't always get what you want....unless you work. We all know that song and there is some truth to it. You can't always get what you want.....unless you work for it. It takes a lot of hard work to get a business off the ground, make a profit, and keep going. It can be very hard to want to keep going when you find out all the stuff that you need to do to succeed. Don't let that scare you. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding times of my life and I know that it can be that way for you too. Your hard work will pay off. 

People may try to take advantage of your services at first. When you start a new business, your main focus is gaining a client. When you start out, your prices will start off at a certain point until you gain more credibility and business and then you can raise your prices. At the beginning, people may try to get you to lower the price because you may be a young entrepreneur that they think they can negotiate with. One of my biggest mistakes was lowering my prices to get the client. If you have a starting price and you know that you are worth it, don't back down! You are worth the price you set and if they want to pay you less then what you are worth, they may not be the client you want in the first place. Stick to your pricing. You will find clients that are worth your time and will pay you what you deserve. 

You will make mistakes....and that is a good thing. My motto is: 

"If you are not making mistakes, you are not trying hard enough."

Being an entrepreneur is a hard job and you will learn about what works and what does not. We learn from our mistakes and that makes us better entrepreneurs.

Don't be afraid to ask. This was hard for me at first. I didn't want to show weakness by asking for help, which made this one of my first mistakes. Asking for help gives you insight on how things will turn out and help prevent you from making mistakes. Asking helps you learn more from people who have experience in your industry, and that will benefit you in the long run. 

You won't see results happen overnight. This was another issue I had a problem grasping. I'm an optimist. So immediately when I come up with an idea, I expect to it to happen and show results right away. I learned the hard way at the beginning that I won't make money overnight. It takes time to build up a business, gain clients, create a process on how work is to be done, and overall make a profit from doing something you love. It may take time, but it will be worth it in the end when you can make money doing something that you love. 

Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. I can finally vouch for this saying now. I'm extremely blessed by all that I have learned and now everyday I get to do what I love. 

What are lessons that you have learned from being an entrepreneur?

How to Find Your Style of Photography

Everyone has a different style of photography that they like. Some people prefer the light and airy look, some like a more crisp and clean look, and some like a more dark and shadowy look. You name it. 

In the creative business, everyone looks at your style of your brand. They will look at your colors, your logo, and they will look at your photos. Whether you are a blogger, event planner or a photographer, photos is what captures your audience attention. 

So how do you create a style that you love and want to be recognized for? 

Photography Style
  • Research. One way to find out what kinds of photography that you like is to look at photos. If you search on Pinterest for the type of photos you are looking for, you will get plenty of examples of photos from other photographers. Maybe you even like a certain photographers style. Look and see what aspects of their photography you like and don't like. Maybe you like that they are bright but you would like to see more color. Write down your notes for you to fall back on.

  • Practice. Practice makes perfect. After researching the aspects of photography you like and you don't like, going out and capturing photos will help. This way you are getting hands on experience with figuring out if want more exposure in your photographs or if you want them a little darker. This also gives you a chance to work with posing your objects, whether they be people or an object you designed or are recommending.

  • Editing. Editing gives you the chance to really play around with what style you are trying to achieve. I use Lightroom as my main editing program and it is by far one of the best editing programs I've used. Lightroom gives you the tools to create your style. You can adjust exposure, contrast, different colors you might want standing out, and more. You may end up trying a few different styles until you find the one that represents your brand the most.

When I first got started with photography, it took me 6 months-1 year to really find my style and what I wanted my clients to receive. For some it comes easier, for some it can be more difficult. Just remember. Once you find your style, make sure you keep it consistent throughout your whole company. Your work will be noticed by how consistent your brand is.

What are some other principles that helped you find your style?