Image matters. In fact, sometimes it isn’t even the best idea that wins in the marketplace, but the idea that is told in the most compelling way and reaches the right people.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s impossible to have expertise in every area of your business—legal, human resources, finance, marketing. And frequently, you don’t have the budget to hire those experts full-time at the start of your journey.
So here’s a quick list of what you should have in place before you officially launch or re-brand your business—and some common mistakes to avoid:
Your logo conveys your brand in an instant. Avoid:
Trendy type destined to be outdated
Similarity to other existing logos
Symbols that are complicated
Symbols that are vague and hard to understand
Colors that signal the wrong brand attribute or don’t work digitally
Amateur or dated fonts
Logos that don’t work in both very small and very large applications
You have microseconds to win your viewer. Any of these can signal a reason for a prospective customer to abandon your site:
No clear promise
Inadequate call to action
Too little white space
Wrong vibe for the product/service
Too many colors
Too many type faces
Lack of a clear design grid that makes it easy for the eye to navigate
Type fonts that aren’t web friendly
No strategic hierarchy of information (most important should be largest)
Not deploying responsive design that runs smoothly on all platforms
Long load times
Not using video to increase engagement
Besides needing a logo, you’ll need to have a look that applies to all of your visuals, from signs to apparel to stationery, so avoid these common mistakes that signal amateur:
Color that doesn’t convey the right brand attributes. Colors should be chosen based on color theory, not merely on what you like. (Search our blog for color psychology articles to see what different color families signal.)
No font standards. Use a consistent family of type for everything related to your company.
No graphic standards. Preserving a consistent use of your logo, colors, and fonts ensures that your customers begin to recognize your brand over time.
The most common social media sites being used by businesses are Yelp, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook . Focus on the ones your clients are frequenting, and pick only as many as you can manage well.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
Languishing channels. It takes consistent work and time to create an effective social media channel, so limit yours to ones you can do well. Users won’t engage with you on a channel that doesn’t have a continuous flow of content they like.
No strategy. Understand what your followers want and why they follow you and stick to a consistent strategy.
Ignoring your data. It will tell you where success and failure lies. Use it to continually refine your posts to fit what your audience is looking for.
Content that doesn’t fit your channel. Instagram, for example, is all about strong visuals. Twitter, on the other hand, thrives on sound bites.
Overselling. There’s an unwritten rule that people don’t want to be sold to, so give value without a hard sell.
Not engaging with others. Liking, re-sharing, and commenting on other businesses is essential to growing your following.
Lack of patience. This is a long haul, so be willing to stay with it while you build a following.
Incongruent visuals. Make sure all of your channels have the same visual look and congruent messaging as you build your brand.
If you’re not getting found on the internet, you’re losing business. Here are three missteps that are common:
No SEO. Search engine optimization is about making your website get found by Google. Make sure you have had someone knowledgeable in SEO involved in your web development, or you could have a beautiful website that no one sees. It’s a complex and constantly changing field that will cost you if left to amateurs.
No method of driving traffic to your site. It takes awhile to show up in search results, but one short-cut while you’re building that is to create a digital advertising campaign that puts you at the top of the search results page. Even once you're established on page one of search results, digital advertising can be vital for driving traffic.
No Google My Business address. Nectafy says that 28% of consumers who search for a type of local business on mobile call or go to that business within 24 hours. So if your My Business address is not set up, you’re likely losing business.
Of course, this is just the starting point, but crossing the finish line on these things can position you as credible, help you get found on-line, and turn visitors into prospects—and that’s the first step to creating the sales that grow your business.
Ask about our business Launch and re-branding packages designed to take the worry out of marketing, get you found online, generate leads, and grow your business.