At the beginning of this year I realised that I couldn’t remember the last time I had given my website any TLC, and although it wasn’t technically causing any problems for my business I knew that it was time to refocus some of my energy back into my digital home.
And if you take a little look around you’ll see that things are looking a tiny bit different around here - nothing’s changed all that much, but a few tweaks here and there have left me feeling excited about this website again instead of it just feeling like an afterthought.
I’ve never invested in outside branding and website design, mostly because I really do enjoy doing this type of thing myself, and also because I’m a little bit of a control freak and it just doesn’t feel like an investment I want to make in my business right now either.
But there was one area of my branding where I was in need of some outside help and that’s why I booked in a shoot with the incredibly talented Sophie Carefull so that I could finally stop using the same old photo over and over again and actually show up and share a little more of myself online.
Sophie booked me for coaching a few years ago now and I fell in love with her work so I always knew when the time was right she would be the person I would choose.
I am oh so shy behind the camera but Sophie put me completely as ease and I can’t tell you how happy I am with the finished result. As soon as Sophie sent me the final set of photos over email I was itching to update my site, but I had a few decisions to make first.
So next on my list was to create a little branding moodboard, which I’ve shared above. I decided to keep my current colour palette and fonts, mostly because they still feel like a good fit for me and also because changing them would turn this mini brand refresh into a much bigger job. But I did give my logo a little refresh to something that felt a little more like me, and I pulled over some of my recent photos from Instagram so that I could see how my current visual style blended with the photos from Sophie too.
What I was left with is a little visual guide that I can refer back to whenever I need to reconnect to this side of my business, and it was also just such a great feeling to feel so settled in my visual style in this season of my work too.
The visual side of my business has never been in my comfort zone. My writing, my ideas, and my approach is always where I’ve felt most at home and the visual side has been something I’ve slowly developed and found my feet in over time. So to finally be at a place where I feel super settled feels so good.
If you’re itching to DIY a little brand refresh for yourself right now too here are the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the years:
It’s okay to uncover your visual brand as you go
This is year five now for me of running my business, and over the years my visual brand has gone through many iterations. I’ve learned that it’s something we uncover and define in equal measure, as we often need to live in our business a little so that we can truly understand how we want to share it with the world. I also found that experimenting on Instagram has been a huge help for me too, as seeing over time the type of imagery I love to share has held space for me to dive deeper into this side of my brand too. I’m sure my brand will continue to evolve over the years to come and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be as it’s when we lean into the journey of figuring this out as we go that we’re able to find our own sweet spot along the way. If we try to force it before we’re ready we’ll just end up imitating someone else or diluting the core of who we are in our work.
You contain multitudes so your brand will do too
Long gone are the days of neat and tidy brands being the norm. Yes our brands need to be focused and clear and full of purpose, but if we forget to make space for all of the layers of who we are then we’ll just end up with something that feels very one dimensional along the way. And all of those many layers are what holds space for us to truly connect with the right people for us too - people buy from other people after all. This is where experimenting on Instagram has been really helpful for me too - by just allowing myself to share whatever I feel in flow to do so there I’ve been able to naturally see my multitudes come to life right there on my screen. It’s been a great reminder that it can sometimes be more impactful to learn from our actions than it can be to force those actions instead.
Focus on how you want your brand to make people feel
This is always my jumping off point: how do I want to make people feel when they interact with my brand? What kind of relationship do I want to build with them? What vibe do I want my website and brand to create? If you know your answers to these questions and you let them guide your actions you can’t really go wrong. In the work I do I am very thoughtful, encouraging, and intentional so I try and pour that energy into every aspect of my brand from the words I use to the photos I share. Once we find a home in our business then all we have to do is live that home out loud too.
But don’t forget to make it feel like home for you too
If your brand and website doesn’t feel like home to you sooner or later that disconnect with seep out into your business too. Clients have often told me when we start working together that they’ve built the brand they thought they had to build, that they’ve followed trends that they thought they had to follow and are now left with a business and a brand that doesn’t truly feel like them. And here’s the thing: following the crowd feels safe, but in the long run all it does is leave your work feeling like an echo instead of the unique and awesome business that it is. If your brand doesn’t feel like a hell yes then it’s not the very best brand for you, but it’s okay if developing the right brand for you takes time and a few stops and starts along the way too. Ask yourself:
What would home feel like for me in my brand and business?
How would I show up if I wasn’t afraid that I was doing it wrong?
When do I most feel like me in my brand and business?
And the biggest lesson of all that I’ve learned? Branding should be fun. It’s how we express ourselves and our business with the world, and the possibilities of how we can do that are endless too. And it feels oh so good when we get to our hell yes brand too, we’ve just got to be willing to do the work it takes to get there.
As always, I’m rooting for you!
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