A lot of people hold off on branding in the beginning. I get it. You’ve got a tight budget and need to keep those purse strings closed, or even want proof of concept before going all in.
So you DIY-ed it, or found someone to put a logo together for you for a couple hundred bucks right? Since then you’ve just been using it everywhere, but the more materials you create the more it shows that the only thing consistent about it is that logo…and you’re not even happy with the logo anymore.
Oh the shame. Just kidding. Everyone deals with this struggle at some point.
Not only are you allowed to make the investment into a custom brand, but you really should at some point.
Investing in a brand is a pretty big decision though and sometimes it’s hard to know when a good time to do it is.
So I’ve got a checklist of sorts to help you know whether or not it’s time to start working with a designer on your own custom brand…finally.
ARE YOU SHIFTING IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Many of us start out doing one thing and through trial and error end up doing something else, or a more refined version of our original vision. I honestly don’t know anyone who hasn’t gone through this at some point.
ARE YOU READY TO RAISE YOUR PRICES?
Remember I talked about the DIY or budget brands many entrepreneurs use in the beginning? They’re great, for a time, but it’s hard to raise your prices to where they should be now that you’re more experienced if your business materials look budget.
DOES YOUR CURRENT LOOK FEEL WRONG?
It’s hard to put ourselves out there when we feel like our business doesn’t actually reflect where we’re at and where we’re going now. There are a lot of shifts that occur throughout your time as an entrepreneur, but especially in the first year or two of business. If you’re embarrassed by what you’re putting out there then it’s definitely time to fix this and stave off the inevitable self-sabotage.
HAS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT CHANGED OR SHIFTED?
Just like when you shift focus, your target market shifts too. It may be that you shifted your focus without actually recognizing how this affected your target market. You may have gotten more specific in your offer and it’s time to get more specific with your audience too.
ARE YOU LAUNCHING A NEW SERVICE OR PROGRAM?
Like I said in the Brand Wardrobe pt. 2, it’s often a good idea to brand your individual services to actually target your specific target audience better.
Even if you said yes to all of the questions above, don’t hire a strategist if:
You’re not ready to make the investment.
You haven’t actually started your business yet or served any clients.
You don’t want to change and grow, you just want a nice design.