At Your Money Geek, we are huge fans of side hustles, and I mean HUUUGE fans. A side hustle is one of the best ways to boost your income and reach your financial goals, such as paying down debt and saving for retirement.
Side hustles are also a great way to build wealth and security… if you set up your side hustle up correctly. Should you want to stop trading your labor for money and enjoy eventually some passive income from your side hustle, its critical that you get your branding right.
When you are in the early stages of putting your company together, you are going to be in the throws of all of the creative juice. Branding is going to keep coming up.
At one point, you are going to have to sit down and really hash out the details. If you are marketing on social media platforms, and you will be, it is really going to matter early on.
“Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you're not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise.” – Geoffrey Zakarian
So here are some tips for nailing the look and feel of the brand.
Six Tips For Getting Your Branding Right
Before you start throwing ideas down, think about some of the brands that you know and love. We all have them. Brands that align with how we view the world, what our friends like, products we ‘can’t live without,’ and so much more. A great brand will become part of your identity, and you won’t mind that it has happened. Consider one of the biggest brands in the world. Apple.
They have people pre-ordering, queuing up, desperate to get their hands on a mobile phone that is 3mm bigger, or with a new camera. Because that minimal look and maximum usage make it a must-have, and it is a tribe. Everything they produce from content to product has the same aesthetic. Their branding is nailed.
What is it about you that makes you different? Your USP, or unique selling point, is what will set you apart. There are no industries that you can slide into and be sought after straight away – unless you make yourself different and worth working with or purchasing from.
Knowing what makes you different from everyone else is what is going to bring people to your door. Looking at other brands for inspiration is great – copying what they do, how they do it, and even design elements is a no. Don’t try to be the same at other brands.
As soon as you identify what it is, what makes you different, and you can start building your branding around it. If you are taking a business model and turning it on its head, shaking everything up – then that is what makes you different. If you are bringing new products to the country – that is your USP. Your USP is what is going to make your product have meaning to people. So you should ask yourself:
- What is your point of view?
- What do you stand for?
- What do you stand against?
- How do you want to be seen?
You need to keep your tone authentic to you – because that is the only way you will have something consistent.
Who are You Talkin’ To?
This is really going to matter. Before you can wrap up your branding, you are going to need to understand who you are talking to – all the time. It is not enough to know that you are talking to men, or women, or gender-neutral. You need to know what they have to spend, where they live (in a general sense), what they enjoy doing.
You need to define your ideal customer.
You have two options here. One – you can field the work out to a professional and spend money on getting your ideas down. Or you can spend time understanding your creative flare going, and elevate your brand (and your attachment to it) by creating your graphics.
It isn’t just a logo you should consider here. There is psychology behind the colors you’re going to use, the font makes a difference, spacing matters, and so does scalability.
Before you start designing anything on the computer, spend some time searching and sketching to get a feel for what you want. It is a good idea to sit down with friends and family around this time and ask what feelings they get from the images, colors, and what they think your business will do.
Once you have it all down, you have to use it everywhere. You can’t use one color for Facebook, another for Twitter, a different one in your emails. That isn’t going to give people a sense of consistency or build brand recognition.
Loyalty is something that can’t be taken for granted when it comes to your brand. It is built over time, and that means absolute consistency. It should be the case that anyone who sees any touchpoint knows who you are and what you do (eventually).
All of your social media, emails, newsletters, products, and websites need to feel the same to consumers.
Once you have everything down on paper or even some of it designed, you should begin to build your brand's style guide. This is a range of assets that you have for your company. Things like your logo, the color code for the logo, the typography that you use.
Everything needs to be outlined. If you hire freelancers or you are working in a team of people, it is essential that everything from them also has the correct branding. The style guide will mean that staff, freelancers, and partners will all use the correct branding in the right way.
What works in 2011, 2016, 2022 might not all be the same. What you do now should be considered from a future point of view, but you have to keep in mind that actually, you can change everything once you have that initial client/customer base.
Over time your brand and business as a whole will develop – products and people will join and leave the ranks, and your branding will need to evolve too.
You should remember that re-branding is typically an expensive and lengthy process.
Over time you and your brand will become synonymous, so it is important not to get carried away in small details and an ethos that doesn’t feel authentic to you. Your tone of voice and point of view will be the driving force behind gaining loyalty, clients, recognition, and, eventually, success.
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.