How branding teams can help your business

WHY YOU NEED A BRANDING TEAM

There’s a lot of conversation happening right now about branding and exactly what that means. To me, your brand is who you are as a person, how you tie that into your business, and how you share it with the world. But even if you know that, it’s easy to still think of your brand as just a logo or website because that’s the part of your business people see first.

As a designer, I thrive on helping creatives tie who they are into the visual aspect of their brand, but I also encourage my clients to find ways to bring their brand into the rest of their business – their website copy, the content they share, and their interactions with others. Those are the things that are going to really draw people to your business and turn them into loyal community members and clients.

HOW A TEAM CAN BENEFIT YOU

I get it – you’re too busy to figure out how to create and manage all the aspects of your brand while still trying to run a business. That’s why I love working with a branding team. A branding team brings together experts from a variety of fields who help you create everything you need so you know your brand is cohesive with your vision. You're not expected to be an expert at everything and hiring a team makes the process easier, faster, and more fun.

Finding a whole team of people to help you with your branding can seem daunting at first, but the end results are worth it. Because you’re working with a team instead of approaching each part individually, everyone works together with the same vision in mind and the process becomes streamlined.

WHEN TO HIRE A BRANDING TEAM

I’m all for new business owners DIYing their brand and website. It saves money and when you’re just starting out, it’s hard to know where your business journey will take you, so don’t think you need to hire a team right away.

Branding teams work best for businesses that are established and ready to update their brand or business owners who are starting a new venture and need some help getting it all done. At this stage you have the money to invest in professional branding, know your ideal client, and already have a service or product, which makes it easier for the branding team to really capture who you are through your brand while helping you reach the right audience.

WHO YOU NEED ON YOUR TEAM

When you’re ready to put together a branding team, you need to figure out which aspects of branding you could use help with and what you want to take on yourself. The best teams are made up of a designer, photographer, copywriter, marketing strategist, and systems expert, but you have to figure out what combination makes sense for your business. For example, if you’re a photographer, you may not need to hire someone to take photos for your website, but you could still benefit from the services of a designer, copywriter, and marketing strategist.

Once you know which areas you would like help with, then it’s time to find the right people. Make sure that you work with people who fit your style and have a process in place that complements your schedule and personality. For those who like to be really involved with the process, choose a team that builds strategy and feedback calls into their process so you can get the interaction and communication you desire.

If you don’t know where to start, I recommend hiring a brand designer first, because a designer will help you dig into your brand and can recommend people for the other areas. You want people who can come alongside you and fill in the gaps where you could use some help or just don’t have the time to do it yourself.

WHAT YOU SHOULD GET AFTER WORKING WITH A BRANDING TEAM

Of course you’ll get a website when you’re ready to launch your new brand, but working with a team will get you so much more:

– Deliverables – these could include your logo, website, copy, collateral items (such as business cards), photos, or a social media strategy.

– Brand Strategy – this outlines how you should use your brand elements, how to share your story and expertise, and how to continue building your brand in a way that’s authentic to you.

– On-going support – because you should be able to reach out to your team when you need updates or have questions. They may offer a monthly support plan or simply make themselves available when you need help.

HOW TO CONTINUE BUILDING YOUR BRAND ONCE IT LAUNCHES

Even after you’ve launched your beautiful new brand, it’s important to keeping building upon it. Everywhere you’re talking about your business – on social media, on your blog, or in person – you need to stay consistent and follow the strategy set in place by your branding team. I also recommend that you attend networking events so that you truly become the face of your brand. I’ve connected with lots of local creatives this way and I’ve been able to collaborate on some exciting projects. Check out your local Tuesdays Together group and get to know the other creatives who live and work near you. This is a great way to find support, start new relationships, and invest in people who will invest in you and your brand.

Samantha Mabe

Samantha Mabe is a brand and website designer who helps creative entrepreneurs share their vision through design. Her background is in design and architecture, but she’s been creating since she could hold a pencil.  She focuses on working with people who want to be involved in the branding process, which is why she created The Lemonaide Collective, an all-in- one branding process that brings together experts who work together from the very start of a project. Samantha is a Pittsburgh native now living in Richmond, Virginia where she spends her days designing brands and websites and her evenings watching Netflix with her husband and their dog #gambittheweshi.

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