the worst branding advice I've ever heardI’d love to think that the world was a place where everyone gave good advice all the time. Wouldn’t that be nice? When you asked for help you actually got useful help? It’s not that someone is out to get you with bad advice, but it could be that they just don’t understand things fully so they’re giving advice based on the best information they can.

That’s how I stumbled upon my worst branding advice I’d ever heard. It was in a Facebook group, where there are obviously tons of experts about everything business related. Someone had asked a question about branding and what they needed to make their brand really complete. Someone had responded that they just needed to worry about a logo and colors and they’d be done. They said it was easy. Needless to say, a thread full of arguments broke out as people debated the pros and cons of getting in depth branding.

While I didn’t participate I am definitely from the camp of people who think that it’s incredibly important for a brand to be more than just a logo and a set of colors. I think it’s so important that your brand is something more than just a visual element. In fact, I think your brand is actually how people emotionally respond to your business and the visual element is just a way for you to reinforce those feelings repeatedly on social media and anywhere people may encounter your business. That may make me biased, but it’s something I’ve seen work for many photographers and creative business owners that I’ve coached personally as well as for myself as well.

Ultimately, branding is SO MUCH MORE than just your logo and color scheme and hearing that was the worst advice I’d heard yet on branding. When it comes to a business that’s really all about you and your work or your personality make sure that you’re taking the time to look at the whole picture. Sure, a great logo and a color scheme is important. It’s great when your website has a snazzy look to it, but it can be relatively meaningless if there’s nothing more to the brand than just those visuals. Those visuals exist to reinforce a message or idea that your business stands for and it’s your job to know exactly what that is.

I get it. I really do. It can be incredibly difficult to feel comfortable being yourself in business. I’ve spent years feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and still encounter situations where it’s obvious I’m not welcome. By that I mean I’ve come across places and situations where my weirdness and personality isn’t okay. Where it isn’t welcome and where it isn’t embraced. It’s up to me to embrace my personality and who I am and to infuse that in my business and instead of letting other people use it as a way to bring me down, use it as a way to bring not only myself, but the clients and customers like me above it all. Those quirky personality traits that some people don’t like are the things about me that some people love. More importantly, they’re the things about me that I love. I need those things to be showcased in my branding and message.

I cannot reiterate how important it is for you to ensure that you are connecting to your ideal clients, focusing on your message in business and infusing your personality into everything that you do. It will level up your branding and your business in ways that will surprise you and it will make you feel confident in who you are. That confidence will spread to the clients and customers you meet and completely change how you experience business and how they experience you. It can be life changing and inspiring.

I guess ultimately what I’m trying to say is that the worst advice I ever received was that your brand was just a logo and some visual junk. It is so much more than that. Your branding is the key to mastering business and long term success. You shouldn’t just want to change it and get deeper, you know you NEED to. This is your time to do that and start figuring out what message your brand really is and what you really stand for.

Group coaching is coming up this summer and you can sign up over here. It starts in May and I’d love to have you there so I can walk you through this process and make sure that your brand is two-fold, with a complete picture and a concrete message to your customers. Group coaching is limited to 10 spots, but if you really feel that one-on-one coaching is something you need we can do that too! In the meantime make sure you follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Periscope (@carrieswails) so I can keep you in the loop and help you learn more about branding, your message, and how to take that to the next level!

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