Creative Business Strategy, Custom Brand Design + Photography
I am so excited to celebrate Calligraphy by Cami’s gorgeous new brand launch from this last week. It has been an amazing journey these last few months as her brand story has unfolded. Building a brand with clarity, consistency and congruence doesn’t happen over night. Brand stories are built one very intentional choice at a time.
Here’s where I get to pull back the curtain just a little to show you the amazing journey we have been on. Are you ready for a peek behind the scenes?
Branding is a process that runs so much deeper than color choices and logos. It speaks to the core of who you are as a business and it shapes every decision you make.
We organized a styled branding shoot where I got to capture Cami in her element surrounded by her brand aesthetic. Branding is about storytelling. And setting is a huge part of your story. It is important to consciously create and curate imagery that offers a sense of place.
For Cami’s logo we captured her own gorgeous lettering & then I added some subtle floral elements and a watercolor texture.
This is what I call my Brand at a Glance™ board. It is incredibly useful to help keep you on track visually with the look and feel of your social media and online presence. Your branding should feel the same across all your online and offline platforms.
The photos in the Brand at a Glance™ board are inspiration images that helped guide our visual choices.
We focused on creating a bright, airy, timeless look that is both welcoming and elegant.
But Cami is more than someone who has a business creating beautiful envelopes. She is an expert in her field and is widely sought after as an instructor by local businesses, regional venues and most recently for a collaboration with the international brand Pilot Pens. This scope of expertise also needed to be displayed as a crucial part of her brand story.
When deciding on content for your brand it is important to feature places where your work has been seen as well as significant collaborations. There are a number of ways to show off your experience with great content and organization. Here are few tips:
- Keep your visuals on point because the visual part of your brand is going to be the first thing that captures your audience’s attention. Choose congruent visuals because confused visuals lead to confused visitors. And confused visitors leave. In like 3 seconds.
- Feature badges of awards, features, interviews, collaborations prominently on your home page. It doesn’t need to scream, but it does need to be seen.
- Feature relevant reviews from customers on your home page, your main product pages and your portfolio page as well as your review page. Don’t make visitors go to a separate page to read the stories of happy clients. If possible, get head shots to use with your reviews. There is a whole portion of our brain dedicated to facial recognition. Having smiling faces to go with great reviews instantly ups your credibility factor.
- If you blog (and you should blog), dedicate a post series (like this one) to featuring client stories. The clinical term is “case studies” or “white papers”. But that sounds so, well, clinical. I call them “Brand Stories”. You might call them Love Stories (if you are a wedding planner) or Photo Stories (if you are a photographer). Whatever you choose to call them, make sure you highlight your expertise in the choices you made and the outcomes for your client.
Another way to demonstrate your expertise is by coming up with a detailed opt-in.
Not only does this show your knowledge, it can be an amazing tool to build your email list.
And yes, you need an email list. Unless you have your own email list, you will be completely at the mercy of whatever social media platforms you use most frequently.
This is not an either/or option. It is a both/and. You need both. And of course making sure that your opt-in visually coordinates with and continues to tell your brand story is crucial.
Your opt-in should be as good if not better than your paid content. This is where you get to shine. For Cami’s opt-in, we pulled on her extensive knowledge of wedding stationery etiquette and history, as well as the most common questions she runs into when it comes to the proper way to address envelopes for wedding stationery.
Investing In Brand Photography
I cannot stress the importance of great photography that is brand centric. You don’t just need great photos, you need brand-specific great photos that are created and curated to tell your brand story. When I see a photo from a brand like Anthropologie, I instantly know it’s Anthropologie. When people look across your digital landscape, your images need to be congruent and consistent. They need to have the same vibe, tell different parts of the same story and do it across subject matter and seasons.
For Cami, I set up a styled branding shoot with her and helped her plan out her aesthetic and visual strategy. Down to ordering the right brand colors of envelopes, nailing the right venue that exuded her sense of space, talking outfit choices and props and florals. The details make a huge difference between something looking intentional and something looking accidental. And because she is local to me, I actually got to do her photography!
In addition, I worked with Cami to set up her Dubsado CRM account, set up her ConvertKit and Shopify accounts, plan her web content (although I did not design her final website), create some of her web graphics, develop her launch strategy and create some of her social media graphics. It was a busy few months and I can’t wait to see where the next stage of her business journey takes her.