Last week I wrote about why branding is so important in business, even if you’re just running a little business from your kitchen table.
Today I’m reviewing a product that will help you to create your stand-out brand.
That product is called Build a Brand and it’s by Australian-based mumpreneur Karen Gunton.
Karen is a Canadian living in Australia and we got to know each other because her blog Build a Little Biz is just so close to what I’m doing here at Business Plus Baby. (…Except she says “awesome” and “badass”. Somehow that doesn’t sound right coming from a Brit like me and frankly I’m a bit envious!)
Anyway, I’ve loved what Karen does at over a Build a Little Biz since the day I first found her, so I’ve been eagerly anticipating her first product for mumpreneurs.
And I have to say it really is fabulous.
Build a Brand grew out of Karen’s experience of starting her own photography business:
after 2 years of struggling to stand out in the crowd of little mum-run photography businesses i realized that if I was going to be competitive and make money doing what i loved, i needed to get serious about my business and find a way to stand out and look professional.
She decided to start afresh with her brand but had to spend hours trawling the internet and the library searching for what she needed.
i applied the methods of the big corporate identities and adapted the instructions from the online marketing gurus and until i had something that would work for my little, mum-run, at-home business.
To get branding right, you need to understand what’s unique about your product/service, then get that message across in every interaction you have with the outside world – your logo, colour scheme, tagline, business card, Facebook page, the room where you meet your clients, everything.
It’s a tall order but Build a Brand takes you through all the steps beautifully, from making sure you understand what a brand is, to taking you through the creative process of finding your own brand, then deciding on your logo, business name and tagline, to putting it all together into a seamless brand. At the end of the workbook is a practical and detailed checklist of how to implement your brand on your blog, website, business cards, Facebook page, Twitter, email, newsletter and every other place it need to be.
And if you’ve already got a brand that isn’t working for you, there’s advice on whether to change it or refresh it. Plus how to create a buzz around your brand’s launch (or relaunch).
Karen wisely encourages you to get a professional designer to create your logo for you as you can usually spot a hand-made logo a mile away! But working through her steps on logo design will mean you arrive at the designers’ door with a clear idea of what you want, which saves time, hassle and of course money. There’s even a directory of designers where you can get a discount as a buyer of Build a Brand.
(One of the designers in the directory, Kim of Boutique By Design, has just designed the new logo for my Earn What You Deserve as a Mumpreneur e-course and I really recommend her – she was brilliant to work with.)
But what I like most about Build a Brand is that it takes a confusing and complex subject and tells you precisely what you need to know as a busy small business owner. Then it takes you through branding your business in easy-to-follow steps. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by branding, but Build a Brand cuts right through it all, giving you exactly what you need to know and do.
If you’re concerned about Build a Brand being from outside the UK, don’t be. The information inside would apply anywhere in the world and as we’re all heavily reliant on the internet there isn’t that much difference between living in Aberdeen or Adelaide these days. (Kim of Boutique by Design is in Canada, which was actually an advantage as she was working on my logo while I was asleep!) The workbook is an instant electronic download, so there’s no waiting for delivery.
Build a Brand is $67 Australian (about £40 or US$67 at time of writing this post) for the e-workbook, plus you can buy packages that include access to a members-only brand building forum and 1-to-1 coaching too.
That’s a fraction of what a marketing coach or consultant would cost. And when you think of how much branding mistakes will cost you, both in lost sales and in printing/website design when you have to rebrand later on, I’d say this is a good investment. And that’s not even counting the time and money you save by using the logo designer directory.
(I’ve seen just the workbook, but one look at Karen’s blog or Facebook page shows just how much she knows and is happy to share with other mums in business, so I’ve no doubt at all that her forum and coaching will be top quality).
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