You’ve finally taken that plunge and launched your business. You know you need a logo, business cards, social media presence, website, and some way for potential customers to contact you, but you don’t know where to start. Have no fear. While you should never rule out properly investing in your business’s brand (in fact, I highly encourage you to make the investment sooner rather than later), here are four simple and free ways to start building your brand while you save for the professional investment.
Create a work email. Even though the only way to have a legitimate professional email is to have a self-hosted website, you can at least create a semi-professional email for free using Gmail, Yahoo or some other common email provider. So, even though a custom email like email@example.com is off the table, you can, at the very minimum, create firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a much more positive asset to your business than your old college email email@example.com. Trust me. It is.
Secure your Internet space: Social media is free. It’s time consuming if it’s done right (and it should be done right), but it’s still free. Many business owners make the mistake of not securing potential social media channels under their business name. Don’t make the same mistake yourself. Even if you’re not ready to have your business all over Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, create accounts under your business name so nobody else does. Accounts can sit unused, but once your name has been taken, you’ll more than likely never get it back. And while not entirely free, it only costs approximately $15-25 each year to purchase a domain name for a future website. Because once it’s gone, there’s no hope of getting it back.
The power of the hashtag. As I mentioned above, you may not be entirely ready to create and manage social media accounts for your business. In fact, you may be wanting to test out the waters to see where your audience lives before taking the plunge. Utilizing branded hashtags on your personal social media accounts is a simple way to achieve this. So, you post a picture of your latest painting on your personal Instagram. Tag it #brewerfineart. Hashtags are a great way to bring attention to your brand, or business, even through your personal channels. In fact, having that personal connection to your business can bring you even more exposure. Because we all like to know the person behind the brand.
Create an idea board. Your ideas are free. While you are running around like crazy in the early stages of your business, take time to jot down ideas that you like…ideas that you want your business to grow in to, like graphics, fonts, images, colors and even other businesses whose look you like. Keep these ideas somewhere safe – on your phone, in a notebook or in your email. When the time comes to invest in your business’s brand, you’ll already have a head start. You’ll end up with a better business design because you’ll have some concrete ideas of how you view your business and how you want others to see your business as well.
Remember, a brand is not simply a product, a logo. In actuality, a brand is your story, your vision, your statement of who you are. If you’re trying to navigate the waters of how much to invest in your brand, keep in mind that in order to set your business a part from your competition, you need to be different, unique. You need to be you. While you may be initially drawn to $20 premade logos, save your money and invest in a branding expert that will help communicate your business’s story to the world in a creative, visual way.
Share this Post