Trying to do everything in your business on your own will lead to burnout and resentment. If you truly want to run a successful online business, there are some things and people you need to get help from.
The Goodness Squad Podcast Episode #25
How inconsistent branding (aka an identity crisis) can hinder business growth
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The Goodness Squad: Welcome to the goodness squad. Welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome to the goodness squad.
Misty: This is episode #25 of The Goodness Squad podcast. I want to start today by reading you one of my very favorite scriptures. This is in Alma 37:6-7, and I'm going to start a little bit into verse 7, where we learn that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.
"And small means in many instances doth confound the wise" and then verse 7 says "the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes. And by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls."
Now I don't, by any stretch of the imagination, want to compare web design to this scripture, bringing about the salvation of many souls. But what I do want you to understand is that there are small things you may be doing or not doing in your web design that have a greater effect than you think they might. I believe that this principle of by small and simple things do great things come to pass, I believe that principle applies to almost anything in our lives and in our businesses.
Sometimes we get so focused on the big stuff, we don't realize that there's something very small we could tweak or change that is going to significantly improve our business. And today I want to discuss one of those things with you.
I am Misty Marsh. I have built and sold a profitable online business. And now I am on a mission to lift you, your income, and your influence for good online. If you want to turn your blog or podcast into a full-fledged online business, where you get to share your talents with others, earn income, and not sacrifice your home-centered focus, then welcome to The Goodness Squad. You have found a community of like-minded women.
So in episode #24, I told you that I was going to be talking about 5 different mistakes that you were making on your website that you don't know you're making. As I began to prepare this episode, I realized that was going to be way too much. Instead, I want to focus on just one of those five tips for the next five episodes.
Today's tip is all about consistent branding. This is one of those very small things that is having a bigger impact on your influence and your income than you think it is.
I am the first one to raise my hand and say, I have done this. I remember when I first started creating my own Pinterest pins, years ago, for a previous website. Every single pin was a different color and it had different fonts. And I was experimenting with different things. I would copy somebody else's pitch. I mean, not directly, but I was like, "Oh, that's a cool style." And I would do that. And then next time I would think, "Oh, that's a really cool style. Do that." And none of my pins looked the same. Now when I fixed this just on my pins, not even on my website yet, but when I decided that all of my pins were going to look similar, meaning they would have the same general style, they wouldn't all be the exact same format, but the same general style, the same fonts, and the same colors, my Pinterest account did so much better. Crazy. Right? Crazy.
So let's talk about why that is. So I want you to think about someone who you knew maybe in high school, maybe now, hopefully in high school instead of now. I want you to think of someone who had a very inconsistent personality. Their personality changed based on who they were with. What they were wearing changed based on which group of friends they were hanging out with. The words that they use. The things that they talked about at Young Women's were completely different than what they talked about at school.
All of us, to be 100% honest, do this to some degree. But I bet you can think of someone who has or had this type of personality that consistently changes, that morphs. This creates a few different problems.
#1 - it creates distrust. I want you to think of your brand as a personality, as a person. And that person, it should stay the same, no matter where you are or who you're interacting with. That's what it means to have high quality, good branding. It means your branding's personality stays the same, whether you're on Facebook, whether you're on your blog, whether you're on a podcast, wherever you're at. Your brand's personality stays the same.
It creates confusion and distrust, just like it would, if you had a person whose personality changed, depending on where they were. When my pins started to look exactly the same, not exactly the same, but when they were very consistent in personality, it made them extremely recognizable. So once somebody knew that they had found a pin from me that they liked, and then next week they saw another pin that looked very similar, their brain automatically recognized me and my brand. And they trusted me. Because they had found a pin previously and had a good experience with it, they are going to be more likely to click on another pin that looks similar.
The same thing happens on our websites. So often I will find websites, and again I'll raise my hand here for being in this situation years ago, absolutely I've been there. I understand it. I get it. But do you have too many fonts? If you have more than two main fonts, you have too many fonts. The max you should have is three. And that third one should be used extremely sparingly. And it's probably going to be a script font. And it's used more as decoration than as something people can actually read. So two main fonts, and possibly a third one, that's used more as a decoration than as a real font because even if you have more than those two fonts, it gets confusing.
But if you have fonts that are very difficult to read, even if you only have two of them, it can be confusing still, and it can be frustrating for your visitors. So this sometimes happens when you pick a fancy-schmancy script font for one of those two main fonts. What happens is it becomes difficult to read and people will just skip over it and they won't pay attention to it. And it's not something they do consciously, but it's because it makes them think a little bit too much. So pick two main fonts and make sure they are easy to read.
So what are some of the things that I mean when I talk about easy to read? I mean, not all caps, not too small, and I already mentioned not script fonts. Now there are situations where certain fonts look better in all caps. So this does depend on your situation, but the goal here is simple and easy to read.
The next mistake I'll see when it comes to inconsistent branding is too many colors. You really should have two main colors as well. There are different types of color palettes. If you have a color palette, that is the same color, but multiple different shades, that's a different story. But if you are going to have multiple different colors, you really shouldn't have more than two main ones and maybe a couple of accent colors and then a black and a white that you use, or a dark gray and a white or a dark gray and a really, really, really light gray or light cream that looks almost white. But no more than two real main colors or you become unrecognizable and confusing.
Same thing with different photo styles. All of your photos should have the same general style. For instance, all of my photos are very light. They have a lot of bright, outdoor light in them. This comes from the concept that I am talking about spreading goodness and light all over my website. And so I try to use photos that convey that.
These problems exist - too many fonts, difficult to read fonts, too many colors - this inconsistency in the look of your brand comes because we get it backward. When we plan our brands, we think "Ooh, my favorite color is red and I want to have my website be red." And then your favorite color changes. Or we see somebody with another website that looks beautiful and we think "they're not using red" or "they're using blue and it looks amazing and I'm going to go use blue" and we're all over the place. And we're making these decisions in a very willy nilly type way. We aren't purposeful.
So how do you create a purposeful brand? You start with how you want people to feel. I want you to go back to episode #10, where I talk about this. I talk about picking five ways in which you want people to feel. My five are inspired, optimistic, empowered, motivated, and relieved. So everything I do inside my brand, the words I choose, the images I choose, the colors I choose, the fonts I choose, they all fit those adjectives.
Take it one step further and decide what your brand values, what is truly important to you in your business? For me, I have three. Number one is serve first. Number two is people over profits. Those two are very similar. Number three is two delight and exceed people's expectations. So everything I do focuses on those three things.
Last, I want you to think about what your brand promise is. Big picture, what is it you're promising people when they work with you? When they read a blog poster or listen to a podcast or purchase a product, what is your big promise? Mine is increased profits without sacrificing family time. That is my big promise. Once you have these overall big picture things about your brand, you can begin to discover what colors and fonts fit those feelings. I will provide you, down in the show notes for this podcast episode, some links. First of all, I will provide you with links to some Pinterest boards that will have articles and infographics that talk about the emotions that different colors and fonts invoke. For instance, the color orange, the reason I use the color orange is that it invokes feelings of empowerment and motivation and energy and "I can do this. Let's go get it." The reason I chose my second main color, blue, is because this creates a feeling of optimism and relief and calm and peace, which is the other emotion that I'm trying to convey and help people to feel.
I will also link to my very favorite color tool, which is Coolors.co, there'll be a link to it in the show notes. This is my very favorite color tool. I can put in those two main colors that I'm going to use everywhere, lock them, and then just hit the space bar and it will create two or three or four or five other colors for me that compliment that until I find a palette that fits things overall. But yeah, two main colors really need to fit those emotions that you're trying to invoke in people.
That is it for today. Your challenge is to make your branding more cohesive. I want you to choose two fonts and two colors. I am not asking you to change your entire branding overnight. That is not what your challenge is. Your challenge is to find ways to use those two colors and two fonts more consistently. Remember, at first, for me, that was simply changing the colors and fonts I used in my Pinterest pins. I didn't change them on my website or on Facebook. So choose one place where you are going to be more consistent. And then from there you can slowly branch out and be more consistent everywhere. Should you eventually get to that point? Yes, but the purpose of this podcast is to give you bite-sized, easy to process, and easy to implement tips for your business. So I simply want you to choose two colors and two fonts and figure out one place in your business that you are going to be more consistent.
Thank you once again for being here. As always, I appreciate that you have chosen to spend some of your precious time with me. Make sure you subscribe because, in the next episode, we are going to be talking about the second big mistake I see people make on their websites over and over and over again. This mistake is especially true of bloggers and this fix will make an incredibly huge difference in your business. I promise you. So don't miss it.
If you are not yet an official member of The Goodness Squad, I want you here. I want you as part of this community of women. You can join by going to TheGoodnessSquad.com/join. I have lots of resources, free resources, for you there. The one I've added most recently is a list of ways to say no politely. But you will also find things like help for discovering your superpower and tips on creating headlines and blog post titles that are highly effective.
I can not wait to virtually see you there.
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