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Do You Have A Brand Or A Business?

By Gail Doby, ASID
CVO and Co-Founder of Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
Photo Credit: @bakerbroductions

How do most of your clients find you? Do they seek you out, or do they happen to come across your work, along with that of dozens of other designers, through a random search? One of the biggest differences between top-earning designers and those who just get by is brand identity. If your firm doesn’t have a strong brand, then yours is just another faceless business, in the eyes of the consumer probably no better and no worse than the others.

I’ve said it many times before, but it bears repeating. Branding is more than marketing. When you have a successful brand, prospective clients don’t just recognize your name or the name of your firm, they know your reputation—the quality of your work, the professionalism of your service, your reliability, your expertise, your approach to design. They have confidence that you will deliver what they are looking for.

Creating a great brand starts with having a clear vision of the promise and the personality you want to convey to clients, who those clients are, and how you are going to connect with them, emotionally and professionally. It’s a whole package that encompasses every aspect of your business.

The next step is to translate that vision into images, words, and behaviors that will communicate it to others. Build a high quality portfolio of your best work for your website and social media. Make sure it’s consistent, cohesive and tells a story, not just random images. You want photos that not only spotlight the artistry and uniqueness of your designs, but also express your personality, tastes and approach to design. Don’t try to appeal to every possible prospect. You’re not going to drive clients to your door by selling only vanilla design.

Now apply that same approach to your other business media, from your firm’s logo to printed materials (including business forms) to emails and e-newsletters. Use distinctive but tasteful graphic design, simple and compelling messaging, and high quality images. Again, consistency across all media types is crucial for creating a strong brand presence. The same holds true for your and your team’s appearance, communications, and quality of customer service. It’s not what you promise but how well you deliver on that promise, over and over again, that creates a great brand.

Want to know more about creating a great brand? Join us for this year’s Genius Exchange, July 17 – 19, in Providence, Rhode Island. You’ll hear from top designers how they’ve established high-profile brands that help them stand out from the pack. Obtain strategies on how to get your entire team on board and living the brand. Come away with expert insights, like tips and tricks that will help draw prospects to your Instagram page and lead them to your website. Discover how great branding drives sales, revenues and profits.

To learn more and to register, visit the Genius Exchange web page. Seating is limited, so reserve your place today.

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