Not sure if now is the right time to hire a branding expert, consultant or studio? Here are the top five reasons we hear from clients that it’s time to bring in a branding professional.
Have you been asking yourself some form of the question, “How do I know if I need a branding pro or if I can just do this on my own?”
Here’s the deal. Investing in your brand and business can be hella-scary. Especially when you think you can do it yourself. And let’s be clear.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with DIY’ing your brand. In fact, if you’re just getting started and unsure about your brand vision, I’d encourage it.
Yes, that’s a weird thing for a brand studio owner to say, but here’s why: As a brand new business owner, you’re likely being pulled in a million different directions. But that’s okay because you’re motivated. Additionally, you’re still trying to find your voice. Plus, there are thousands of great resources online for creating and designing an amazing brand.
So, back to the question: how do you know when it’s time to invest in professional branding? Today we’re diving into the top five reasons we hear from clients as to why they’re reaching out for branding support. The hope is that if you’re on the fence about where to go, this will help clarify whether or not bringing in a branding pro is your next right step.
In This Article
>> Pros and cons of outsourcing your branding
>> What a good brand can do for your business
>> Five signs your business is ready to bring in a pro
>> How to get the most out of working with a branding professional
The pros and cons of outsourcing your branding
Pro: You get an outside perspective from an unbiased third party
Your business is personal. And you have history with it. Whether you’re a new business owner or you’ve been operating for a length of time, there’s history there. You may be attached to certain ideas or concepts. By bringing in outside brand support, you’re able to lean on someone else and get their unbiased opinion.
Our job is to help you gain clarity on your brand and create something that brings more ease and enjoyment into your business – from that lens, we’re able to sift through the stories and help you see things from a new perspective.
Con: It’s an investment of both your time and money
Investing in your brand is a big step and not necessarily the right fit for everyone. In addition to the obvious monetary investment, you also have to make a commitment to dig deep and get real clear on what you want. This means devoting time and energy into the process.
Pro: You get a fresh set of eyes and new perspective
It’s a branding professional’s job to ask questions and dig deep. We’re able to approach your brand with a new perspective and more often than not, see something that you’re not able to because you’re so close to it. There’s something special that happens when you bring in someone new – they’re starting from square one and often require you to put your brand vision in the most simplistic terms. Simple = less confusion. Win-win.
Con: The results are not guaranteed
There’s often a ‘build it and they will come’ expectation that happens after the branding process is completed. But here’s the thing. A new brand does not guarantee new customers. Or more customers. A brand’s job is to communicate a message, a perception, a stake in the ground. Of course more customers, clients, jobs, work, is the goal. But it’s not a guarantee.
Pro: You get to utilize the expertise and experience of someone else
As with anything you outsource, you can lean on the partner’s expertise. It’s their job to know the ins and outs of what you’re hiring them for, so in this case, it’s the branding partner’s job to know what to look out for when it comes to creating a consistent and cohesive brand. They know the right questions to ask and how to pull all the ideas into something that’s easy to communicate.
Con: You share creative control with someone else
If you like to have complete control of the design process, bringing in outside support could prove to be a challenge. There’s a balance between creating something you’re excited to share while also staying in line with your brand strategy and direction. Talk with your branding professional and ask them how much collaboration they like to have throughout the process and make your decisions accordingly. If you’d rather be completely hands-off, you can hire someone who aligns with that approach. If you’re someone who wants to be more collaborative, look out for a branding professional that knows how to effectively collaborate with clients. (Sidenote: Witt and Company is fully Team Collaboration!)
Pro: You save time, energy and money
Yes, of course there’s an investment up front of your time, energy and money.
But in the long run an effective and strong brand will give you back those resources, and then some.
Why? Because a brand’s job is to communicate what you stand for. And when done well, a consistent and cohesive brand brings more ease and enjoyment into your business. It supports your business goals and connects with the right people at the right time.
What a good brand can do for your business
Why hire someone in the first place? Well, let’s take a look at what effect poor branding – one that lacks consistency and cohesiveness, and causes confusion – can have on your business.
At the most basic level, when your brand lacks clarity, you make it even harder for your audience to connect with you and thus, buy from you.
That could mean they aren’t sure how to interact with you because your communication style is all over the board or they don’t know what you offer or who it’s for because your website says something different than your social media – any confusion puts a barrier up between you and that potential client.
So, on the flip side, good branding will without a doubt support you in reaching your version of success.
When you have clarity around your brand’s communication plan, you spend less time thinking about what to say and how to say it, and more time taking action. Which in turn, results in showing up consistently – both in time and experience. Meaning, you are able to put yourself out there with more ease so when someone experiences your brand, it’s cohesive, AND you are working from a clear strategy so the content itself is aligned and consistent.
Pretty great, right?
Five signs you’re ready to hire a branding professional
Okay, so you’re on board with why it’s beneficial to outsource your branding. The next question is, how do you know if you are ready? We’ve rounded up five common characteristics we see among clients who wind up hiring Witt and Company – they all have experienced at least one of the reasons below and in some cases, they can check off several boxes.
Number one: You’ve DIY’ed your brand up to this point and are ready for the next level
You’re a relatively new business owner and up to this point, you’ve cobbled together your brand based on resources you have stumbled across online. You’re pretty damn proud of what you’ve created (as you should be!) and you have put a lot of time, energy and effort into your brand.
It still doesn’t look as polished and clean as you’re envisioning. It has served you well, but you’re getting to the point of wanting something more refined, focused and clear. Your brand isn’t quite resonating with your audience, you’re trying to get some clarity around your voice and could use a little help developing your message so it’s consistent and cohesive.
Number two: Your messaging and brand story are inconsistent, or completely nonexistent
When you started your business, you thought creating a brand meant having a logo and color scheme. You nailed that one down right away… except something still feels ‘off’.
When someone visits your website, they have a certain experience. And then if they connect with you over on Instagram, the experience isn’t quite the same. The pictures are pretty and the visual look is there, but you often find yourself unsure of what to say and how to say it.
Number three: You’re not excited to share your business
As a business owner, it’s your job to show up consistently.
We can make this a lot easier on ourselves when we’re excited about our message, our look and our business.
Unfortunately, the reverse can happen if you’re not excited. Whether it’s the visuals that don’t reflect your vision or the message that isn’t quite communicating your value… any kind of uncertainty or lack of clarity can derail your consistency efforts.
When you’re not excited about your business, your message or your look, you end up giving a half-assed effort – sometimes unintentionally.
Why? Because excitement comes from clarity and confidence. When you’re not clear, you procrastinate. Or, you put something out there just because you feel like you have to and it winds up being a wasted effort.
Number four: You’re niching down and want a brand that aligns with the community
When you’re just starting out, you’re more likely to take on anything and everything, because #bills. If the person is breathing and willing to pay, you’ll do it. And then a few months go by and you start defining your expertise, little by little. You begin to gain clarity around the types of people you like working with and the ones you don’t. You gain confidence in yourself and raise your prices. And it isn’t long before you realize that your brand experience isn’t aligned with who you want to attract.
Number five: You’re just getting started and want to start off with a strong foundation.
As a new business owner, you’re probably entering into uncharted territory. You have no shortage of ideas but might lack the understanding and direction to convey the right idea to the right prospective client.
When you bring in outside support from the get-go, you’re giving your business a strong foundation and starting point. Yes, a lot of your branding work will happen with action but there is something to be said for having a consistent and cohesive presence from the beginning.
How to get the most out of working with a branding professional
Now that you understand when it might be good timing to hire brand support, how do you ensure a successful outcome?
First, give yourself enough time to really devote to the process. If you’re rushing through, it will most likely result in something that misses the mark.
Remember, the goal of your brand is to build recognition and connect with the right people at the right time.
If you’re rushing through the process, you may end up with something that’s not aligned.
Second, make sure you pick the right-for-you person or studio to work with. The best way to ensure you’re working with the right person is to first understand what your goals are. Do you want to make the switch from business-brand to personal-brand? Are you hoping to hone in on your brand story? Do you want a full visual brand with all the bells and whistles? When you understand what you’re hoping to achieve, you can then search for the right fit based on your desired goals.
Last, but not least, have fun! You’re creating a new brand (or going through a rebrand) for your business – how freakin’ exciting is that? Yes, there’s a lot of work involved but it should also be enjoyable. Because if you don’t enjoy the creation process, who’s to say you’ll enjoy the actual brand and business?
With that, happy branding!
All my best,
Not sure if you need a logo or a full brand? Check out this post.
Want to know what it’s like working with Witt and Company? Here’s a peek behind the curtain!
Ready to rebrand your business but not sure what to do? This post walks you through the process of getting ready for a rebrand.
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