By Raewyn Sangari • Shield Sisters Initiative
You can really tell when a business owner is the face of their brand. Without fail, every time you see them online or in person, they are emulating their brand. Their brand is recognizable. You could see a pin on Pinterest and KNOW where it came from, without even reading the source.
This is the ultimate level of entrepreneurship.
As creatives and small business owners, our businesses and brands are a piece of who we are. The passion and sweat equity is unreal. But what happens when you don’t know where to begin and find yourself switching up your branding every other day?
You probably don’t have a clear direction for your business. Before you can begin to authentically live your brand every day, you need to do some soul searching to find that brand and to find your WHY.
When You’re Creating Your Brand
Once you’ve done that soul searching and found your WHY, picking your branding will be easy if you remain focused on YOU and YOUR business as opposed to current trends or current loves. I’ve had people tell me my font is overused and not recognizeable for my brand – BUT when combined with my secondary font and my color scheme, everyone knows where that image came from.
I didn’t even realize that my brand was so close to who I was until I started planning for my first brand photoshoot. The majority of my closet reflects my brand.
Evaluate your wardrobe
When you’re deciding your brand colors, stay away from what is popular and stick to what you love. It will make brand photoshoots and appearances that much easier. You won’t have to go out and buy all new clothes (so pricey when you’re hustlin’!) because your brand is a piece of you.
If your company mood is all about the bright and fun, I would be surprised if your wardrobe was all blacks and maroons.
If your company mood is more romantic and sensual, I would be surprised to see a closet full of yellows and oranges.
As a small business owner, it is natural for your company mood to reflect your mood and your likes, especially when you are the leader of your team. As a partnership, it may be a bit more difficult, but you can each pick a color or color scheme.
When we started Shield Sisters Initiative, there were three of us. Be a Warrior Queen – my movement – is all about bright pink and bright teal, but Shield Sisters Initiative is much more regal. Originally, I didn’t think that the dark and regal colors were really a piece of me, but when I looked into my closet, I already owned pants, blouses, leggings and t-shirts in my brand colors!
Look at the colors around you
Sometimes, the colors that stand out to you haven’t made their way into your closet, but are still in the colors around you. Things to look at include your office decor, your planner and your phone case.
One of my favorite activities when finding brand colors is to go to the fabric store and walk the aisles to see what stands out to you! Branding isn’t just about colors by themselves – hues and patterns are totally a part of it!
Feel your way to a font
As I mentioned before, so many people have said that my main font is overused. I haven’t seen it much in my community, but I do see it everywhere in the wedding community. It is very beautiful and loopy. It captures the royal and feminine aspect of Shield Sisters Initiative. Our company is also about fierce independence. Doing it afraid with your shield and sword in hand. I mean, Joan of Arc is totally our homegirl. So, we chose another very official and strong font. It is serif and most people wouldn’t think of pairing these fonts together.
Feel your way there. Browse the fonts on Creative Market and see what stands out to you. What fonts are you most drawn to?
Living Your Brand
Once you’ve selected a brand that is a piece of you, living it is easy. You’re not going to be rebranding every few months, when you’re brand is a piece of you. It might grow and tweak just like your life does, but you aren’t going to do a complete overhaul.
When you’re living your brand, there are a few areas that you probably need to improve on to authentically live your brand. You are already embodying it, but make it recognizable to others!
Buy accessories and extras in your brand colors
Extras like lipstick shade, scarves, phone cases and purses go a long way in living your brand authentically. It makes it easy for you to go from gray t-shirt and jeans or all black workout gear to on brand for those unexpected meetings.
For me, having a few shades of on-brand lipstick are a must. I’m the t-shirt and jeans (or, if we’re being honest, leggings) type of gal, so I wear a lot of neutrals and primary colors. Having my lipstick shades in my purse or nearby, make it easy to do a last minute or impromptu Facebook Live without compromising my brand.
Wear your brand anytime you’re seen in the business world
On that note, intentionally wearing your brand is a great way to be recognized. Recently, I went to a conference in another state and packed all branded clothes for myself. I felt comfortable in my branded clothes, and, as a new entrepreneur among those who are familiar with each other, I wanted to be sure that someone could see my site and remember who I was.
I quickly noticed I wasn’t the only entrepreneur on brand. There were so many amazing women there decked out in their brand colors and exuding their brand.
Targeting female entrepreneurs who are already making six-figures? You’ll want to wear something that draws them to you, that shows that you have your ish together.
Targeting brides who want a rustic wedding? You’ll want to wear something that is more bohemian or country-style. These are easy ways to connect you to your brand so that your target audience gets that connection.
Decorate your space
A fun extra way to authentically live your brand is to decorate your space with things that inspire you. Inspiration is a big part of your brand and who you are. Creating a vision board, or even something as simple as a gallery wall with prints that inspire you, will make living your brand that much easier.
Do you live your brand every day or does it feel more forced to you?
With soul talks, girl dates and coffee fueling her soul, Raewyn is the founder of Shield Sisters Initiative, an online community for female entrepreneurs seeking support on prioritizing self-love and a positive mindset. Vulnerable and strong are two words often used to describe her. She’s raw and real because being something else is not as much fun!