Branding your indie design business by Kate O’Sullivan from A Playful Day
What’s in a brand? Kate O’Sullivan from A Playful Day is here to tell you!
If you’re running your own creative business and publishing designs, chances are you’re looking for the best ways to represent yourself online. How you represent yourself on your own website, design your downloadable patterns and manage your social media communicates a lot about your business. Designers who are particularly successful at pulling all these elements together to present a consistent brand are much more successful at building an audience who really love to buy what they create.
So…. what is a brand?
A brand for your business is your voice, your vision and your visuals. Whether it’s the colours you consistently use for your designs or the font on your PDFs, you are communicating to an audience of crafters what your aesthetic is. A simple example is thinking about whether you are a bold and bright kind of designer or lean towards cool, calm neutrals. You need to match up all elements – from your tone of voice to your pattern layout – to tie everything together. It’s your ‘stamp’ on everything you create.
Do I really need to brand?
In short? Yes! This is your short hand introduction to potential customers. It’s like a business card that can be seen all over the web so make it work hard for you.
But how do I decide on my brand?
This part can be the most overwhelming but also, the most fun. Think about how you’d introduce yourself at a party. Now apply that snapshot introduction to your designs. What is the common theme linking them all together? What do they do? Are they practical and hardwearing or delicate and floral? What you’re doing is adding a filter to your business that means you attract the right audience for your designs.
To help you decide, think about the connecting thread between all the things you love in your craft business. If you’re all about the technique then you’re going to want to steer away from anything too fun and frivolous and speak more to those little details that just make things feel good when you wear them. You’re not saying your designs aren’t fun to make, you’re saying the fun is there for those of us who delight in getting just the right cast off for that cardigan.
Ok, I think I know my brand. Now what?
Infuse this across everything that represents your designs online: your font, your graphics, your Instagram images…. Anywhere your potential audience might find you. You don’t need to get too strict but look at being consistent because when you do, you become recognisable to people. What you’re aiming for is a crafter to be drawn to your tone of voice or pattern photography and keep noticing you. Every time you bubble up on a Ravelry search or Twitter chat, they like what they see and want more!
Branding is all about giving a personality to your indie design business and that, ultimately, will lead to more sales and a more engaged audience. It will make it easier to know who you’re design for when you have an audience who tell you what they’re enjoying and what works for them. So go forth and get branding and let us know how you’re getting on!
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Last updated: February 7th, 2017.