3 Ways to Brand Consistently Early in your Business


Welcome to the very first episode of what I hope is going to be a fun short series called, “#AskAnnie.”

You can watch this video episode below or read on for the transcript version.


I noticed that I get a lot of different kinds of questions about branding, about how to run a small business and often only a small handful people in a room get to hear the answers so I'm taking your top questions and going to be answering them here on #AskAnnie. You can participate if you have questions, leave them in a comment here.

Today, I'm gonna tackle a question that a lot of people shared with me even after I did a survey of my newsletter last year. And that question is pretty simple. It starts at the very, very beginning.

What are some ways to consistently brand yourself when you're early in your business?


Let's say, for sake of argument, that you don't have a logo at all. You really are starting from scratch. You have no budget - you have to just get started. You want to be consistent because the thing about running a successful business is having marketing that’s consistent. People want to recognize the business, whether you're seeing it online or talking to somebody, so that consistency is really important.

What do you do, though, if you don't have your logo yet and if you don't have really anything to start with? How do you consistently brand yourself when you are that early in your business?


There are 3 ways that you can get started with branding consistency, and they don't cost any money.


The first way: pick three to four colors.

If you Google the word “color palette” you can find all kinds of different inspiration for color palettes, but pick three to four colors and start to use them consistently. You can do that, even if you're not a designer, even if you don't have a logo just go for it go ahead and start using brand colors.

For me, I've always had red, black, and white, be a part of my brand and what you see today. Up here in my logo, what I'm wearing in this video. Those are things that you can do to be really consistent. So if I was out in person and someone saw me with this or saw my logo online they're going to see some consistency. They're going to see a consistent visual story that I'm putting into play. So that's the first step is to think about getting a color palette. That's something you can do even if you're not a designer.


The second way: get some business cards and use the colors in your template.

You don't have to have a logo on your business cards if you don’t have one yet. You've heard me say this if ever watched anything I've done, please have business cards and use those colors. If you pick those colors use them on the business cards, then people are going to start to see that you're using colors consistently. So that's at least some way to get started to have something where people can start to recognize something about your business. It helps them remember what you do and who you are.


The third way: get your verbal story straight.

Last but not least, a lot of us can't necessarily start with a logo, but what we can do is control how we talk about our business. It's really important that we get our story straight from the very beginning. One of the ways that you can do that is by building what I would call a 30-second elevator pitch. So what do you say if you go to a networking meeting and they say you know, "hey Bob tell us more about what you do?" You might get stuck on that. So I want to encourage you to think about getting your story straight at least down to 30 seconds.


Something to help: a free elevator pitch course

What is it that you do? Because it is so important that you tell a very consistent story when you're out in public or even when you are online. Some people don't start there and don't take the time to figure out what the right words should be. I actually have a free resource for that I'm gonna throw up here for you really quick. It is actually a free class - it's an emailed course. It's free. “How to talk about yourself in 30 seconds or less.”

You can find it right here: greateststorycreative.com/elevator-pitch-course for free right now you can get a 10 day email course from me that's going to teach you how to talk more consistently about your business. So you may not be able to afford a graphic designer, but hey, you could totally afford to do a free email course and take the next 10 business days to knock that out and start 2018 on a fresh start.

Another Key Step: Know Your Business Foundations First

The other thing I wanted to share with you is another way to brand yourself early in your business is actually to figure out what's the foundation of the business itself. So many people jump to branding and don't think about what the business really is. Who is the business really for? What makes it special? What is the tone of it? All these things should dictate your branding and ultimately your marketing.

But so many people start with a logo or they start with the brand and they forget that branding foundations, the foundations of your business, are so critically important to building a brand that is going to work for you. Along those lines, you can get a lot of content for me this month about branding foundations, including a free workshop that I am hosting next week.

Some of you may have heard it. It is called Branding with Annie. It is sold out here in person in the Raleigh-Durham area. But I am so excited to let you know that I am doing a webinar version.

So if you want to come and learn all the things that you need to know about your business to get started as a best practice for branding it, how you brand it well, I want you to join me at next week's webinar.

Register for the free branding webinar right here.

If you can't make the live time there's going to be a three day replay that you can catch and I would love for you to come and check that out.

So today in #AskAnnie, I showed you three different ways that you can consistently brand yourself early in your business, even if you don't have a logo. So no excuses!  It's 2018 and it's time to share your greatness and your story with the world and how you can help other people So try those three ways out.

If you are curious about what you need to know about your business in order to brand it well, join me for Branding with Annie for the first time online ever at brandingwithannie.com.

Thank you for joining me for the first ever Ask Annie live episode. If you have any questions that you want to be answered in a future #AskAnnie, just leave them here in the comments for me or send me a note. I would love to answer them for you.

Thanks and happy 2018. Wishing you a great year ahead!