Nabeelah Munshi, Author at Bloom Marketing Studio

Step-By-Step: Create Your Own Brand Identity

When you think about Apple or Nike, does it bring up an emotion or existing perception? Does it hold a certain prestige? That’s the magic of creating a strong likable brand that resonates with a buyer. In reality, you may not be getting a superior product but just the mere branding makes you want to have it and flaunt it. Good branding makes you want to identify yourself with the brand because it represents you. And just for that, a consumer will be willing to pay more for the exact same product. As a small business owner, you may think branding isn’t necessary and it’s for the companies with a huge budget. Branding isn’t a luxury for your business, it’s crucial to be able to set yourself apart in the online space.

Being a business owner, you will have to take a lot of important business decisions in the early stages of your entrepreneurial career. These decisions will be fundamental to your brand as they will directly or indirectly affect the services and products you have to offer. Decisions related to your branding and everything that represents your company will be of utmost importance. Great and consistent branding can keep you top of mind for your audience and also, set you apart in the crowd of online businesses. You will eventually have to create a process so that your employees and the third-party companies you work with help you maintain your brand consistency.

Why do you need a brand identity?

Building a brand identity will bring consistency to your online channels and help you create a presence. Small businesses will have to take care of elements like visual identity, customer experience, values and brand identity elements in their quest to achieve brand consistency. 

Some of the ways brand consistency helps businesses are:

  • Shaping Brand Perception
  • Evoking Positive Emotions
  • Building Trust and Loyalty
  • Differentiating Your Brand

How To Create Your Own Brand Identity

Understand Your Mission To Achieve Brand Consistency

A mission statement is bigger than stating your company’s desire to be the best. It is an incredibly important navigational tool for the decisions taken for the company. And also, they can play a role in keeping your team inspired, motivated and acting in alignment with what your company wants to achieve.

‘People rarely buy what you sell, they buy why you sell it’ as Simon Sinek puts it and that’s accurate. Communicating why you exist and what needs you’re addressing is essential.

Create Your Vision Statement

It’s easy to get confused between mission and vision statements. While the mission statement clearly define what you do and how you do it, the vision statement is mostly aspirational.

What future do you want to help create? There are several worksheets online that can help you create your perfect vision statement. 

For example, Apple’s vision statement is to ’empower man by changing the way we think, work, learn and communicate’. And their mission is to bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.

Defining Your Core Values

Defining your core values is essential to help your company grow and strengthen your organizations culture. These will act as your pillars and will help direct your actions. Just like you pick personal values to stand by, your company can have set of principles and values.

Defining Your Brand Personality

Brand personality is one the main components of a brand identity. This is what shapes the perception of your business for your audience. It is the human element in a brand and is made up of emotional traits and behaviors that are consistent over time.

Bringing your brand to life is one of the most important aspects in branding because it helps your brand carve a space in the consumers mind and form a positive relationship with your company.

Simply put, if your brand were a person how would they present themselves? What are their personality traits, quirks, communication style etc. And more importantly, how do they make you feel?

Picking a Logo

Moving on to your visual elements, Choosing a logo for your business can be nerve wracking and consume a lot of time so if you’re working with a budget you can hire freelancers. Then when you have samples, you can share it with your team (or friends/family) to get feedback and pick the right one. 

You’ll want to include the size restrictions, which colors you use and how to display your logo on different backgrounds. Also, including how you don’t want to see your logo (e.g. too widely stretched or on unreadable backgrounds).

One thing to keep in mind is that the logo has the flexibility to evolve overtime as you and your company grow. 

Picking A Color Pallete


These are your brand colors. Using a few colors, 3 is usually advisable. A base, accent and a neutral. To pick your color, you may want to consider what feeling or emotion you would like your audience to feel based on color psychology. Brand guidelines contain RGB and CMYK color codes helping you stay consistent at every customer touch point.

Picking Typography

This includes the fonts you have chosen to include in your visual design and communication. It’s advisable to use 1-3 fonts and use them consistently. This will help give your site a neat look and feel. One quick tip, always pick legibility over aesthetic design. 

Brand guidelines contain typefaces and families, font sizes, and the hierarchy of the fonts your brand uses.

Text Hierarchy: This simply means the hierarchy of fonts like the heading, subheading and the text. 

Defining The Imagery

Here you can describe what visuals you would like your brand to represent. The style of imagery and icons you will be using on your website and other internal and external communications.

Create A Foundation: Templates & Guidelines

There has to be a definite resource of templates and guidelines that you and your employees can go back to when they are in doubt regarding branding.

Create templates for emails, business cards, and other materials that your employees use. This will help you ensure that your branding remains consistent for a long period of time.

Wrapping Up:

Creating and maintaining a brand can be so essential for you to set yourself apart and attract clients that resonate with you. It will also help you bring your personality to your online channels and connect with your audience. They will be able to build a relationship with your brand and essentially, wanting to work with you.

Hiring a branding specialist to ensure your brand is heading the right direction is also a worth it investment if you aren’t sure about the branding aspects and it’s something that isn’t your genius. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!


Using Social Media For Small Business

Instagram alone has one billion active users each month so needless to say, there’s so much potential for business growth through social media. It’s an incredible way to get in touch with your ideal clients, build relationships with them, show off your brand identity, create a good customer experience and ultimately, get sales. 

However, I would be lying if I told you that social media isn’t overwhelming. I’m not even talking about hacking all the algorithms and finding the ‘right hashtags’, just the toll it takes on your mental health and energy. And to run a successful business, those are the two things you need to be good at managing. Your health (physical or mental) and your energy. 

When I first started, I was going crazy to a point where at the end of the day I’d feel like I want to puke. Creating content, engaging, sharing stories (like, know, trust factor) and if I’m being honest, just gathering up the courage to show up online. It was all so intense that most of my energy was going into maintaining my social media platforms. 

I started looking for better ways to make it manageable. I really enjoy using social media but it’s toxic to your productivity and focus. Also, my ultimate goal has always been to provide the best service I can to my clients and being so involved with social media left very little space for it. Yes, you can hire a social media manager but I personally wanted to manage and engage online myself. 

‘Social Media is NOT your business, it’s only a small PART of your business’

And when I realized that most of my creative and valuable energy was being spent worrying about social media. I came up with these 4 guiding questions: 

1. Why Am I Using Social Media?

With anything you want in life asking ‘WHY’ can help you stay on course even when things feel challenging. You can quickly lose motivation for any goal if you don’t clearly know why you’re actually doing it. With social media, it’s easy to get lost in vanity metrics and obsess over the number of likes and followers you get. But you already know, that’s a losing game to play. No matter what milestone you hit with likes and followers, you’ll constantly be worried about it.

Pick a goal or an objective that is more concrete. For example, your goal could be to sign your next 3 clients. Or create a warm audience who’ll eventually buy from you. Or show your brand essence and stay on top of your clients mind. Now, this has nothing to do with your follower count because you could easily have a successful business with less than a 1000 followers who really actually like you. You just need to be active and create authentic relationships online. 

2. How Can You Project Your Brand Essence?

Here’s another thing to consider before creating all your social media accounts. What is your strength? What will help your personality or brand shine the best? It may be video for you or it may be writing. Think about what will help you connect with your audience best. 

Action tip: Think of 3 characteristics you want your ideal client to think about you when they land on one of your social media platforms. For me, it’s ‘confident, authentic and optimistic’. I try my best to reflect these 3 core traits of my brand identity in everything I do. 

3. How much to post?

You hear people say post daily or even twice a day to drive up your follower count. That could definitely happen. But as an entrepreneur you’re doing a hundred other things, so this isn’t feasible. So keeping in mind your why, we’re not focused on getting more followers. Our goal is to make sales. 

Think quality over quantity. If you create any content, make it impressionable and helpful to make it stand out. Think about how you can provide the most value so your ideal client remembers you. Your audience will appreciate it rather than pushing out content for the sake of it and just being overlooked. Create mindfully. 

You can get away by posting 2-3 times/week and then repurposing it to your other social media channels.

4. Where to post?

You created a business account on every social media platform. That’s not the problem. The struggle would be to keep up with all of them. To be more efficient, pick 2 platforms you can dedicate yourself to. Not the ones you like, but think about where your potential audience will be hanging out. Say your ICA is 35+, she most likely will be using Facebook or LinkedIn. Pick the platforms you know will be used by your ideal audience. 

After deciding what platforms you want to be present on, really dig deep on the specifications of posting to those sites. What’s the optimal size of image, best times, types of content. Customize your content so it performs well. 

“Do less, better” 

Again, you can repurpose it so do post them on your other social media sites. Just don’t fret about it too much. Use a scheduler, I swear by Later.

But wait there’s another thing…

ENGAGEMENT

This is where most fail. Your content can be super helpful, but if you don’t engage then you’re likely not going to see results. And logging onto Instagram and scrolling through memes doesn’t count. 

I’ve carved out an hour in the afternoon to specifically engage and I have an engagement checklist that I use so I can use my time optimally. You don’t need to be there all day or constantly go on there. Set two times a day to be online with a good mindset (this is important), I find that sometimes being on there for a while can stir up all sorts of negative feelings. Just a reminder, things are definitely not the way they seem. It’s a curated space so the best you can do is remember why you’re there. Do your thing and get out.

Wrap Up

To avoid Social Media Overwhelm, get clear on why you’re using it. Then decide what’s the best way for you to showcase your brand, pick out 2 platforms you want to maintain your presence and create a posting schedule. Another thing, do engage but be mindful. There you have it, a quick guide to using social media for your small business and protect your mental health. Hope this was helpful. 

Top 5 Email Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

YOU NEED AN EMAIL LIST. And you need to nurture it, don’t ever question that. How should I stress that it is THE BIGGEST asset for your small business. No matter what business you’re in, you must have one. When you do have one, follow these 5 email marketing tips to monetize it.

Your email list is yours. Any other platform your business is on ex. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, is not yours. Remember, the time Instagram was down and everyone freaked out? You can’t protect something that’s not your own. 

This GIF below expresses how I feel about mine. No exaggeration. I’m a bit over-the-top.

I genuinely care about the people on my email list. No matter how small because I want to remind you that every human counts, try to not look at your list as a number count. Those numbers are humans. But back to the point, I make sure I’m providing the best value that I possibly can and when they read my email, they feel a boost of optimism or energy. 

The audience on your email list is your warmest leads. They signed up to hear from you because they like you and think you’re worth their email address. Take it as a compliment!

Top 5 email marketing tips
(Cold, warm and hot audience. Credit: Pedro Cortes, Cortes.design)

I’d go as far as to say that it’s the backbone of your small business. It is a powerful tool to generate sales and keep your business thriving. But, creating and running an email marketing campaign isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. It requires you to stay on top of online marketing trends while making sure the fundamentals of the campaign are set right.

First things first, you must have a valuable freebie to entice your audience to sign up for your email list. Your customer needs to know what’s in it for them. Now, let’s get into some of the most important email marketing tips that you can apply simply to keep your email list happy and turn them into hot leads. 

 1. Ease The Sign-up Process

Creating a gated content will not work if you don’t package it properly. The sign-up process should be shortened and made more appealing for the visitors. Focus on drawing the attention of your website visitors towards your offer. Pop-ups, love them or hate them, they do work. Make the sign-up option readily available and couple it with a highly effective CTA. In the CTA, tell the customer what they’re getting. 

2. Allow Social Media Integration

Social media integration can help you maximize your outreach when integrated with email marketing. There are two ways you can approach social media integration for your email marketing campaigns. First, you can include links to your various social media accounts in the email you send out. It allows subscribers to check out your business on social media if they are interested in your brand. This will also allow them to feel your brand essence and get to know your brand. 

Secondly, allow the subscribers to use social sharing features to share pieces of your email content on social media. This can yield great results for your business.

Bonus: Put links to your freebie on your social media bios and email signatures. I’m sure you send a number of emails each day. 

Example from Alo Yoga adding social icons at the bottom

3. Write Engaging email

You don’t want your subscribers to go through lengthy emails that have no juice. Even if they love your brand, it is your responsibility to not waste their time. Since the average attention span is decreasing quickly, it only makes sense to keep the email copy short, clear, and crisp. Just make sure you get your message across quickly in as few words as possible. Be a harsh critic of your emails, don’t add fluff. Question each sentence and is it necessary? 

Creating engaging emails is a topic of it’s own but just to start off; tell stories, have a beautiful email design (most email providers let you do this), personalize your emails, write compelling subject lines and my personal favorite, use pictures, emojis and GIFs. Sometimes you need more than words. 

4. Deliver Emails Frequently

Now don’t just let the emails sit in your list. Stay active and on your ideal clients mind. If visitors have shown interest in your brand and subscribed to your newsletter, they are probably eager to hear from you as well. I see a lot of people hesitating to send the right amount of emails to not be annoying to your list. More importantly, the frequency also depends on your bandwidth. How often can you generate high quality emails? Also, give your email list a heads up on how often they’ll hear from you. Once you follow a schedule for a good amount of time, your subscribers will start expecting your emails.

Though, having a welcome sequence can prep your audience to buy from you. And when you’re promoting a sale, or a special offer don’t shy away from sending more emails. Of course, after you’ve provided value and established your credibility. And if people do unsubscribe, know that they were never your true fans anyway.

5. Analyze Email Marketing Data

Finally, NUMBERS! As much as I love relationships, value and trust in business. Numbers make it quantifiable and real. You’re running a business and numbers don’t lie. Take them seriously, analyze your data then experiment with different elements of your email marketing campaign. You can even run A/B tests and use the insights to optimize your campaigns for conversions. Keep a tab on your email marketing data to refine your campaigns with time. Find ways how you can improve based on the results.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, top email marketing tips to keep engage your audience. When practiced often can boost your email marketing ROI through the roof. Have questions? Feel free to put them down in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!

You can also read about me here.

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