Running an online business is tough, but creating your visual brand doesn't have to be if you follow some of my tips. In this post, you learn how to create a visual brand identity in seven easy steps for those of you interested in starting your Teachers Pay Teachers store or another online side business.
I love graphic design! One of the reasons why I created my business in the first place was because of my love for scrapbooking. I loved to design pages and bring them to life using digital tools. I also had a thing for taking pictures and making them pretty.
That love grew into developing lessons for teachers using the elements I learned from my scrapbooking days.
Of course, I had no experience in the online space. I am a teacher, but I wanted my business to succeed. Therefore, I began to learn all I could learn about online marketing.
Now I am sharing what I've learned with other teachers who want to know about growing an online business selling digital products.
In the teaching industry, we typically share and copy other teacher's ideas. It's what we do in our community to help our students. Unfortunately, in the business world, that's frowned upon and can get you into a lot of trouble, legally and financially!
However, you are a business owner (or want to be). You must learn how to set yourself apart from the noise. The best way I know to be unique is to be UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOU! Tell YOUR story and not someone else's. Learn how to create a visual brand. Start by developing the words for your brand:
In this post, I want to focus on the look of your brand and have developed seven steps to create a visual brand.
I love color, so choosing a palette is difficult. There are so many beautiful color combinations to choose from, but the thing to remember is your audience. If you are creating content for primary teachers, you might want bright, cheerful colors. High school teachers may wish to have a more sophisticated look. Do you want light and airy, clean and fresh, warm, and cozy? The sky is the limit; just make sure it fits with your message. Here is my favorite site for inspiration.
Fonts are even more of an obsession for me! There are so many lovely fonts out there that make your products look amazing! However, for branding purposes and your sanity, I find it's best to choose three consistent fonts to use on the designs you create. While I have a ton of favorite font artists, right now, I am obsessed with Kaitlynn Albani's fonts! Be sure to check out her FREE font pairing guide.
Once you decide on your branding message, your colors, and your fonts — start creating your logo and signage. So what is signage? The signage is the banners and displays for your online store. Your designs should coordinate and have a look and feel that tells the story of your visual brand.
In phase one, you decided on the colors of your visual brand. Now take this look a step further in creating the look and feel of the pictures you take. I bet you didn't know you'd have to be a photographer, too! Fortunately for you, it's easier now more than ever to create pictures that look as though they were taken by a professional. You just have to know a few tips and tricks. My favorite tip…use presets in the Lightroom app!
Social media can be time-consuming, but if you have systems in place, you can whip out posts and pictures quickly. Create a template for all of your social media posts, Pinterest pins, and more. While my favorite tool to use is Keynote, if you are a beginner or aren't that great at design, I'd recommend Canva (This link is a referral link. Sign-up using this link, create a design, and we both earn 1 Canva credit to redeem for premium pictures.)
Create a template for your covers. I prefer square covers, AND I like to add photos of the products in action or on display. I try to get a consistent look and feel for my store so that when people see my stuff, they know it's me.
Imagine going to a cupcake shop and purchasing cupcakes for a birthday party. The store decorates their cupcakes for a display to help you choose which one is right for you. They put them in a pretty box with a sticker of their logo on top.
Once you take it to the birthday party, your friends see these beautiful cupcakes in a branded box. Once they eat them, they immediately ask where you purchased these tasty treats.
Your TpT store products work in the same way. People are drawn to your store by the “look”. If your store looks nice they are more likely to purchase. However, it's what's inside that matters. If your products aren't quality, people won't come back and won't refer others to you.
One other thing you must remember as a business owner is to delegate the things you don't have time for or are not good at doing. So if design is not your “thing”, let someone else do it for you.
I have made several logos for local businesses and TpT stores. Click here to see what I have to offer and download my pricing guide. If you like what you see and are interested in learning how I can help you create a branded look for your store and/or social media, let's schedule a FREE 30-minute strategy call. I'd love to work with you!