Branding. ~Branding.~ It sounds really fancy, doesn’t it? Like it conjures up images of someone famous who has their life together, sitting by a pool posting perfect images. Or maybe that’s just me reeeeaaaaally wishing to be done with winter! Well regardless — branding is an integral part of your social media presence. It’s also less scary than you might think, so let’s talk about it!
What is Branding?
In its simplest form, branding is what makes someone go, “Oh yeah, that looks like something (you) would post.” Branding is about unification — so partially the whole same username deal I’ve been harping on, but also much more than that. Good branding means you have a logo that works across all the platforms you publish on. It means you have a certain look to your posts. And it can also mean that you use certain elements over and over again.
Wait, Show Me Some Examples.
Okay! Here are some folks from the sewing world:
- Tilly and the Buttons use the same blue, pink, and yellow in a lot of their Instagram posts, whether in the background, in the clothes, or in accents
- Beth uses the same font in the introductory images for all of her posts, and in her patterns as well
- Most of Elena’s posts have the same clean white background
- Branding isn’t just the backgrounds and colors you use though. Allie’s branding comes in part from the way she makes vintage patterns modern
And some non-sewing folks?
- Doen’s Instagram feed looks straight out of the 1970s
- Jaci Marie Smith has made saturated neutrals her thing
- Christine’s Instagram is all white and tan neutrals (and brand new baby!)
So How Do I Do This?
Good question! There are a couple ways to work your branding into your posts. All of these are suggestions, by the way! Feel free to integrate as many or as few of them into your posts as you want to.
Branding on Instagram
- Choose a consistent look for your posts. Maybe you’re a white background kind of person. Do you always have a pop of pink? What if you love the grainy vintage look. It’s up to you! Pro tip: if you take photos in a consistent place, it’s easy to build custom filters in A Color Story or VSCO and quickly edit new photos.
- Choose a consistent color palette for your makes. Capsule wardrobe here you come!
- Choose a consistent caption style. Are they short and sweet, or do they tell a story? Do you use emojis all the time, or not at all? Take a look at Jessica’s for inspiration — a one or two word summary, and then the all the details.
Branding On Social Media
- Make sure you have a logo that works for all the different social media sites you’re on. I love Canva, a free online software that lets you design all kinds of amazing images! They’ll help you figure out what size image you need, and they have so many cute fonts and clip art elements for free.
- Think about how your Instagram presence translates to other social media. Do your captions fit on Twitter? Can Facebook followers see your emojis?
Branding Your Blog
- Does your website make sense for your overall look? If your photos are bright and light, you probably don’t want a super dark and heavy blog theme.
- Do you have your logo easily visible? How about a great About Me page? Can people easily contact you for partnerships and sponsorships?
Wait, How Do I Pull This All Together?
Selecting a Color Palette
My #1 suggestion is to think about the colors and styles that speak to you. Build your branding around that. Sure, a girly white and pink style looks cute in photos, but is that what you want to sew if (for example) you’re a pet-loving mom? No, you probably want dark colors and comfy clothes!
My secret tip for building a color palette you love is wedding Pinterest. I’m serious, you guys! There are so many cute wedding aesthetic/theme posts on that site, you can almost certainly find one that speaks to you. I’ve pinned a bunch, but if those aren’t your style, try searching “wedding color palettes (your favorite color).” So easy! I recommend creating your own branding board to keep all your ideas in one spot, and to see how it all looks together. Keep it secret if you want!
Making a Logo
Once you have a color palette, you can start to build your branding off of that. Use a color picker to get the hex codes for the colors to put into Photoshop or Canva. This ensures you’re using the same burgundy everywhere, and that your readers’ monitors are putting out a color at least close to what you’re using.
You can DIY a pretty good logo on Canva or in Photoshop. I love getting extra elements off of Creative Market. The floral elements in my logo came from there (and by the way, I did my logo in Canva!). If you’re handy in Photoshop, you can buy predesigned logo layouts to customize yourself. Want to wash your hands of the whole situation? Hit up your friendly neighborhood graphic designer or take a chance on an Etsy shop or Fiverr artist.
Once you have the hex codes for your color palette you can use them to edit your blog theme. The way you do this is entirely dependent on your theme and your host so this isn’t the right venue for an explanation. Try looking for YouTube videos or taking a class at a local community college if you get stuck! This is also a place where a web or graphic designer could be helpful if you can put some cash down.
Interested in having a consistent visual appearance on Instagram? Pinterest has lots of VSCO presets you can try! If you’re a Color Story user, head over to their feed. Photos they repost often include the edits the creator made in the caption.
Wrap it Up!
Branding can seem overwhelming, I know. But break it into chunks (and only the chunks that speak to you!) and I promise it’ll come more easily than you think. I have so many articles, palettes, and presets on Pinterest, but here are some of my favorites.
- Mariah Althoff is one of my favorite blogging/branding resources. She’s got a great start-to-finish post on color palettes and branding (and a fun visual branding quiz!).
- I love seeing the branding process from the perspective of a graphic designer. It’s so interesting to learn about how they pull all the different ideas together!
- Creating a brand board can be a great way to get all your ideas together and get an idea of how they work together. That article walks you through!
- The Crown Fox is another one of my go-to blogging sites. She demystifies some branding terms in this article.
And, of course, I do have a podcast recommendation or two. Rachel covered branding in not one, but two of her Blogger Print series, and talked to Kelli from True Bias about professional branding!
Are you working on your branding? Or even just following this series and working through it at your own pace? I’d love to see! Send me links to your site at hello @ maddiemadethis . com, or tag me on Instagram with @maddiemadethis, #maddiemadethis, or #sewingblogger101. You could be featured in a newsletter, in my Stories, or get reposted!