Starting a Brand or Blog? Don't Make One of These Mistakes
Starting any kind of business is a weird experience. As much as you google how it’s done, it’s really hard to execute a successful launch unless you’ve lived through one before.
In many ways it’s never been simpler to launch your brand: with the internet making the admin side of things so accessible you can easily register your ltd company, open a business bank account… bish, bash, bosh. You’re done.
But it’s the more pedestrian bits and bobs that end up costing the most time and money - the niggly parts, the logo, the website, the social media - that make the difference between success and failure. Or more likely, between many customers or none.
Here’s what not to do when you start your new business or blog:
Spend a fortune on Web Design and Branding
NOBODY can afford to spend thousands on web design and branding when you first launch a business. Nobody.
With the exception of one More Than Toast logo that I had made this year when I was well in the green, every single piece of branding I’ve ever done, I’ve done myself.
And I am NO graphic designer.
It’s so easy to make your own logo:
Know the brands and logos that look good to you to give an idea of your desired aesthetic.
Find a font you like, get yourself to Canva and start experimenting.
Download your new logo and spread it far and wide.
It’s even easier to make a website:
Visit Squarespace - my web host of choice - and open an account.
Pick a template you like and drag & drop your website to your heart’s content: I set up this here website in a matter of hours.
Or you can sign up to my course and I’ll teach you how to do both these things ;)
Forget to be your brand
If you’re going to make your business a success, you’ll need to embody it from day 1: that means not referring to it as a side-hustle, not referring to it as your hobby, but talking about it as if it’s a bone fide business (which - spoiler! - it is!!). You need to have confidence in yourself and your abilities to be a businessperson.
There are a few ways you can embody this brand mindset to make sure you’re as confident going into your business as you need to be. One way I do this is surround myself with reminders of my brand, so every which way I turn I’m reminded that I’m a legitimate proper business: I order business cards (the absolute best are from Moo who also do stickers for all your notebook-sticky bits needs) and dot as many bits and bobs around my desk in my brand colours (yellow!). That means yellow data cables, yellow water bottles… it’s like a Coldplay song up in here.
Use a gmail email address
One of the rookiest mistakes you can make is use a generic email address when you start doing business: it’s the absolute EASIEST to sign up for your custom URL (which you’ll already have for your website, natch) and map your new fancy domain to your email address. And you will have the much-needed feeling of being a business when you ditch the freebie email address.
Again, sign up with the brilliant Squarespace and they’ll do all this for you (I don’t work for them but I wish I did…).
One of the biggest mistakes that is made when a new business is launched is that you undervalue your product and services - price yourself low - in the name of getting business.
But if you devalue yourself others will, too.
Buying is an emotional experience and even moreso as a small business - customers would much rather get the personal touch from an Alice Judge-Talbot than an Amazon.co.uk, for example - so make sure you harness that and go in strong with the value you’re worth.
And for goodness sake don’t work for free - I repeat, DON’T WORK FOR FREE. That’ll leave you feeling resentful so your work will be rubbish. As someone said on my Webinar recently, ‘exposure is something you die from on a mountain’. Exactly.
Hire an expensive Marketing specialist
The most appealing business is that it’s ran by you: your USP is your own personality and uniqueness, and it’s incredibly difficult to have that magic distilled by an external party.
The key to Marketing that works, Marketing that will convince your clients and followers of how special you are, is to create a business strategy with soul. And I’m here to help you do it!!
My course to help Small Businesses, Brands and Blogs do just that launches this Thursday 23rd April - I’ve not once ever had to pitch for the £5k/monthly business my blog pulls in, that’s how much I know my stuff - and I’d love to have you on board with it.
Click here to sign up for a 4 week programme that will legitimately change your small business or blog (and maybe even your life).