Nailing Your Brand Vision as an Entrepreneur with Carly Russell

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Developing your brand vision as an entrepreneur can be quite intimidating. We can find all the inspiration on Pinterest, or create a nice logo in Canva, but that’s not a true reflection of our own business. Feel like it’s time to reinvigorate your brand and take it beyond just a pretty logo?

In this episode, Brand & Web Designer Carly Russell walks us through her process to help online business owners DIY their brand vision—and totally nail it. Ready to craft a brand that stands out?

Tune in to the episode here:

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How Carly Got Started

Carly is a Brand & Web Designer for mindful entrepreneurs, and has been a professional designer for about 7 years now. In late 2019, she started to get real clarity on what Crafted by Carly is all about when she followed her passion to become a certified health coach.

Carly started connecting with classmates and soon-to-be entrepreneurs who were passionate about building businesses that changed the world, but were lost on the business, marketing and branding aspect. She realized she could help these mindful entrepreneurs bring their business to life through strong branding!

Brand Vision—It’s more than just a logo

“Most simply, the problem with having just a logo,” Carly says, “is that you don’t end up with the tools or system to actually show up consistently across all of your customer touchpoints.”

Carly uses social media as an example, noting that your logo isn’t (and shouldn’t!) be on every single post you put out there. But, she says, every post should be recognizable as yours so that you can stand out and feel confident. And the only way to accomplish that is by defining your brand identity! Your brand identity can include a color palette, fonts, brand patterns and illustrative elements.

What is a “brand vision” for entrepreneurs?

“I LOVE defining the brand vision with my clients,” Carly says. “It always leads to so many good ‘aha’ moments for both of us.” That’s because it encourages clients to answer big questions and dig deep in their business!

Carly mentions that before the creative direction even begins, the business must have a solid brand strategy. Before the visual brand comes to life, it’s important to define who you are, the problem you’re solving and who you’re solving it for. This is basically the big ‘why’ of your business, and this is your brand vision.

Once all of that is defined and it’s time to move on to the creative stuff, Carly notes that it’s important to bridge the gap between the strategy and how it comes to life visually.

She says that the brand vision is the step that people skip the most because we’re all so eager to just create something pretty. “A common misconception is that you just look at Pinterest and say ‘I love that color palette today, let’s go with that!’ But it’s not really about you,” Carly says. “Yes, you want to come off as yourself. But it’s about what resonates with your dream client and where your business is going in the future. And this step really helps to tie all of that together.”

How to define your brand vision as an entrepreneur

We’re getting an inside look at Carly’s DIY exercise to help you nail your brand vision in a digestible way!

  1. Firstly, you’ll want to think about 3 key pillars: your dream client, your unique solution for them, and you as a person. (Not as a business… just who you are outside of work, what you like to do, what makes you weird, etc.)
    • Take 5 minutes to do a brain dump of what each of these 3 categories means to you
    • After you’ve gone through that, read through it and circle the key phrases that resonate for each category
    • Example: When working with Carly on my branding, we talked about how my unique solution combines the strategic marketing with the necessary mindset work. That’s one of the main things she would’ve circled
  2. Secondly, once you’ve defined your key phrases for each pillar, go ahead and brainstorm visuals. Carly mentions this can be anything—an image in nature, a place you’ve traveled, a local restaurant, a color, or something more abstract.
    • Example: For my business, Carly created geometric patterns to represent the analytical, strategic marketing aspect, and a wavy, fluid pattern to represent the mindset work.

“When you do this for the three categories, you end up with a wide variety of visuals. Some of them will even start to overlap with one another,” Carly says. “It gives you the tools to brainstorm and look up visuals on Pinterest and start creating your mood board!”

RELATED: Brand Photography Secrets to Uplevel Your Business with Sheila Joy

Carly’s Tip for Women Launching their Dream Business

“Put your blinders on and take small steps every day.” Still in her 9-5, Carly mentions she’s come a long way by working for an hour or 2 each morning and then tackling the bulk of her client work on the weekends. Because of that, she says not to underestimate the power of small steps!

How to work with Carly

If you’re not really sure where to start with your branding, Carly’s free branding checklist was made for you! This will help you take everything we talked about today the next step and nail your brand vision.

Carly also offers branding, website design and ongoing design support. You can check out her menu of services right here!

Check out Carly’s website:

Follow Carly on Instagram: @craftedbycarly

Download her free resource: Branding Checklist

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