In his best selling book, Gary Vaynerchuk challenges the passionate to follow their dreams and leverage MASSIVE Action to cash in on your passion.
In this article Kenny Harper explains the significance of choosing brand colors that represent the messages you are trying to convey. He reviews the meaning and characteristics of specific colors, presents challenges that organizations often face and leaves you with actions to get started on choosing your most effective brand colors.
Your Audience’s Emotional Feel Determined By Brand Colors
Brand colors are so important. They do more than just sit on a website or flier, they communicate much more to your audience. It’s brand colors that communicate an emotional feel. They can also communicate characteristics. For instance, if you want to be minimalistic, reserved or toned back, you can choose neutral or flat colors. These could look very elegant to some people but to others may look kind of boring or muted. Some people may want to see bright, flashing, bold colors but then again it might be too much for others. It kind of depends on who you’re aiming to connect with.
Questions To Ask Yourself:
- What are am I aiming to portray?
- What feel do I want to give people when they look at the colors that represent me?
Understanding The Characteristics Your Colors Represent
It’s also important to know a bit about the colors and the characteristics they represent, for instance brown represents trust. Red can communicate love or it can communicate anger. Blue can also communicate trust but different shades of blue are going to give off a different sort of feeling. So it’s important to really understand which colors you’re selecting, how they represent you, how they’re going to make people feel when they see them, and whether or not they are accurate.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- Am I sending out the right message with my colors?
- Do I know why I have the colors I have?
Common Challenges Regarding Color Selection
One of the challenges I’ve seen is when a company hires someone from outside to do their graphics and this person creates a logo or brand identity but doesn’t really know much about the colors that they’re selecting or what the colors portray. A lot of the times they don’t even know much about the company or the person that they’re creating the graphic for.
I suggest making sure you do your homework, really understand who you are and what you want to communicate to your audience. Make sure that when choosing your brand colors, it’s serving you justice.
In today’s excerpt Kenny Harper examines the importance of selecting the right fonts for your brand message. He explains congruency and the importance of minimization. You will become aware of the impact fonts have on your brand message and you will be left with ideas to consider when choosing your fonts, solutions to problems you might face, and actions to take with you.
Choosing Fonts Congruent With Your Brand Message
Fonts and typography, just like colors can communicate a lot about your brand. There are many different types of fonts, some are sophisticated and elegant, while others are bold or playful. Choosing fonts that clearly represent who you are, what you’re about, and the purpose you serve is important. You want to select your salt and collect your fonts with intent. You really want to establish your reason for choosing those particular fonts.
Guidelines For Selecting Your Fonts
You can select maybe two or three different brand fonts, one you may use only for specialty sort of graphics or specialty messaging, some you may use for headlines, and others you might use for body copy. There are serif fonts, sans-serif fonts, slab fonts, old fonts, minimalistic fonts, all types of different fonts. Now don’t go font crazy on me, some people, including myself at one point in time, think more is better and they want to choose a lot of different fonts, believing that they’re showing variety. By doing this they’re trying to appeal to a mass of different people and that’s not a good strategy. By trying to please everyone you typically please no one.
You can tell who an amateur is by looking at a business card and seeing on it about 20 different font faces. It doesn’t communicate a clear message of who this person is, it’s mixed up. You don’t want to send out the message that you’re mixed up, you want to send out a message that you’re clear and know who you are. So choose your fonts wisely and then be consistent with using them.
Consistency Is Key
You’re going to use your fonts on your website, promotional collateral, on social media posts, etc. make sure to use your fonts consistently. When you are consistent in telling your story and letting people know who you are, they’re going to better understand it. You’re going to build trust and that’s how you start building deep and meaningful relationships.
Take a look at the fonts that you’re using for your graphics and imagery, make sure you know what they are and that you’re using them consistently. If you have a team that works with you and helps create your marketing materials, make sure that they also know the fonts to use and have them available.
Challenges You May Face
There will be times when you’re using programs that may not have the fonts available, in this case try to find fonts that are as close to the chosen font as possible and if you can’t find any fonts that are similar, consider choosing a different font to use. In personal branding it’s about consistency.
Don’t Forget Where The Term ‘Branding’ Came From
Do you recall where the term branding came from? It began with farmers who were in the field fighting one another over whose cows belonged to whom. Then, someone had the brilliant idea of putting a mark on their cows in order to distinguish them from the other farmers’ cattle. Soon enough every farmer had their own mark, their own brand that they put on their livestock which carried over in their products. They didn’t go around changing their brand for different cows and their personalities, they kept the brand consistent.
In this article Kenny Harper describes the recurrent problem of inconsistent marketing and brand messages that organizations release. With a chain of people working on these it is easy for the messages to become misconstrued. Kenny demonstrates why having a brand guide acts as a solution. He leaves you with key tips to consider and ideas of what to include.
Causes of Marketing Message & Brand Inconsistency
A brand guide is very valuable. A brand guide can help communicate to your whole team what is in your brand. There are a lot of things to consider; from photography, colors and fonts to your messaging and how to use those different elements altogether.
What happens a lot of the time is similar to playing the elevator game, you have someone who who starts the story and then passes the story along to the next person. By the time you get to the last person playing the message is so distorted that it’s not even close to the original message intended.
This happens frequently with marketing and branding. You define what your brand is, pass off your materials to someone, they manage other people, it goes down the line and before you know it you have pretty incongruent marketing messages as a product. That really works against you because it’s not communicating clearly to your target audience who you are and what you’re about.
A Brand Guide for Consistent Communication & Clarity
This is where the brand guides steps in and helps each person in the chain of command really understand how to do things properly in order to fit and communicate your brand.
Keep It Simple
Brand guides don’t need to be super complicated, once upon a time I was working for an advertising agency and we were working on an international brand. This company had a brand guide that was so thick and so structured that it included everything from to where to put specific logos, which lines you could use, how long and how close the lines could be to each other, the colors to use, etc. It was so defined that when we were required to do a website redesign project for this client, because we had to follow the brand guide, we ended up designing a website that looked almost like the original.
This brand guide in particular was too tightly defined and had too many parameters. The moral of the story is, you don’t have to create a big thick brand guide, you’re creating a personal brand and can simply have one, two, or three pages that simply communicate what your brand is what it’s aiming to portray.
It Can Include:
- Font Used
- Your Mission
- Your Vision
These are just some examples. This enables anyone is going to be working on and representing your brand, or creating marketing and sales messaging for you, to do so in a consistent manner that best reflects who you are and what you’re about.
My recommendation is to go ahead and create your brand guide. If you want a brand guide template or some examples, go to kennyharper.rocks for downloads and to find out more information.
In This Article Kenny Harper describes brand voice giving examples to use according to your type of business as well as examples that seem contradictory to the industry but work! He points out the recurring theme amongst successful business owners and celebrities regarding their brand voice.
Brand Voice as a Form of Communication
Your brand voice is how you’re going to communicate the style that you portray of yourself when it comes to messaging. When people are reading your content or they’re listening to you on video, how do you communicate? You may know me as somebody that puts up his hands and says,
“Rock on I’m a rock star professional!”
Personally I like to play music, i’ve been in bands, that’s kind of who I am. It’s not really me to go too far down that rabbit hole and say,
“Dude! What’s up man, I’m the rock star rock on!”
That’s not really me. That would be being fake and trying to play to some sort of fictitious rockstar image; I’m being authentic, I’m being original, this is who I am. To some people it may be a bit much to throw up a rock sign in company pictures, for others they may say,
“Hey that guy is kind of cool he likes to do interesting things, I dig his frequency!”
Honestly those are the type of people i’m looking to connect with anyway. So when it comes to your brand voice what are you going to be? You have options:
- Playful? Fun? Interesting? Entertaining?
- Serious? Corporate? Straight? Matter of fact?
Here is What’s Trending Regarding Brand Voice
Keep in mind right now there’s a revolution happening in the way people are reacting to brands. You see a lot more bigger and larger brands as well as smaller and more elite influencers that are communicating by going out and being off-the-wall crazy. And that’s fine, it’s okay to be crazy, it’s okay to be off the wall but you should be consistent and you should have purpose for why that is your strategy.
You’ll see insurance companies for example, putting out really interesting commercials. Why are they doing that are they losing credibility? Not necessarily, people don’t always like to hear boring insurance commercials but people do like to be entertained, they like to laugh and think about things that are interesting.
When you’re establishing your messaging and trying to build a relationship with people, you don’t want to come across so boring and so droll that no one ever wants to tune in and listen to what you have to say. You at least want to have some sort of personality and to use creativity. You want something that’s whimsical, playful or bold if you really want to gain someone’s attention.
The Common Theme Making Celebrities & Business Entrepreneurs Memorable
Think about this for a second, a lot of professional rock star legends, celebrities, sports celebrities, champions of different backgrounds, business entrepreneurs, celebre-preneurs; they do something that makes them interesting and that elevates their status, making them memorable. The best ones are memorable because they let their personality and inner character shine through. They are just themselves but they do it by putting themselves out there and letting the world know their personality. They let people know a little bit more about who they are and how they interact with others. That’s what i’m aiming for you to do.
When you’re trying to decide your voice and how you’re going to communicate, you want to do it consistently and to be clear. You don’t want to be so crazy and out there that people are thrown off and don’t understand who you are because you’re being fake but you do want to let that inner personality, brilliance and creativity shine through. You have it in you, it’s who you are so let it shine. Be the rock star professional, claim your stage and make it happen!
In this article Kenny Harper discusses the significance of having your own personal website as part of your personal branding. He justifies why, due to innovations, having only a company website and about page is no longer enough. Kenny leaves you with steps to help create your website and become a pioneer in the personal branding revolution.
Take the Use of Websites a Step Further
Having your own branded domain name, very important. Once upon a time people and businesses didn’t have websites, in fact it wasn’t even that long ago that I remember it. Then some businesses started to pioneer into the internet world and began to get their own websites. After a while every business had a website and if you didn’t have one, your business really wasn’t in business.
The same thing is happening right now in this revolution of personal branding, ordinary people have their own websites. Not everyone has one at this point but the pioneers who are really aiming to elevate and be the rock star professionals in their industry do.
Have More Than One, It Helps!
Some professionals including myself have more than just one, they may have several for different things such as one for their company, one for their personal brand, and one for a particular type of service or program that they offer. I have one for letting people select a time to do a coaching appointment with me, I have another one for my professional image when it comes to being a keynote and professional speaker, and l also have websites that I’ve created for different programs and offerings that I have.
Having different domain names can be very beneficial but having at least one for yourself with your name in it is necessary if you really want to be an authority in your industry and to develop your personal brand and status.
Late to the Personal Website Party? No Need to Worry
Now if you’re like me and didn’t jump on very early you may not even have your own name .com. There’s a guy who has family and if you go to kennyharper.com you’ll see that this guy (not me) has had his website for quite some time, and Kenny, good for you for having that website. I had to choose a different website when I was in graphic design and chose kennyharperdesign.com but as i’ve elevated and changed in my career I now have the website kennyharper.rocks it really fits my personal brand, it rocks and it has my name. So Mr.com you can keep your .com, I have a .rocks and I think that’s much cooler.
How To Create Your Own Domain Name
There are a lot of different domain name extensions so if you can’t get the .com perhaps you can get a .us, .net, a .rocks, there are plenty of other opportunities out there. You can go on a domain name provider such as godaddy then put in the name that you’d like and see what’s available.
Go ahead and register your own name now. If you’d like you can use your name plus a dash or something else, for example, if your name was John Doe you could use johndoebusiness or johndospeaks etc. So you can try different words if you’re own name isn’t available.
Is Your Company About Page Good Enough?
You might already have a website for your company, an about page and even a social media profile but that’s not the same as having your own website. Get your own domain name and have your own website that reflects your personal brand. Let people know about YOU because when it comes to business people, they do business with others because of who they are. Especially when it comes to service professionals, not as much in the product face, but when it comes to service professionals, connecting with them establishes a relationship. So let them know who you are!
Advantages of Showing Your Purpose
Have your own website and show that it isn’t just a sales website. In fact that shouldn’t be the priority, the priority should be letting people know who you are, what you’re about and the purpose you serve.
Let your brand shine on your website! Create value, try to connect with people and try to get them to come into your frequency; the opportunity to establish and nurture the relationship and potentially provide them with your service will come through time.
Go ahead right now and start off by visiting your domain name registrar of choice. Type in your name, find a domain name that’s going to fit you and register if you haven’t done it already. If you have, consider getting another one or if you have kids maybe get their domain names, just a thought.
In this article Kenny Harper demonstrates the value of having a branded email address as well as the ramifications if you don’t.
Having a branded email address differentiates you just a little bit but the one thing it really does is makes you look more credible. If you’re using gmail, hotmail, or yahoo (if you if you’re using yahoo in particular you should really question yourself because they’ve been hacked so many times at this point), you should consider switching. It’s not bad to use those email providers, some people prefer them but if you’re going to market yourself, use your branded email address. It will look like your name at your company name or your brand name .com, .net, .us, .biz, whatever you have.
Lack of a Branded Email Address Puts Up an Orange Flag
When I see somebody has a domain or email address that’s not branded, I start scratching my head and wonder how long they’ve been in business. Most businesses that I’ve seen have branded email addresses. When I see someone that doesn’t have a branded email address it puts up an orange flag. Don’t put orange flags up for your prospects or your customers, market yourself professionally, let that email brand you even further.
Making It Easy
Have an email address that includes your company name or your brand name. It’s easy to do, you can have it forwarded to your other email addresses and if you really just want to use your other email addresses you can do that for you communications. I suggest finding a way to use google apps or Microsoft to correspond with your branded email address. I personally use google apps for business, now called G sweet which lets me use my branded email address using gmail’s platform.
If you haven’t already done this and you have an @gmail, @yahoo etc., make sure you take the time and energy to really put your best foot forward by getting a branded email address. Go ahead and do this today!
Today Kenny Harper illustrates the link between achieving success according to your own standard and determining a benchmark who has already reached that point. He provides you with questions to ask yourself when studying your benchmark and explains how to emulate without copying them.
The Importance Of Finding A Benchmark According To YOUR Vision Of Success
Defining a brand benchmark is very important. First off what is a benchmark? A benchmark is something that you can look up to and measure yourself against. You want to see what people are doing that is excellent, great and is achieving results. When you model success you can become successful and that’s what most people are striving to achieve. It’s not money that we ultimately want, money can buy freedom but money can’t buy happiness.
We aim to be successful not just in the money that we create or achieving a certain status, we aim to be successful by creating the lifestyle that we’ve envisioned, by being fulfilled and providing value. That’s the important part. We want to model people who are successful in OUR eyes if we’re striving to achieve similar results. We don’t want to look only at people that have a lot of money because they might not be the right benchmarks. We want to find people who are in our particular industry, share our values or are doing something that we really gravitate towards, something in which we can see ourselves doing something very similar. We want to find that benchmark and study what they’re doing.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Studying Your Benchmark:
- How do they portray themselves?
- What content do they put out there?
- How do they serve people?
- What makes them different?
The Difference Between Emulating and Copying Your Benchmark
What you want to do here is study different benchmarks, you want to define the benchmarks that are for you and will help you towards your bold vision. You want to learn from them but not to copy them, you can emulate but you don’t want to copy. Copying is just taking what somebody else does and making a generic version of it, that’s not how you’ll become successful. You’re welcome to use some of the good things that others are doing but make it your own. Be original, be genuine, be yourself. When you do that with the right intent and are providing value consistently while continuing to strive towards achieving your bold vision, you will claim your stage as a rock star professional!
So what are you going to do next? Define your benchmarks of course! What are some benchmarks that really inspire you? Who are some people in your industry that have values or operate in a manner that you really appreciate? Feel free to share them I’d love to hear what you have to say!
In this article Kenny Harper demonstrates how defining your Bold Vision is key to elevating your personal brand. He enforces the importance of clarity in specific areas, reveals a common factor that all icons have and leaves you with 8 questions to ask yourself while going through the process.
Elevate Your Personal Brand By Dreaming Big & Defining Your Bold Vision
The first important step to elevate your personal brand allowing you to step into your greatness is to really identify and define YOUR BOLD VISION. They say whatever you dream you can conceive and that you really need to dream big and reach for the stars. Well that’s true in life, in your personal brand and in the business world; it’s true for just about everything. If you want to achieve greatness you’ve gotta dream big and you’ve got to take bold action.
That’s what having a bold vision is all about. A lot of people in business or even in the influencer space look to see what others are doing and they fall low-suit. However just because other people are doing something doesn’t mean that you need to. It may not fit your goals, your desires or your personality. What I recommend is to begin by defining your bold vision, what do you want your life to be like? Really understand and have clarity of what that is.
4 Areas That Need To Be Clear:
- Who you are
- What you’re about
- The purpose you serve
- The bold vision of what you’re trying to achieve
When these are determined with clarity then every action that you take in your business or in defining your personal brand can work towards achieving your bold vision. If it’s not working towards your vision then it may be working against it and that’s not what we want.
8 Questions To Ask Yourself When Defining Your Bold Vision:
- What is the bold vision of what you’re trying to create?
- How do you want to be perceived?
- What are your skills?
- What are your talents?
- What do you like, what don’t you like?
- How much money are you looking to make?
- What service are you aiming to provide?
- How will you provide value to people?
Identifying these things is IMPORTANT and CRITICAL if you really want to produce whatever it is you’re trying to build.
Start with identifying what your bold vision is and what are you trying to achieve, and make sure to DREAM BIG! If you want to achieve greatness, to achieve things that are massive and be the rock star professional in YOUR industry you need to think big.
The Determining Factor: What All Icons Have In Common
All of the successful rock stars, athletes, and celebrities didn’t get to being who they are just by waking up and becoming the celebrity entity in which you think of them. They were born a person like everyone else but these people had a dream. They had a vision, communicated it and found people to help bring that vision to life. Any icon in the world didn’t become an icon by themselves. It took a team of people to make it happen and to believe in the vision of what they were trying to create. So start defining your bold vision today and begin claiming your stage as a rock star professional in life!