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Brand Your Creative Business

Lesson 13 of 22

Your Visual Branding Basics

Megan Auman

Brand Your Creative Business

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

13. Your Visual Branding Basics

Lesson Info

Your Visual Branding Basics

You do a quick recap here, so we're all on the same page as we covered a lot of ground in our first session, so we're talking about branding your creative business, and we learned that a brand is really an emotional connection repeated over time, and so we really worked through developing your brand stories and developing that emotional aspect of your brand. So actually, I'm going tio start with our studio audience really quickly so that we all know what we're talking about. Monica, what was the kind of key emotion that you're hoping your brand brings up for your customers, for moms to really feel like, empowered and like, I think, yeah, I got this. I don't know that word, teo die I got how about you, cathy? For people to remember how happy they felt as a child, right? So you want them to be we want them to be happy not just to remember how we want them to be happy, right? Yeah. And sarah, to be brave enough to go through their transformation? Awesome. Awesome. And so we talked about t...

hose emotions, and then we went ahead and we started to talk about the brand stories that you tell. So we have these stories that are the stories of your customers, the stories that may be how they found your products and the stories of you in your origin stories we talked about those as well so I want to kick things off today by actually sharing again some of those brand stories and I know we've got a lot of people online and I want to encourage our online audience to share a few of those brands stories too and I know we've got a great diverse group with that makers and crafters I know we've got a lot of photographers there was, um great activity there in the group yesterday I heard I got an email that we've got a lot of like pattern designers in there so I'm excited that you guys were there as well so go ahead and share one of those you know brand story customer stories and we're gonna have our, um, audience our in studio audience start as well. Cathy um when we were talking about like our our ideal customer I remember my name my customer's name was rebecca yeah and she was going through I mean, she had just settled into her life and she wanted to find a piece like art piece for her home where she felt she resonated with it that could bring her back to a happy place, right? So that was one brand story that I think I developed and she would have parties and then invite people over and it would be a conversation piece and it would just be uplifting and bright excellence so it brightens the whole space and it makes not just her happy but her friends when they're coming over makes them happy to yeah, awesome I had julie who was married and not happy and that somebody wasn't didn't like my negative it doesn't have to be negative some people I think they reach a point where they they just I need something more in their life so it could be they want to do something for service in in so it could be a woman who's reached a point in her career where she's kind of not fulfilled anymore and she wants to do something service oriented in in the world so she's going through this transformation trying to find her purpose right and in kind of going through this transformation and seeking out she's coming upon your jewelry and that becomes a talisman that she can use to help her through this experience, right? Awesome mine is a mom name nicole and she has like a three year old and her newborn and she's now wanting teo get out and be active again with her newborn now that she's a little bit older and so she just wants to have that like gear where she's able teo really address whatever heard child lt's needs arbeit, you know, sticky fingers with her three year old or diaper duty with the infant. So she just wants something that really allows her to be attentive and intact with her child's needs, yet still be able to maintain her fashion and not compromise what is also important to herself, which is her style. Nice. I love that you own nicole looks actually know nicole, who has hurt her boys are a little older now, but two young sons that would have fit that profile perfectly, trying to stay stylish while dealing with in her case to little boys with total sticky fingers all the time. And so I love that that's where you want with that because I can picture it immediately. And what are we getting from our online audience? Just waking up, so don't forget you conjoined and the chat rooms. Get in there. Chris jennings is there today, he's there to help you out. We'd love to hear from you. This is a completely interactive experiences always is with creative life, and megan really wants to hear from you. She's going to be throwing questions that we're all day. So you want to get the out? Get into the chat room, but you can also ask questions of megan, and if you click the ask tap that you'll see just to the right of the screen that's where you can post questions you specifically like being to be asked on there, you can see what's already being asked, and you can vote on questions by clicking the arrow just below the question itself on. We'll certainly get the most popular ones as we can while we on air also, don't forget about our galleries. If you go to our course page and you can upload your own work, you can upload examples of how you've branded your business, your logo's accept because that's something we're going to be covering today's we'd love to see those, and megan will be reviewing those at the break, but getting those chat rooms we'd love to hear from we'd love to hear what your brand stories are. Absolutely, we are ahead, sir, last night, and she wasn't sure how she gets into the chat room do does she have to purchase the class to get into the chapel? The chateau's no, absolutely not! The chap is completely open to anybody it's a chat button, which is just to the right of the video screen on we'd love to hear from you is his place is completely part of the free experience. Yeah, and we definitely want to get everyone in those chat rooms interacting. I know you're gonna have a lot of questions today because I know those questions came up in our previous session because we're gonna be talking about all of that visual branding stuff today, you know, the logo, the color, the mood, the field. We're talking about all of those things, you know, as we're going through, so I know you're gonna have questions, and I definitely want to see you guys sharing in the galleries because we are really doing that visual stuff today. So, you know, in our previous session, we really focused on those stories and the verbal element, which I know for a lot of creatives can be really challenging, right? It's, hard to verbalize those emotions, it's hard to kind of come up with those stories if you were much more of a visual person. So now we've done kind of that hard work of digging into your brand, and now we have a little fun. We get to play with color and texture and and all of those things and photography and really create that visual impact for your brand, which is awesome now adrian is joining us, and adrian says her brand story that she's identified her customers, tiffany and tiffany, lives in new york city well where else have you called tiffany on she's an investment banker she's got a trendy networking party to attend and she grabs one of amy's hand knotted gemstone tassel necklaces toe add to her outfit and it makes her feel unique and stylish and she has the confidence to get out there and talk to tons of people and makes a great connection fantastic she's really thought that through so thank you adrien we also got reaches joining us in lisbon in portugal rose is joining us from vancouver island, canada on toby's joining us from sao francisco which is in brazil so welcome to a truly global audience I love it welcome everyone so we've been talking about these brands stories and now we're going to start to put together those pieces of where do you put those brand stories right? You you've started to build these how do you share them? How do you encourage your customers to share so one of the things is that we want to let our customers fill in the blanks to create their own story as humans were really hard wired for story so you don't have to necessarily spell it out for them you can kind of paint the picture and let them put themselves in s o this is an example of mod cloth is a great job of this if you've ever looked at their descriptions the way they write their product descriptions um, you know, it's, you never thought you'd be revealing your story to the world, but you can't help but radiate confidence bolstered by this navy dress as you take the stage. So they're all about creating these kind of the setting for the story, right? So they're not giving you the whole story, but they're giving you this setting so that the customer can really imagine themselves in that dress and in that scenario, so that's. One way to think about this is giving those little tidbits in something like your product descriptions, and you can also use social media and your blawg to put your customer stories front and center. So, you know, we were really kind of brainstorming and coming up with customer stories that might exist, but now that you know how important stories are, you can go ahead and reach out to your customers and start to collect those rials stories of their experiences, and you can highlight those on social media or on your block or on both or all of you know, any of those places, and this is something that freshly pitch does really well. She is constantly highlighting customer stories in her instagram feed and on her blogged so now it's not just about the brand and maybe the models that she's using it's about. Those cute kids that are wearing her product and also about the mom so you can see in her description she's interviewing those moms she's asking the mom to tell her what she loves the most about her kid so that's a great way that she's kind of bringing those stories in, but as you can see from both of these examples, you can also communicate stories visually and that's really, what we're going to be doing in the next couple of segments is we're going to kind of shift gears and look at those visual elements of your brand because let's face it it's a really fast paced world now, and people have short attention spans like this, right? And they've moved on, and so the odds of them reading a block of text if they're not already engaged with something else they've seen are pretty low. So we have to actually think about showcasing these emotions and those stories visually, and this is where we as a product, people as photographers, as makers as creative, we have an advantage because we already live in this visual world. So what we're going to do now is we're just going to look at those visual elements of your brand, and we're going to bring them together to create that emotional connection so that when people see your brand, they recognize it and they feel something immediately right that's what we want, we want them to immediately feel something and then that's going to compel them to buy the product and that's going to compel them to talk about it with a friend. So as I mentioned before, a brand is an emotional connection repeated over time, so we're really kind of focusing on the emotional connection peace and your visual brand elements could be a really key area in terms of getting them to associate your brand with those positive emotions so, you know, if they see certain colors, certain texture, certain funds that was immediately do some of that emotional work for us, some funds look happier, right? Some funds look more put together, there are frazzled fonts, they're put together phones, right? You know, some color palettes might make you feel inspired or brave or serene so we can use all of those to really associate our brands. Would those positive emotions? Yeah, and so we're talking about those key emotions, and so if our online audience wants to do a little share and I know I made our in studio audience share, but we'll do it again one more time has everyone sort of waking up and catching up? You know, what are those emotions? So you want your moms to be like, I got this right put together in control, I got it but also stylish that's that's an important that's if that's what you feel you feel stylish right? And then kathy happy happy child like actually I noticed something that you did we're going to take a look at a little later but you also use magical yeah you pull you pull that word out you wouldn't talk about yesterday but I saw that I like there's something there to this idea of like feeling magical like that um I had passionate although not sure about the word anymore um so I guess it would have to be strong um in order to go through the years like brave, courageous I think all of those are really important but also beautiful, right? We talked about that yesterday to you you want your customers to feel beautiful and that's really important people want to feel beautiful so that's that's a key emotion we don't wantto we don't lose sight of this well were we getting online? We got a few coming in rows one, two three says her three are nostalgic fashion forward and confident baby buddha studio said wonderment just one there leticia is saying confidence, joy and peace, lucio says transport transported nostalgic and inspired our style that's come up a couple times actually that come up now and our secret tree house says joy full of wonder and sometimes funky oh very glad sarah confident professional and prepare prepared and she came up a gay margie says chic she came up a lot in session she she can prepare to feel like he's your brand right there yeah awesome all right, so now we're going to start to talk about those that visual branding and you can see just like what we talked about with products there are two keys to the visual branding there's that aesthetic recognition and the emotional resonance so we want people to immediately see certain elements of our brand and associate it with us and then we want them to associate us with those key emotions that we're talking about. So how do you communicate your key emotions through the overall aesthetic of your brand? And before we kind of sit down and start really diving into those details of the color and the fun and the logo I want I want you to establish the overall mood of your brand right? Because that's going to really set the tone for everything else that you're doing so I'm actually gonna give you guys an exercise you who are in that online audience and go ahead and do this at home our in studio audience actually did it beforehand for us that we're ready to go, but I want you to create a visual mood board for your brand this is going to serve is kind of your first key where you're starting to pull together images and colors and textures and and photography and just things that really kind of capture for your brand what you think represents that that emotion in that mood that you're going for so you can do this in a lot of ways of course, my favorite tool is pinterest and what's great about this is that if you guys are doing them on pinterest, you can actually share those lengths in the chat we can see what you're working on so you can start to pull together a mood board that really represents your brand and, you know, it's helpful to know kind of what the what the emotions are that you're going for so my brand is about being confident and strong and bold and independent, right? Those are the things that are really important to my brand so you can see on pulling those through, but I'm also pulling through a certain color palette and a certain kind of mood and vibe that's happening there so it's something that I want you guys to start working on if you haven't ever thought of this before starting to pull together the colors and and the images that you think really represent your brand and then once you're doing that, then you can actually turn around and start to evaluate this to see if it's working for what you want to dio so if you're following along in our workbook, these questions are all in there as well so once you've created that bored and in a minute we're actually gonna look at our in studio audience is boards and we're gonna answer some of these questions and see if we're really we're matched up with where we want to go. So does your mood board have a consistent visual aesthetic doesn't feel like it makes sense or is a kind of feel all over the place right now and does it match the emotions you're trying to communicate? If we look at cathy's board, we should feel happy, right? Hopefully we do have world we'll get there in a minute, you know, if we get a look at monica's borders should be like I got this and put together, but I'm still pretty chic and when you're putting together your mood board, was there anything that surprised you about your mood board something that maybe you didn't realise was a really important visual draw for you? My friend danielle crest she runs a blogger called style for a happy home and she tells the story of actually starting to use pinterest and before she started pinning things she didn't realize that she loved color she thought that she was like a kind of black and gray girl its okay that's, that's what I am that's fine, but she started you know, putting together all these images and she realised actually I really love color and color is really important to my brand and who I am and so that was a big surprise for her so maybe you're going to get some surprises so that's the other thing when you're putting together these mood boards don't feel like you have two d'oh you have to start with like what I think is right go for the things that catch your eye because that's a really going to be the strongest indicator of who you are and who your brand is and we talked about this before this idea of like you know how much of your personality should you be bringing in here well as designers as creatives your personality should be about the vision for the brand or you're setting the vision you get to drive that so if you put together a mood board you don't like it that's never gonna work right? You should love it it should feel like you so we're actually going to go ahead and you know if you guys are making these you can actually feel free to share them in the chat rooms we can't look at them right now but uh you know if you're doing this it's great to share but we're going to take a look at the mood boards for our studio audience and kind of work through some of these questions so we're actually gonna start with kathy so cathy tell us a little bit about if I can get my mouse to work there you tell us a little bit about, um your mood board and what you were kind of thinking is you're putting this together it was really fun good were you happy when you were doing it? Yeah, yeah and it was pretty easy to I mean when I searched the words that I was emotional words than things just started popping up in my posted things that really stood out to me and that I would like to personally so so you're thinking you've got the sense of happy and this idea of childlike and just feeling connected there's I mean, gabby bernstein and I saw that and that's a perfect fit for you that like, yeah, I love that sort of like, fun and upbeat, but also kind of spiritual of the same time and just well connected yeah, uh, you know, one of the things that I noticed I think is interesting about your mood board as opposed to kind of some of the things we were talking about yesterday is that even though you talked about color your pal it's a little more subdued than I actually expected it to be when you're kind of talking about color so that's something to sort of keep in mind is you've got that sort of you've clearly got the glimmer we know you love the sparkle on that such an important part of your iced aesthetic in your identity and that clearly comes through but you repairing it I think with maybe a little bit more kind of neutral and actually chic nous than the kind of I think we're even talking about on the first page of your website so that's something to keep in mind is it's like it's glitter it's glitter but grown up but childlike yeah mix yeah I was trying to encapsulate all of those elements to it but yeah there's definitely I think a more muted color palette then then I would have originally expected that something that's always looking to for colorful pops and I mean that one with the cake and write on and then it just it felt like just right just like the little hints of how our overwhelming yeah awesome so that's a really good I think guide tow the visual elements of your brand for sure we can really see you coming out there awesome. All right. And this is monica so talk about what kind of you were putting together here so like chevron way use the chevron print and when I picked you yeah, when we started with chevron for our product I felt like it was something that was kind of fun and flirty okay and so that's kind of what I was looking for were moms that looked cute and it was like a fun yet stylish outfit um and then the same thing with like, you know, the bracelets like the gold the like it's like all feels like high end and put together so that's really kind of I think what you're trying to go for a society of high end and put together totally and I think the one thing that I maybe not seeing on your mood board is sort of ah clear color palette right? And I think that's something that I'm guessing you're struggling with notice it on your website too right? So I think that there's a potential for maybe using the gold is an element in a very different way than kathy is using it kathy is using it not very like sparkly glittery way and I think in your case it would be more we'll have an upscale color I mean and if I look at you you're actually wearing you've got like those accents of gold right there and then honestly, you know it's funny because you don't see it in your website and I don't see it in your board so much but I actually see a little bit more almost like a black coming through as sort of like a nice upscale color palette I agree I was thinking about what we would change our colors too and black actually was one of the colors that I was leaning what else are you thinking about in terms of dollars? I was thinking also of kind of, like a muted periwinkle, okay? And, um, maybe even still keeping that, um, that blew that we use, which is, I guess, like, right here like that. Um, but I don't know I'm not totally in love with that. I don't really, and yours might be a case, actually, where I'm wondering if you know you something like the black and the gold as a consistent color palette, and then maybe your accent color actually evolves to reflect color trends, right? So I'm looking at what you were kind of using. I think you were sort of hitting on kind of the last year's, you know, like a little bit radiant orchid with pantone with pantone just released their next the color of the year, which is marsala, which is pressure that's a chicken dish with a red wine color kind of like a deep, earthy red wine, so maybe something where you start to look at, you know, if not the color of the year like water, the color forecast trends and paying a little more attention to that because I think your your customer she wants to stay on top of those trends she wants to feel shriek in stylish she's she's probably pairing accents of the cult that color with her black and gold kind of sleek wardrobe so then our logo and such would be something of black and gold but what we incorporate into the website would write so you could start to do something like that yes, I think that's what you guys need because I can see that you're sort of trying to use a lot of color and it might be better to stick to that sort of black and gold palate and then you can still use the chevron as well you know, I think it's very clear that that's an accent the only thing that you want to kind of pay attention I think was something like that is that there's going to be a point where that's going to be played out and it's not going to feel like a trend anymore so you might not want to commit to that so much as part of your design vocabulary totally because eventually you'll probably move on from that print so awesome all right and let's look at sarah so right away we've got nature that's clearly a huge inspiration for you, right? What tell me what else you're kind of thinking about is you're putting us together color um and the a lot of it I it has these the space is c let like that building there where you can see into the warmth in there so a lot of a lot of the architectural one's air like that um it's got the, uh, like, that building right there is, like, one big, huge soft here sitting, right? Yeah, you're starting to get from that pattern coming in as well, when I think in terms of looking at the color palettes that you're looking at, you know, you say color, but I think it's important that we define what the colors are and so there's very clearly, you know, warm tones, but in a very earthy way. So you're really I think, pulling off of the colors of fire and, um, a lot of the smoky gray right, and then, like, right? So it's, almost like, you know, your we've been talking about evolution with your brand and yours might be if you think about, like, the color palette that sort of happens in the evolution of, like, from nature to fire, like from right? So that's kind of what we're seeing here, so you've got, you know, that that fresh green, then it kind of goes to that, you know, the fire, so we've got the reds and the oranges that it kind of burns out that smoky charcoal gray and then, eventually it comes back. It grows back right to that fresh green. So that is the perfect color palette for you. I think never in the audience is like, yeah, get it s o that's. Awesome. Now I think for you, the key isn't going to be deciding how to use it on. I think that your building's kind of give you that perfect kind of the buildings in the lighting. Give you that right balance of no becomes like that smoky, gray and that more, which mimics the silver that you're using. And then those brighter, more intense colors are the accents that kind of come from within. Awesome, like, is this a good color palette to orbit and really symbolic of what we're talking about here? Fantastic.

Class Description

Every small business owner shares two common goals: increasing sales and marketing more effectively. One of the most powerful ways to achieve these goals is to define and tell the story of who you are as a creator. That story is your brand, and a strong understanding of how to tell that story to your customers will take your business to new heights.

In Brand Your Creative Business, you’ll explore what makes your business a unique brand and find ways to share it. You’ll learn about implementing a brand strategy and growing and protecting it. Megan Auman will teach:

  • Why branding matters
  • How to define your brand
  • Storytelling to promote your business
  • How to develop a strategy to implement your plans

You’ll leave this course equipped and energized to create a strong, consistent presence in every aspect of your company – from packaging to customer interaction and beyond. You’ll also develop the confidence use colors, logos, and fonts to reflect your style - even if you’re not a designer

Whether you’re an Etsy seller looking to grow or an occasional crafter trying to build a full-time business, this course will give you the tools you need to connect with customers and sell more products.


a Creativelive Student

I was drawn in immediately. Megan's ability to tender precise, goal-oriented, and REAL life experience-infused information is what captivated me the most...AND...I logged in 30 minutes late on the first day of her class. I am excited to know that her course is STILL available, and on sale a couple of days after it aired live. TY CreativeLive for this opportunity; it is truly a gift to myself which will keep on giving...I have often used storytelling to build my brand, but Megan's guidance has given me a structured approach, which I really needed. Paying it forward, and sharing her amazing course with others will be a joy, as I feel an obligation to others I know, and those I have yet to know, all who will benefit from her plethora of carefully cultivated information. Her use of emotional connections to build a brand, and to reach a solid audience based on one's authentic voice is clear, clean, and easy to follow. Thank You Megan Aumen!


This is such a great class! Great content, great advice, great examples...great, great, great!! I'm so happy that I have a clear path to create a great brand for my business. Very empowering! I especially love the bonus information, especially the video on how to make your own logo in Illustrator. Exactly the information I've been looking for. Great job, Megan!

Laura Captain Photography

I'm in the process of launching a creative business and this class was what I was looking for. With procrastination and indecision cast aside, I will now confidently plan and carry out a productive and well organized branding strategy of my own. Before this class I felt somewhat confused and overwhelmed by all the miscellaneous branding information I had been trying to piece together. Even though I already knew some of the information she covered in the class, she put her own spin on it, gave some great examples and put it in an easy to follow plan. I particularly liked the segments related to naming your business and social media branding because I had a lot of questions on those topics. I'm very excited to get started with branding my business and I'm so glad I took the time to go through Megan's class, it will be so worth it in the long run. A big shout out to Megan, I love your business branding, your jewelry and your teaching style, great work!