Krishna Solanki Designs

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Humanising Your Brand And Business

BrandingKrishna SolankiComment

When I first started out, I made the impression my business was more than a one-woman band.  I thought that was the way to go, and it would be beneficial for my clients to see and believe that they are dealing with a big professional company.  Boy, was I wrong!!

Over the years and after a rebrand, I realised I wanted my brand and business to be a representation of who I am.  To be more personal and honest. So that is how this post has come about.  Today I wanted to share some tips on how to humanise your brand and how to make your business feel more personal.

People like to talk to people, especially in business context. I like to know who I am talking to and dealing with when I want to hire someone's professional services.

Just recently, we decided to change our shower unit.  I contacted a company and someone replied to my emails.  The emails were very formal and written as if the company was filled with numerous employees.  My first thoughts were, “I hope I don't have to explain my requirements and needs over and over again”.  After an exchange of emails and a short visit, I realised the company was, in fact, a one-man band.  Although his emails led me to believe there was more than just him, face to face conversation with him revealed it to be just him.  I could see how his business had flourished over the years.  His personality and personal touch were on point and he was definitely my choice for moving forward with the work I needed doing.  This was based on the fact he became someone I trusted and his knowledge and helpfulness was really appreciated AFTER I met him in person.

I did suggest to him, he should bring in his personality and minimise the distance he intentionally creates with potential clients by saying “I” instead of “we”.

This leads me to tip number 1:

1 | Don't hide the person or people behind the scene

By responding and replying like a real person to a potential client, or customer, you naturally humanise your brand and business.   Minimising the distance and communicating 1-on-1 also helps to form a friendly relationship that can reinforce that there is a human behind that email!  After all, it may not be easy to meet your client face to face.  

Tip - If you use Skype or something similar, it's definitely worth doing a video call so that your client can SEE you as well as hear you, especially the first time round.

2 | Engage in conversations on social media

Social media is one of those things that most people are active on.  When its comes to your business and your brand one of the main ways to humanise it is to let the person you are communicating with know that there is a person on the other side of the tweet or status update.  More recently I have seen larger companies replying to tweets with reference to their name or initials at the end of the tweet. Like so:

This really helps bigger companies, who have more than 1 employee create a sense of trust and human interaction behind a social media account and computer screen.

3 | Bring in your personality

You may wonder how can you do this as a small business owner.  I know I did at one point! My approach is to be myself.  The moment I decided I wanted my brand and business to feel more personal, I removed the “We” and added the “I”.  I became more transparent on my social media, in particular on Instagram, where I often share non-business related images - it shows I'm human and that I have a life other than running my business and since doing that I have made some great connections and friends that know I who I am, and what I do.
Worst case scenario - use humour! Humour always brings in a reaction.

I hope these tips were useful to you and I hope they help you to humanise your brand and business. 

What do you do to humanise your business? Do you do any of the above?

The Importance Of Storytelling In The Development Of Your Brand

BrandingKrishna Solanki2 Comments

A while ago, Tim from Draft My Story contacted me and we hit it off straight away!!  His down to earth approach and friendly manner really came through as I read his emails.
His personality really shone and it
became apparent to me that his words were another layer of his branding.
After a few emails back and forth I asked Tim if he would write a guest post on my blog for my readers.  I was totally over the moon when he agreed, and so today I'm sharing an article written by my buddy Tim who is here to talk about the importance of storytelling in the development of your brand.
It's a fantastic topic and one that every small business or startup really needs to consider!

Without further delay, over to Tim!

Krishna Solanki Designs - The Importance Of Storytelling In The Development Of Your Brand.jpg

IT’S NO SECRET THAT…

Branding is complicated. A web of interwoven variables. It’s not just a question of good design, beautiful images and colors, smart words, or consistent messaging. It’s the sum of all of these things. And more.

Today more than ever we need a definition of branding that extends beyond the visual elements we’ve come to ascribe to it. Without a more modern approach to traditional branding, everything starts to look very much the same.

So what is the answer?

If branding really has become one-dimensional, how can we as business owners work to defend against becoming carbon copies? What must we do in order to adapt? What will it take to stand out?

Today we’ll explore some easy tips for developing your brand beyond the page. In a world of stick-figure brand images, it’s time for us to start drawing in 3-D. Let’s get started.

IT’S OK TO BE A HUMAN, OK?

In a world where everyone is starting to look very much alike, what can be done to express your company’s genuine individuality? The first answer to this important question might surprise you. Because the first answer to this question might very well be you.
Related:

That’s right - one of the most common oversights in branding (and in business, for that matter) is creative inclusion of the human element. At the end of the day, your business is not just the logo that represents it. Nor is your business just the beautiful website.

No, your business is a result of the human effort and ingenuity that brought it all to life. Your business is a part of you. It is made up of human feeling and hard-won capabilities. It exists only as a function of your important work and inclinations.

So why is this critical to branding?

Because, luckily for all of us, who we are is precisely what makes what we do so special. And no one knows this better than your potential customers or clients. Remember: your prospects are people, too. And what they want is more than just a product; what they really want is you.

HOW TO PUT A FACE TO THE NAME

Ok! So if the missing link of modern branding is that “extra dimension” of human personality, then how is one to bring it all to life? If the story behind the name is what really helps define it, then - practically speaking - what can be done to tell that story in an advantageous way?

The truth is, there are many ways to inject your brand with genuine personality, just as there are many ways to infuse your work with your humanity. Let’s look at some of the most applicable methods for helping to make you more than “just another” enter-your-type-of-business-here.

1 | Tagline

Imagine if you only had one chance to make a real impression on someone and you only had 15 seconds and the space of a single Tweet. That’s your tagline. And this “fantasy” is everything but.

Statistically, most of your site visitors will choose within the first few seconds of landing on your page whether or not to stay on your site. If you’re not able to grab their attention in a meaningful way immediately… off they go to visit someone else.

Updating your tagline to a precise encapsulation of who you are, what you do, and why all that matters to your viewer is one of the most important steps you can take toward presenting your brand as something truly different-from-the-rest.

2 | About Page

Here is another huge opportunity that is all too often missed by many brands: the About Page. You would be surprised at just how many visitors to your site jump directly to this page.

These visitors want to know about more than just what your business offers: in many cases, they want to know about who offers it just as much. Is it someone stuffy and self-involved? Or is it someone passionate, attentive, and seemingly relatable?

Re-drafting your About Page to describe the story behind the business that you’ve built - your story - is another critical step toward presenting your brand as something… well… something with a heartbeat. It helps you to relate with your prospects on a very human level.
Related:

3 | Brand Voice

Perhaps most challenging of all, brand voice plays an indispensable role in securing the image of your brand as something living. It incorporates the above two elements, yes; but it also extends beyond them.

Brand voice is the sum total of your brand presence. It is a means of allowing your story to unfold naturally from beginning to end. Yes, it requires planning. Yes, you may even require some help.

But there is no substitute for establishing a consistent brand voice. This is the biggest step you can take toward taking your brand image (as well as its affect) from trivial to profound.
Related:

Storytelling

At the end of the day, it all comes down to Storytelling. Who you are, what you love, why you do what you do - these pieces combine to create the context of your work; they are what makes you different from anyone else who’s doing what you do. They are why you matter.

And they are why your prospects choose to work with you and not with someone else.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

We want to show you an example - one that we believe to be a brilliant representation of everything we’ve described here in this article. Head on over to the Baron Fig website. Be sure to take special note of the following elements and to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Tagline - Is it easy to understand? Does it pique your curiosity enough to draw you in?
  2. About Page - Notice how they’ve chosen to call it “Our Story”. What do you think? Do you feel like you’re being sold to? Or do you feel like you’re getting to know real people, not too different from yourself?
  3. Brand Voice - As you click around the website, do you feel like the overall message is cohesive? Do you feel like you’re being sold to, or do you feel like you’re being shown around a room by a couple of excited friends?

Fact of the matter is: humans rely on humans. We depend on one another for inspiration. We depend on one another in order to learn new and interesting things. And we depend on one another for services and products we’re not capable of providing for ourselves.

The Baron Fig guys came out of nowhere with an idea that wasn’t even all that new (most notebook nerds would argue that brands like Moleskine and Rhodia and Leuchtturm1917 had already cornered that market). But Baron Fig took the idea just a bit further and proceeded to present it in a whole new way.

“Out of nowhere” soon blossomed into massive partnerships with brands like Google, Kickstarter, Facebook, Nike, Mailchimp (and on and on it goes).  The press around BF has been off the charts.  We believe that this is due in large part to the personality and humanity presented in the story of this brand.

OK, NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

So first things first: how does your current brand stack up against the “humanity factors” detailed in this article? In most cases, the areas most lacking in personality are areas related to copywriting - a task that is intimidating even to seasoned practitioners of the art.

But you’ve already got the beautiful design, the one-of-a-kind product or brilliant service. All that’s missing is the smart, relatable, compelling copywriting. And that’s where we come in.

If you feel that your branding could use a shot of personality, contact me directly here. Let me know that you found your way to us through this article and I'll even include a FREE Brand Evaluation as our way of saying “thank you” and “hello”.


Written By tim brainard

Krishna Solanki Designs - Guest post by Tim Brainard - Draft my Story

Tim Brainard is is a professional writer and the Founder of Draft My Story.

With work that has been published around the world, he now focuses his efforts on small business & personal development.
Tim marries a love for storytelling with years of experience in marketing, brand development, SEO, and copywriting.

This allows him to develop creative systems and services for helping others to grow whatever matters most to them.

How to Create a Brand When You Have 2 or More Interests

BrandingKrishna Solanki4 Comments

I received an email not so long ago from an established professional who was seeking advice on how to create a website based on 2 totally different interests.  He was going round and round in circles and couldn't work out how to make his first move.
After a brief consultation he decided that we would be a perfect fit to work together on his project, so "YAY ME!" but at the same time, I realised his dilemma.  It also crossed my mind that he can't be the only person with multiple interests.
That's where the drive for this post comes into play.

How to Create a Brand When You Have 2 or More Interests

The dilemma

It could be that you have a business already and you also now have a side hustle on the side that has really taken off.  Or, that you naturally have a diverse focus.  The problem is you want to bring all the different diverse elements together, under one roof, but are unsure how so you start asking yourself things like:

  • What would my website domain be?
  • Will it make sense to have two diverse topics?
  • What about the audience? - Is it a good idea to merge the topics together as one audience probably isn't interested in the other?
  • How do I brand "it"?

The solution

You often hear businesses need a focus. To concentrate on one specific niche, but that doesn't work in this situation. So what do you do?

My solution is to focus on the one thing that strings all those different interests together. Find what that is and make that the focus.

Build your business, brand, website, around your focus.

For example, I am a designer and my main profession is creating brand identities and websites, this is also my passion.   Two other passions I have are cooking and sewing. I don't get much time for the later anymore, but I still love to create bespoke items and put needle an thread together.  Now, say for example I set up a blog for my cooking and a blog for my sewing, and they really took off.

It would be really difficult for me to maintain these 3 topics separately and create 3 different brands and websites.  Instead, it makes sense to focus on the one main element that strings all 3 topics together.  That topic is ME.

Therefore it makes much more sense to brand the 3 elements under one roof, under my name.  I would become the brand and I would be able to keep each topic as diverse as they are but all under one focus.

You as the brand

Ok, so you have decided to keep the focus of your diverse topics under one brand.  That brand being you.

What do you do next?

Well, my advice would be to think about creating your personal brand.  Before I give you some tips to help get you started, let's define what a personal brand is.

What is a personal brand?

In a few simple words, a personal brand is how you appear to the world.  So that can be in terms of:

  • who you are (so your skills, passions, and the unique selling points, things that make you unique),
  • how you want to be perceived (by your friends, family, colleagues, clients, and generally speaking your reputation)
  • what you want to achieve

4 Tips for creating your personal brand:

1 | Be yourself

Your personal brand should be a reflection of who you are, that means being authentic. Building around your personality and beliefs creates a sense of truth.  That can build trust and if people trust you then they are more likely to buy into your brand.  Also, people connect with people.  Being yourself is a great way of humanising your brand and making it relatable. 

2 | Grab your digital name

Nothing is more frustrating than setting up your brand and realising that the respective social media handles are taken.  Once you have decided on being yourself and thought of your URL, do your research and secure your digital name across the mediums you wish to be present on.  You don't have to be on ALL of them, but maybe just the ones you find the most relevant.

3 | Create your logo

You don't have to go all crazy and spend thousands on creating your logo but having a visual representation of yourself can make you more memorable not to mention make you stand out.

Related: Do I need a logo

4 | Online presence

Now you have your identity in place, and you have secured your digital home and name, its time to build your online presence.  Building a website is one of the best ways to reinforce your personal brand.  It gives you more control over your online presence and it's easier to do than you probably think.  However, don't forget to review this every now and again, and update it when necessary.

Related: 10 design tweak you need to make to your website today

5 | Network

Now because you are your brand you have a broader spectrum and a broader networking area. This is great because you are able to network in multiple areas and still bring it back to you and your passion.

So as you can see, you don't have to create a niche for your interests, you can build upon them as they are and create your personal brand as the main focus.

Remember you are the element that connects the different interests together and so you are your brand.

Have you created your personal brand? how did you go about defining it? I'd love to hear.  If you are struggling with creating your personal brand, or need help with defining your brand why not drop me an email - hello@krishnasolankidesigns.com.  I'd be more than happy to hear from you!