Visual branding is the entire visual part of your brand. Which encompasses a lot of different things. The foundation of most visual brands is the logo, website, color palette, and brand fonts. Your visual brand is the appearance of everything you put out into the world on behalf of your business: business cards, emails, social media posts, flyers, ebooks, etc.
I strongly believe it's important to your business's success to get your visual branding right. Why?
Think about choosing an outfit for a first date or a job interview. Choosing the right one is pretty important, right? You want to make sure the outfit reflects your personality, makes you look attractive, but also like you’re not trying too hard, is appropriate for the setting… etc.
That’s because first impressions matter – they shape how new people perceive you before they get to know you better. Sometimes they determine whether or not people want to know you better, and an inaccurate first impression can be really hard to shake. Your visual brand has a huge impact on the first impression your audience gets of your business, and first impressions can either draw potential clients in, or turn them away.
For example, when talking about your website, a big factor in determining if it’s successful or not has to do with its bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who stay on your website and explore beyond your homepage vs. those who leave. Whether or not someone stays on your website is a decision they make in seconds. That decision is usually determined by two things:
- Your headline or tagline
- Your visual brand
Both of these working together tell your visitor if your website is what they’re looking for, or if it at least warrants further investigation.
In the internet age, people make judgments faster than ever, and the first thing the brain processes is visuals. If your coaching is awesome, which I’m sure it is, but your visual brand is unprofessional, your audience may never come to find out how awesome your coaching is because your visual brand drove them away.
You have to have a strong visual brand to capture your audience, and make them want to learn more about you.
Beyond the first impression, your visual brand still communicates with your audience. The consistency and precision of your visual brand will speak to your attention to detail; the overall quality speaks to your level of professionalism. Beyond that, each visual brand radiates a certain mood.
Mine, for example, is modern, simple, and feminine. Why does that matter? Well, what is it communicating with my audience? At a very basic level, as a designer, it lets my clients know right off the bat what my visual style is. A client looking for a really detailed, complex, and masculine brand is going to know right away that I am not the right fit for them. But someone who appreciates minimalism and professionalism? Now we’re talking.
Beyond my style, my visual brand reflects what I value as a business. The modern feel is very professional & streamlined: simplicity reflects my straightforward nature. The femininity is targeted towards my target audience.
What your brand communicates with your audience can be very powerful, and should be personalized to who you are as a coach. Are you more laid-back or driven? More casual or professional? Heart-centered or mind-centered? If your brand reflects that, it’ll draw in the right clients for you.
Another big asset in having a professional visual brand is its consistency. Having a consistent visual brand helps build recognition. A potential client may come across your work at one point, but not be ready to buy, and if your brand has changed the next time they see you, you’ve lost the good impression you made the first time because they don’t connect the new brand with the old good impression. Visual brands are much easier to recognize than names.
Therefore, having a visual brand you love when first starting out will help you start building recognition and brand equity, without fear of losing it all with a rebrand down the road. The longer you put off building a strong, lasting brand, the more brand equity you’re going to lose when you do finally make the switch.