You’ve seen the pictures, I’m sure — a vase full of peonies sitting on a desk next to a pretty planner, a computer keyboard, and a small bowl of gold paperclips or a stapler sitting nearby. A cute pair of sunglasses rests casually on the desk, and let’s not forget the caffeinated beverage in a white mug with inspirational words written in a pretty script font. Sometimes there’s even gold confetti.
Sure, this is a gorgeous setup, and what #girlboss doesn’t like peonies, right? But there’s a fundamental problem when you use something trendy like this for your overall branding.
You look like everyone else.
I see so many talented entrepreneurs offering amazing products and services, but I often can’t tell them apart when I look at their marketing. They dilute their uniqueness when they try to look like one of the cool kids.
And that’s very bad for business.
It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap because, hey, we want people to like us, right? So when we see something that clearly resonates with a lot of people, it’s tempting to shift toward it. But as a result, we lose our own voice (and style).
Creating a memorable brand means standing out.
As a solopreneur, your branding should reflect who you really are – it tells your story, gives a glimpse inside your personality, communicates your values. Your branding includes your logo, website, social media styling, photography, the copy you write, the stories you tell, and even the hashtags you use.
How are you going to stand out when you’re dressed like the rest of the crowd?
Your branding is YOU.
When I redesigned my website recently, I wanted something that was visually attractive, reflected my personality, made readers feel welcome, and clearly communicated information about what I had to offer. I intentionally designed something that didn’t look like everyone else’s.
To be fair, I love peonies. They’re blooming in my garden right now and I have a vase of them next to me as I write this. But they’re not welcome in my branding.
You are unique, and your brand should be too.
Be real, dammit. If peonies and everything feminine is a true part of your “essence” and it appeals to your ideal customer, then by all means use them, but be unique.
Communicate the value that you bring to the conversation, and let everyone know that your business is not just another pretty face.
Dare to be different and watch your business grow.
If your branding could use some work and you want to work on your business but never seem to find the time, we can fix that. Join the The Hive and spend time doing what matters, in the company of other women entrepreneurs just like you.