February 10, 2021
You know those pockets of inspiration and excitement that just seem to hit out of the blue? Usually when you need to focus on something else… Those energetic spikes usually lead you to drawing up long lists of all the things that you want to create or share with your audience. Whether it’s on social media, your blog, email, video, or a new opt-in or offer, you want to make it all happen now.
If you’re lucky enough to keep that momentum going long enough to create the content, that’s amazing! (Cue up the Kris Jenner ‘you’re doing great, sweetie’ gif.) But what happens when that momentum stops the second it’s time to design your new creation? Worst of all, what happens if you realize that all of your ideas no longer feel “in line” with the visual and strategic elements of your brand?
When the ideas are still coming, but the execution of those ideas seem lackluster or off-base, we like to call that brand burnout. And we have good news: There is a treatment.
Burnout is something that, unfortunately, many small business owners and entrepreneurs in the online space are familiar with. By no means are we comparing a seriously over-exhausted brain and body with what we’re talking about here.
Instead, we want to hit on how a brand can feel exhausted — tired, overused, and not as exciting as it once was. Think back to when you first started your business, or created your brand. Everything felt new and shiny, right? Like you and your business were unstoppable.
Now, though, the same-old-same-old has you dragged down and feeling much less excited, even though you have great ideas. You may also feel like you’ve used the same elements too many times in an effort to stay consistent, and now everything just feels… “meh.”
That is brand burnout. So, how do we address it?
Just like with good old work and life burnout, the best remedy for brand burnout is taking a break. Step away from the design tool. We repeat: Step away from the design tool.
If you keep thinking your designs all look the same, or any content you create has started to feel like it’s not hitting the mark, rest your eyes and come back to it in a few days. You can also ask a designer friend or paid contractor to take a look and make suggestions.
During this phase of frustration, we often see business owners who just assume they need a new brand. Their sentiments of “This isn’t working!” or “I think I’m ready for something new!” are definitely understandable.
However, there may be part of your brand’s design, elements, or assets that you’ve forgotten about. These could help breathe new life into your brand, so make sure to do a complete review of what you have actually got.
Are there brand vibes, goals, keywords, or tones/attributes that help you take a new approach to your brand? Are there colors that could help you spice things up in the design department? Is there something you can apply to your current project, or other designs and assets, that make them feel more “new” and exciting?
We’ve talked about doing a complete brand audit at least once a year, but if you’re feeling the burnout, it may be time now. Here’s a rundown of the files you’ll want to check out:
You’ll also want to pull up accounts or assets like:
Review everything to see where you start to feel the fatigue, and what you truly have at your disposal. Often, when we run people through this exercise, they find something that they forgot about or never liked in the first place! These are easy fixes and can make you feel like your brand is a little less “old hat.”
You don’t have to create everything from scratch! Design templates, like the ones in Canva or that your designer creates, can cut down on design time, give you a framework in which to explore, and keep your brand consistent.
If you are using the same old templates for everything (i.e. social, email, blog, ads, etc.), it’s no wonder you’re feeling fatigue! Instead of scrapping the whole brand and starting fresh, just find a template that works for you.
There are literally thousands of social media templates out there, and there are also design templates specific to your project or needs. For example, our Complete DIY Course Design Kits offer you:
You can use all of these templates in a variety of ways — like our friend Keleigh did with her recent holiday launch. Lean in to the templates that make your job easier, and that get you excited about your designs again.
Just make sure the overall vibe matches your brand guidelines, please. Now is not the time to be throwing a curveball into your branding.
In general, we recommend that brands use no more than 3 different correlating fonts. If you think that your graphics’ text needs a bit of a refresh, this is a fairly easy way to do so. However, just make sure you’re choosing the right fonts, and not doing a total 180 from your current branding.
Also choose a font that:
Want other tips on how to choose a font? Check this out.
This is our favorite tip for bringing a little life back into those sleepy designs. Graphics and icons can be added to anything – your website, social graphics, thumbnails, PDFs, slideshows, you name it. And because the right graphics can be totally customized, they’ll match your current brand standards while also giving it a biiiit more legroom.
Our graphics library offers over 20 graphic “kits” to choose from, if you’re interested!
Our last note on brand burnout is something most of us don’t really talk about: fun! We are big believers in bringing joy, fun, and delight into our work and the designs we create, and we want to extend a bit of that to you! As we all get bogged down in tasks and moving the needle in our businesses, it’s easy to lose sight of what we were excited about or what we’ve already built.
So… when you start to design that new project, or batch your design days, think about how you can infuse a bit of fun into the process. Maybe turn on your favorite playlist. Maybe look through those recent customer reviews to get you excited. Eat a cookie. Talk to a friend. Honestly, bringing joy and a smile to our work (whenever possible) can make such a huge difference in how we see ourselves, our brand, and our work.
Your designs will make an impact, when you focus on all the right ingredients.