July 21, 2022
Have you ever walked out of the house in an outfit you’re not totally comfortable in?
The other day, I wore a crop top to the grocery store and realized — once I got there, of course — that the top was riding up. It was looking suspiciously more like a bandeau than a crop top, and I wasn’t feeling it.
I was constantly pulling the shirt down and adjusting it. I positioned my shopping basket in front of me and avoided eye contact with the checkout people.
I ducked into an empty aisle to try to tuck it into my jeans somehow, praying that some rando in security wasn’t seeing it. No matter how much I wrestled with it, the shirt would pop back up the second I took another step.
I couldn’t even hit up the chocolate aisle — where I was hoping to spend a good five minutes weighing my options — because two people were already there.
I was pretty damn uncomfortable.
I don’t tell you this to make you laugh (though I hope you did because #relatable) but to show you that THIS is exactly what it’s like to not have confidence in your brand.
You’re ALWAYS thinking about it. You’re taking time away from your life to tinker with it. You’re avoiding putting yourself out there because you’re adjusting, and readjusting, then adjusting some more. You feel exactly like you walked out of a dressing room in clothes that just do not feel good.
You want to get to the next level but you’re waiting until you have a better outfit on — erm, I mean brand. Sound familiar? This is one of those unspoken benefits of good design: Feeling confident with how your business looks.
The overlooked upside of good design (not just any design) is that, once you have it, you feel like a frickin’ rock star.
Think about your favorite outfit. It’s comfy, but it’s still stylish. You feel like yourself. You’re not afraid to be in front of people. It might even make you more charming, funny, and witty because you feel good.
When you feel good, you look good. And you’re not afraid to show up! You walk into a room feeling confident and ready to chat (or stand by the bowl of chips without sweating).
Know what else good design can do? Help you feel more confident in your products and services, and help you attract the right people to your offers. People can tell when you’re not sure about what you’re offering, and if you can’t believe in your biz, who else will?
Design isn’t a silver bullet for business success OR your confidence in your abilities, but it sure does make a difference. Showing up confidently helps you stand by your offers, build a loyal audience, and ultimately make you more money!
We all know looks aren’t everything, but we also know being a business owner means navigating self-doubt and decision fatigue. Every decision is multi-faceted, so we’re constantly in mental negotiations with ourselves.
“Is this on-trend? Should I ditch trends because they perpetuate unsustainable marketing systems? Do I even want to be on-trend?”
“Do I need to change what I’m doing so more people like me?”
“Is done really better than perfect? If someone sees my imperfections, will they lose trust in me? Will all my efforts be wasted?”
It never ends.
When you’re confident in what you’re building though, you spend less time having non-stop internal meetings with yourself and spend more time building a business you love.
You’re not wasting time trying to find “the right look,” either. You’ve already got the brand standards and you can stick to them, which means you can create more in less time — and with way less of a mess.
Without a defined brand from the start, clients and customers may take a look at your website or IG feed and wonder if your offers are quality because they see that inconsistency. And when people are unsure of your business, they don’t buy.
When you build a solid brand from the start, however, you can feel comfortable and confident promoting your offers. People see the consistency and think, “Dang, they really look like they have it together.” With that confidence both internally and externally, you increase the chances of converting your leads.
No matter how much we want to say looks don’t matter, the truth is… They’re the first thing we see. How something looks is the first thing our brains process, long before we’ve read any copy or done any research. It’s just human nature.
You could have an almost exact replica of a product — same ingredients, same function — but because of the way the packaging looks or how the colors draw attention (or don’t), they will appeal to one person and not the next. This is how design influences market value, because one person’s perceived value of a brand may be higher than another’s.
Of course, it’s not all about looks. It’s like dating. You find a surface-level connection on that first date, then you dig a little deeper to find out if they’re the right person for you. Your audience may be drawn to you because of your branding, but your killer products, services, or other offers are going to be what seals the deal. That’s how branding + badass business go together.
If you’ve ever held back from promoting your offers, from pitching that big client, from putting yourself out there more because your brand wasn’t “perfect,” you’re not alone.
One of our Design Days clients, Candice Coppola, said it best:
“I was in charge of making all the marketing graphics. And guess what? I never did–because I’d overthink it. I’d put together an asset and hate it. You’d find me spending hours in Photoshop suffering over how to make a template look cool–only to shut down my laptop and never export the file!
My marketing was suffering big time because of the workload on me to make it happen, plus everything I put together felt blah…
Over the last year of working with Nicole, I’ve been able to increase my sales by 248%. In large part I owe that win to Nicole’s creative genius because her work makes me excited to market my business and show up online!
(Like seriously, as soon as she sends over a round of assets I cannot WAIT to share them!).”
To me, that sums up what design is all about. It should make you feel like a superhero. It should amplify your powers and give you the confidence to show up.
This is why we harp on brand standards so much. Even with the most simple brand standards (2-3 colors, 2-3 fonts, and some standards around images you’ll use), you can create a cohesive look that makes 1.) design decisions easy 2.) your ideas easier to share.
Even if you can’t work with a professional designer right now, it’s entirely possible to create your own brand guidelines that help you confidently grow your business. We’ve got just the thing 😉
The Balanced Brand Lab Kit is a do-it-yourself branding workshop where you’ll build a personalized and balanced brand formula to guide all your design decisions. Make your own style guide and find your brand’s trusty sidekicks: from the right colors, fonts, photography, and more!
Inside this training, you’ll:
See what’s inside the Balanced Brand Lab Kit, and confidently create your brand in our Lab!