7 Tips to Brand Your Side Hustle Like a Pro
Do you take your “side hustle” seriously or is it a “bit of fun”?
Most people start off treating their side hustle as nothing serious, but if you want your business to grow, you need to pay attention to branding. It’s a tough, competitive marketplace out there and without a discernible brand, you will struggle to stand out from the crowd.
Let’s start with the basics. Using a consistent color palette and sticking to the same font is essential when building a brand. Think about famous brands such as McDonald’s and Coca Cola. Color is a huge part of their brand. Would you recognize the famous McDonald’s logo if it was blue or green?
Color sends out a powerful message and according to a research study carried out by the University of Loyola, increases brand recognition by up to 80%, so choose your palette carefully.
Green tends to be associated with health and wellness, red with youth and vitality, yellow with warmth, and blue with strength and dependability. Font matters too, so think about your target audience and select a font accordingly.
Hint: Comic Sans is cute, but not if you are targeting an adult audience!
Research and Planning
It takes times to build a recognizable brand, but unless you research and plan, you won’t achieve the success you need to make your side hustle a success. Think about what you want your brand to personify: cool and hip or reliable and professional? Work out who your target audience is and create a framework for your brand construct.
Once you have some branding materials, test them and take all feedback on board. Nurture your brand and make sure you always live up to your brand message. It will take time and effort to build a successful brand, but with patience and hard work, your efforts will pay dividends!
Your brand needs a logo. A recognizable logo ties everything together, from your website to your social media profiles. It’s often the first thing a potential customer sees.
As Paul Rand, once described as the world’s “greatest living graphic designer”, famously said:
“A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies.”
Think about how recognizable big brand logos are: Apple, Nike, Starbucks; one logo is worth a thousand words. Luckily, you don’t need an Apple-sized budget to create a professional logo. Design your own slick logo using a site like Logojoy.com. Logojoy uses AI technology to create a strong logo that really speaks to your customers and if you need a new logo then check the promo code at the bottom of this post because we managed to get you 15% off!
Use Social Media Wisely
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by social media. So many networks, so little time. If you’re not careful, you can end up spending every waking moment on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Who has time to work?
The good news is that social media needn’t be stressful. Done right, social media can boost your brand and put you in touch with people who might become important new clients. It’s all about how you tackle each platform.
Twitter is fast-paced, but it is easy to connect with influencers if you get into the habit of using it every day. Aim to schedule around five posts a day. Curate useful content, reply to DMs and start a conversation.
Use Facebook wisely. Post an update daily, respond to public and private messages, and comment on fan pages. Treat LinkedIn as a real-time CV and keep it updated with your skills. Contacts will probably check your LinkedIn profile before they reach out to you.
Don’t forget to put your logo on every piece of content you put out across your social media platform to keep your visual branding consistent.
Word of Mouth Wins
Never underestimate the value of word of mouth recommendations. A Nielsen’s Harris Poll Online surveyed 2,000 Americans and found that 82% sought recommendations before buying anything. 67% said they were more likely to buy if a friend or relative shared a recommendation via social media. This is especially the case in the 18-34 category.
Other surveys concur. Word of mouth marketing builds trust. If people trust your brand, they will want to work with you again. Zappos, a large e-commerce brand, has invested its paid advertising budget in customer service and reaped the rewards. They prefer to let their customers do their marketing via word of mouth recommendations. How can you encourage word of mouth marketing in your business?
Press the Flesh
Don’t dismiss the value of local networking and networking groups. Even if you are not focusing on B2B marketing, pressing the flesh at networking events is a valuable way to make new contacts and find out more about useful marketing opportunities. People love to put a face to a name, so put yourself out there.
Know When to Use Experts
No man or woman is an island. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, advises up-and-coming entrepreneurs to look for people who share their passion but who have different skill sets. He advocates: “hire your weakness”. Technology makes it easy to do many things these days, but sometimes expert help is more cost effective.
Using experts when it counts will keep your costs down. For example, if you need a website but you have zero web design experience, hire a freelancer rather than waste hours trying to figure out Magento.
Take your side hustle seriously and create a professional logo which represents your brand! We snagged a 15% discount code from Logojoy just for the Ms Career Girl audience so use MsCareerGirl15 at checkout. Click here and create a logo which sets your side hustle on fire!