I've hinted at this before, but I think the time has finally arrived to announce that Cinnamon Wolfe Photography has partnered with a professional designer on creating a brand that suits my business!!
I have not been so excited about something that pertains to my business in a while. I feel like this step is absolutely essential for me to help ensure my business is really set up for success in the years to come. I have a lot of big plans for CWP and I am confident that this branding process will only help me to achieve my goals.
Can I just take a second and reflect on how crazy this all is? A little over two years ago this business was just a slight glimmer in my eye. To see how far it has come and where I am at now is almost shocking to me. Most days I still feel like I don't really deserve to be doing what I love every single day. I am so incredibly blessed that God has opened up doors in my life that I never really imagined before. Its a lot of hard work, but wow is it worth it!!
I also want to point out this this is not a "re-brand" for me. All I currently have is a logo and a really good website platform (Squarespace.) There are a LOT of design elements that go into creating a strong, timeless and cohesive brand and I am lacking in pretty much every single one of those attributes. All of this will change once my brand is complete. I see people mention all the time that they are "re-branding" by getting a new logo, I really hope that through my process of creating a brand, you will really see how brand creation is about SO MUCH MORE.
How I ended up finding the amazing lady I am partnering with on my branding is kind of a funny story and one I think I will save for another day. Today I really want to focus on three main reasons you should hire a professional to help you create a brand for your business.
Not having branding elements that are cohesive and consistent is an incredible hindrance. I have learned this lesson all too well in the past year or so. When I had my logo redone at the beginning of 2014, I had an idea, contacted someone who was good in Illustrator and $100 later, I had a logo that I really loved. What I didn't have was the ability to know how to utilize this logo in different ways. Struggling to get it right on business cards, fit it into different documents that I was creating, getting it onto USB's, not really understanding how to properly utilize the elements of the logo in a way that would look good across multiple platforms....I could go on and on. While its a good logo, it doesn't communicate anything about me or the service I want to provide to my clients. Professional designers know all of this like the back of their hand. Just like most of my clients don't know how to place themselves in the most flattering light and then change their camera settings to the proper exposure and then (and most importantly) know what to do with their hands, I don't know how to communicate myself and my mission through brand elements.
I know a lot of small business owners feel like this is something they can take on themselves, and if they are strong in graphic design and color theory etc...then maybe it is something they can do. However for myself and for most other relatively new start up businesses, hiring a professional to do this heavy lifting for you is a MUST.
This one is SO HUGE for me. I am a thinker. Ideas, thoughts, timelines...they are running through my brain all. day. long. I NEED to talk to someone to help me sort out my own thoughts. Collaborating with someone who is an expert in their field, understands what I am trying to communicate and who can help me make sense of everything in my brain is like GOLD. Working as an island is never successful for me. Although there are certain things that I need solitude for (maybe like creating blog posts) when it comes to the bigger aspects of business, teamwork and collaboration is essential for me. If I were to try to take this project on by myself I know it would be a disaster. There are so many elements to graphic design and branding that I am in the dark about so all of those things would get missed, the project would take forever to get completed and it would probably end up being a failure. I will gladly pay an expert to work with me to help me see my vision and make it a reality.
Return on Investment (ROI)
While only time will tell if my new branded self will have a great ROI, I am 100% convinced that the branding process will pay for itself in less than a year, maybe even 6 mo. I have seen what having a strong, timeless and cohesive brand has done for others. I am absolutely willing and able to live up to what my brand will stand for. Brands are memorable. Brands are remarkable. Brands are professional. All of that translates into building relationships with clients who TRUST you. I will gladly hand my investment over to someone who is established and trustworthy any day over worrying that I am working with someone that I can't depend on. It communicates mountains of information to your clients without you even having to use words to say what you are doing. The branding process is not an inexpensive one, but one that is worth every penny.
I plan on crafting a post at the end of this process to show you a comparison of my very first logo that I created in Pic Monkey (argghhh!! can you believe that??) and my final brand. I have a feeling that might communicate more about why you should hire a professional than I can ever communicate in a blog post!
Check back next week for a post introducing the amazing and talented designer I am working with and the funny story of how I found her!