How much effort should you place on your branding efforts versus your marketing efforts?
To answer this question, we need to go back to the basics of branding versus marketing.
Marketing is like asking someone on a date. Branding is the reason they say, ‘yes.’
What’s the difference?
In simple terms, marketing is making offers, while branding actively shapes the perception of those you make offers to.
Think of marketing as the actions you take to connect with your customers and get them to purchase your products or services. Branding is the foundation to your marketing efforts. So if your branding efforts aren’t up-to-par, your marketing efforts may fall flat.
Branding starts with defining what problem(s) you solve, what you want to stand for, and the feelings you want to evoke within others. Once you’re clear here, you can move on to what most people think of as branding – which is the design aspect.
And since many of us aren’t graphic designers over here, I’ve pulled together some of my top tips for improving your brand through graphics design without needing to be a designer:
Six Tips to Create an Aesthetic Brand as an Accountant or Professional Service Provider
- Be consistent
Check out your website, graphics, and any other place you have marketing materials to ensure you are being consistent with colors, fonts, and overall “vibe.” For fonts, I recommend sticking with one font family. For graphics, make sure you’re using colors that are complementary to each other and avoid having too many altogether.
Pro Tip: If you find a font you’d like to use, but you don’t know the name of it, you can use a free Chrome plug-in called What Font to determine the name of the font.
- Avoid poor legibility and grammar mistakes.
Look, we’ve all used a font or two before that is hard to read, but that doesn’t mean we need to keep making the same mistake. Sans Serif and bolder fonts are typically more legible.
Also, be sure to double-check your materials for spelling errors. Tools like Grammarly or ProWritingAid can help you avoid those small errors that can result in looking unprofessional.
- Use the color wheel when choosing colors
Did you know it wasn’t a waste of time when you learned the color wheel long ago?
You can use the color wheel to help you pick out complementary colors. Avoid picking analogous colors, which are any three colors next to each other on the color wheel. Further, I recommend avoiding monochrome colors, which are colors that are similar in shade, like red, burgundy, and maroon; those aren’t going to make your brand pop!
If you struggle with deciding which colors to use, consider using an app like Pantone to help.
- Don’t be afraid of white space
Whitespace, also known as negative space, can help your graphics, blog posts, social media posts, and webpages look more professional and sophisticated. Don’t be afraid to hit ‘enter’ a few extra times in your social media posts or leave extra white space within your blog posts.
- Don’t forget about maintaing proper alignment and proportions.
Consider how you layout your graphics, webpages, and social media posts. Be sure that text is all aligned, photos are of equal sizes, and the spaces are organized and used properly.
- Utilize tools and applications to help
Photoshop is a wonderful tool, but it can be complex and time-consuming to learn. Consider using tools like Canva to help create graphics and social media posts. For your website, my favorite is to build on WordPress; however, WordPress can be complicated. A more beginner-friendly way to build your website is on SquareSpace or Weebly, using their drag-and-drop builder.
As an accountant, CPA, or professional service provider, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create a brand that’s pleasing to the eye. Use these six tips, and you’ll be ahead of the curve.
For more information on how we can help your accounting firm or CPA firm with marketing and graphic design, contact us at here.