So you’ve always wanted a creative business. You do the research, make 100 to-do lists, and work your tail off to get things done. Fast forward a few months (or maybe even years, am I right?) and you finally get everything up and running. And while there’s still so much to do…people are visiting your site!
…but that’s about all they are doing.
In order to have a business, you have to make money (because if you’re not making money, then what you have is a hobby). So what gives? Your product is great. You’re churning out content that you know is good. And yet…no sales. How in the actual heck are you supposed to get your audience to convert?
Here’s the thing:
In other words, your customers need to really trust that everything your brand is sharing for free is the same quality as what you want them to pay for.
That’s why you need a visual marketing plan.
Visuals matter more than ever now. A strong visual marketing plan can build trust with your audience, make your customer feel all the feels just by looking at your product, and really hammer home exactly what you want your brand to communicate.
When I started my first brand, I became a visual marketing nerd. That’s because well-crafted, nice quality visuals made all the difference for my business. It wasn’t the first strategy I tried, but it was the strategy that finally got things moving — the proof was in the numbers. I went from describing how my product could fit into my customers’ lives with endless amount of text to getting my customers to actually visualize how themselves. I was able to build trust with them almost immediately once my imagery and aesthetic finally matched my brand, product values, and standards.
Now, creating a visual marketing plan isn’t something you should overthink. You don’t need a super sophisticated strategy to start. I’m going to show you 3 simple things you can do today to give some life back into your brand.
Even The Simplest Visual Marketing Plan Can Transform Your Business
This year, brands and marketers are really investing more time and effort into their visual marketing and seeing how it all fits in within their current strategies. And for good reason. Just look at the numbers:
So let’s recap all this for a moment:
- When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information 3 days later. But, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retain 65% of the information 3 days later. (Source)
- Articles with images get 94% more views. (Source)
- 86% of buyers said visual/interactive content increased their desire to buy. (Source)
- 76.5% of marketers and small business owners who have used video marketing say it had a direct impact on their business. (Source)
- Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. (Source)
What’s the takeaway here? If you don’t have a visual marketing plan in place yet, you might want to reprioritize. The results are real and visual marketing can have a direct impact on your bottom line and how well your content performs. It’s not just about making your brand look good. It’s about strong and effective communication so you can sell more, serve more, and live the kind of life you are actively designing for yourself.
The 3-Step Visual Marketing Plan You Can Start Using Today
1. Define Your Voice
Finding your brand voice is the foundation of rising above all that competitor noise. If you have a distinct voice, you will find and connect with your audience. Whenever your customer or follower encounters your product or content, you want them to be able to recognize that it’s yours and say, “That’s so (insert your brand name here).” Everything you produce — from your IG stories to your customer service to your marketing materials — should be recognizably you.
If you can nail down your voice, designing imagery that captures your brand’s personality is easy.
Finding your brand voice isn’t something you want to rush through. So if you’re struggling with this part of the process, download my strategy guide and it will walk you through everything in 3 simple steps. You can download that here:
2. Set Your Brand Guidelines
Once you’ve found your brand voice, now it’s time to see what that looks like visually. There are certain brand elements that will help shape your brand identity and aesthetic from typography and color scheme to your logo and marketing collateral. However you decide to come up with what these elements look like — whether it’s through a DIY branding exercise, hiring a designer, or picking out what you personally like — be sure to remain consistent. Branding is only as effective as you are consistent. That’s why creating a set of “brand rules” or guidelines to follow helps ensure a cohesive identity across your channels. The best way to do this is by creating a branded style guide.
A style guide (or the truncated version, style sheet) is like your brand’s visual bible. It’s a document of rules and guidelines for the design and general look-and-feel of your brand. It ensures that all of your content and collateral will embody and reflect your brand consistently (no matter what designer, photographer, etc. that you work with).
If you don’t already have a style guide for your brand, not to worry. You can gets started with this template right now. You’re also going to want to have one in place before you move onto Step 3.
…which brings us to…
3. Make A List
Think about your current branding as it exists today. Is there anything glaring that sticks out when compared to your style guide? Are there things that don’t align with the overall aesthetic and positioning you want to be known for? Start making a list of things that need to be reworked — the colors you are using in your newsletter graphics, the typography on certain pages or sections of your website, the lifestyle photography in your Facebook ads.
If you need help, use my brand review checklist as a starting point. While you might not have the time or budget to rebrand everything all at once, focusing on one thing at a time will eventually get you to those brand goals. Remember, strong branding and visual marketing is what will help build trust with your audience so you are the one they choose to spend their money with.
Visual marketing has become essential in showcasing what makes you and your brand different. And like most things in your business, having a smart plan in place will elevate the value of your brand and effectively communicate your message so your audience really gets it. No need to overthink anything or be fancy — you just need to start. And these 3 simple steps are all you need to get going today.
If you want more ways to think creatively when it comes to your branding, join my mailing list at the bottom of this post.
When it comes to visual marketing, is there one thing that you credit that has changed the game for your business? Leave a comment below.