Let’s talk about visual storytelling. To start, let me ask you a question: What’s your brand’s visual story?
When you do have a vision for it, it’s almost as if you can close your eyes and see your brand unfold in your mind. You’d be able to see its substance and values come to life, you’d be able to imagine its cohesive brand identity, and you should be able to see it start to tell a story.
In fact, there’s few things as important as your brand’s visual story when it comes to making your brand as memorable and as powerful as possible.
Why? Because people love stories. Building brand loyalty and creating one of those brands that people identify with only happens when your brand can tell stories — whether it’s the stories that allow your audience to imagine themselves inside of your business, or whether it’s the stories that intrigue them, draw them in, and remind them why you’re the storyteller they should be listening to.
Plus, it’s really not as hard as you might think to start telling visual stories through your brand. The key? To dig deep, unlock what makes your brand your brand, and use that to fearlessly tell your story.
What Exactly Is Visual Storytelling?
Before we can really dig into visual storytelling, we have to dig into what storytelling is at its core. So, I want you to go waaaaay back to the days of storybooks before bed. Imagine your very, very, very favorite one — the one that made the most impact on you as a kid (hellooo The Little Mermaid!). If you were watching Disney movies like it was your job — like I was — you can probably picture a million stories coming to life in your head. Each movie had a hero/heroine, a villain of sorts, a problem that needed to be solved, and a happy ending.
Your job is to take that framework — the Ariel, the Prince Eric, the Flounder, and the Ursula, if you will — and apply it to your business, using your customer journey as the story arc. If you’re like “what, Tracy?!” then I’ve got you covered with our own story arc over at Uno Dos Trae:
- Hero/Heroine: Well, Uno Dos Trae, of course.
- Villain: “Meh” branding that leaves people feeling unsatisfied, marketing strategies that lack power, and business advice that doesn’t get anyone anywhere.
- The problem that needs to be solved: A client needs some serious insight into learning how to consistently create impactful marketing strategies, into building designs that WORK and inspires people, and into finding the right team to help with it all.
- The happy ending: Working with our Uno team to unlock serious design power, to learn how to build and scale businesses the right way, and to create a face for their brand that they’re proud of. Voila.
Now, I want you to put yourself, your brand, and your ideal customer into that same story arc up there, because THAT is the story that your brand needs to tell. For your visual storytelling, go ahead and identify your own Hero/Heroine, Villain, Problem and Happy Ending.
When you can write that story and connect it to your visual brand elements — i.e., your logo, your website design, your social media feeds, your user-generated content, etc. — you can create the most powerful and magical of brands. Your ideal client can instantly decide why working with you is so valuable, they can get insight into why you do what you do, and you can represent yourself well. What on earth could be better than that?!
How to Unlock Your Brand’s Visual Storytelling
Once you’ve actually written your brand story (note: it will keep changing as your business grows, which is totally fine!) you can start to unlock the visual side of things, which is where your brand really comes to life. Here are some of my favorite ways to continually unlock that visual story, whether on social, through your website, or in a different way entirely:
Create a Consistent, Original Brand Aesthetic
You want your brand to tell one story, not 12 — and that’s where consistency comes in. From the presets you use to edit social media photos all the way to the colorways that represent your brand, pull your design elements through every chance you get. By defining your own unique aesthetic and sticking to it, you’ll become more distinguishable, more memorable, and more original.
Reflect Your Brand Tone in Your Font Pairings
While people tend to think of logos and colors as the foundation of a great visual story, you can’t discount the power of a really great font pairing. Whether you want to embrace the whimsical and fun or you want to embody the powerful and strong, take time when deciding on your fonts. They matter.
Keep Authenticity at the Forefront
Every great story and root-for-able main character has something uniquely individual — and your brand is the same. Trust in the story you’re telling, and tell it consistently. Stick to your values, believe in your brand, and give your audience a reason to believe YOU.
While being consistent is a huge part of visual storytelling, so is the realization that sometimes your story may change — and that’s okay! As an entrepreneur and as someone who is determined to tell your brand’s story, lean into that mindset and roll with the punches where you need. Stories are allowed to change, as long as they’re true.
Looking for a little additional help to start telling your brand story through visuals? I have you covered. Download my free Visual Storytelling Resource Guide here, and remember: when all else fails, you and your brand’s story is what remains. Build on it, stay true to it, and grow with it. It will pay off, I promise.