Logistically we’re taught that DIY branding will save you money, but here’s the catch to this logic—DIY brands come with their own costs. Your homemade branding can cost your real money and potential money.
When you’re first getting started, you’re focused on this idea of done is better than perfect, but that homemade strategy can only serve you for so long. If you have a goal of setting yourself up as an expert in your industry, then your visual brand and identity needs to match that.
DIY branding can actually serve a purpose for a certain season in your business, but there comes a point where it’s actually holding you back more than you might realize, and it doesn’t actually add up to a smart business decision that is going to help you achieve your goals.
When we look at it with that surface level logic, it tracks—by creating your brand yourself, you’re able to save the upfront money that you would invest in hiring a designer. Here’s the catch, DIY brands do come with their own costs, even if they aren’t specifically positioned as dollars that you hand over to a designer, your homemade branding can actually cost you real money and more than that.
Let’s discuss if you’re DIY Brand is serving you well.
Identify If Your DIY Brand is Serving You Well
1. Is your DIY Branding requiring you to make constant updates?
If you’re not a professional designer, you’re likely trying to keep up with current trends, that’s going to require that you’re constantly tweaking your website, sprucing up your logo, updating your branded visuals for social media and so much more. Additionally, you’ll spend way too much time watching tutorials on how to do things. It becomes this endless cycle of updating and updating and seeing what other people are doing and making changes that I don’t want to see you stuck in.
2. Is your DIY Branding robbing you of your time?
Speaking of constantly making updates, this is time consuming. When you don’t know how to do something, you’ll spend hours and hours learning how, which doesn’t add value to your brand. Imagine your accounting, if you were to do all of the paperwork for your taxes for business and self-employment, you’ll likely spend hours on that too, but by outsourcing to an accountant you don’t have to worry about it. This is the same concept with your brand design.
3. Is your DIY Branding positioning you as an expert?
If you’re taking the DIY route, you’ve likely not considered any strategy behind your branding, but rather just the visuals. As a result, if you’re going to DIY route and you’re leaving out strategy, then you are not sharing a fully formulated identity with your ideal clients that positions you as the expert that they’re looking for.
4. Is your DIY Branding driving quality inquiries your way?
If you’re not positioning yourself as an expert through your branding, you might find that a lot of inquiries that make their way into your inbox aren’t quite the quality that you were looking for. If you want to connect with your dreamy ideal clients, time and time again, it’s important to be connecting with them through a brand that speaks to them, that resonates with where they are and their season of life, and positions you and your services as the experience that is going to take them from where they are to where they’re dreaming of going.
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Review the Transcript:
Hi friends and welcome to the brand strategy podcast. A show created to equip you with the inspiration, encouragement, and clarity. You need to build the brand of your dreams. I’m your host, Bonnie Bakhtiari Rayanne designer, strategist, and founder of the Illume Retreat from sustainable strategy to part felt encouragement. Each episode is designed to equip you with the tools you need to chase after your dreams, because you deserve a brand that empowers you to do what you love, connects with your dream clients and offers a deep sense of fulfillment along the way. So grab a cup of coffee and join me on this journey. Won’t Liam.
Okay. Friends. Welcome back to the podast, today we’re having a fun, honest conversation about how DIY branding is actually costing you more than you think. Now today’s conversation. It comes from a place of wanting to show you how DIY branding can actually serve a purpose for a certain season in your business. But there comes a point where it’s actually holding you back more than you might realize, and it doesn’t actually add up to a smart business decision that is going to help you achieve your goals. So let’s dive on in, in today’s episode, I am covering, how DIY branding is really popular, right? Like super, super popular. Um, but there’s actually this myth around it too, that it’s equally, if not more so popular. And it’s this idea that a DIY branding branding that you’re doing yourself can actually save you money.
And when we look at it at kind of a surface level like that logic tracks, right, that makes sense by creating your brand yourself, you’re able to save the upfront money that you would invest in hiring a designer or, uh, you know, working with someone in that capacity. But there’s actually a catch here soon. Do you, the way brands do come with their own costs, even if they aren’t specifically positioned as dollars that you hand over to a designer, your homemade branding can actually cost you real money and more than that. So if you are still doing business with a DIY brand for when you first opened up your business, I promise you, first of all, you’re not alone. Let’s take a minute to normalize that we all start somewhere. And I know that creating your own brand in the effort of saving yourself money in the long run seems really appealing.
I see so many people on Facebook who are posting in website design groups asking, Hey, I’m doing my own website. How can I do this? Or how can I do that? And what they’re doing is while they are trying to go that DIY route, they are actually trading a lot of their time and their energy and their creativity doing something that is not within their zone of genius. So yes, maybe it’s saving you some dollars upfront, but what is it costing? You we’ll get into that a little bit more. And today we’re going to be talking about four ways that actually creating your own visual brand is holding you back in more ways than you think. So let’s dive on in. Now. I do want to clarify, like I mentioned earlier that having a DOI brand makes sense for a specific time and a specific place within your business.
So if you’re brand new, if you were looking at your startup costs and you’re thinking, I don’t know how I’m going to make this work, if you’re not sure how you’re going to book your first client, it makes sense to save money where you can. It makes so much sense to be frugal. I remember back in 2012, when I was getting started, I didn’t like rush out there and invest in, you know, the most expensive website hosting setup or anything like that. I, I really focused on this idea of done being better than perfect and making use with the resources that I had. And, and even as the designer, giving myself the opportunity to elevate things and to, you know, invest in better tools or assets in the future. So if you are finding yourself in a similar season, or maybe you have found yourself in a similar season, I want to let you know that kind of going that DIY route is not a bad thing.
We’re not going to shame you. We’re not like beating ourselves up. We’re not playing that game. It’s, it’s great that you made a decision that served you well for that season. But I do think it’s important to realize that those homemade visuals and the strategy or lack thereof that might’ve come along with that can only serve you for so long. So once you reach that point of, of really identifying as an established business owner, the costs of keeping that DIY brand will actually start to outweigh the benefits. And if you have a goal of growing your business and positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, then it is incredibly important that your visual identity and your brand strategy match up. So with that in mind, let’s dive into a few ways that you can easily identify if you’re a DIY brand or your DIY website, isn’t actually serving you as well as you think.
So the first thing to look out for, with your DIY assets is, is this something that’s requiring you to make constant updates? Think of it this way. If you are going the, do it yourself route, you’re probably basing a lot of your logo or a lot of your website design or any asset you’re creating on what’s currently popular. So what you’re seeing on Pinterest or what you’re seeing on Instagram, or what people are posting on any given social platform. And so because of that, you’re going to see that if you’re designing based on trends, those trends are actually going to change pretty quickly, right? Like if you’re looking at what other people are doing and you’re seeing what their websites look like, or what their logos look like, or what their, you know, print assets like stationary and business cards look like that’s going to change based on what’s popular.
So if you’re not a professional designer and you’re not designing with that insight in mind, and you’re trying to keep up with current trends, that’s going to require that you’re constantly tweaking your website. You’re constantly sprucing up your logo. You are constantly updating your branded visuals for social media and so much more. And because you’re not a professional designer, you’re having to probably like Google a whole lot of tutorials, right? You’re having to watch like way more YouTube videos than you actually wanted to trying to learn how to make those tweaks and those changes. And once you do, you’re, you’re fine with it, but you don’t really love it, right? Like it’s, it’s, it’s done, but it’s not like, wow, I’m obsessed. So it’s actually this endless cycle of updating and updating and seeing what other people are doing and making changes that I don’t want to see you stuck in.
So think about how many other things you could be doing with that time to move the needle forward in your business. Like instead of spending your time Googling how to make this change in Canva, if you outsourced that to a designer, could you go out and create more business? Could you go out and connect with more clients? Could you generate more leads? Could you pour back into yourself? Could you, you know, like the list goes on and on and on. So, and with that being said, this, uh, kind of leads me to the second thing that we want to look out for with DIY branding. That can be a really great indicator that it’s not doing the heavy lifting for you anymore. And if it’s robbing you of your time, it’s time to reconsider. So if we’re being honest, there is a massive amount of value in hiring people who are experts in what they do.
These are professionals who have dedicated years of their lives to becoming so professional and so expert at what they do, that they don’t have to spend a lot of time doing it. Right? Like, I imagine that for you, you’re tuning into this and you’re an expert and you are invested in continually becoming more skilled and more knowledgeable about the work that you do, the service you provide, or the art or the craft that you create. I know that I’m the same way. And I have spent years learning how to design effectively and I’ve spent years learning how to, um, create strategic brands so that it can take me just, uh, you know, an hour or a few hours, or just, you know, a quick little amount of time to create that. So, um, and an example that, you know, we can all probably relate to, if you are a creative entrepreneur and you are not a big fan of doing your taxes, you might outsource your taxes, right?
Like that, that prep each year might not be the best use of your time or energy. I personally, I outsource that because that is not where I want to spend my time or my energy. Like if I can just hand over my assets to, to a CPA or an accountant and not have to deal with it, like literally just take my money. I will. So happily invest in that. So if you are a photographer and you want to update your website and you want to add in new images from the incredible sessions you’ve had over the past year, but you’re not really that comfortable with your website platform and you don’t really know how to make those changes. It’s probably going to take you a lot of time trying to figure that out yourself and navigate that yourself. It’s important, right? That you update your portfolio and that your website reflects your recent work.
But what could you do with that time? If you maybe hired a designer to update your website with new images, so many designers offer day rate services, you can essentially hire them for a day or for half a day, and they can make so many changes to your website or to any of your branded assets. So the alternative is you’re spending your time on updating your brand. So you, you kind of get to choose, right? Like I think that there’s a lot of value and of course I am biased. I am a designer and strategist, but I do believe that there’s so much value in outsourcing these things that lie outside of our zone of genius so that we can protect our time. And we can take that time and reinvest it back into ourselves or our businesses. So that DIY brand, yes, you are looking at kind of the short-term benefit of yeah.
It’s saving you money right now, but in the long run, is it robbing you of your time and is it robbing you of more time than you’re willing to lose? So the third thing to look out for, if you’re a DIY brand is not cutting it for you, it’s probably not positioning you as an expert when you work with a professional designer and strategist. So for example, I can, I can really only speak to my own experience here, but, uh, with every client project I take on, I guide my clients through my signature brand development process. So we focus on highlighting the strategy and then weaving that strategy throughout the design so that I’m able to make strategy, backed design decisions, that position my clients, as the go-to experts that their clients are looking for. And when we do that, then my clients are able to consistently connect with the people they want to work with.
So they’re connecting with people. They cannot wait to work with. They are earning more consistently and they are being viewed the way that they want to be viewed. So if you’re going the DIY route, granted, you might have some experience with brand strategy. You might have thought about how your brand is positioning you as an expert in how all of that’s coming together. But most people from my experience, when they’re going the DIY route, they’re not really thinking too much about the strategy of it. They’re focused more on the visuals. And so kind of the front end user experience of what your logo or your branding suite assets or your website look like, and that’s not a bad way to go about it, but you’re, you’re missing a big piece of the puzzle there by leaving that strategy on the table. So as a result, if you’re going to DIY route and you’re leaving out strategy, and you’re not including that as part of the process, then you are not sharing a fully formulated identity with your ideal clients that positions you as the expert that they’re looking for.
Right? So that’s something important to keep in mind as well. If you want to be viewed as an expert, there’s a lot of value and reaching out to a designer who specializes in brand strategy, who can help you design with that in mind, then the fourth and final thing to look out for kind of that red flag that we want to avoid is your DIY brand. Isn’t driving quality inquiries your way. So if you’re not positioning yourself as an expert through your brand Dean, you might find that a lot of inquiries that make their way into your inbox. Aren’t quite the quality that you were looking for. If you want to connect with your dreamy ideal clients, time and time again, it’s important to be connecting with them through a brand that speaks to them that resonates with where they are and their season of life and positions you and your services as the experience that is going to take them from where they are to where they’re dreaming of going.
So if you have a DIY brand, chances are, it’s not bringing in those quality inquiries consistently, you might be seeing a handful kind of, you know, come in here and there. But the majority of people who are landing in your inbox might be, um, you know, not, not just not matching the picture that you have in mind of the kinds of clients that you want to be working with. Maybe they can’t afford you, or maybe they don’t value the expertise that you bring to the table, or maybe they don’t understand why they should hire you in the first place. Right? Those are people we don’t want to like have to hustle to prove our worth to our clients, right? Like we want for them to see it. And your brand can be such a powerful piece and communicating that value to people before they even reach out and have a conversation with you.
So friend, with all that being said, I, I hope that this is helpful. My intent here is not to talk about how DIY branding is the worst. Because if, if we remember back to the beginning, I do think that it really can serve a purpose for a specific season of a business. But, um, I do want you to be aware of how once you reach that certain level, where you’ve been in business for a few years, you know who your ideal clients are, you know, what kind of work you love doing, and you want to do it consistently, and you want to earn good money while doing it and have an impact in the lives of your clients as you go. Then that tells me it’s time to reach out to a professional who can guide you in that journey and give you a set of a branded assets that will serve you well for years to come.
So if you’re an established entrepreneur who is looking to present yourself as, as just that, but you’re still operating with a homemade trend, following strategy, less logo, then I want to encourage you to break up with that trial and error and partner with a pro. If you want to make the jump to having a professionally designed strategically crafted brand, then Fran, I would actually love to chat with you. I am currently taking on projects for early 2022, which is wild to say, and I would love to chat with you about how we can create an elevated visual identity that positions you as the expert, you are enables you to consistently connect with your ideal clients. And as a result allows you to generate consistent income, it would be such a joy to work with you in this way. So if you want to reach out and learn more about working together in this way, you can go to my website, B as for Bonnie design.com/branding, to see more about my approach, or if you want to connect with me, just go to B as for bunny design.com and click the contact button in order to shoot me a quick message.
I love chatting with new friends. I would love to hear more about your business and your goals and how I could potentially serve you well on that journey. So once you reached out, I will get back in touch with you and we’ll find a convenient time to hop on it, completely complimentary consult and chat more. So friends as always, thanks so much for tuning into the brand strategy podcast and today’s episode. I hope that you are walking away with some piece of advice or encouragement that is resonating with you and your current season, and that is going to help you take intentional action towards building the brand of your dreams as always. I appreciate you. I’m so grateful that you’re a part of this community and I’m cheering you on from Waco.
Thank you so much for joining me today. Friends, before you go, I would be so grateful to receive your feedback on the franchisee podcast. If you enjoyed this episode or the podcast in general has helped you grow your brand and really appreciate it. If you left us a review in iTunes, your positive reviews enable the brand strategy podcasts to continue to grow and reach like-minded creatives. Just like you. Plus, I’ll be randomly selecting a handful of lucky reviewers each month to receive a little, thank you. Surprise for me in the mail, thanking for all your support and encouragement as together. We pursue building brands with purpose and intention until next time and cheering you on from Waco.