The importance of branding for a business in the 21st-century has been drilled into each of us. Ever since Apple became one of the biggest companies in the world developing an identity around a lifestyle brand rather than their products, the way new and existing businesses have to conduct and present themselves online has changed dramatically.
Creating a brand that your target audience can relate to is essential, but expensive. At least, you would assume. The advent of free online resources has made it easier than ever for a business to produce the essentials of a great brand. So how can your business make something out of nothing, and why are free resources the key to great branding?
Whatever your business does, professionalism should be at the forefront of your mind. Even if you have a casual, anti-establishment and purposely care-free brand, it needs to be well-made and look as if you put care and attention into your public perception.
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Before, professional came at a premium. Now, you can create a sense of it around your business from your early days, without investing a significant portion of your budget. Your public-facing content can be given a professional edge by using free resources.
First impressions to your audience are essential. Each contact point after that is about building an image of professionalism they can trust. How you correspond with your audience is an essential part of this.
Free resources can be used to help get across the professionalism of your business. How you communicate needs to be professional, from your email conversations to the invoices you send to both clients and customers. There are plenty of templates available to help you craft professional-looking invoices complete with your company branding and a layout that presents your business as an industry leader, or one with the potential to be. This is a great way to tell customers and business partners what your brand is all about.
Free video chat tools such as Google Hangouts and Skype are also great assets for adding professionalism to your communication. They’ll allow you to communicate with business partners and investors in a more professional manner, without having to splash out on travel or dinner.
Good branding can be a lot of things, but one thing is should always be is professionally developed. Free resources are one of the best ways to do this quickly and make sure your company doesn’t seem, ironically enough, cheap.
A lot of creativity goes into establishing a brand identity. The most recognizable visual elements of top businesses weren’t created on the first try, they developed over time. Having the space to be creative and experiment with ideas is an essential part of the brand-building process, and free tools give you the chance to do just that.
Logos, for example, are a key part of a successful brand identity. They need to catch the eye and encapsulate the brand, whether it’s showing what you do, creating a sense of the lifestyle around it or giving a community something to rally around.
Paying a designer is expensive, so getting creative with free tools is almost a must. Tools such as Hatchful allow you to develop professional-looking logos and experiment with different styles. Even if this ends up being a temporary logo, it’s given you an identity to build around as you get off the ground. Some of the biggest companies in the world have had to change their logo and branding over time.
Your brand will have numerous visual elements that need to be developed early on, from a color scheme to a font. Even if these are only temporary solutions until you can afford a more permanent paid option such as using a designer or investing in photoshop, these feel tools give you the chance to get creative and develop a visual identity.
Building your brand’s business is worthless if no one can find it. Not only do you need tools to create all the elements of your brand identity, but free tools help you spread awareness of your brand.
Social media is one of the best tools available for a new brand to spread awareness about themselves. While advertising on social media can be a quite costly endeavor, there are a number of free tools that can make your management of social media more streamlined ad profitable, teaching you more about the platform and your audiences on there.
Some of the most popular social media management tools available like Hootsuite and Buffer, used by professionals across numerous industries, have robust free options. You can also make use of tools such as Google Analytics to get more insight into the inner works of your website and how traffic is traveling to it from the places you’re trying to spread awareness on.
A key part of your branding process is the content you develop to advertise and spread awareness of it. Creating quality content is difficult to do on a budget, despite how much phone cameras have developed and editing software has been streamlined. However, the promotion and presentation of this content is easier than to do than ever with free tools.
YouTube is an obvious choice, giving you a free platform to upload your branding content and open it up to a huge audience. Video has become the dominant online content force, with audiences clamoring for more.
Tools such as Headliner allow you to create great quality social and website content free of charge, although you are limited to a certain amount per month if not paying. You can also use tools to create great explainer content for free, giving you a great method of introducing your brand and website to new visitors.
Content is vital for growing a brand, and being able to create, upload and format this content for the most popular platforms for free is a huge budget saver. These tools will help you to do that.
Some of the best things in life are free, and that includes brand-building tools. There’s no need for a business to spend heavily in the early days on trying out loads of different tools they may not want to use in a couple of months’ time. Even using free subscription samples is better. Don’t get locked into paying for months and squeeze every bit of brand building juice you can out of these tools.