Two weeks ago I made the decision to change my business name MNFL Design to my personal Name Emilia Ohrtmann. I had been toying with this idea for a long time but I could not decide and commit. I was kind of clinging onto the name MNFL Design because it has such meaning for me and also because I have gained some sort of recognition with it and I also think I was a bit scared of the reasons why I wanted to change it. So two weeks ago I met a business coach and during that meeting I made the final decision and continue what I had already started on my instagram. This business is actually about me and it just makes more sense to just use my name.
When we think about a brand we mostly think about a logo and a website may be. We are thinking of big companies who are well established and well known brands. However EVERY business, whatever its size is a brand and should be branded well.
Read here what branding is and why it is so important.
In addition the word personal branding is also used more and more these days and often people don't really understand what that actually means and that personal branding is not constrained to celebrities.
In this blog post I want to write about what personal branding is, why it is so important and how you can implement it for yourself immediately.
There are many ways to be different from other brands. Of course there is always your
product or service that is different, your story behind it is different, your brand and your logo will look different, your images will be different.
However how do you really differentiate your brand from all the others out there? Now with the world having become so small and brands being accessable basically from everywhere it might seem so difficult to stand out from the crowd. There are so many brands on social media and the internet and it might seem overwhelming. It seems like there is always someone else who is doing what you are doing and who is similar. However I am telling you there is room for you and you are different. Not only because of yourself as a person and your unique story (link) but I think there is one huge way to differentiate your brand from everybody else. And that is being CONSISTENT!
In recent weeks I talked about why it is important to show the heart of a company: the owner! Who it actually is that started the business as well as the why and the how. By telling the unique story of the founder of the business you will set your business apart just because nobody else has the same story. And by knowing the person behind a business, customers are more likely to connect on a personal level and they will remember your business over others! This is also part of branding!
However there is another very important aspect of branding and I often feel that people forget about it or shy away from it. And that is: choosing ONE brand color!
Marcella Moohan, a business writer, editor and copywriter who now lives in Spain, approached me a few months ago about a logo as well as a website for her business. At that time she was still living in Dubai and we met up in person and clicked immediately. We have now also partnered up so that I work with her whenever I need a copywriter for my clients websites and she has done most of the copy on my own website as well.
She wanted the logo as well as the website to be quite minimal and professional and she wanted to use a serif font as that matches the writer style but was open about anything else. Her personal favorite color was green so I kept that in mind as well. For the website she again wanted it to be minimal and had some ideas ideas about scrolling in mind.
As with all my projects I started off with a research phase to find out more about her industry as well as her style.
When I started my first two businesses we did a lot of planning in the beginning. We had great product ideas and we started with lots of designs and big websites which showcased all of our products. We designed those products how we liked them and what was, from our point of view, missing in the market.
Looking back now I wish I had done a few things differently and in a different order.
Therefore I have put together my 10 steps of starting a small business. This list shows what is most important and why and what can wait a little bit or needs some additional thought. Every business is slightly different of course but I think overall these steps are the same for every small business, you might just need to add some things like for example the legal side of setting up and registering your company.
Have you ever seen or designed a logo that somehow seemed off? Or have you seen a presentation or a flyer that just wasn’t talking to you but it was not the content?
Well most likely there was something missing or not quite right from these seven design essentials that I always follow.
Whenever I design a brand or any branded material, especially when I am not quite happy but don’t know why, I always sit back and check my design against these seven design essentials and whether or not I have followed them.
And when you design your own logo or you have a brand guidelines and design your own branded marketing material you should also follow the same routine and check your design going through this list of seven design essentials.
This week I want to focus a little more on what I think you need to start with when creating your brand. These are some of the questions I ask my clients in our initial meeting and the questionnaire I send to them and I have realized from the responses that I am getting that I am not pushing on these topics enough. Every new entrepreneur should really think about and work on these points in order to first of all understand what they want to achieve and then create a brand that is consistent and communicates exactly to their ideal customer’s needs.
“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.”
A lot of clients come to me and say they are starting their own company and they need a logo. What they don’t realize is that they don’t only need a logo and may be a website, they need to build a brand. But what is branding and why is branding important?
Yay, you have decided that you want to have a website. Whether the website will be for yourself or for you company, it doesn't matter you still need to sit down and think about the look, the design and the content before you can actually start building it or giving it to someone else to build it for you.
So what do you need to think about before designing a website?