DIY Design works… until it doesn’t.
Here's how you know when to pass it to the pro's.
There's so much that goes into a "successful brand"— every word, image, font and color work together to form a positive first impression, let alone a connection. (No pressure, right?)
If I had to summarize what I think makes a brand successful, I’d say it’s the synergistic layering of your unique approach + your offering (and who it's for) + visual design. (Yes, I put visual design last, can you believe it?!)
Synergistic is the keyword, here. And, frankly— it’s the golden ticket to making DIY work for you.
Each of those components— a clear depiction of your unique approach + your offering + visual design— should equally support and amplify one another, like the synergy that can be found in an amazing group coaching session. If any one of those components is lacking, the felt sense of your brand will, too.
The good news/my unpopular opinion is, you can totally make a DIY brand work for your practice or business.
That said, if you're looking to level up in a big way and show your clients the kind of experience they'll get when they work with you, a professionally designed brand can work wonders... but a Day Studios strategized brand can bring clarity and focus to your entire business.
"Day Studios plugs" aside, I'm pumped to share with you some tips for when you know it's time to hire a pro.
It's time to quit DIYing when:
1. You feel like you've outgrown your brand.
I'd put my money on it: Nobody outgrows their DIY brand faster than a high-caliber coach or consultant.
This is one of the biggest mistakes we've seen them run into. And, if this is you, it is a problem because you can feel it and your potential clients can feel it, too:
- For you:
As a high-caliber coach/consultant, you have impeccable awareness. This isn't flattery, it's fact. You're high-caliber because of your ability to sense, to reflect and communicate, and facilitate lasting change. This also means you have a keen awareness of the value you bring your clients. And, with that It's simply very easy for a DIY brand to fall short of this value. Like buttah.
- For your potential clients:
Just as you have impeccable awareness, they have an impeccable radar, too. The people you became a coach/consultant to help can't help but question your professionalism and capability to truly guide them. They internally ask, "If you haven't invested in your brand... why should I?" Stings, doesn't it?
Two good tests to see if you've outgrown your DIY brand:
- Your brand feels uncomfortable, dated, tired, cheesy, or snore-worthy compared to the level of expertise you bring to the table.
- You're embarrassed to send people to your site or to your socials— it's a "you-wish-your-mom-could-drop-you-off-around-the-corner" kind of brand. This is a sure-fire way to know your brand isn't what it could be.
2. Your Brand is Professional... But Generic.
The second most common mistake we find coaches and consultants making is that their brand feels totally generic.
Your brand is too generic if:
You could replace your photo with any other professional's photo, and your website still "makes sense."
This is *heartbreaking* to me. The reason I do this work is so that the right client can find the right guidance. It's asking too much for a client to take on all of the risk when you're not communicating effectively 1) who you are + your communication style; 2) what you can help them with; 3) showing them what thriving looks like, through the entire structure of your brand. The clearer we can reflect these things to your potential client, the less risk you both assume.
Your clients' progress is too important for a professionally generic brand.
3. Your Brand is Inconsistent Across Platforms.
One of my all-time favorite soap boxes to stand on is garishly labeled, "Brand Consistency." My clients have heard this from me time and time again: "Your brand is only as strong as it is consistent." I believe that wholeheartedly.
Even a consistent, terrible-looking brand is better than a nice-looking (but inconsistent) one because it at least remains recognizable wherever it shows up. It unfalteringly stands by its ways and serves as a guidepost to clients that they're in the "right" spot.
How to test for inconsistency:
Take an honest audit of your business, wherever you show up online. This is crucial, because it takes (on average) 7 engagements with your brand for a client to convert.
This means your clients are vetting you via all of your channels, from social media to your website, blog, and even your podcast if you have one. Consistent (and professional-looking) branding across the board will subliminally help your potential client feel they can trust you.
Watch for inconsistency in your brand visuals, your language, and imagery. If you look, sound, or smell (jk - just testing you!) differently wherever you appear to your audience online, you're likely not showing up 1) as yourself; 2) as professionally as you could be; 3) in a way that communicates your core message clearly.
Pro Tip: If you're unable to see your brand objectively, have someone else do it who isn't afraid to shoot straight with you. Don't be afraid to be critical of your brand identity. Your clients deserve it, and so do you.
That's all for now! Hope you enjoyed this post. More to come, soon.