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"— especially when that brand lives somewhere like your website, where 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 coaching 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 should both 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, your brand will resonate that way, too.
The good news/my unpopular opinion is, you can totally make a DIY brand work for your practice or business.
But, 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.
This is one of the biggest mistakes we've seen coaches run into. And, it is a problem because you can feel it and your potential clients can feel it, too:
- For you:
As a high-caliber coach, you have impeccable awareness. This isn't flattery, it's fact. You're a high-caliber coach 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.
- For your potential clients:
Just as you have impeccable awareness, they have an impeccable radar, too. The people you became a coach to help can't help but question your professionalism and capability to truly help them. They internally ask, "If you haven't invested in your coaching 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, or cheesy compared to the level of coaching 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 should be.
2. Your Brand is Professional... But Generic.
The second most common mistake we find coaches making is that their brand feels totally generic.
Your brand is too generic if:
You could replace your photo with any other coach'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 coach. 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 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 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 coaching brand identity. Your clients deserve it, and so do you.
That's all for now! Hope you enjoyed this post. More to come, soon.