#SpotTheShot2015 Instagram Contest and 5 Tips on How to Build a Strong Brand For Your Business Using Squijoo

As a business owner, one of the many things you need to think about is your branding. Branding is a key element in your business as it is another way that it will speak of you and your product. I am so happy to announce that I´ve partnered with the amazing people of Squijoo who are giving away a Free 3 Month Subscription to their services! That´s right, 3 full months to access their really amazing and large variety of marketing materials that you can use for your business. 

It's very simple to participate, all you need to do is upload your very best and favorite Summer photo (1 photograph only) and post them on Instagram using #SpotTheShot2015, then get all your family and friends to vote for it. The photo with most likes is the winner. Contest will start on Monday August 23, 2015 and will end on August 31, 2015 at 11:59pm ET. So choose your ultimate favorite Summer photo, upload, share and vote! In the meantime, here are 5 tips on How to create a strong brand design for your business using Squijoo.

In order to determine what your branding is, you need to determine who your target market is. Wether it is weddings, family portraits, high school seniors, fashion, sports, still life, food or fine art, there is always some sort of style that each of that market leans to. Consider modern and minimalistic, edgy and graphic, pastel-like and whimsical or maybe colorful and bold. These are just ideas that could help you think of when brainstorming your brand design. 

1. Define Your Brand

Now that you´ve decided on starting your business, you now need to think of how is your brand going to look like. By this I mean, is this a fun and whimsical brand, or maybe it has an urban style and feel, maybe it´s more modern or classic. Ultimately, your brand will be a reflection of your work. In order to get started, you can use Pinterest to help you get your ideas in one board. I find that using Pinterest has helped me brainstorm many of my projects. If you haven´t checked it out yet, I strongly recommend it!

2. Less Is More:

Refrain from using too many fonts, 2 fonts would be best at the very most. An alternative to using multiple fonts is to stick to one single Font family and alternate between the styles.

 

3. Choose Your Brand Colors (but still follow the "Less is More" rule) 

When it comes to colors, you want to keep it at a very minimum by using 1 or 2 colors. An alternate to this is to use one color, let´s say blue, and then alternate with different tonalities of that same color. Printing full color is more expensive, so limiting your color choices will not only make your logo look better, it will also save you money. If you are in need of inspiration, take a look at my Color Palette board on Pinterest.

4. Designing your Logo: 

A logo is representation of your work. It has to relate to the style of work that you produce and it is directly related to your brand. When designing your logo you must consider a color, fonts, and Icons. Now the latter although not necessarily, many people do like to include some sort of icon as part of their logo. This is perfectly fine. The key here is to have everything seem cohesive. One of the coolest things Squijoo has is that it offers a multiple array of templates (including logos!) that you can use (and customize) to get you started.

5. Design Your Marketing Material: 

Once you have your logo designed, then comes the really fun part! You get to create your marketing material. Your marketing material will be a reflection of how your logo looks. Keeping a cohesive and consistent design style will help you have customers recognize your brand and your images. You can start off by designing a beautiful business card and some postcards to leave behind. This is very handy when promoting special events like the one below. Squijoo also has very cool Marketing Kits that could help you get started.

This is a flyer that I created to promote a special event on Senior Mini Sessions. I used the Seniors Rock Board template, added my logo and changed the color to match some of the colors within the photo.

This is a flyer that I created to promote a special event on Senior Mini Sessions. I used the Seniors Rock Board template, added my logo and changed the color to match some of the colors within the photo.

These are some of Squijoo´s Marketing Templates tailored to different types of markets.

These are some of Squijoo´s Marketing Templates tailored to different types of markets.

Squijoo has templates for all sorts of photographic markets. You can find templates that go with newborns and maternity, to family portraits, high school seniors or modern portraiture and you can customize all of them as they come in editable Photoshop files. I´ve found this quite helpful as it has saved me time and money. Did I mention they have unlimited templates for $10 a month?

Now that you are designing your brand, take some time in truly analyzing your business goals, your target market and your personal style. This will all influence the final outcome of your new branding.