Brand Your Business on a Budget
As a home-based or small business owner trying to successfully brand your business, you may be wondering where you can get a quality website, graphics and marketing materials, on small budget. I can totally relate because when I started my business, I faced the same challenge.
And just because I have a home-based business, doesn’t mean I don't want to look professional and compete with larger companies! That’s one of the things that makes owning a small business so great; you can effectively compete with larger companies but your marketing materials have to look the part. If you’ve been putting off creating marketing materials because you don’t know where to start or think you can’t afford to start, today I am sharing with you very low cost ways to do so.
Branding IS important, especially for home-based business owners. I'd like to share a few of my favorite branding resources with you.Logo
If you want your prospects and clients to take you seriously, you need to project a professional image. A quality logo mark is a great way to do that. However, even if you don't have an "official" logo yet, you can use your name or the name of your company to make a quick logo.
If you are on a tight budget and in start-up phase, I recommend Fiverr.com to create your logo. Here’s why: you can hire an experienced logo freelance starting as low as $5.00.
If you want a larger choice of potential I recommend a service called 48 Hours Logo. For as little as $29, you can start a logo contest and logo artists will compete in your contest. The minimum you’ll have to pay the artist is $99 and you own the logo. These are custom logos too.
You have got to have a website. This is no longer a debatable issue. If you are a business, home-based or otherwise, you must have a web presence to compete. You can either hire someone to build your website for you (cost could range from $500 up) or you can build it yourself.
Pay Someone - If you want to pay someone to build your website, again (don't mean to sound like a broken record but you cannot beat Fiverr if you don't want to or cannot build a website yourself) I suggest using a freelance contractor such as those on Fiverr.com, especially if you plan on having a WordPress website. As my business has evolved, so has my opinion about the best platform for a business website. I now believe that the best website to use for business is WordPress. Use WordPress.org to build your website and not WordPress.com. The reason I suggest using WordPress is because: you have more control over your website, if the drag and drop company goes out of business, you can still copy your website to another hosting company and if you want to hire someone to help you manage or create a new website, you can easily find a freelance contractor to assist you for very reasonable cost.
This website is a WordPress website and the hosting company is SiteGround.com.
Build it Yourself - You can build the site yourself using a Godaddy.com. I have built a brief 5 page website in ONE night using Godaddy’s products. There are a lot of other companies which make it really easy to build your website yourself. If you can type of Microsoft Word or copy and paste, you can build a website!
Another great tool to build a website VERY quickly Weebly.com. In the past, I used Weebly to build my book website.
Once you have your logo, you are ready to get business cards and letterhead. For business cards, or if you want printed letterhead, I highly recommend a service called VistaPrint.com, however, I do encourage you to shop around for marketing material vendors because there are a lot of new companies online that are very competitive.
Website graphics and pictures are VERY important to the message of your brand. You want to make sure that your graphics and pictures speak to who you and your business are - your mission, core values - your message. I have recently been using some really great and free tools:
Kaboompics.com - Free, high quality, classy pictures for all types of businesses.
Canva.com - The ability to create free, high quality graphics for free or $1.
Word of caution! Do not use pictures or graphics with watermarks in the background. The watermark means that you have to pay for the picture or graphic and the fact that the watermark is showing means you are guilty of copyright infringement.
So, if you have you been dragging your feet getting a logo, creating your website or creating your brand identity package because you just weren't sure where to turn? Well, now you've got some quality resources you can use.
Carmin Wharton is a certified life and business coach to women. Carmin coaches women who find themselves stuck and unable to move forward while trying to achieve a major life or business goal. She also helps women through the beginning phase of starting a business.