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10 Essential dos and don’ts of branding your solo business

In This Article

As a creative entrepreneur, sometimes it feels like you’re supposed to be automatically awesome at creating a stellar brand for your solo business.

The truth is, perfecting your own brand is the hardest job – with the toughest client – you’ll ever face.

So while you may feel like the only designer, illustrator, or artisan out there who’s struggling when it comes to branding your solo business: you’re not alone. All of us have spent long nights brainstorming the perfect brand, and all of us should remember the following dos and don’ts when creating – or refreshing – our business’s brand.

Today’s post will get you started on the right foot. When branding your solo business…


Make a plan

Big businesses have whole departments responsible for how the company is branded. Small businesses like yours can’t afford not to plan either.

Define what your company stands for, who you are, and how this makes your business special.

Want more on this subject? Dig deeper with these posts:

Build up online and offline assets

While we all know having a social media presence is a must, you shouldn’t solely rely on doing business online.

Doing business face-to-face is still a valuable method, and using business cards are a great way to connect with others. A provides a visual reference point for the other person, making you more memorable from the word ‘go.’ Remember that your card is part of your first impression and the design needs to be perfect.

Don’t forget! Always carry your business cards on your person as you never know when you may run into someone that could be a potential client.

Check out these additional posts on making both personal and digital connections:

Pay attention to your competition

By looking at your competition’s branding efforts, you can see how they promote themselves and how you can take inspiration when branding your solo business. (Yes, you CAN compete with big agencies!)

Trying to specialize? Read more here about becoming the expert in your niche:

Push yourself to secure more high-profile work

Working on high visibility projects significantly improves your chances of getting noticed. When people regularly see your branding, your business will be more recognisable…which goes hand-in-hand with brand trust.

Learn more about landing that high-profile work here:

Network, network, network!

Never underestimate the power of business networking. Many businesses are willing to co-promote their peers, not to mention you may find a lucrative collaboration with another business.

Not sure how to go about it? Dig deeper here:


Misrepresent yourself

Misrepresenting yourself or your business will almost always doom you to fail. Be truthful about services, standards, and turnaround times and no one will ever have cause to make a complaint.

Good reputations take a long time to build and are easily lost. Read here for more:

Misuse social media

Don’t ‘name and shame’ other businesses, don’t complain about clients, and don’t post drunken pictures of yourself at the Christmas party.

Once something is on the internet, it’s there forever.

Bonus: Click here to get insider tips on how to get clients to “like” your Facebook page!

Be fake

You can’t please everybody, no matter how you might try. You’ll appeal to more people by sticking to your values and believing in your business.

Not sure how to promote yourself (or what you’re promoting)? Start here:

Purely exist online

Social media is a big part of branding your solo business, but actually meeting with potential and existing clients, as well as potential business associates is still essential.

People need to put a face to the name – plus it can get you out of the office.

Check out these fun and unique offline marketing tips:

Forget to say what you have to offer

If you over-promote your brand and culture, the actual services or goods you provide could get lost in the mire.

Branding your solo business in the right way will open doors; ignore it at your peril!

Check out these posts on selling your goods and services:

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Written by Sharon Wright

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Sharon Wright is a freelance writer from Yorkshire, England, who studied Marketing Communications. Her main points of interest are Social Media and international marketing.

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Reviewed & edited by Adam Wright, at Millo.

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  1. David Cantrell says:

    I’m still a design student and have just started my first website. It’s exciting but very challenging. Articles like this are incredibly helpful. It may not be a business but it runs on the same principles. Gaining a following and an online presence are difficult. Face to face networking has been the most useful for me so far. Using social media to expand my reach beyond my own university is going to be a difficult hurdle. It’s still early, though! Keep posting and I’ll keep reading, thanks!

  2. Carrying business cards at all times has connected me with new clients in some unlikely places. One of the more recent being on the ski lift with a fellow snowboarder who has since become a steady client!

  3. Our business did not really grow until we spent considerable time connecting with others in our area. I second the encouragement in this post to get out there. Once I did, it got to a point where everyone “knew Mindy ” and I would run into someone I knew business -wise almost every time I went out. So get out of those basements and network

    1. What kinds of places did you go or events did you attend to grow your network? I’m a little nervous about getting out there but I really want my business to work so I’m just curious where to start.