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Creating your dream – what to consider when branding your hustle

So your side hustle turning into your main hustle. That’s fantastic news! But now what? You need a brand and you need one fast. But how exactly do you go about deciding on a visual identity for what it is that you do?

The first step is choosing the right designer – you can have a look at the corresponding blog post here. So now you’ve chosen moi to help you. Great stuff. Our journey has begun.

First up. What’s your deal?

Are you a service provider or a product brand? Who do you sell to – businesses or the man/woman in the street? What exactly is it that you are selling?

Without knowing this, your hustle is merely a hobby. This is a muchos important step to do. Draw a mind map, make a list or make many lists. But know exactly what it is you do and who your ideal customer is. Why should you do this? It’s all about pitching. Your brand needs to be pitched at the right level to the right people in the right place. It needs to speak to them visually.

No good having a luxury body product which you’re trying to sell to low income earners who don’t even like the stuff. Your brand will zoom past them as they walk the isle or search the interwebs. Make sure you know these things before you even decide on a designer to craft your visual identity.

Next. Why do you do what you do?

How did your side hustle become your main hustle? What lead you to this decision?

Answering your why and how are the first and most important steps to branding your dream.

Ok, now onto slightly more fun stuff. What’s the name of your brand?

Have you researched this thoroughly? Will it appeal to the audience you want to sell it to? Does it convey everything you want it to? Short and simple is always best – regardless of who you are selling to. Make sure you know that it won’t translate badly. Recently Kim K launched Kimono – a line of contouring underwear. She’s come under huge fire in the Twittersphere because she’s named underwear Kimono – the traditional Japanese gown, which is steeped in history and custom. Be very careful which name you choose. Make sure it resonates with your target audience, instead of causing them to do a backflip and get the hell outta here.

Ok, onto the pretty pictures.

So many things you need to consider! Branding something in mint green ain’t gonna hit the spot with 50 year-old fishermen. Nope, it just ain’t gonna. So be very careful with colour. Colour also means different things in different cultures. Be sure to choose something that is going to sit well with your audience – something that makes them say ‘shut up and take my money!’

IF you want something quirky and clever, for example the arrow in Fedex which utilises negative space, make sure you communicate this clearly to your designer.

Go one step further and write the narrative of your brand – that’s the story glory.

Give them meaning to work with. If the brand carries your name, it carries your story too – make sure it’s one you want heard!

A great designer will want to know these things too so that they can understand the essence, the nitty gritty, the core of why you do what you do in order to come up with a stunning visual representation of your product or service which also encapsulates the ethos and story behind the brand.