Brand Building Starter Kit for Beginners

Some of my readers may know that this is my second blog site. I launched a blog 2 years ago in October 2016 called Brown and Crowned. It was what I thought would be the beginning of a creative outlet while I took a stroll down this natural hair lifestyle. It didn’t turn out exactly how I imagined. My initial blog opened so many other doors of creativity for me and I can admit, I really just let my blog site sit there and collect World Wide Cobb Webs (get it? lol) So now here we are 2 October’s later and you’re probably wondering what’s the difference from me maintaining this blog as opposed to the previous one. Im going to be very honest. I didn’t like the way my site looked. Now before you judge me and call me shallow and tell me it’s all about the content, NAWL! Page attractiveness and branding is what get people in. Your site must be attractive to attract your readers. You can’t just start out blogging and think that you’ll instantly have hundreds of views and brands bombarding your email wanting you to do sponsored work for them. Most who start out blogging for the first time and bring in a nice amount of traffic have built their readership through social media or being a public figure. 2 years ago I didn’t even know what an influencer was. My second time around, I now have some experience on my side and I’ve stumbled upon ways to create the look for my brand that will not only have my readers eyes happy but keep my attention too. Here is a list of stupid cheap or free tools I used to jump start the look and feel of my brand. I call it

The Brand Building Starter Kit for Beginners

  1. ETSY

    I think the one thing Bloggers, Influencers, Entrepreneurs focus on the most in the beginning is a eye catching logo. I’ve heard several times, especially from my well-off older brother that “ Your Logo should be the last thing you worry about when creating your brand. It’s going to change so many times”. He’s absolutely right but as an ambitious and creative entrepreneur I felt like I needed SOMETHING that represented who I was and what I had to offer to the world. Etsy became the go to place for me to get a simple but beautiful logo made that fit my budget. I went with a pre-made logo template. I purchased the $30 logo package that came with black, white and brand color logos in 3 different styles but with the same wording. I also received each logo in .JPG and .PNG format. This was the best $30 investment into my brand and I feel it will be some time before I’m ready to upgrade the look and feel of my logo. I went ahead and made the search easy for you to find the shop I used for my branding kit.

2. Pinterest

I use Pinterest for multiple reasons. Hair style inpso, DIY crafts, even inspiration for what I may want to cook for dinner that night. Pinterest is a free app that you can use as a social network also. You can search, find and follow your favorite bloggers or designer. The one thing I love about Pinterest is you can create mood or vision boards with out ever picking up a magazine or a pair of scissors. Pinterest gave me the freedom to search the internet without having to filter through ads, click bait links and weird random internet stuff. I created a brand vision that I could play off of when creating my blog site. Pinterest allows you to create boards that you can add and save pictures to in order to help build your ideal brand mood. I searched for textures, colors, seasonal decor and even fashion. All these factor into what would be a beautiful space for you to tell your story. Creating a mood or vision board is a great way to start off with brand styling. It’ll keep you on track just incase you are like me and your mind goes everywhere.

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3. Canva

Canva is a opt-in free app and site. You can pay for premium features but Sis, don’t pay for the premium feature lol! You can find every thing you need and more in the free version and as of recently, Canva has now transitioned from just ios software to android too. Sign up to make an account and go directly to the “Your Brand” tab where you can save your color schemes and create templates, flyers and more for your brand. This is where your vision board from Pinterest plays a part. A lot of the colors and textures you found can be transferred right to Canva and used for creating templates not just for blogs but social media and vlog sites. The best thing about using Canva’s branding tools is once you pick your brand colors, you’ll see the universal color codes and be able to copy and paste you colors to any design system that allows you to paste color codes. Thats takes the hard work out of trying to match colors once you’re ready to create something new.

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4. Chasing Denisse Presets

I stumbled upon Denisse’s Instagram about a year ago. She’s a talented photographer and creative who just recently moved from NY to the mid west. Before she packed up her life and kissed the North East side goodbye she created numerous presets that elevate raw photos to the next level while honing in on women of color. These presets are very affordable and super easy to download and use. Having a preset allows you to steer your content in the direction you want it to go in with aesthetic. I know there are probably plenty of people who create presets and sell them but these are the only ones I’ve seen that do a milk chocolate girl like me justice. I currently own the preset “Spring Street” which I have been using to build up the look of my Instagram feed (below). I will be choosing, purchasing and downloading another preset from Denisse’s line up that would be a perfect match for my blog site.

These little gems should get you hyped and ready to start designing your brand. If you have any other CHEAP or FREE tips on designing your brand feel free to leave them in the comments. Happy creating!