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15 Powerful Branding Habits for Creatives

Brand Strategy
min read
In this article

Whether good or bad, we all have habits. And although most people tend to think of habits just in the self-care space, that’s not what I’m talking about here. Habits aren’t just going to the gym, journaling, or doing your skincare. Habits apply elsewhere in your life too, including in your brand

Just like getting in the habit of moving your body will help you in so many ways, getting in the habit of working on your brand will help your business in so many ways too.

And in this guide, we’re talking about the top 15 habits that will help you with it all.

We’ll be looking at the three main foundations when it comes to building better habits within your brand to help you grow your business in ways you never imagined possible, including:

  • Part 1 - Habits you can build around your brand strategy that will help you grow your business
  • Part 2 - Habits you can build around your brand identity
  • Part 3 - Habits you can build around growing your brand and marketing your brand

Let’s dive straight in, starting with…

Part One: Mastering Your Brand Strategy

Habit Number 1 - Referencing your brand strategy

Getting into the habit of referencing your brand strategy is one of the best habits you can form. I mean, once you’ve done all of that work on your brand strategy, where you’ve written your mission, vision, and values, decided who your audience is, and created a visibility strategy – you want to be referencing that as much as possible.

Next time you need to make a decision? Reference your brand strategy. Next time you’re putting content together? Reference your brand strategy. Hiring a social media manager, copywriter or ads manager? You guessed it… Reference your brand strategy.

Habit Number 2 - Come back to your vision, always

Why is coming back to your vision really important and super helpful?! Firstly, it’s the best on the days when you’re struggling or having a hard day, and just need a gentle reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Secondly, if you’re finding something difficult or you’re stuck trying to figure something out, or even struggling to make a decision, coming back to your vision is so freakin' helpful.

Coming back to your vision reminds you of your why, it helps you to get clarity, refocus and re-centre yourself, and can help to put everything into perspective. So getting in the habit of every day, every week, every month, every quarter, every year, reminding yourself, this is my vision, this is the big picture, is a great habit to start getting into doing today.

The key here is to put your vision somewhere you can see it often. I have mine on my Notion dashboard. You might want to have yours as your phone background. Check in with your vision and make sure it still feels aligned with where you’re at and where you’re going, always.

Habit Number 3 - Defaulting to your values

It can be really easy to make decisions based purely on instinct, impulse, or because that's what other people are doing (or what you “should be doing”) but the power of your brand values is that they're rooted in what's important to you, what you want to put out into the world and how you want to run your business. Therefore, it's important that you actually do that.

There's no point in having values if you don't use them; Actions speak louder than words.

Having brand values that you can default to is helpful because it takes the decision fatigue away, because when you’re faced with a decision you can check in with your values and then make your decision. If someone presents you with an opportunity, all you need to do is ask yourself “How does this measure up against these values? Does it make sense with this value? Yes or no?”

Default to your values as much as you can. And as you did with your vision, put your values somewhere that you’ll see them all the time. Keep looking at them and using them as much as possible because they're there to be used, they're there to be actionable, they're there to be a tool in your strategy and to help you, which at the end of the day, is the whole reason you created them in the first place.

Habit Number 4 - Listen to your audience more

Once you’ve done the work of pinpointing your people, learned more about them, and how to engage with them that makes sense for them just as much as you, let’s make sure you do something with that information, yeah?

You already know who you want to have as customers or clients, you know what's important to them, you know what they want, what they love, where you can reach them and what they want to engage with etc. So it’s important that you make the most of that and use that.

For example, one of the best ways to use this information is to create content, right? From all of the conversations you’ve had with your audience, you would have endless amounts of content ideas available to you. You can also use that information on your sales pages, in the products you create, the markets that you go to, events that you attend, the marketing that you do, etc. The benefits are limitless.

As artists, creatives, and independent business owners, it’s very easy to think about ourselves, including what we're passionate about, and what we want to do. Whilst that's important, we also need to make sure that it's going to work for our audience.

Habit Number 5 - Set and track your goals

It’s so easy to just keep working away, and carry on doing the day-to-day things in your business, but it’s really important that you also take a day (or half a day, or even just an hour!) every so often to set and track your goals. It could be weekly, monthly or quarterly, but whatever works for you, you need to take some time to set and track some goals. 

A fundamental part of setting goals is making sure that you’re setting them in a way that works for you. You want to have clear direction and be able to easily see that you’re making progress, otherwise one day you’ll look up from all of the “stuff” you've been doing *cough* aimlessly *cough* and realise that you may not have actually made much progress at all (or you may have gone in the wrong direction altogether!)

So make sure you come up for air every so often and look at your big picture and asses if you’re on the right track. Do it on your own or do it in a group, whatever works for you. But make sure it’s a priority and your brand will reward you endlessly.

Don’t have a brand strategy but know you need one? Check out the Brand Strategy Kit for Creators

Part Two: Elevating Your Brand Identity

Now let's talk about some habits that you can set up for your brand identity.

Habit 6 - Check in on your brand identity regularly

I would recommend checking in on your brand identity at least once every 6-12 months. The goal here is to make sure you're thinking about how it fits you, how people are responding to it, whether you feel good about it, if it needs any changes etc. Are you missing anything? Could you set up any templates to make things easier? Are you missing any patterns that could expand your brand a little? Or does it maybe need a full rebrand? Are you feeling like you need a whole refresh?

If it needs to change, change it. If it’s good as is, great! Keep doing what you’re doing and then in 6-12 months, rinse and repeat the process.

Habit 7 - Stick to your brand colours on socials

There are a bunch of ways you can do this, the first of them being when you’re making graphics for social media. I can not stress this enough… Stick. To. Your. Brand. Colours.

Put your brand colour palette in whatever design tool you’re using (Canva, Photoshop, Procreate etc) and do the same on social media too. On Instagram stories, for example, a really easy way to make sure that you are keeping your brand colours consistent is to create a really simple graphic in Canva (or whatever tool you’re using) with all of your brand colours in it and then save that graphic on your phone. Once you’re ready to create something on stories, reels or even over on TikTok, you can upload that graphic to your content, grab the colour dropper/eye dropper tool and select the colour you want, before deleting the original graphic.

This is a really easy way to make sure that you are using your brand colours on all of your social media platforms and getting into the habit of doing that!

Habit 8 - Take new brand photos

If you’re selling products, like prints, t-shirts, key chains, or bookmarks it’s a smart move to get regular photos of these whenever you're releasing them, or honestly, as often as you can. 

If you're doing services or you want photos of yourself, then you don't have to do these as often, but it can be good to get these done every year or so, although you do want to make sure you’re doing it often enough to keep up with what your brand looks like and what you look like too! 

You can take these photos yourself or you can hire someone to help you do it. Whichever way you go, take new brand photos as often as you can. This will ensure you have enough content for your website, your shop, and your social media so that you’re never running out, it always feels on brand, it always feels up to date, and you’re always really happy and proud of what you're putting out there.

Part Three: Grow Your Brand With Magnetic Marketing

Onto the last segment… marketing!

Habit 9 - Refresh your social media profiles

Once a month you want to check in with your social media profiles and do an audit to make sure that everything is still up to date, you don't need to change any out-of-date links, your bio doesn't need updating, and that you don't need to change your highlights, your pinned photos or anything like that.

For example, if you ran an event and you had that as your pinned post(s), and now that event is over, you’ll want to update that. Or, let’s say you have a link in your bio that doesn't need to be there anymore and is confusing, during this audit you would remove that. Whatever you need to do to refresh and update your social media profiles, this is a good habit to get into. 

Habit 10 - Record b-roll and behind-the-scenes photos

One of the most impactful habits you can use to your advantage when it comes to building your brand and business is getting in the habit of recording b-roll and taking behind-the-scenes photos.

If you’re someone who wants to create more content, it’s a great idea to get in the habit of snapping content as often as you can because you never know when you might need it. Sometimes just a five-second video of you doing something is so helpful. It could become an Instagram reel, a TikTok, the background of an Instagram story, or if you just take a photo, that could be a whole post!

You can do this with photos and videos. Use your self-timer, get a friend to take some photos and grab some quick, 5-10 second clips of video and you’ll be amazed how helpful this one habit can be! The amount of times I've used these types of videos as Instagram reels or in my Instagram stories is wild! You need to get on this.

Habit 11 - Make accessibility a priority

On social media and your website, this looks like adding captions to videos, adding alt tags to your photos, and adding image and video descriptions where it's necessary.

So on Instagram stories, for example, you want to get in the habit of captioning your stories. You can either use the automated captions, a third-party app or manually type out your audio as a text sticker on the screen. 

For an image on social media, add an alt tag to that image so that anybody who can't see it can use a device that will read an alt tag and describe the image to them. 

In my opinion, making things accessible for everyone to enjoy should be a non-negotiable.

And although this is something I know I'm not perfect at but I'm trying to get in the habit of doing it because I know it's just so important.

Habit 12 - Engage with your audience

If you want to grow your audience, there’s no denying the fact that you need to engage with them. 

There are three ways you can engage on social media: The first is creating. You can create and put stuff out on social media. The second is consuming. You can consume other people’s content, scrolling and liking and doing all of that stuff. But there's also just connecting, which is the third way of engaging. I’m talking about commenting on posts, replying to comments, responding to DM’s, answering people's polls or questions, and just connecting with people on social media without any expectation of anything in return.

This is the social part of social media. So get in the habit of going on social media, and telling people that you like their work and appreciate what they're doing. A little kindness and connection goes a long way.

Habit 13 - Track your metrics

If you're not already doing this, you need to start doing some sort of tracking. You don't have to track everything, just whatever is important to you. This isn’t always just things like followers, comments, saves, shares, likes, and the typical “vanity metrics”. Some of those things are less important than we think that they are. And some of them are more important than we think.

For example, how much engagement you’re getting is more important on social media and how many sales (and how much profit) you’re making is important in your business. 

You can track these metrics on a weekly or monthly basis (or whatever works for you!) but you just want to get into the habit of doing it. Set a calendar reminder and make sure you’re tracking your metrics because what gets measured gets managed. And you need to be able to know what's going on in your business to be able to manage your business.

Habit 14 - Talk about what you sell

Although this is something that a lot of people aren’t keen on doing sometimes, it's super important to your business. Talking about what you sell is how you make money and at the end of the day, you need to be making money. You’re a business owner. You have to make money to pay your rent, to eat, and to survive. And you also deserve it. 

People aren't going to be able to buy what you’re selling if they don't know about it. You have to tell them that it exists and that it's available to purchase. Tell them where they can buy it, tell them how much it costs, tell them how many different variations there are, why people love it, and why it's amazing. 

People often need to be told about your product multiple times before they remember it and before they’re convinced that they need to buy it. They need you to repeat it and they need you to be super clear when you do talk about it. 

Habit 15 - Do outreach for opportunities

You know that saying “you have to be in it to win it”. Yep, that’s what I’m talking about here. If you want to get certain opportunities, you need to put your name in the hat for them. Either create your own opportunities or apply for them.

Whether it’s applying for markets, speaking opportunities, podcast interviews or whatever that opportunity is, you’ve gotta be in it to win it. And you’ve gotta get in the habit of doing this regularly. Don't stop doing outreach. Get those opportunities. And create a plan to do it.

If you want to get PR opportunities, like sponsorships or funding, there are so many things you can do to make that happen. Same as with the tracking, maybe you need to set yourself a monthly reminder or a monthly task of reaching out to say 5 podcast hosts or filling in one funding application a month etc.

Set yourself those tasks and reminders, and get into the habit of regular outreach so that you can get those opportunities because you deserve them.

So those have been 15 habits that will help you build and grow your brand easily and more effectively.

You do not have to do them all. It's really hard to try and build many habits all at once. And if you have read Atomic Habits, which I think most people have at this point you will know that you should build habits on top of each other. So start with one, build that, and then add another one.

And as a reminder, if you don’t have a brand strategy but know you need one, be sure to check out the Brand Strategy Kit for Creators

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September 20, 2023

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