Are You Ready? Lesson 2: Branding
Depending on the level of sponsor you’re trying to acquire, it’s helpful if your online brand is polished. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire a designer and spend $10,000. But when you’re creating a media kit, you’re inviting people to investigate you and your online world, and if that world looks in any way….abandoned, it may hurt your chances at a partnership.
Having good branding doesn’t mean you’re spending a lot of money. It means you’re using the same colors and fonts consistently across all your social media channels and your website. It means that you’re spelling and punctuating correctly. It means you’re taking care at how you’re presenting yourself and your podcast, and that’s important.
Voice is important too. If you’ve got a comedy podcast, it might be weird to have a more corporate-looking site. If you’ve got a business podcast, it would be odd to see crazy fonts and colors on your website. Branding needs to be consistent in order for listeners, users and yes, advertisers to feel comfortable.
Why do you need this?
In order to explain the importance of this, I’d like to use an example. We all notice when national brands change their logo, right? When McDonald’s went from the brown hut with the orange seats to the slick white outsides and the white booth insides? Imagine that you’re dying for McDonald’s and you use your GPS to find the closest one. But the outside is blue, the logo is in orange, it’s a completely different font than what it looks like on the commercial and their menu is in cursive.
Wouldn’t you wonder if you were in the right place? Would you worry that the owner of this particular McDonald’s was maybe ripping off the main company instead? Would you trust that you’d get the food you’ve come to expect? I don’t know about you but I’d think twice about eating there.
The same thing is true with your branding. Whether print or online, people come to expect something from you and delivering it in a polished, professional, and most importantly, CONSISTENT way is vital to sealing a deal with a sponsor or advertiser. After all, you’re representing them now in your partnership, and they want to look smart for creating a connection with your brand.
Don’t have this?
Here are some things you can do to help your branding consistency:
- Make sure all your fonts are the same everywhere. Don’t experiment with fonts. If they’re not consistent, recreate the elements that deviate with a free service like Canva.com.
- If you haven’t yet, choose a font from Canva or Google Fonts so that ANYONE with a computer can help you create graphics and help you with this as you grow. Being fancy with fonts can be fun but it isn’t helping your brand consistency.
- Maybe you’re consistent with your brand but haven’t put ANY graphics up on your social media channels or your website is exactly like the template you purchased.
- If you don’t want to spend bucks on a designer and you don’t want to do it yourself, you could try services like Fiverr.com or upwork.com. (formerly ODesk.com) Just be persistent about the service you’re getting and don’t settle for anything you don’t feel represents you well. Keep sending the pieces back until you’re happy.
Haven’t even THOUGHT about a brand yet? A quick start to getting a brand is to choose 2 fonts you like on Google Fonts, and a color palette from design-seeds.com and BOOM there’s your visual brand. As long as you stick with those colors and fonts for EVERYTHING, your graphics will look like a nice polished brand. For voice, just make sure you write your tagline and intro and other materials as YOURSELF and don’t try to be something you’re not. Be funny if you’re funny. Be serious if you’re serious. Be smart if you’re smart and if you’re not smart….well, at least try to be funny. (ha ha)