Brand Your Passion

63: 5 Big myths about branding that are totally holding you back

Episode Summary

Have you ever heard some things about branding and thought, “wait a minute, that can’t be right.” Or heard one person say one thing and one person say another, leaving you in the middle, just confused. Or maybe you’ve had some things in your mind about branding that have stopped you from taking action or making changes. Well that ends today. There are a BUNCH of myths about branding. I literally could have a list of 20+, but today I’m going to bust the 5 big ones that are totally holding you back.

Episode Notes

Have you ever heard some things about branding and thought, “wait a minute, that can’t be right.” Or heard one person say one thing and one person say another, leaving you in the middle, just confused. Or maybe you’ve had some things in your mind about branding that have stopped you from taking action or making changes. Well that ends today.

There are a BUNCH of myths about branding. I literally could have a list of 20+, but today I’m going to bust the 5 big ones that are totally holding you back.


Read the accompanying blog post.

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Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Have you ever heard some things about branding and thought, hmm, wait a minute, that can't be right? Or maybe you've heard one person say one thing and one person say another, leaving you just kind of in the middle a little bit confused? Or maybe you've had some things in your mind about branding that have stopped you from taking action or from making changes.

[00:00:27] Either way, it all ends today. There are a bunch of myths about branding. Like I literally could have a list of like 20-plus myths that are common and go around and all of that stuff. But today I'm gonna bust the five biggest ones that I think are totally holding you back from growing and building your brand.

[00:00:49] Let's get into it.

[00:00:53] Hello and welcome to Brand Your Passion, the show that helps you turn the thing you love the most into something that people know and love you [00:01:00] for. I'm your host, Hollie Arnett, the brand coach for creatives, and I'm on a mission to make the world a more creative place, one brand at a time. If you're ready to get more eyes on your work, more dollars in your pocket, and more creativity in your life, you're in the right place.

[00:01:15] Welcome. Let's brand your passion.

[00:01:24] Okay. The first biggest myth that I think is holding you back when it comes to your brand is that you have to have it all figured out before you work on your brand. And the truth is that branding is figuring it out, and if you wait until you have it all figured out or feel like you have it all together before you start working with a strategist or working on your brand yourself or hiring a designer or whatever, you are just never gonna start. And I would hate for you to think that you have to have it all figured out or it has to all be perfect before you even think [00:02:00] about working on your brand.

[00:02:01] The best thing for you to do is to start working on your brand right now and figure it out as you go. Especially the brand strategy process, as you start asking yourself questions or working with a strategist who will ask you questions or a coach who will coach you through uncovering the answers to questions, that's when you're gonna figure all this stuff out. By doing it, by taking action, by starting to ask the questions, by even doing the design process. Like if you're working on your logo or photography or whatever, as you are doing that, you're gonna figure out like, okay, I like this style, or I don't like this style, or, actually this worked, but this didn't.

[00:02:45] So, that's how you're gonna figure stuff out is by taking action and by doing it. And especially if you're gonna be working with someone else, like a strategist or a coach or a brand designer or whoever, they are gonna [00:03:00] help you to figure it out.

[00:03:01] So, my perspective and my approach and my thoughts on it is that you don't have to have it all figured out before you work on your brand. And in fact, if you try to do that, you are never gonna get anywhere because A, nobody has it all figured out, and B, even when someone has like a lot of stuff figured out, then that's awesome, but things might change when you start doing the brand strategy process or start doing some brand design anyway.

[00:03:29] So it's okay to not have things all figured out before you work on your brand. So if you are sitting there going like, oh, I really wanna start like writing my mission, or I really wanna start pinpointing my people, or I wanna hire a strategist, or I wanna work on my brand design, but I'm just like not sure if I have everything together or I don't have enough, or it's not clear enough or anything like that. Just stop right there, and just [00:04:00] do the thing. Like start trying to write your mission, start trying to work on your ideal customer avatar or whatever you wanna call it, reach out to that brand designer. Do the thing. Take the action.

[00:04:15] That's my message is that you do not have to have it all figured out before you work on your brand. If you do, you're never gonna start. So just start right now. Okay? That's what I think, anyway.

[00:04:29] Myth number two, which kind of ties in, is that you are just gonna do your brand once and that's it. And that you look at it once a year maybe, or once every few years, and then you leave it and you never touch it, and that's it.

[00:04:43] That is incorrect. You actually need to be thinking about and working on your brand all the time. I'm not saying like every second, every day, whatever. I'm saying like working on your brand is something that happens all the time.

[00:04:58] Every time you [00:05:00] post on social media, you are building your brand. Anytime you create a new product, you're building your brand. Anytime you update your website, you are building your brand. Like this is stuff you have to be thinking about all the time, all throughout the month, all throughout the year, all throughout the three years before you do a full rebrand. It's not just like, when you do a rebrand, that's when you think about your brand and that's when you look at it.

[00:05:26] You have to be thinking about and working on your brand all the time. You have to think about it in every decision that you make about your business, in every thing that you put online, on every thing that you create and put out into the world.

[00:05:41] And I'm not saying this to like add pressure to you creating things or putting things out into the world at all, because I don't want it to stop you from doing that or to add pressure to that. I'm just saying it in terms of like, don't just only think about your brand once. Think about it all the time.

[00:05:58] Think about how you [00:06:00] can work with the right people, how you can attract the right people, how you can create more content that speaks to you, how you can speak in a better way that feels more authentic to you. Think about this stuff all the time. Just as much as you think about like your products or you think about your marketing or you think about the events that you go to. Think about your branding just as much and think about what you're trying to grow and what you're trying to achieve and where you're trying to work towards, and how you can do that all the time, not just once a year or once every three years or whatever.

[00:06:33] Like get obsessive about your brand . You don't have to get like as nerdy as me, but I would recommend getting a little nerdy about your brand for sure.

[00:06:42] Myth number three that is very tied into this actually is that your brand has to stay the same always and forever, and that you are locked into your brand from the beginning, This is really not true. Your brand doesn't have to stay the same, and I would argue that it [00:07:00] shouldn't stay the same actually, because you as a human change and evolve and learn and grow and develop, and level up and all of the good things that come with being a human and with being an artist. The world changes, social media changes, the internet changes, the industry changes, things change all the time, and your brand should too.

[00:07:24] If your brand stays the same all the time, forever and always, it's gonna get a little stale, and not evolve with you as a person, which means that you are kind of gonna become detached from your brand because it hasn't kept up with you. And it's also gonna become like detached from the people engaging with it and society engaging with it. So it has to develop.

[00:07:47] And I think that this is a good myth to bust because people can get so stressed out that their brand has to stay the same. That like, if you make this decision now about your logo or what [00:08:00] colors you're going to use, or your tagline, that you are locked into that forever and that if you change that, it's gonna be a disaster and you're never gonna be able to overcome the fact that you changed that because it's gonna be a disaster. That is so not true.

[00:08:14] Like I changed my whole business name completely, like not even close to what it used to be, and that made a difference for the better. Like it changed my brand and my business for the better. Every time I update like my Instagram bio, it just gets better every time. Every time I add like a new kind of visual element to my brand, it just takes things to the next level. And all of these little changes just help me to feel more connected to my brand, help me to like, stay relevant and engaging with people online. They help me to stay excited about things.

[00:08:54] So like, evolving your brand is a good thing. You are not [00:09:00] locked into everything forever and always, and you shouldn't. So if you have felt stuck by the fact that like you have to make a decision and keep it like that forever, then I'm here to like let you loose from , from that holding you back because you definitely don't. You can change things, you can develop things, you can experiment with things. That is a good thing, I think.

[00:09:24] Myth number four that might be kind of holding you back when it comes to your brand is that if it's not kind of seeing results right now, then it's not worth it. It can feel like, especially like in social media land and you know, on the internet that things happen overnight, that people get overnight success, that they get viral videos or whatever, and they get success all the time overnight really easily, really quickly, and that you are expected to do the same.

[00:09:52] Branding is all about the long game. Like, I'm not kidding when I say that it can [00:10:00] take months and years for brands to develop, for brand loyalty, to grow, for like things to just keep working. Branding has a compounding effect. The more that you show up, the more that you consistently share your work, the more that you consistently reach out to people, put your work out there, then it's gonna happen over and over again as things compound.

[00:10:30] For an example, maybe like two years ago when I started getting into doing brand strategy and coaching, I started writing guest blogs for other brands and I'd been writing for a long time, been writing my own stuff, I'd been writing stuff for other people and I started writing these kind of guest posts and I didn't like see any immediate return from those like guest posts. It [00:11:00] wasn't anything that happened like overnight that someone saw that post and then immediately booked in with me or whatever. In fact, actually a year later, someone who followed the brand that I wrote for came across my article, came across that brand.

[00:11:19] They were like engaging in the rest of that brand stuff. They started to follow me and then a year later they reached out and they booked in to work with me, like at the highest level of being able to work with me, like as a one-on-one coaching client for six months, right? So that if I'd like written that article, it didn't do anything so I asked them to take it down. Or I had posted something, I didn't get any clicks that day, so I took it down or I stopped doing it. I never would've gotten this client, and I love her. I love working with her. We have the best time. We're working on some really cool stuff, and so [00:12:00] I had to kind of accept or lean into the fact that branding is a long game.

[00:12:06] It's not a overnight thing. It's not something that's gonna happen immediately. It's something that's gonna happen by showing up again and again, consistently. Committing to it, believing that it's gonna work in the long run. So that is the myth busted that you might be thinking like, okay, if it's not seeing results right now, it's not working, or branding has to work immediately, you can let yourself free from that also. And just be like, it's working. What I'm doing now, what I'm showing up and like the seed I'm planting today is gonna grow and blossom into something beautiful in the long run. And it definitely will. I just know, that if you just believe and commit to playing the long game when it comes to branding, then [00:13:00] you'll like let go of a lot of the pressure and the stress of things having to work immediately. And you'll feel a lot less pressure and you'll feel a lot more comfortable with working on things over the long game.

[00:13:12] And last but not least, my last myth that I want to bust is about consistency and that creating a consistent brand means like posting every day or doing something every day. Consistency does like, it builds trust with your audience and with yourself to like prove to yourself that you can show up and that you can do the thing over and over and over again.

[00:13:37] But you get to decide what consistency means and what it looks like to you. Consistency might not mean showing up every day. It might mean showing up every month, or it might mean showing up for like, three months at a time and then taking a month off. Or it might mean whatever, it can mean whatever it means to you.

[00:13:59] [00:14:00] I recently read the book, I Didn't Do The Thing Today by Madeline Dore, and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a non-fiction to read. But she says in that, that "we might feel that we wobble from day to day, but if we take a longer view, we can find that we've been balancing the various parts of our lives all along. We might not read every night before bed, but have stretches of weeks where we devour several books. We might not have a daily regime, but rather a weekly rhythm. Sometimes we are plotting away at something working steadily day by day, and other times we sprint to the finish line. Life happens in peaks and troughs, and we wobble with it. That's what really changed the idea of balance for Madeline Dore, seeing consistency as an accumulation over time, not a perfect adherence."

[00:14:47] And that's the point that I wanna make to you about this myth, that consistency can feel like I have to show up every day and if I miss a day or I miss a week or whatever, that [00:15:00] I've failed or that I'm not, I'm now not building a consistent brand, or you know, I had this slogan or this message that I was talking about for a week and then I changed to something else, and so now I've ruined it. That is not the truth and it's really adding a lot of pressure to your life that is unnecessary. Consistency, like Madeline Dore says in her book, is an accumulation over time. It's that consistently throughout your life, throughout your business, you are being creative, you are doing the work that you wanna do, you are showing up.

[00:15:39] It doesn't necessarily mean you've shown up every single day for the last five years that you've run your business Like that doesn't matter. What matters is that over that time you've kept coming back, you've kept showing up even if you took a month off, or even if you didn't post anything for three months or whatever. But [00:16:00] over that accumulative time, you are being consistent in balancing things over that time. So I hope that that gives you a little bit of a different perspective on consistency. And I recommend reading that book if you really want some more of Madeline Dore's goodness.

[00:16:17] But those are five big myths that I'm hoping I have busted for you.

[00:16:24] To recap, number one is that you have to have it all figured out before you work on your brand. Number two is that you're gonna do your brand once every few years, and that's it. Number three is that your brand has to stay the same forever. Number four is that if it's not seeing results right now, it's not worth it. And number five was that creating a consistent brand means posting and showing up every day. All of those five things are valid that you have heard them and felt them, but I'm here to hopefully release you from them, so that you can move forward and [00:17:00] stop holding yourself back because of these myths.

[00:17:04] So next thing that's coming up is that I'm gonna answer and break some of the myths that some people on Instagram submitted to me. But before we do, I wanna talk to you about something that will help you to move on from these things.

[00:17:21] Okay, if you are ready to bust free from all of these myths and start taking your brand into your own hands and moving forward so you can take it to the next level, I want you to check out The Brand Strategy Kit for Creators. This is gonna help you to craft a go-to guide for achieving your- keyword your- creative goals with an easy to use plug and play brand strategy template.

[00:17:49] It's gonna help you get super clear and confident in what you do, why it's so amazing, and how you wanna share it with the world, know exactly what decisions to make and steps to take to [00:18:00] achieve your wildest creative dreams and have it all in a go-to guide that you can easily access anywhere, and anytime.

[00:18:07] It's a brand strategy template and guide and example designed for creators to store their biggest dreams, greatest differentiators, and best strategies and so much more. It'll help you clarify your brand, craft a plan, and kick some ass. It includes a 50 page Canva template, an example brand strategy, tutorial and a bonus one page strategy that'll help you cover things like your goals, your vision, mission, values, audience, customer journey, voice and tone, copy, guidelines, positioning, U S P, visual direction, and so much more.

[00:18:44] So if you wanted to get out, please head to shop dot and check out The Brand Strategy Kit for Creators.

[00:18:56] Okay, let's dive into some of your [00:19:00] submitted myths. And this is a new thing that I'm starting to do on the podcast where I'm gonna be answering your questions and getting your input into the episode so that we can make them a little bit more interactive. So if you wanna get involved, then make sure you are following me on Instagram to see when those prompts go live on my stories.

[00:19:18] But the first myth that Amyrah said is that you won't get anywhere unless you pay for ads. And absolutely this is a myth that is so not true. I am actually a believer that ads only work to amplify what's already working. So if you don't already have a clear audience and you don't already have marketing and social media stuff that's working, like getting you engagement or getting clicks through or whatever, then boosting that post or doing ads is actually not gonna be very effective. [00:20:00] So you need to focus more on like making sure you have a clear audience and your brand messaging is clear and it's resonating with people and you're getting kind of people to click through and engage. That's when ads will work to amplify what's already working.

[00:20:15] So it's not true that you won't get anywhere unless you pay for ads. I know for a fact that there are so many artists and creatives that have like amazing brands, huge audiences like are making bank from their work without posting ads at all. So this is not to say that you can't use ads or the ads are bad or whatever. They will definitely boost things and they will definitely help you to like reach a bigger audience, obviously. But I would say that it's not worth it unless you are doing stuff that's already working. And I would also say that you can definitely get everywhere without using ads.

[00:20:58] So if you don't [00:21:00] wanna pay, you are not ready to pay, whatever, don't worry. Hopefully that has busted that myth for you, Amyrah. Thank you so much for submitting it.

[00:21:09] Jay also submitted the myth that you must have a logo, and this is a controversial, I guess, myth because I think that you can definitely get by without having a logo.

[00:21:26] Like especially on social media and as an artist, you likely, your profile photo is a photo of you or it's an illustration of your work or maybe like a mascot of your brand. So you don't need it in that context. Your website, like you could just have like a nice font typed out or whatever, like you don't necessarily have to have a logo there. On your packaging, maybe it's covered in illustrations or whatever instead, so maybe you don't need a logo there. [00:22:00]

[00:22:00] I think a logo is great, nice to have, very good if you wanna have like your stamp to put on everything. But I don't think it's true that you must have one. I think especially if having a logo, creating one, making it perfect is stopping you from moving forward, then you shouldn't worry about it.

[00:22:20] I think you should instead worry about like putting your work out there and reaching out to people and making more work and getting clients and all of that stuff. You should worry about that more than you should worry about having the perfect logo.

[00:22:35] So if you are sitting here listening to this right now and you've been stressing about your logo, just put it down. Put it down, stop worrying about it, focus on other things that are gonna help you to like, make money and grow your audience and do all the things that you love. And then when you have an idea of your clear brand and you know what you're trying to do, and you know what you want, then you can come back and work on your logo. [00:23:00] But yeah, I have busted the myth from Jay that you must have a logo. So there you go. Let me know if you agree or not.

[00:23:11] Next is that you have to pay someone to do your branding for you because you're not clever enough to do it. That's from Nicole. And yeah, definitely a myth in my opinion. I believe that anything you can do to work on your brand is amazing. There are a lot of people who don't work on their brand at all, who don't think about it, who don't do anything. So anything you do to work on yours is like better and great.

[00:23:40] And one of the things that I get very fired up about is that in the kind of branding, brand strategy arena, there is this sort of belief or expectation that if you are not spending or paying someone [00:24:00] like $10,000 or more to work on your brand, then it's not gonna be good enough.

[00:24:07] And I agree that brand designers and brand strategists should be paid that amount of money or more. Like what they do is so valuable and so worthwhile, and they put so much work into that work, myself included . But as an artist who's working on your brand, I don't, I think you can create so much incredible stuff without spending a dime even. Like you can do so much stuff for free yourself to make your brand incredible.

[00:24:43] And as artists especially, you are so clever enough to do your branding yourself, like A, your brand strategy is like all inside. You already, like you have all the answers you have all the knowledge. It's all in [00:25:00] there, it's just about bringing it out and kind of disseminating it and dissecting it and distilling it into something like clear and beautiful and well worded and all of that stuff.

[00:25:12] But you are a creative, you can figure it out if you wanna do it yourself, if you wanna do it like without spending any money or spending little money, you can definitely do that. And obviously like design wise, in terms of your brand identity, you likely have a lot of creative skills that will allow you to do that. So if you feel like you wanna tackle all of that and do it yourself, you definitely can do some kickass stuff on your own without doing like, just, yeah, you can do it on your own.

[00:25:46] I just interviewed today an amazing artist who you will see coming up in a new episode, who has like hundreds of thousands of followers, an incredibly like [00:26:00] consistent, clear brand that she's known for. She's just a kick ass artist and she's done it all herself. That is proof that you can build your brand on your own and you are more than clever enough to do it. So yeah. Obviously if you feel like you don't have the skills quite yet to like reach the level that you wanna reach or you need some outside perspective or someone who's an expert to help you, then hire someone else, obviously, like definitely, and it's so worth hiring those people who are experts because they are like nerds about what they do and they're really good at it. So, obviously, I'm not saying don't hire people if you want to, you definitely can and should. But also equally, you are definitely more than clever enough, more than capable of doing it on your own.

[00:26:53] The next myth from Charli is that you have to make the logo bigger. Now, this is something that I [00:27:00] am guessing is personal to Charli because as artists and designers we often hear like, oh, can you just make the logo bigger or Can you make the logo pop? Which is, the worst words you could say to a designer. So I'm sensing some hurt feelings, but yeah, you don't have to make the logo bigger.

[00:27:20] Actually, I would say that making the logo smaller, but in a more powerful place with more space around it is more powerful than just making the logo bigger. Because a lot of what makes design good and effective and clear is actually the negative space around things and how different elements are laid out in relation to each other.

[00:27:50] So if you have just your logo massive on things that can actually just distract from the message of whatever you are trying to create. And it can make [00:28:00] things cluttered and messy and hard to navigate and hard for someone to read or look around. So actually making the logo bigger can be more detrimental than just keeping it smaller and having a nice, balanced amount of space around things and keeping it nicely sized in relation to other elements on the page.

[00:28:22] So don't always think that making the logo bigger is better.

[00:28:26] Okay, and the last question, which is kind of a myth, but more like a question is about like DIY branding and whether that gonna be more accepted. And that ties into what I just said about Nicole's myth about like you doing things yourself.

[00:28:45] DIY branding is more than acceptable. You can do a brilliant job. As artists you are in a unique position to have the skills to do your branding yourself. So DIY, using tools that make branding more [00:29:00] accessible to you, like canva or like Figma that's free and cross platform and all of the good things. These tools will make it way easier for everybody to be able to make their brands themselves and do it like really, really effectively.

[00:29:15] So if you're a brand designer listening to me talk about these, DIY abilities. I'm definitely not discrediting your work like I have been a brand designer. I am a brand strategist myself, who also, like, I sell my services as a brand strategist, right? So it's like not advantageous for me to say, don't hire a strategist, or don't hire a branding person. Or you can do it all yourself. The reason that I share this perspective is because I would rather more creatives start working on their brand and doing the thing than not doing anything because they can't afford to hire a designer or hire a strategist or they're [00:30:00] not ready.

[00:30:00] As an artist, I would rather you just do what you can with what you've got and make it work. And then when you're ready to hire someone else, you could do that. Or if you never need to hire someone else, great. Then I can spend my time with the people who do wanna hire me. It, it all works out. So I think, yeah, as an artist you can definitely DIY and there are 1,000,001 tools now that help you to do that, so I personally think that's great.

[00:30:28] Okay, so now you have had the five myths that I brought to the table that I think are holding you back. And then also five more myths that the creatives who are listening also submitted. So hopefully they have transformed your thoughts a little, helped you think about things a little bit differently and given you some new perspective on how to build your brand.

[00:30:51] Again, as I mentioned earlier, if you are ready to work on your brand, do the DIY thing you just want some guidance or some help to get [00:31:00] started and you wanna be able to do it in a way that like feels really good to you, then I highly recommend checking out The Brand Strategy Kit for Creators.

[00:31:08] It is a template and guide and like go-to goodness booklet of A brand strategy created with creatives in mind. So it has all the things that you might need to do or you might want to do to create a really clear brand for yourself as a creative So, check it out. It will help you craft a go-to guide for achieving your creative goals in an easy to use plug and play brand strategy template.

[00:31:35] If you wanna have a look, the link is in the show notes, or you can head to shop dot maker and template. And that's all from me this week. I can't wait to see you and talk to you in the next one, and I'll see you later. Bye.

[00:31:54] Thanks for listening to this week's episode of Brand Your Passion and choosing to spend time with me, learning all [00:32:00] about branding, business and all things creativity. You can find more episodes just like this one at forward slash podcast. If you like this one, you can tap that subscribe or follow button so that you're notified about each and every new episode.

[00:32:16] And if you've got a spare second, please leave a review on iTunes or wherever it is that you're listening to this podcast, because I would absolutely 100% love to hear from you. If there were some helpful goodies in this episode for you, it would mean the world to me as well if you could screenshot that podcast player right now, hop on over to Instagram or Twitter and tag us at Maker and Moxie. By subscribing, reviewing, and sharing, you are helping reach more creators just like you so that together we can make the world a more creative place, one brand at a time. We can't achieve this mission without you, so your support means that absolute world.

[00:32:54] I will talk to you in the next episode, but until then, keep creating.[00:33:00]