How do you choose your brand colours? What kind of pictures should you use on your website? What will resonate most with your audience?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho dives into some frequently asked questions around marketing your private practice. The first being, what kind of brand colours and pictures you should use on your website.
Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
In This Podcast
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho talks about what kind of brand colours and pictures you should use on your website when marketing your private practice.
What colours should you choose in your branding?
When it comes to brand colours there are a few things to consider. First, choose your preference and what resonates with you. If it doesn’t, you’re not going to be motivated to market it and excited to share it. Look into what others are doing in your industry as there may be a reason why most of your competitors use particular colours. Do a bit of research and then choose to either stand out from the crowd or go with what everyone else is doing.
Think about what your target audience would be attracted to. For example, males prefer brighter colours and tints while females prefer softer colours and tints. Blue is the most favoured colour by both, and the least favoured is orange, brown and yellow.
Briefly look into the meaning that your brand colours carry. Certain colours can create reactions and spark emotions, like calmness, or anger. When thinking of a colour scheme, have one or two main colours and then one colour that stands out for buttons and call-to-actions. The rest of the colours can be neutral. There are two different types of colour schemes when it comes to websites, monochromatic which uses different tones of the same colour and complementary which uses two or three colours that are complementary.
Using pictures on your website
When choosing pictures on your website, avoid stock images as much as possible. No one likes cheesy fake smiles. Also, avoid negative images and rather speak to your audience’s pain points through the words you use on the website.
Show the end result of therapy with you. It’s best to have someone take unique photos for your website of friends or models. Include people in some of your photos as therapy is a personal thing and people relate to people.
Try and have the same editing done on all photos. Chat to your web developer, and ask them to edit the photos in the same way. It gives it an extra professional feel.
Make sure your pictures fit with design website, and don’t over clutter the website. Make sure they’re not cut off and have similar colours. Also, make sure it resonates with your ideal client and remember to include diversity.
Ensure that your images are low file sizes so as not to slow down website speed and keep it minimalistic with white space. Ensure that your audience won’t get distracted and your message is clear.
- A Full Brand Strategy for a Private Practice | Branding Series 5 of 5 | MP 06
- HTML Color Codes
- Colour Adobe
- Design Services With Sam
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Welcome to the Marketing in Practice Podcast with me, Sam Carvalho, where you’ll discover everything you need to know about marketing and branding your business. To find out more about how I can help you brand your business, visit www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design.
Hi there. I’m so glad you’ve taken time out of your day to join me here at the Marketing in Practice Podcast. I’m so glad to have you. So, over the next four episodes, we’re going to be diving into some frequently asked questions when it comes to design and marketing, just in general, but also to do with your private practice specifically. So, these were questions that are curated from the Next Level Practice group, that’s part of Practice of the Practice. It’s the online community and if you want to find out more about that, you can head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite. So basically, just pose the question to them, what frequently asked questions they had when it comes to design and marketing. And I will be addressing one question per episode over the next four episodes, so, four questions in total, and they’ll be short episodes, so perfect for while you’re driving to work or going to pick up your kids. Yeah, it’ll just be a little bit out of your day to listen to these and I hope that you’ll find value in them.
So, without further ado, question one is from someone who is busy working on building their website and they’re not sure what pictures or colors to choose that are going to best attract their ideal client and also, that are going to best fit who they are and what their aesthetic is. So, a few notes on this. I would say in general when it comes to choosing colors specifically, so I’ll focus on the colors first. When it comes to choosing brand colors, there are a few things you want to consider. The first is what is your preference and what resonates with you? So ultimately when you’re a private practice owner, I would say that you are building your brand around you in the beginning unless you’re expanding to a group practice, but also you want to love your brand. I would say that the more you love your brand, the more that your brand resonates with you, the more you’ll be motivated to kind of market it and get it out there. Obviously, if your brand identity or your visual brand isn’t something that resonates with you, you’re not going to be very excited to share it with people.
So, I would say first and foremost, what colors, kind of resonate with you and what colors do you prefer? Start there. Then what are others in your industry doing? So, take some time to do a Google search of maybe private practices in your area or in your country in general, and just kind of see what kind of colors everybody else is making use of. So, this can be two-fold. You can either decide to go along with what everybody is doing because maybe there’s a reason why they’re doing it. Obviously, a lot of private practices might use calming colors or inviting colors or you can use it as an opportunity to go against what everybody else is doing and try and like stand out from the crowd. This method in that matters as well. So, I would say just a bit of research into what everybody else is doing and kind of get an idea of that.
Thirdly, I would say think about what your target audience will be attracted to. So, if you are predominantly serving or counseling men, you know, what kind of colors are going to draw men in? If you are counseling females, what kind of colors in an adult female in? If you’re counseling kids, you’re obviously going to have a range of bright colors. So, something that’s quite interesting is that they say males prefer brighter colors and tense while females prefer softer colors and tense. And blue is actually favored by both and the least favorite colors are orange, brown, and yellow. So that’s a bit of tips right off the bat for you. I thought that was quite interesting and I mean it makes sense. You can see most brands actually have blue in their branding at some stage, and yeah, so if your target audience is females, then stick with you know, softer parts of colors and if your target audience is male, then you would adopt more brighter colors. So just spend some time thinking about that because ultimately you want to create a brand that attracts your ideal client. That’s the basis of it. That’s what it’s all about. So, I would definitely spend some time thinking about the colors that your target audience is going to prefer.
Then you would also want to look into the meaning that your colors carry. So, I mean it depends on you as a person, I suppose, how much meaning you want to attach to every decision that you make. I wouldn’t get too caught up in this because I don’t think a lot of people know or kind of delve into the meaning of colors when they’re looking at a brand. I think it’s more their just initial reaction or initial impact it makes on them, but there is something to be said for the meaning that color carries. So, as I said earlier, a lot of private practices will make use of common colors, you know, your greens, your blues. Obviously, that initiates a sense of calm as opposed to red, which is maybe more, you know, dangerous or kind of, yeah, can represent anger or things that you don’t necessarily want in your private practice.
So I would say just briefly look into meanings, especially of maybe your main color, and that’s the next thing I want to touch on; is when you are thinking of a color scheme for your brand, you essentially want to have one or two main colors and then two or three accent colors. So, I would say, what I would suggest is having kind of a neutral color scheme. I’m always a fan of a more neutral color scheme and having one main neutral color that you use across most of your branding, but then having one standout color that you use for call to actions for example. So, the buttons on your website or any information that you want to stand out. And then you have to industry neutral accent colors that kind of compliment the two main colors. So that would be my suggestion. You get a number of different color schemes; the two main ones are monochromatic and complimentary.
So monochromatic is using basically different tones of the same color. So, you’ll come across websites where the entire website is different shades of blue for example. And that can actually be really nice, especially when mixed with a lot of white space. It actually gives a very contemporary minimalistic, fresh feel. And then you could pop in a complimentary color that you then use for the call to actions for example. Or you could just stick with different shades of the one color, maybe have a bright blue for your call to actions. And then the other common color scheme is your complimentary. So that’s obviously using colors that complement each other. Probably two, maximum three within one color scheme.
But there are two websites that you can go to that will help you kind of figure out the colors that you want to make use of in your branding. The first one is HTMLcolorcodes.com. That’s a great one to use if you’re wanting to kind of just play around with different colors and see what you can come up with. So, you’ll see as soon as you land on the website, there’s like a square with all available colors and you can just drag your mouse around and kind of play and see what colors come up that you enjoy. The other one that I make use of all the time when I’m designing is color.adobe.com. So, this is a great one. So you can, it’s already kind of set up so that if you select one color for example, it will show you what the complimentary colors are of that color and will actually come up with a color scheme for you made up of five colors. But what’s also cool is you can go to the explore tab and you can actually type in things like ‘calm’, for example, if that’s what you are building your brand on, if that’s what you want to communicate through your brand. You can type in ‘calm’ and it will come up with all sorts of color schemes that resonate with the word calm. Or you could even type in ‘female’ if that’s your ideal client and it will come up with suggested color schemes that are associated with that word.
So, I make use of that a lot when I’m designing. Depending on the design brief, I will go to color.adobe.com and type in a word in the explore section and then choose a color scheme that I really like. And then that’s something that you can actually download to your computer or you can just take a screenshot and share that with your developers or with your designer and they can then make use of those colors throughout. So that’s a little bit about the color scheme and how to go about choosing that.
Then when it comes to pictures on your website, I would say first and foremost, avoid the common stock images. Everybody is sick of seeing cheesy smiles on people that look fake. So, I would say try and avoid that as much as possible, but still kind of show the end result of therapy with you. So, some people will opt for having pictures of people where they’re at when they come to therapies or if they’re all down and sad or crying or fighting with their spouse or whatever the case may be. I would avoid that. I would say as much as you want to resonate with the person at their current pain point, rather do that in the copy of your website and have the pictures illustrate what, the transformation that can take place through therapy with you, but in as authentic away as possible. Obviously, the best way would be to have someone take unique photos for you of just friends or, it can even be models but in an authentic way.
So, two websites that I make use of a lot is unsplash.com and pixels.com. So, both of those websites offer free images, with the rights to use them without getting sued. So, I would say definitely head on over to them and they’ve, you’ll see immediately that they’ve got authentic imagery, where if the person’s laughing you can see they’re really laughing kind of thing. So, I would say definitely make use of those websites, but also definitely include people in your pictures. So, I’ve come across a few websites where, you know, they’ve maybe made use of scenery or you know, a specific object that they’ve kind of repeated in the imagery across their website. And although this is definitely an approach to take, I would say definitely include people in some of your photos. It doesn’t have to be in every photo, but people relate to people. So, coming onto a website, especially a counseling website where it’s something that’s personal, you know, the people coming to your website want to be able to relate to what’s happening on your website.
If you’re just sharing pictures of scenery or of an object, it’s not as relatable. So, I would say definitely include people and try and have the same editing down on all your photos. So, this could be going as far as to making all your photos black and white, for example, so that they’re all of the same. But that’s not necessary, I would say. Chat your web developer or your designer and kind of ask them to edit all the photos in the same way. So, this can also kind of tie into your color scheme. If your color scheme is neutral, kind of earthy colors, then your designer could kind of apply an overlay to all your images. That’s maybe a bit of an earthy tone so that all your images, even if you’ve sourced them from different websites, will end up looking the same. It just adds that extra professional feel, and also just make sure that they fit in with the design of your website.
So, you know, don’t make it too busy. As I said, I’m always a fan of the more minimalistic white space feels. So, don’t feel the need to include tons of images on one page. Just have one, you know, really impactful image, make sure that your images aren’t cut off, make sure that the images are making use of similar colors so you’re not having one that’s including bright colors and then another one that’s not quite the same. Just try and match your images together as much as possible and then make sure that they represent your ideal client. So, obviously if you are treating kids, make sure that you have a lot of images of happy kids, if you’re treating couples, make sure that you have a lot of images of happy couples. Make sure that you represent diversity so you’re not just sticking with one race or, obviously one gender is fine if that’s who your ideal client is, but yeah, make sure that you include diversity.
And then also just a tip is to make sure that your images are a low file size as possible while still maintaining the high quality. And this is to not, and this is so that it doesn’t slow down your website speed. That’s something that your web developers should be aware of, but just in case they’re not, just make sure that you do that. And lastly, like I said, I did touch on this earlier, but keep it minimalistic and include white space. Just keep your website clean. This also helps with making sure that your clients don’t get distracted by too much that’s going on and that your message remains clear and they kind of know what they need to focus on when they get to your website.
So, guys, that took a bit longer than I expected, but that’s just the answer to question one with regards to choosing colors and pictures for your website. I’ll see you in the next episode where I address the next question.
Thanks for listening to the Marketing in Practice Podcast. If you need help to brand new business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand or you simply want to have a print flyer designed, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design. Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes, if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon.
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