What is branding? What are things to expect when working with a designer? What are a few things to consider when you are looking to improve your brand?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks with Laura Elyse about branding why less is more.
Meet Laura Elyse
Laura Elyse Hart is 29 years old and lives in beautiful Doncaster East, Melbourne, Australia with her 2 children, cat, and dog.
She started her own design company almost 4 years ago after realizing she wanted to put her creativity into a career and have the flexibility to stay home with her children while doing what she loves.
Laura is passionate about creating brand identities for small businesses in my signature soft and feminine design style. Her other interests include painting, reading, and anything DIY.
Visit Laura’s website.
In This Podcast
- Perspective on branding
- Improving your brand
- What to expect when working with a designer
Perspective on branding
- Less is more. Busy and overwhelming branding doesn’t look as professional and can make it harder to really see and remember the business name, which is so important.
- Your logo & branding should reflect what you do or what your business offers. Your branding needs to feel the way you want your customers to feel.
- Consistency is key. If you’re going to put in effort into branding, you need to keep it consistent over all of your social media channels, email, website, etc.
Improving your brand
If you wanted to improve your brand the first things you should look at are your logo and website. The logo is the heart of your branding and your website is the first thing they see when they search for your business. Whether your service offering is online or not, the client’s first impression will be based on your website.
What to expect when working with a designer
A designer will want to understand the feeling of your business and what you want to express to your customers. They will work with you to understand how your branding will make an impact on your business and attracting your ideal client.
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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!
Thanks For Listening!
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Marketing a Practice podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Beta male Revolution, Empowered and Unapologetic, Imperfect Thriving, or Faith in Practice, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Welcome to the Marketing a Practice podcast with me, Sam Carvalho, where you will 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 @samanthacarvalhodesign.
Thanks so much for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast today. I’m very excited. We have Laura Elyse Hart with us today. She is 29 years old and lives in beautiful Doncaster East, Melbourne, Australia with her two children and a cat and a dog. She started her own design company almost four years ago, after realizing she wanted to put her creativity into a career and have the flexibility to stay home with her children while doing what she loves. Laura’s interests include painting, reading and anything DIY. Hi, Laura, thanks so much for being with us today.[LAURA]:
Thanks for having me. [SAM]:
Yeah, it’s great. So, can you tell us a bit about your story and how you ended up in branding and design? [LAURA]:
Okay. Well, a few years ago, I started my own cake decorating business, and I was creating the website myself and business cards and the whole design aspect of that. And I guess that’s what made me realize I really enjoy the branding side a bit more than the actual cake decorating side. I used to also design invitations for my kids’ birthday parties, stuff like that. And yeah, I can’t really remember the moment that I decided I wanted to get into it, but it just gradually happened over the years. And then one day I decided to start my own shop and became a full-time business. [SAM]:
Awesome. That’s so interesting. So, you were initially doing cake design and then landed up in graphic design? [LAURA]:
Yeah, because I enjoyed the website design part of it a bit more. The advertising. [SAM]:
Yes. That’s awesome. So, what is it that you love about what you do? [LAURA]:
I love the creativity. I love the flexibility that I can work from home. I can work around my children. I love helping other businesses get off the ground. Yeah, it’s really inspirational to see other businesses just starting off and then yeah, branching out and getting bigger and it’s… I just I really enjoy the creative side of it mostly. I’m very creatively minded. [SAM]:
Yeah, I think it’s awesome that we get to give entrepreneurs the confidence to go out into the world and do what they love doing just because they’ve now got a fully-fledged brand to surround them. [LAURA]:
That’s right. It helps them feel a bit more professional and a bit more ready. [SAM]:
Yes, absolutely. So, I always ask designers that I have on this podcast to share their perspective on branding. So, what are some points that you can share about your thoughts on branding and design? [LAURA]:
Firstly, I would definitely suggest that less is more when it comes to branding. Busy and overwhelming branding doesn’t always look as professional. So, definitely, I would suggest less is more. You want your brand to be more memorable and not too overwhelming for people. I’d also suggest that your logo and branding should reflect what you do or what your business offers. You want your customers to sort of feel, from your branding, feel what it is that you do. I would also suggest that consistency is key when it comes to branding. You need to keep it quite consistent over your social media channels, email, website. So, when customers look you up on your website, or Instagram or your Facebook, it’s all quite consistent over all the different channels. [SAM]:
Yeah, I think that’s really important. And I love what you said about less is more. I always, just as a challenge for myself, keep the logos in mind that have done so well over the years. Like, for example, the Apple logo. It’s such a simple concept. And often I find that it’s actually a challenge to keep things simple when you’re designing, especially a logo. But it’s so true that those are actually the ones that are the most impactful at the end of the day. [LAURA]:
That’s right. And it is such a challenge, like you say, especially because as a designer, you get so many ideas. [SAM]:
And it’s hard to sort of narrow it down and make sure you don’t go too overboard when putting all of your ideas together. [SAM]:
Yeah, absolutely. I often find myself designing a logo and then actually spending a lot of time taking away a bunch of stuff… [LAURA]:
That’s right, I do the same thing. [SAM]:
…before I get it down to its final… yeah. And I also read something at one point that said, your design is complete once there’s nothing to add to it or to take away from it specifically. And I thought that to be quite profound as well because there are sometimes designs out there that you look at and you think, geez, it doesn’t really need all the extra little details or things around it. It was actually better if it was… Yes, it would be better if it was simplified. [LAURA]:
That’s right. [SAM]:
And I think that’s just a way that design is going, just in general. Even with websites and everything, is a much more minimalistic approach. [LAURA]:
Yes, it’s quite popular these days, the minimalistic style. So, I’m very happy about that. [SAM]:
Yes, me too and yeah, just more whitespace and less information. So yeah, I think that’s really awesome. [LAURA]:
Great. So, if business owners were to take action on improving their brand, what are some of the first things that you think they should look at? [LAURA]:
The first thing they should look at is definitely their logo and their website. The logo is the heart of your branding, and most of the time your website is the first thing that your customers will see when they search for you. So, a messy or unprofessional looking website can really put customers off right away. So that’s definitely the most important thing, is you need to have a clean, easy to understand, easy to navigate website, because that will give people the first feel of what your business is. And it’ll be their first impression, really. [SAM]:
Yeah, and I think we’re always reiterating to our audience exactly that, the importance of websites, because I think, for a while, counseling practices relied more on mouth to mouth networking, or attending events and things like that. But obviously, just with the way the world is going, online marketing is becoming more and more important. And I think exactly what you said there, that people form their impression about your business, whether the ultimate service that you’re offering has anything to do with online or not, their first impression will be based on your website and what your website looks like. [LAURA]:
That’s right, and the feel that they get from it right away. [SAM]:
Yes, and I know I chatted about this in a previous episode, but ensuring that the look and feel on your website is the same as the look and feel that is evident in your office, and running that through your entire brand. [LAURA]:
Yeah. And we were just discussing how, you know, branding is so much more than just designing a logo or picking colors. It’s to communicate who you are to your target audience. [LAURA]:
That’s right, so important. [SAM]:
So, what is the process that you make use of when onboarding a new client who is seeking a rebrand or just a new brand for some design work? [LAURA]:
Well, the first thing I do is I send my customers a logo questionnaire to fill out and that just has questions for them to answer to help give me an idea of their business, the services they offer, and the feel and the style that they’re wanting to portray with their branding. So that definitely helps to get started, is that logo questionnaire. [SAM]:
Yes. So, do you feel that a lot of people struggle with that – that they aren’t really able to articulate what it is they actually do want? [LAURA]:
Some do, yeah. And that it does make it a bit harder for me as well because I have to [unclear]. I mean, one of my questions is, describe their business to me. So just basically, what are the services that you offer? What are you selling? What do you do? And at least if I have that, I can use my imagination to how I would want it to feel if they’re not too sure, and then they get options. Usually, if the customer is not too sure, I do give my customers six different options to begin with. And if the customer’s not too sure, I’ll do quite different options. So then when you first see it, it will give them an idea: I don’t like this, I do like this sort of thing. [SAM]:
Yes, because I’ve definitely found that with some of my clients as well that they’ll struggle with that initial questionnaire. But it’s almost like when they see it, I think some people are maybe just more visual and struggle to visualize things until they’ve actually seen it. And then when they see it, they’ll be like, Oh, no, I don’t like that or, ah, yes, I do like that or, let’s move more in this direction. But I always say that it makes our jobs a lot easier, the more information they give us from the get-go. [LAURA]:
It does, definitely. It makes it a lot harder when the customer is not too sure. You really have to suck your thumb; use your imagination. [SAM]:
Yes, but I enjoy that as well. It’s also a bit of a challenge, I think of what we do is trying to immerse yourself in that person’s industry and target audience and trying to kind of think what is going to appeal to them? [LAURA]:
That’s right. And if you were that person, what would you be wanting to portray, for your business, what are you wanting to portray to other people? Yeah, it is a challenge. You know, it’s interesting. [SAM]:
It’s always a victory when you get it right as well. Cool. So, what can our audience expect from working with a designer? [LAURA]:
You should expect someone who wants to understand the feeling of your business and the feeling that you want to express to your customers. Obviously, they should expect good communication and somebody who can give you options if you’re unsure. And yeah, just somebody who’s willing to work with you to really understand what it is that you want your customers to feel. [SAM]:
Yes, great. I think that’s fair. So, what are some design trends that you are in love with at the moment? [LAURA]:
Obviously, I’m in love with the simplistic minimalist trend at the moment. Yeah, like you say, some of the best logos are the most simple logos, yeah, they’re so effective and memorable. I do love rose gold with black. I’ve always loved rose gold. Yeah, just some of those design trends. I love blush. If you look on my Instagram, my website, I’m very much into blush tones and pinks. The sort of feminine style. [SAM]:
Yeah, I love that. Okay, so yeah, you mentioned that your typical design style’s obviously the more feminine, blush, rose gold sort of thing. And do you find that, because of that, you’re obviously attracting clients who are into that style as well? Or do you find that you…? [LAURA]:
Absolutely. About probably 90% of my customers are women who are starting businesses. And the reason they come to me is that they love my feminine, soft design style. I don’t get many male customers or… I do here and there, and it’s a nice challenge to do something that steers away from the feminine style that I usually have. But yeah, the majority of my customers are women in business. [SAM]:
Yes, that makes sense. So, for all the female listeners out there, this is for you. And so how important do you think brand style guides are to a company’s branding? [LAURA]:
Oh, very important. Particularly for someone who isn’t familiar with design rules, it makes it a bit easier for a client to get started – having a branding style guide is handy. If you have a color palette, the fonts that will work with your logo, then you can incorporate it all into your website and other branding. So, it really is important for consistency across the board. Like I said before, consistency is so important. [SAM]:
Yes, absolutely. And so, your process that you mentioned earlier, then once you’ve finalized the logo, then is your next step usually a brand style guide? And is that included in the package? Or is that something that the client needs to pay extra for if they’d like? [LAURA]:
Well, I do have a few different packages. If it’s just the basic custom logo design package, then it’s just the logo and watermarks. But I do have other packages that include branding designs, like business cards, social media designs, and with those packages, I include the font information and the color information, the color palette, so that they can go and incorporate that into their website or any other branding that they do. [SAM]:
And what is your most favorite project that you’ve worked on to date, and why? [LAURA]:
My most favorite project? I honestly… I don’t really know if I can choose one – I love all the projects that I do. I get a lot of satisfaction from the branding I’ve done for some cafes, hairdressers, clothing boutiques, places that have stand-alone shops. I love seeing the logos that I’ve created up on a giant shop-front sign. That gives me a lot of satisfaction. [SAM]:
Yes. That’s great. So, if anybody in our audience wanted to connect with you, Laura, how can they go about doing that? [LAURA]:
You can connect with me via my website and I’m also on Instagram. I talk to a lot of customers on Instagram. But yeah, just my website, there’s a contact form – anyone can contact me via that. [SAM]:
Awesome. So, what is that URL specifically? Just so our audience knows. [LAURA]:
My website is www.lauraelysedesigns.com, and my Instagram is just @lauraelysedesigns dot com… or not dot com, sorry, just @lauraelysedesigns I mean. [SAM]:
Awesome. And we’ll have all that information in the show notes as well. And I believe you’ve got a gift for our audience as well. Can you tell us a bit about that? [LAURA]:
Yes, a 10% off coupon if anybody wants to purchase a premade logo or branding package, I’ve got a 10% off coupon – 10OFF is the coupon code. [SAM]:
Awesome. I’ll have that information available in the show notes, and I’d really encourage our audience members to go and check that out. Laura’s got some awesome pre-made templates for business cards and logos and things like that. So definitely go and check that out if you’re just starting out in private practice. So, Laura, if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know? [LAURA]:
I would want them to know that your branding is so important when it comes to conveying the feeling of your business and your professionalism. So, it’s definitely not something to be skimped on if you’re wanting to draw your customers in. [SAM]:
Awesome. Very, very good point to end on. So, thanks so much for being with us today, Laura. [LAURA]:
Thanks for having me. [SAM]:
And I’m sure that our listeners are gonna get a lot from this. [LAURA]:
Thanks for having me. [SAM]:
Thanks for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast. If you need help with branding your business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand, or you simply want to have a print file designed, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram @samanthacarvalhodesign.
Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests, are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.