Hiya sunshine's! Welcome to the fifth instalment of my 8 part blog post series about starting your own business! As I am a jeweller this will mostly related to jewellery/craft based businesses but I have tried to add in things to help as many new businesses owners as possible! Branding is sometimes the last thing on people mind when it comes to a business, it definitely was for me, personally I thought only big companies like Chisolm Hunter could have a brand and not only have one but actually benefit from it. It was not until I started my Art Deco Collection that I realised having a brand would really help me establish myself as a jeweller. Here are my top tips for branding your business. 1. Logo - The first and easiest thing to try when dipping your toes into branding is finding a logo, logos come in a variety of ways from an icon, your business name in a certain font or a mixture of both name and icon. When it came to my logo I wanted something simple, I wanted an icon that people could see straight away and know it was Pop Up. I found my logo by using my first ever Art Deco design - the Diamond Necklace. It was a shape I could look at and remember the very start of Pop Up, it was also easy for me to draw and so I started adding this logo to all my packing. When looking for your logo think about what you want people to think when they see it, if your business is full of colour add lots of colour, if you business is very shape based add your most used shape. Whatever you use, you want to look at it and ask yourself ''Does this represent me?'' 2. Colours - Adding certain colours can also be a way to add branding to your business, if you find you use a certain colour a lot make that your main colour on your website, your business cards. Don't feel you need make your whole business card or website that colour, just add subtle hints of it here and there. Using certain colours also connect well with people, it can show emotion and people can get more of an idea of who you are just by simply adding a colour. For me my colours are black, white and grey. I am a minimal person, I am militant in the way I do things and I like everything straight to the point, reasons why these colours work so well with my brand (Also i'm a big goth at heart!) 3. Packaging - One great way of showing branding is through your packaging. In the colours section I mentioned adding your colour into your website and business cards, also do this with any stationary you have if you have a logo slap it on your business cards, if you have earring cards slap your logo and colours onto that earring card. Have a thank you note? You guessed it slap your logo and colours on that too. What you will find is everything will start to connect so when someone buys off you, you will have shown them your whole business and what you stand for all in one wee postal box or envelope. 4. Social Media - Right now your on my website reading this, if you look at the top of the screen what do you see? My logo, my font, my colours all in just the header, my whole branding right in front of you. If you go to my product images (I promise this is not a hard sales pitch!) You will see the product images all look the same, they all have the same style of theme to them. When you are using social media utilize your branding, have your colours and logo on the website, maybe use a certain background prop in your images. Whatever you feel like doing ask yourself ''Does this fit the brand?'' 5. Techniques & Collections (optional) - This is my most preferred way of branding, branding through my work. My main inspiration are Geometric shapes and working with sharp straight lines, so all my pieces connect in the sense they mostly reuse the same shapes, the same style of chain, the same two techniques, the same wire or sheet and the same finish (Although right now I have been experimenting with different finishes!) The reason I left this tip to last it that it isn't for everyone, I like to limit myself to the same techniques and style as it means I can really try and perfect those techniques as much as possible and I love the structure of working to a theme. But the down side of this is I don't always get to experiment and try new things! Some people prefer to use different techniques and materials and that is fine! It means you don't limit yourself to one thing. This tip was just for folk like me who like to work on the same techniques and materials over and over again! Before I go there is just one wee extra thing I wanted to mentioned about branding, don't feel as though the brand you have chosen has to be the same brand you stay with for the rest of your business career, if you find later down the line you fancy changing it then change it! You are the owner of your business, you call the shots and you decide what is best for your business and if that is a font or logo change then that is what you can do! Out of all the blog posts I have written so far this one has to be my favourite, I spent a lot of time working on my brand and still continue to work on branding so it is one of my favourite topics to speak about! Keep a wee eye out for my next blog post on ''Ways To Sell'' where I talk about how to start getting money into your business!