6 ways to make your brand more professional

If you're building a brand, you no doubt want your customers and clients to think you have it all together and can successfully deliver your product or service. Your brand's personality may be more serious, quirky, feminine, bold, and so on, but no matter your style, you probably don't want to be considered an amateur. Acting professional inspires confidence in your customers and clients, makes them willing to pay you more, and creates a better working environment for you. Your clients will trust you to get things done and delivered. There are a million and one ways to organize your business and develop the brand personality that works for you, and I'm not here to discuss whether pink is an acceptable brand color or if it's ok to have tattoos as a business owner. But, I have a few surefire ways to share that anyone could apply to building a professional business.

how to make your brand more professional | Dotted Design Studio
how to make your brand more professional | Dotted Design Studio

Create consistency in your visuals.

Building brand consistency is one of the best ways to step up your game. Develop your visual brand style, which includes selecting designated fonts, colors, and styles. Then, apply it everywhere: blog post graphics, social media posts, newsletters, emails, documents (like contracts or quotes), website, business cards -- you name it.

Creating this consistency means that as soon as someone sees your visuals, they will associate it with you brand. People love what is familiar, and they will grow to expect your style and connect it with your content. Plus, how neat is it to have a totally coordinated website and collateral? No Microsoft Word documents in Times New Roman around here, please. (read this post on consistency for more!)

Use correct grammar (please!).

Nothing irks me more or lowers my opinion of a company than seeing poor or totally incorrect grammar in emails, social media posts, or collateral. This does not mean that all your writing needs to formal or formulaic. Let your personality shine through, but (I beg you) do not do things like use an apostrophe in plural words or misuse their/there/they're.


Wrong: "Pineapple's are the best." Right: "Pineapples are the best."

Wrong: "I'm glad to be apart of this community." Right: "I'm glad to be a part of this community."

And, it's totally fine if you aren't sure about some of these grammar usage items. Get in touch with a copywriter or hire an editor to check on these things for you. There is a lot that spell check simply can't catch.

Feature strong writing and photography on your website.

This is related to both 1 and 2 above, but what will truly make you look legitimate and professional is great writing and consistent photography style. In writing, avoid things like using an exclamation mark at the end of every sentence, using a passive or wishy-washy style ("I think I could maybe help you, if you want"), or writing excessively long and unclear sentences. In photography, don't use selfies with duck faces. If you don't have the funds to invest in a professional shoot, borrow or rent a nice camera, and enlist the help of a friend or use the timer function. A uniform photo style will go a long way in your site's cohesion and up-level your brand.

Create a thoughtful client experience.

As you work with more and more clients, you'll develop a process that works well for you. Share this up front with your new clients! Thorough communication, a clearly outlined process, and clear expectations make everyone feel more comfortable and leads to happy clients. Give them an outline, a timeline, or a reference guide when they begin working with you, and they will both know what to expect and have a great first experience. You'll demonstrate that yes, you've done this before, and are a total pro in your field.

Use a pro URL and email address (no @gmail addresses).

Nothing screams "amateur" like asking people to email designcompany@gmail.com. Invest the few dollars a month it takes to set up email{at}yourdomain{dot}com. If you can't be bothered to invest in this, why should your clients bother to invest in you? It will take you from hobbyist to real business owner.

Support and share the work of others.

If all you ever talk about is yourself, people will find you selfish and dull after awhile. Same goes for business. If all you ever talk about is your latest ebook or blog post, you may not seem like a team player. Share a blog post from a fellow business owner, refer a client to someone else's services that you don't offer, or let your community know about a helpful product or app you've recently discovered. That good karma will hopefully help someone else share what you're doing as well, and those connections will only help your business grow. It's said over and over, but is oh-so true: community over competition.

What steps have you taken to make sure you appear professional? What do you struggle most with? I'd love to hear!