By: Eden Hensley; Photos by Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit
When it comes to building a brand there are lots of choices we make consciously and unconsciously.
Our aesthetic, or principles that underlie and guide our work, can be loose (as in a mood board) or well-defined (as in a Brand Bible). But the more time we spend upfront on defining our aesthetic and thinking through it, the easier it will be to grow our team.
Wondering what exactly is your aesthetic? And what does it cover? Your aesthetic is your sense of style. Your voice. How you want your community to feel. What you want them to do after interacting with you.
Once you define how you want people to feel when they interact with you, you’ll have a better idea about the tone of your voice—conversational and informal or formal, whether or not we’ll use slang, and more. This in turn influences the graphics (color, logo, typography selection) you use and the content (web copy, social media updates) we produce. Taken together, your style, your graphics, and your content give your readers insight into your aesthetic.
If you’ve been creating online content for a while, chances are your aesthetic today doesn’t resemble what you started with. And that’s OK; as you grow, your aesthetic often evolves and changes.
Here are eight steps you can take to curate your aesthetic so that it reflects who you are today:
- Discover your visual aesthetic.
- Breathe life into the voice of your brand. Note posts that you’re especially proud of. Articulate why they make you happy.
- Identify your most popular content. (Use your site analytics to determine which pages have the greatest traffic.)
- Compare your older content with your current aesthetic.
- Determine if a rebrand makes sense for you.
- Create a plan for updating your content and reviewing with select community members.
- Write a style guide that represents your current aesthetic.
- Refresh your content. Start with your most popular content, update the photography, and check links and replace any that are no longer live. If your writing style or voice has changed, consider reworking your prose.
Join Us on Twitter and Chat
Join us this Wednesday September 30, 2015 on Twitter at 9AM PDT / 12 PM EDT / 4PM GMT to chat about how to find your aesthetic; how to curate your work and social media to reflect that aesthetic; how to communicate that aesthetic with brands and potential collaboration partners; and more.
Next week, October 4, 2015, don’t miss how to perfect your elevator pitch. Subscribe to our Events via Facebook page and get reminders for upcoming chats.
Topics that have been suggested and will be covered in upcoming chats are: Collaboration: The In’s and Out’s of Successful Partnerships; Newsletters: Building Your Subscriber List; Is Doing It All the New Having It All: A Tale of Balance and Time Management; Media Kits; Community: Building Online and Offline; and Mastermind Groups: Finding or Creating One that Works for You.
Have an idea not listed here? Comment below or send me an email.