Creating a stand out Wedding brand with Emily Foster

Show notes:

How can you ensure that you have a brand that stands out amongst your wedding business peers? Is your brand attracting the right kind of wedding couples? How important are colours when it comes to your wedding brand?

Today I’m chatting with Emily Foster Creative about all things branding for your wedding business. Emily specialises in creating branding and websites for wedding professionals to help them attract their ideal couples.

Whether you are just starting out, considering a rebrand or want reassurance that you are on the right path, this episode is for you.

Grab a copy of Emily’s free colour guide resource

Visit Emily’s website

Find Emily on Instagram

Time Stamps:

Feeling Burnt Out (00:00:00) Recognizing signs of burnout and the need to niche down further or rebrand.

Introduction and Background (00:00:30) Introducing the podcast and the guest, Emily Foster, a branding and website designer.

Personal Background and Career Journey (00:01:19) Emily Foster shares her journey from working in agencies to starting her own branding and website design studio.

Importance of Branding (00:04:47) Discussion on the comprehensive nature of branding beyond just logos and colors.

Examples of Strong Branding (00:06:01) Examples of strong branding from big corporations like Coca-Cola and Starbucks.

Common Branding Mistakes (00:08:39) Identifying common branding mistakes made by wedding professionals and how to avoid them.

Importance of Business Name (00:14:09) Discussion on the significance of business names and their impact on branding and SEO.

Humorous Anecdote about Business Names (00:18:23) An amusing anecdote about the similarity between wedding business names and strip club names.

Assessing Branding Effectiveness (00:19:04) Determining when it’s time for a brand refresh based on confidence and other factors.

Feeling Insecure in Your Business (00:19:14) Recognizing signs of needing a rebrand, like insecurity in showing off your business and pricing surprises.

Attracting the Right Clients (00:20:35) Identifying the need to niche down or rebrand to attract the right clients and avoid burnout.

Alleviating the Fear of Change (00:22:17) Addressing the fear of rebranding and the benefits of intentional brand direction and launch strategy.

Color Psychology and Branding (00:26:16) Exploring the influence of colors on emotions and actions, and the intentional use of color in branding.

Choosing Brand Colors (00:29:25) Discussing the process of selecting brand colors based on brand strategy and client preferences.

Future-Focused Branding (00:34:33) Designing a brand for future business goals, considering long-term objectives and elevating the brand.

Challenges of Rebranding (00:37:20) Managing expectations and recognizing the time and effort required for a rebrand to yield results.

SEO and Domain Transition (00:39:21) Becca discusses the impact of domain name changes on SEO and the importance of proper transition strategies.

Setting Boundaries (00:40:33) Becca and Emily share insights on the importance of setting boundaries in business and the impact it has on productivity and client expectations.

Connecting and Resources (00:42:04) Emily shares her contact details and a brand colors freebie, discussing how it can help in DIY branding and color psychology.

Closing Remarks (00:43:11) Becca reflects on the conversation with Emily, urging listeners to consider rebranding and seeking help to move their businesses forward.

Transcript:

Emily: If you are constantly feeling burnt out in your business, and it’s not because you overcommitted, or you are doing too much for your clients, or something like that, it could be because you’re not enjoying the people that you’re working with. And if that’s happening consistently, then it could be a sign that you need to niche down further, or get clearer about the types of couples that you want to work with.

And that could mean a rebrand, it could mean a name change potentially too, and maybe restructuring your services and pricing and details like that. I’m

Becca: Becca Pountney, wedding business, marketing expert, speaker, and blogger. And you’re listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level.

If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what you love, then you’re in the right place. Let’s get going with today’s episode. Today, I’m chatting with Emily Foster, a branding and website designer based in Portland in the USA.

Emily is passionate about helping creative business owners shine, and she believes that every website should start with strategy. When Emily’s not working, you’re more likely to find her watching Friends or Schitt’s Creek, or even reading a book. I’m looking forward to talking all things branding with her today.

Emily, welcome to the podcast. Hi, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here. Now before we start, Schitt’s Creek, I absolutely love it. I was a little bit of a late adopter to the show, but oh, it’s so good. I’m so sad it ended.

Emily: Yeah. Flat and it’s like, oh, I’ve never heard of that before.

Becca: No, we love it. Well, I particularly love it here. So if you’re listening to this and you haven’t watched Schitt’s Creek yet, go find it. I think it’s on Netflix. Go find it. It’s such a good, feel good show, but you will be sad when it’s over. So that’s, that’s a pre warning because I would, I wanted the series to go on forever.

Emily: Yes, it’s a good like rewatch show. That’s what like Friends and Gilmore Girls and a couple other shows are for me too.

Becca: Awesome. Okay, right. Back to business. Otherwise, I’ll be talking to you about Netflix TV shows all day. What I always do when people come on as a guest to the podcast is I think it’s important for people to understand where they came from and where they’ve got to today.

So I would love you to just take us back a little bit and tell us how you ended up getting to where you are now. Yeah.

Emily: So I run a branding and website design studio now for Wedding Pros. If you haven’t heard of me before and I got started in design almost a decade ago now. Basically I majored in business and art at college or university and kind of took both paths and put them together into the design.

So when I went down that path, I worked in agencies for several years. I even worked like in an event marketing agency. Designing all kinds of like digital design, print, branding, website design, kind of everything you could think of that a graphic designer would do. And then actually during COVID, a year in, I like kept my job for that long.

And then it was just like the impacts of COVID on the business. I ended up getting laid off and I felt like it was a really good time to pivot. I don’t know if everyone listening can relate, but in the U. S. we only have two weeks paid time off at most corporate jobs and just like a very big, like lack of flexibility.

So that wasn’t something that I really enjoyed about working for someone else. And I always kind of had that entrepreneur mindset. So when I had that kind of turning point, I used it to dive even more into freelancing, which I was kind of already doing. And then that turned into running my own branding and website design studio.

And I started planning my wedding about a year later and it was a good time to niche in with the wedding industry because I was becoming more and more familiar. I had always kind of been a wannabe event or wedding pro. I had done like a little bit of event planning and had kind of dreamed of being a wedding planner and then like I filmed a wedding in college.

So I think it all just came together, like all of these different threads of my career to becoming a brand and website designer.

Becca: I love that. And I love it. Because the wedding industry is such a special place to work with. It’s full of so many great people. And I think if you can find a space doing what you love in that niche, it’s just such a great, positive, happy place to be.

And I’m sure you get to work with some amazing wedding pros now as you’re building their brands and building their websites. So let’s talk a little bit about branding because I think quite often when people think about branding, maybe they think about a or maybe some brand colors. But from your perspective, when we talk about building a brand, how would you describe what that means?

Emily: Yeah. So I would describe it as the visual voice of your business. Like when we talk about the brand messaging of your business or like the brand tone, we often think of like the words and the language that you’re using around your business. your branding does encompass that. But then the branding design aspect.

everything that your ideal clients are seeing with your business. So your social media profiles, your website, business cards, client merch, or like client gifts that you’re giving out. And then it’s everything that you also are making an impression on with vendor partners, partnerships that you make in your business and everyone else in your community.

So. Really, it’s developing the whole essence and vibe that you’re giving off with those materials. So your logo and your colors certainly do play a big part in it, but there’s so much thoughtfulness and strategy that goes into making sure that it’s all consistent and speaks to the right people. I think that’s a really helpful description.

Becca: Now I haven’t asked you this question in advance, so it may take you a moment to have a think, but when you think about big corporations, big brands, are there any big brands that stand out to you personally that you can kind of use to demonstrate why and how they’re such a strong, powerful brand?

Emily: Yeah.

I know that we are probably going to be talking a little bit about color psychology. So two that come to mind, a big one is Coca Cola because I think everyone around the world can pretty much recognize the Coca Cola red, and I don’t remember if they actually have it copyrighted, but it’s like a very specific Pantone color that they use over and over, and they actually have done rebrands over the years, so they don’t necessarily have the same logo that they invested in like 80 years ago, I think that’s how long they’ve been around, but they have done transformations over time.

But their business has always kind of had that aspect of a little bit like magical, a little bit whimsical, fun, lively, energetic kind of feel to it. So that’s what we look into when we’re developing clients brands. Another one that I give an example of is Starbucks. Same kind of thing, like you’ve seen changes in the logos over the years.

I was actually in Seattle last weekend at like the, original starbucks location and like they have like the it’s more of that mermaid kind of shape to it even though the current logo does have that it’s like very much like more of that like authentic like kind of hand done feel i think to it so the logo has evolved over time and even the colors a little bit but that use of a lot of the green and white and like that clean A little bit like raw authentic kind of vibe to their branding carries that through everything that they do like through their stores through like the cups through all of their merchandise so that like you’ve probably seen things where people kind of rip off their logo like like a t shirt redesign or a mug or something that’s like using a logo but they like turn starbucks into saying something like dog mom or something like that.

So that’s an example of like how strong branding can be when culture starts to reuse it for other things basically. So I think that both of those examples point to a lot of consistency and then also the strategy and feeling that those brands are giving.

Becca: Yeah, so true. And the recognizability of them as well.

You’re right. I mean, I use Coca Cola myself as an example of good marketing all of the time. And I say, you know, Children really young can recognize a bottle of coke, whether that’s right or wrong. It’s definitely true. And you see it all around the world. And actually, yeah, if they change the color or they changed the bottle, people maybe wouldn’t recognize it as much.

So yeah, I love both those examples. Now thinking about the wedding industry. You probably have worked with all sorts of different wedding pros, maybe even venues within the wedding industry, and I’m sure you’ve seen it all. So I would love to know, what are some of the common mistakes you see wedding pros making when it comes to their branding?

Emily: Yeah, number one, I feel like there’s so many that we could list. I’ll try to keep it down to like three to five, but number one is people believing that their brand is just a logo. So thinking like, okay, I just need a new logo and then I’m going to put that on everything and it’s enough. And kind of to the point of like us talking about Coca Cola and Starbucks, like it’s not just the logo, like their logo has even changed over time, but it’s that whole brand essence that you’re supposed to put out there.

So. For a lot of small businesses, especially in the wedding industry, it looks like having a logo suite. So different variations that you can use across all of your materials, having a consistent color palette and consistent use of typography. That’s very strong and has a good contrast. And then also maybe additional assets like illustrations or icons and patterns and other elements that you can use.

So patterns could be used on like tissue paper for your client gifts or the background of your website. Sites or social media graphics, I’m kind of usually explaining that to people when they inquire because there’s all these elements that people don’t really think about. When you think of a really strong brand, you might not even notice them because it’s just so well done, but those kind of assets can extend the brand.

And then also making sure that everything is like refined on your website and other marketing. So that’s number one is believing that your brand is just a logo. The other one is believing that you have to have like this like light and airy beige or like white and light blue aesthetic to be a successful business owner in the wedding industry.

And that’s just not true. That’s something that I’m actually really passionate about because I know that there are a lot of like brand designers out there in the space who are also niched in the wedding industry like me and they kind of just do the same style every time for their client without necessarily thinking through the strategy of what their client needs and the ideal client and everything and I really try to break out of the box and make every single brand for my client different in many ways in terms of the color palette we’re using and the approach and everything So If we work together, we can essentially work with whatever makes sense for your brand strategy, whether it is that beige and kind of light and airy feel, if it makes sense for your clients in the direction that you’re going in, or if it’s like dark and moody or bold and colorful or Some kind of combination of any of that.

So I think the kind of misconception is that you can’t use color or that you have to like fit into this mold in order to be able to raise your prices and be successful with your branding in the industry. And then I think the third one. would be talking too much about your expertise and yourself and like putting the focus too much on what it is you provide in terms of your services.

So that shows up in a lot of ways. I see a lot of photographers doing this when they include like a camera or even a lot of wedding officiants. to calligraphers to planners. I see like wedding dresses being used in logos or wedding rings or like diamonds other kind of like wedding kind of cliche things because we think that since we’re niched in an industry that we have to show that that’s what we do or there’s such a focus on their website talking about the services that they offer.

So it shows up in a couple ways but instead of doing that you should really be focusing on the goal and the end result that you give your clients. So what it is that they’re looking for from you, and it’s not your services actually, it’s some kind of solution to their problem. So if you’re a planner, they’re not actually looking to pay thousands of dollars for wedding planning.

They’re looking to pay thousands of dollars to feel relaxed on their wedding day and to not have to have a second full-time job while they’re planning their wedding . So those kinds of things and it’s going to vary for every planner, obviously. It’s not just that general for everyone. It depends on.

the level of the market that you’re in, your pricing, the kind of couples that you’re trying to attract, the style of your work, all of these factors. But getting really clear on your brand story and your brand story is the story that your clients are a part of. So there’s this book called Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller, and he does a good job of talking about this of like how your clients.

are the hero of the story, and you are kind of like the guide helping them, where I think when we first get started in our branding, it’s very easy for us to make our brand story like our experience and our mission and our values, but no one at the end of the day really cares about that except for us.

So just putting the focus more on your clients versus yourself in all the elements of your branding. Just to recap that would be not focusing so much on your logo and making sure that you’re focusing on the brand as a whole, and then not feeling like you need to fit into the mold not being afraid to try basically different styles that might align with your clients or your brand, and then not making your brand so much about you and your services, but more about your ideal clients.

Becca: All really, really helpful tips and advice. One question I have for you is how important do you think a business name is? Because quite often I come across people who have started out their wedding business. Maybe they’ve gone for one of those real cliche names for their business, and they’ve kind of got to a point where they’ve got a reasonably established brand.

And now they’re thinking maybe they need a rebrand, but actually maybe they need a rename. Do you think that the name of your business is important to the success of your brand?

Emily: I do. Yeah. So I think that there’s a branding importance to it in terms of how people are perceiving you and your business.

And then I think that there’s also it realistically like an SEO technical element to it. So if being found on Google or other search platforms is important to you, then. Yeah. having a name that could realistically show up. So for example, you wouldn’t necessarily these days want like wedding pro in your name since wedding pro is such a big business.

Like number one, you probably can’t use that exact wording because of trademarks and copyrights and everything, but you wouldn’t want to have like, it to be Luxury Wedding Pro or something like that because you’re always going to be ranking under Wedding Pro on Google. So that’s a factor to think about is like how creative and common is the name and finding some happy medium where it can still be memorable in people’s minds but where it’s not so cliche that other people might have a similar name.

There’s kind of the legal factors of that if you don’t want it to sound too similar where you might. get approached for like trademark infringement, but then you also don’t want it to sound so similar because of technical SEO. One thing that I see a lot of wedding pros getting hung up about though with names is that they can’t use their own name or that they have to use a general name and I think it honestly can go either way.

So, I’ve seen people recommend like if you are planning to have a team someday then don’t go with your name but I really don’t think that matters because like we see brands like Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade and like all of these brands where it was never Probably never just them like maybe in the early early days, but obviously it’s no longer just them them.

And that can be true of your wedding business too. And I see wedding businesses flourish where they have maybe even up to 10 team members, but they’re still using their first and last name. Like I could just say like my business name is Emily Foster creative. And I did get warnings from like some people to not use that name when I started, because if I have a team, then it wouldn’t fit.

But I think for me and my approach for my own business, I chose it because no matter what, even if I do sort of take some kind of step back in the future and I’m not doing all the work myself, like people are still getting like Emily Foster creative ideas and they’re getting like my experience fleshed into the process.

So. That’s something to consider for your business too, is you don’t have to be afraid to use your own name, but also if you did want to come up with a name that might sound a little bit more like an agency, but it is just you, then that’s okay too. You just kind of want to keep your ideal clients in mind, and then also, the rareness of the name.

Becca: Yeah. And I think it’s such a funny discussion really around whether you should use your own name or not and all of that kind of thing, because I think it can work both ways. So for example, for me, I used to go under a different name for my business, but no one ever remembered that. And all they ever remembered was my name.

So I thought, well, I might as well just. Brand under my own name, because that’s what people remember. They remember the person they remember the person they’ve met. So it doesn’t always work that well to not have your name in the business either. So I think you’re right. It’s definitely a personal decision, but there’s definitely a lot of cliched names out there in the wedding industry, though, Emily, isn’t it?

And we see them all the time. And we had a little, we had a little in joke. I’m going to tell you a little secret, Emily and podcast listeners today. So I have a membership for wedding pros and a couple of years ago, we had a bit of an in joke because during the pandemic, We had a virtual Christmas party and quite often I talk about how for some reason businesses have these really weird cliche names in the wedding industry and everyone is the same bells and diamonds or whatever it is.

And so we played a game online in this Christmas party where I took names of stripped people Clubs in America and names of wedding businesses are muddled them up and people had to guess whether it was the name of a strip club or the name of a wedding business. And I can tell you now that they are very similar.

That’s a very difficult game to play. So if anyone wants a bit of a joke, have a look at how similar wedding business names are to the names of strip clubs, because things like platinum and lace, well, that’s actually a strip club here in London, but also sounds very much like it could be a wedding business.

Yes.

Emily: Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. I was like trying to think of like strip clubs in our area that we passed by and I’m like, one is like the gentlemen’s club, so it probably wouldn’t work, but I, that would be such a fun game to play, especially for a group of wedding pros.

Becca: Yeah, maybe I need to trademark my game.

But it is, it is a lot of fun, but it, it brings home that point, doesn’t it? That there is actually a lot in a name and we do need to look at it. And actually when we do have a rebrand or a new website, it can be a good time to look at changing your name at that point as well. So on that similar kind of theme, how do we know as a business whether our branding is working for us or whether it’s time for us to have a refresh with our brand?

Emily: Yeah, there are also a lot of ways in this. So one thing that I say first, and I think this is one of the biggest ROI results that clients see too, is confidence. So my clients after they do a rebrand will immediately like just feel so much more confident in their business. So it’s a sign that you need a rebrand if you are scared to show off your business.

And if you find yourself like, kind of delaying sending someone your website or like, let’s say that you go to a wedding show or a networking event and someone asks for your website link and you just send them to Instagram instead. That’s a very common one in the industry, I think, because maybe your Instagram is more curated or that’s, that’s number one.

And then number two is if you are constantly getting on sales calls and people are surprised by your pricing, which could mean that they either are shocked that your prices are so high or they are like kind of excited because they feel like they’re getting a good deal by working with you. So it could go either way and I’ve heard it.

Both sides from wedding pros, but if you are regularly getting inquiries that aren’t willing to pay your prices or they go with a competitor who maybe is charging a similar price, and this is happening over and over again, like, obviously, we’ll always run into people who think that we’re either too expensive or too cheap because pricing psychology is so low.

So, yeah. intricate, but if it’s a consistent pattern you’re seeing, then that could be a sign that you need a rebrand because people aren’t perceiving your value or you’re not attracting your most ideal clients and there’s some kind of disconnect there. The third one is that you’re either not attracting enough clients or the right clients.

So if you are constantly feeling burnt out in your business and it’s not because you overcommitted or you are doing too much for your clients or something like that, it could be because you’re not enjoying the people that you’re working with. And if that’s happening consistently, then it could be a sign that you need to niche down further.

get clear about the types of couples that you want to work with and that could mean a rebrand. It could mean a name change potentially too and maybe restructuring your services and pricing and details like that, which a lot of clients do during a rebrand too, by the way, is reconsidering their pricing, restructuring their like workflows and services and all of that.

So that would be if you’re not attracting the right clients and then also if you’re just not attracting enough clients. So, I often see newer businesses struggle with that. And that’s also why I like to work with wedding pros at every stage. So I still have like, show it website templates for people who are newer in business because there’s a point where I’m not going to recommend that someone spends like, 000 plus on a new brand and website because they’re new in business, but you still need something to make you look professional and have people trust you and basically have enough confidence to

reach out and

book

you.

I

Becca: think sometimes people know that they need a rebrand and they They are feeling those feelings. They’re embarrassed to show people their website and all of those things that we see all of the time. But then there’s a big fear in them about going through the rebrand. What happens if people don’t recognize me under the new brand?

What if it doesn’t work? What do you say to people to alleviate that fear of change?

Emily: Yeah. One great thing about this industry, and I was actually like in a sales summit this week where someone was talking, they gave us advice about a different topic, but. Usually your audience is changing every one to two years, so that’s a beautiful part of it.

Where if like Coca Cola were to rebrand, it would be a lot more difficult because they kind of have the same customers continuing to buy from them. Where you kind of get a little bit of a fresh start between seasons. So I would be less worried about it because of that reason. And then another thing to kind of feel better about a rebrand is that if you are very intentional about the direction you’re going in and intentional about the way that you launch your branding, then it will go more smoothly.

There is always going to be a little bit of time, kind of like when you launch a new website too, like there’s going to be like a little bit of kind of downtime where you will have to gain new traction with the brand, but it’s not like you’re starting over completely. And having a really good brand launch strategy can help with that, of like being able to develop a plan, like Before we even launch the brand, we’re going to start teasing that we have a new name and informing people.

And then as soon as we launch the brand, we will kind of give like everything a facelift, including the website, our Instagram profile, email signature, everything like that. And then also thinking about kind of like the technical details, like domain forwarding from your old URL to your new one Redirecting people to your new Instagram profile.

I see that mistake a lot with wedding pros Like they’ll do a rebrand and maybe they didn’t think of it or their designer didn’t tell them or something But they kind of just let their old Instagram handle die like they maybe don’t keep it anymore and then they have the new one but there’s nothing in their like profile saying that they used to be that business so there’s random confusion about like who they were before but then you still see like their old feed so that’s where it’s good to have like those transition graphics and posts.

like announcing the rebrand and then just keep your old handle too and announce it in the profile. So a lot of it is just communication based and making sure that your community is aware about it and it’s also an exciting opportunity for you to kind of like brag a little bit about the rebrand and like share like here’s our new identity and we’ve done all this hard work either with your own time investment or your financial investment and you can kind of

Becca: Yeah, absolutely.

And I think a brand can evolve over time as well. I think one thing is we can take heart from the fact like you said earlier that these big brands, you know, the Starbucks, the Coca Cola’s, they, they evolve. Then they’re not the same as they were on day one. If we go back and look at various parts of their brand, in fact, I was out for dinner on Friday night with some friends.

We went for a very high class dinner at McDonald’s and while we were in McDonald’s, we actually had this conversation where we were saying, you know, we’re all Remember when we were children and McDonald’s were all like red and yellow plastic. And now here in the UK, McDonald’s are like green interiors with wood paneling.

Like it’s so different to what it once was. Yet it’s happened over time and we’ve barely noticed that change.

Emily: Yeah, it has. And like, that’s also the great part about being like a huge business like that is you can kind of. change things over time where it’s a lot less effort for a small business because there’s only so many different things that you have to change like most wedding pros don’t have physical locations maybe unless you’re like a bridal shop or a venue or something like that so it is nice that You don’t have as much to transform, but people also, when done right, they, I don’t think they’ll feel as much shock to the rebrand as you think.

Becca: Yeah. So it’s about kind of holding their hand along the journey. And I guess when you’re working with someone like yourself, then you help people through that as well to help make sure that the transition. The transition is straightforward. Now, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about color. We mentioned it a little bit earlier about color psychology.

This is something that I find incredibly interesting and I’d love you to just talk to us a little bit more. Why are the choice of colors that we use. So why is it so important? And how should we go about thinking about what colors we go for?

Emily: Yeah. So the way our brain perceives pretty much everything that we see influences our feelings, which then influences our actions that we take because of those feelings and colors are a huge part of that shapes and contrast and other design elements are too.

So that’s something that we definitely take into consideration with like layout and the shape of your logo and the designs of that and everything. But with color there are so many studies like you could really I feel like do a whole college major on it and take like in depth classes about different colors and different studies in history and everything.

But it basically like each color makes people feel something and like even more specifically each shade of a color makes people feel something. people feel something. And so businesses for a long time have been using color to evoke certain reactions. For example, we were talking about McDonald’s the yellow and red create kind of this feeling and hunger for a lot of people and also like warmth and excitement and they’re energizing colors.

So that’s something that a lot of like fast food food chains and even food businesses in general have taken into consideration. But yeah, the biggest like root of color psychology and the way that we use brand colors is just being very intentional about the feelings that we’re evoking in people.

And then also the way that we are placing ourselves in the market. So there’s kind of a recognition with color as well. When we’ve seen color layouts used in one place, then we start to associate it with a certain feeling or direction or results. So an example is when you’ve seen like very clean design you could walk into a high end retail store and the space itself is very clean.

There’s kind of minimal color that an example is like Chanel or Louis Vuitton. You could also think of like clean websites that you’ve been on, like, Apple’s website, like very black and white and like clean kind of blocky design. So when you have those kinds of experiences, you think like very high end, pristine, more expensive.

And so that’s something that a lot of people in the wedding industry have used for a long time. Having like that clean minimalist feeling to their sites. So that’s one way to do it. You can also get even more intricate by bringing in other colors. And that, I think that is the reason that people lean towards that light and airy beige feeling because We’ve seen people do it successfully once or twice and then we do it time and time again, but it’s not always the one answer for colors with wedding businesses.

Becca: So when a client comes to you, a wedding client comes to you and they’re looking for a rebrand and a new logo and that kind of thing, and the question of color comes up, how do you work with them to work out what colors they want? Do you just say to them, what’s your favorite color? Or do you give them advice on colors?

Like how does that work? Because I think for the, the humble person that doesn’t know anything about color psychology and maybe doesn’t know anything about design, picking colors can be quite hard.

Emily: Yeah, yeah, it is, and usually it’s something that we get right pretty quickly with clients, but even then there’s sometimes like a little bit of back and forth.

I wouldn’t say that we ever like completely miss the mark with colors, but we might present a color palette to a client and they want just like a slightly lighter shade or like a more saturated shade of something. One thing I try to get clients to not do is to talk about color. They’re like, on our discovery call or like very, very early in the process.

So I will sometimes have clients like we’ll get on our initial call together before we’ve officially like signed to work together and they want to show me a mood board and like their aesthetic, which is totally fine. I do ask for that once we start the process, but I try to let people know that we shouldn’t get too hung up on specific design directions or colors until we talk through brand strategy.

So We start with brand strategy in the process, talking through your ideal clients, your brand archetypes, which are basically like 12 brand personalities that are used across all kinds of industries to evoke certain feelings and reactions in businesses. We talk about your pricing, market, positioning your goals and everything like that.

And then from there, I work on a mood board. And during the strategy phase, I also do, I kind of will ask if there are certain symbols or colors and elements that my clients enjoy. And then more specifically, I ask if there’s like any colors or symbols that they really hate or want to avoid using.

Sometimes people will have like specific colors and they really don’t want to use like orange or yellow or something like that. So we’ll talk through that on the call and have a good idea. I see. have a lot of options, even factoring those in. And the reason why I ask clients about that is because I don’t want to develop a brand that they are going to look at and hate every minute.

And so there’s a certain element of you want to appreciate your own branding, but there’s also kind of a space between you and the brand as well. So I’m not going to focus like if your favorite color is purple, I’m not necessarily going to put purple in the brand unless it makes sense for your audience.

And most of my clients already know that too. When we start working together, like they have an idea of what they want their brand to be, but their own aesthetic isn’t always incorporated into that. Like, I would say more so if they’re a photographer or something like or a florist than it is, but there are times where my client really loves like bright and colorful details, but really like the strategy is pointing to that they need something more neutral, and they kind of understand that too when we’re talking about their ideal client and the direction they want to go in.

So yeah, talking about like tastes. but more so strategy. And then with the mood board stage, I actually lead with color. So I think just the way I kind of design naturally is I’ll get inspired by colors first. And then I also approach like logo styles and typography styles, whereas some designers kind of start with black and white and then they design everything else.

But usually color palettes are like the first thing I’ll have together. And so the mood board shows Typically the final color palette that I’m presenting and then clients can give feedback during that stage. And then after the mood board, we’ll move into like logo designs and all the other brand assets.

Becca: I think it’s fascinating that so much of a brand is recognizable from the color and getting that right. I’d love to know, Emily, if you’ve got a brand color yourself that you use in your branding and why did you pick that?

Emily: Yeah, I use Blue a lot and one reason that I chose like a few different shades of it There was a personal reason to a certain extent like my birthstone is sapphire So I thought that was like a fun element to bring in but more strategically blue evokes the feeling of calmness and trust So that’s something that I wanted to choose.

I also, like, in working with the wedding industry, I wanted to have a more neutral palette to show off my colorful work, so there are just a couple pops of blue in my branding, but everything else is neutral, like golds and kind of like cream and pink. black colors. And I wanted the rest of like my colorful work to show off on my website.

So that was intentional, but having a little bit of color so that I wasn’t completely neutral because I don’t think that like fully aligns with my design style.

Becca: I find it fascinating. I think it’s really interesting, especially to hear from someone who is in to design as well. I actually have blue or turquoise blue is one of my main colors.

We call it the Becca blue. You can see the wall behind me is painted in it for them. For you, Emily, not for the listeners. They can’t see it, but people recognize that color. Now I’ve been using it since 2016. And now people do associate where they see it on my Instagram posts. They see that color and they know it’s likely to be something for me.

So it does work even in small businesses like ours. It’s not all just the big businesses that are recognizable by color. Now, one thing I heard you say, as we bring this interview towards a close, One thing I heard you say in another interview when I was doing some research for the episode was that your branding should be future focused.

And I thought this was really interesting. You were talking about branding to the future clients, not necessarily the clients you have today. I’d love if you could just talk to us a little bit about what you mean by that and how we should bring that into consideration in our businesses.

Emily: Yeah. So the reality, most clients aren’t looking to rebrand to stay where they are.

If they are, then like sometimes that works. Like they’re, some, I would say very rarely, but sometimes I have clients that are already attracting their dream clients and they just need a brand to kind of catch up with that. But usually even then they still have a goal of like, I’m attracting some of my dream clients, but I still am kind of getting these clients I used to get like three to four years ago, you know.

And I really want to be attracting more of my dream clients. So it’s still that goal of getting themselves to a future place where they’re no longer, let’s say, attracting like lower paying clients, but they’re only attracting those higher paying clients that they’re working with. Like, for example, a wedding planner might be booking some wedding coordination and some full service planning, but they really want to be booking just those full service planning clients.

So when I say designing a brand for like future you or your future business, I’m talking about. Thinking of your long term goals and the, realistically, the financial reason and the business reason that you want to rebrand and then you should communicate that with your designer and a good designer should also be asking questions about that.

So, on every sales call, I try to ask questions about like, why are you considering this right now? Like, why is this a good time to do your rebrand? What kind of goals do you want to accomplish with your rebrand? Because In truth, it’s not about the color palette and the logo designs and everything like that.

And that’s not really what we need to know right away, but we need to know, is it a good time to rebrand and what are the goals of that? So when you are designing your brand for future you, I’m basically meaning Thinking about the goals and the elevation that we want, like the results that we want to see so whether it’s to raise your prices or attract more or better clients or feel confident in your brand or hire a team, there are so many different layers that that could look like.

And I think people get stuck in. Repeating the same old thing that has worked. We kind of talked about like announcing a rebrand and preparing your audience for that. So that’s also another thing to keep in mind is to stop kind of playing it safe and be willing to make the changes in your brand and marketing to meet those goals.

Especially when you have like a true designer who’s using strategy guiding you through the process. Like having a little bit of trust and being willing to step outside of your comfort zone to see those results.

Becca: And in your experience from clients you’ve worked at, do you think it takes a little bit of time for that change to happen for that new clientele to find them?

Because I’ve seen a couple of people recently go through big rebrands and they are thinking about their future self and they launched that website live and a couple of weeks later they’re like, it’s not working. I’m not getting these new people in your experience. Does it take time?

Emily: Yeah, it definitely takes time and it depends on your business too.

It’s. A lot like SEO too, which is part of what we do, but you have to do the investment and set it up and use strategy, but then you also have to put in the work after. And I think that’s something that people forget. Same as investing in a coaching program, right? Like, You have all the knowledge and the foundation but then you’re going to still have to do something with that.

So with branding like you basically have the guide and the voice of your business now nailed down but then you have to apply that to your marketing. So I do see people do a rebrand and then they, I never see them active on Instagram or I will like basically see them not like making any connections.

Like you still have to go out and do that thing and like have that work to show but. People sometimes fall flat on that. So that’s something that takes time is continuing to market. And then another thing that takes time too is recognition. So it will take people time to recognize your new brand. And another reason too, that people might fall flat and not see the results that they want from a rebrand is that it just wasn’t done.

correctly, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything against you or the designer, but I will often see this for people who did their own rebrand. And actually I see it a lot for copywriters and website designers and brand designers, like in my space, kind of like some of my peers is they’ll do a rebrand, but everyone in their industry niche recognizes them as the old name and the rebrand maybe speaks more to who they are but it doesn’t speak more to their ideal clients.

So there’s that lack of recognition and connection. So often that’s just from like not understanding your ideal client enough and then there’s also Like, I see it when people switch from their personal name to more of a vague, like, agency name. They don’t do a great job of transitioning that, so people are like, oh, where did Becca go?

Like, she’s like, I don’t know, like, wildflower wedding planning now or something like that. So that’s something I see. And then also not transitioning things well enough. So. if you were getting like stellar seo before and then you change your domain name and you don’t redirect your domain people will see a huge decrease in seo results from that like to some extent you will see some decrease in seo rankings for a little bit with that but if you do it right with 301 redirect that’s one of the ways to help and then also that instagram tip that we talked about earlier In this space of designers and copywriters, I see a lot of people kind of losing business in that way because they don’t have the old profile pointing to their new one.

Is that too much information? This has been great.

Becca: This is fabulous. Emily, this has been so helpful. It’s been really great. You’ve shared so many tips and I know that the people listening will have Taken loads away from this conversation. So thank you for being so open, honest, answering all of my questions so eloquently and giving us loads and loads of tips along the way.

Now, I always end the podcast with the same question, which is this, what’s one thing you wish you’d known sooner in your own business?

Emily: I wish that I’d known that it’s okay to have boundaries around my time more. I’m just kind of getting into being very consistent with only booking meetings on certain days and not responding to emails immediately every time that I get them.

And I think wedding pros are guilty of this too. Like, of course, if I get an inquiry or if a client needs something like pretty urgently, or like I’m actively working on a project for them, I will respond quickly. But there was so much time in my business where I was working on other people’s schedules and not acting like the CEO in my business.

And so that’s something that I wish that I would have internalized sooner. What about you, Becca?

Becca: Oh, I, I feel the same as you. Boundaries is something that I’m learning about all of the time, and I’ve definitely got a lot better than I was. I still think there’s a long way to go. I still think sometimes I need to lock my phone away so that I don’t reply to things when I shouldn’t.

But yeah, it definitely, when we, when we put boundaries around us, we realized that many of the things that we were blaming other people for were actually our own fault. So when we moan about clients emailing us late at night or people wanting an immediate response. Actually, we realize it’s because we’ve trained them into those habits.

And when we start giving ourselves a bit of grace and giving ourselves some boundaries and giving them the boundaries, then all of a sudden life works a whole lot better. So I definitely agree with you there. Emily, if people want to find out more about working with you or connecting with you, where’s the best place for them to find you?

And I also believe you’ve got a bit of a resource for the listeners as well.

Emily: Yes. So you can find me at emilyfoster. com. emilyfostercreative. com for my website. You can also find me at emilyfostercreative on Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook. And I think I’m just like Emily Foster on LinkedIn, if anyone actually is there.

I feel like most wedding pros aren’t. And then I do have a freebie. It’s a brand colors freebie that you

That goes over color psychology further and basically teaches you some fun facts about these colors and gives you examples of popular brands that are using each color so you can get a feel for. How you might be able to build your own palette. And then it also has some tips about building your own palette too.

So if you are DIYing your brand for a little bit, it has some expert tips for that.

Becca: Amazing. I will make sure that I link to all of that in the show notes, that brand color guide, guide, as well as your details as well. If people want to find out more about the different services you offer. Emily, it’s been such a pleasure chatting with you.

Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for having me, Becca. What a fascinating conversation about all things branding and color. I hope you enjoyed listening to that as much as I enjoyed having the conversation with Emily. And if you are sat there thinking, yeah, maybe it’s time for a rebrand, then I urge you to do something about it, get some help and look at moving your business forward.

I’ll see you next time.

Becca xo

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