Spring is upon us — so what better time than now to discuss how to position yourself towards a beautiful brand?
We’ve already discussed how to pick the best platform for your website, as well as how to get more traffic to your site for free using a foundational SEO strategy. Now, whether you’ve had your website for a while and are feeling the need to redesign, or are putting a brand new website together, I’m bringing in a wonderful human to help you design your own head-turning online home for your business!
This genius is Natalie from Natalie McGuire Designs, a Designer & Digital Strategist in Portland, Oregon who makes beautiful, rad websites for purpose-driven solopreneurs. She’s the perfect person to teach you how to position yourself towards a beautiful brand!
She’s generously sharing with us a lesson from her DIY Websites That Sell Course (opening again this Spring!), including Pinterest boards (!!!), so you can learn via concrete examples and execute confidently. Without further ado, I’ll let Natalie take over from here.
How to Position Yourself Towards a Beautiful Brand
Guest post by Natalie McGuire, Designer & Digital Strategist
Those that know me best know I have a not-so-secret hatred for trendy design in all forms.
Other hatreds of mine involve beets (gross!), summer (too hot!), and the movie “Love, Actually.” But that’s neither here nor there.
And the thing about being a Web Designer & Digital Strategist is, it’s easy to get sucked into the latest design trend or style because, um, hello… PRETTY THINGS ARE PRETTY.
But, when your wrap your business visuals around a fleeting trend that’ll change in one year, or use photos, fonts, textures, patterns, and colors without a clear concept or strategy as to why you’re using them, you’re essentially treating your brand like an empty shallow aesthetic.
And when your brand is an empty shallow aesthetic, it’s not memorable. It looks like everyone else who’s hopping on the trend, too, and it’ll be out-of-date when the trend changes in a year. And who wants to change the look of their brand every year? What does that do for brand recognition?
As a Designer for more than 14 years now, I’ve learned that design is much more than a pretty picture or silly design trend. True beauty is a byproduct of intelligence. Meaning, there’s a concept, a story, a greater idea, or a strategic vision behind the design choices and how to position yourself that truly makes something beautiful, functional, and therefore, memorable.
When you have a strategy or a framework in place before you start making design choices, you ensure that you craft a memorable, authentic brand that is unique to you and the kind of business you want to be positioned as, completely separate from the competition. You change the conversation: You no longer pick the color red because you like red, or because everyone else is doing it. You pick red because it aligns with how you want to be perceived as a powerful, confident leader, bursting with passionate, forward-thinking adventurous ideas.
So, how do you visually stand out? How do you position your business towards a beautiful brand?
The first step in figuring out how to position yourself is learning how you and your business are already fascinating to your clients and customers.
Should be simple enough, right?
It turns out; there’s a test for that!
I’ve integrated this test with my branding and website design clients because I find once I know their results, I have an easier time designing a brand that not only fits them and their unique personality but attracts their ideal clients. Additionally, once my clients know what their results are, they have a framework in analyzing my designs and can make decisions about their brand materials much easier and faster than ever before in deciding what they want to move forward with or not.
So, what is this magical test? The Fascination Advantage is a personality assessment unlike all the others out there.
Instead of showing you how YOU see the world, this one is all about how the world sees YOU. When you take the simple (FREE!) 5-minute test, you’re assigned an archetype which reveals your dominant and dormant traits. Those traits are Passion, Innovation, Power, Prestige, Trust, Mystique, and Alert, and they’re arranged in 49 various combinations to reveal the specific way in which you fascinate others. Your report shows you situations in which your advantages can help you thrive.
You can dig deeper into the Fascination Advantage and its creator by checking out this video on MarieForleo.com.
If you wanna take the test for FREE, visit HowToFascinate.com/Get-My-Profile. To get a complete picture of your advantage, you can upgrade to all the special reports and videos if you’d like, but of course, that costs money. For our purposes, the free test will suffice. Sally also has a book out too which is helpful if you like to geek out on this stuff.
Oh, and P.S., I’m not an affiliate of Sally Hogshead, or The Fascination Advantage in any way. I’m just an avid fan!
So, what does this have to do with design and how to position yourself?
Here’s a visual example that corresponds to an archetype in the Fascination Advantage. This client of mine took the test and discovered she’s a Maverick Leader, which is dominantly a “Power” brand.
She’s pioneering, irreverent, entrepreneurial, artful and dramatic. Together, we created a design standard that speaks to those qualities. With a personal photo shoot, we got images taken where Michelle has a snarl on her face, fists pumping in the air, with her bright red hair and pierced nose. She’s a rebel leader through and through oozing confidence and leadership. You know she’s gonna lead you to somewhere great, fun, and you maaaaay get a little uncomfortable. Pops of red and a rugged distressed handwriting font adds that bit of grit and edge hinting at her unconventional rebellious ways.
Next, we have Patti Jensen Homes, a Realtor in Portland, Oregon.
Her dominate Fascination Advantage is “Prestige,” meaning she’s result-oriented, a trend-setter, ambitious and respected. We worked together to make her brand feel high-end yet down-to-earth. From professional photography with a focus on family and home to fresh, modern colors, to fonts that convey a sense of elegance, her brand standard of Nordstrom-meets-Target took shape to attract middle-class families looking for their forever home.
So, once you have your archetype, what do you do with it?
As you embark on designing your brand and website and think about how to position yourself, evaluate the design elements you choose based on if they feel like they align with the adjectives and observations revealed with your Fascination Advantage profile. For example, if “Power” is one of your advantages, I wouldn’t advise using a pastel color palette since that may appear to be too soft and passive. If “Mystique” is one of your advantages, I wouldn’t advise using the color red in your materials, as that’s a loud, powerful color.
Want to see some more examples of your archetype?
I went ahead and made Pinterest boards for each of the Fascination Advantages archetypes so you can see how the visuals of these brands take shape from a design and copywriting standpoint. You’ll notice there’s some overlap as certain brands complement each other nicely (Passion + Innovation really play nice together), but that’s okay. Notice what elements inspire you as you envision how you’d like your brand to take shape, and what your target audience is going to be drawn to.
- Passion Brands
- Innovation Brands
- Mystique Brands
- Power Brands
- Prestige Brands
- Trust Brands
- Alert Brands
This lesson is one of many that you’ll find in my DIY Websites That Sell course. Want to learn how to make more money with your website? Get my FREE 3-Day DIY Websites That Sell Mini-Course!
Award-winning Natalie McGuire creates web designs and digital strategy with beauty and brains for purpose-driven solopreneurs because she knows your website shouldn’t just be a pretty picture online. It should get results, too. She takes a design-meets-strategy fueled approach to her work, as she learned early on that she is only as successful as the results she’s gotten for her clients, like PBS, David Siteman Garland from The Rise to the Top, and Amy Porterfield.
She’s also a Mentor & Coach for other designers looking to level up the business side of their design business by showing them how to bring in more prospects, manage clients, balance their projects, master their design process and workflow, set income goals, and more.
Her Miss America Mantra: She believes the world is a prettier place when you make money doing what you love, and enjoy a few (ideally sour!) beers in the process. (Although IPAs are cool, too.)