Posted in Blogging, Business branding

A mini audit of my brand

For Day 2 of the free WordPress ‘Branding and growth’ course, the focus is on your brand and how your blog communicates what you are all about to visitors. It invites you to consider if the presentation of your site is consistent and focused and suggests you make one update to reinforce your brand.

I chose to make changes to theme but discovered that my current choice had become obsolete and retired from service! Therefore, in the end, I looked at alternatives and decided on ‘Scratchpad’ which seemed to suit my requirements. As well as changing the theme, I also created a custom header using Canva and added a lovely brush font for the blog title. I’m quite pleased with how it looks and hopefully, it will give readers an idea of the focus of my posts.

There are lots more changes I would like to make but I need to do more reading before I start to add further customisation. I hope you like the changes I’ve made so far. I would be interested to know if you have used one of your own photographs as the image for your header or if you chose an image from a copywrite free site like I did. I’m hoping to have my own image in place at some point but it always seems to be too dark for taking indoor photographs at the moment and it’s only Autumn!

Posted in Business branding, creativity, Planning and journaling, Selling on Etsy

I made a vision board for my Etsy shop: my brand and its core values in photographs

I don’t know about you, but I love looking at inspirational images and spend many hours each week perusing Pinterest, Google Images and pretty pictures in magazines. I also love using glossy photographs to create my vision board for the year. You can see my board for 2019 which I shared in a previous post here.

A while ago, I spent several days considering brand identity and core values for my Etsy business. My shop has been open for over two and a half years now but I wanted to make sure that my products reflected what my brand was all about. I worked on developing a list of adjectives which describe what I want to be at the core of my business. Then, alongside this, I chose a range of images which reflected my beliefs about what LJ Designs NE is all about. Below is a list of what I came up with (in no particular order of importance!) and a photo story of how I went about making my vision board some weeks later.

  • nature inspired
  • fun
  • fresh
  • creative
  • reflective
  • organised
  • delightful
  • peaceful
  • colourful
  • productive
  • playful
  • simple
  • compassionate
  • efficient
  • friendly
Over 40 images printed on photograph paper. Colour themes, ideas and inspirational messages included.

After spending a good while cutting the above out I had a very sore wrist and a big pile of gorgeous images.

When I’d finished cutting out all of my images, I laid them all out on the floor to see how much room they would need to be displayed. I then popped to The Range and bought an A1 piece of mounting board in a lovely charcoal grey colour and a large Perspex clip frame. I chose a Perspex frame as I’ve had issues with clip frames getting broken in the past and didn’t want a recurrence of this.

To ensure I was happy with the placement of the pics, I started by placing them onto the board with small pieces of Blu-Tak so I could play with the arrangement a little.

I did have the intention of using double sided tape to adhere the images permanently but in the end, I glued them on with Pritt Stick so that if I put them on a little wonky I could sort them out!

The finished board with all of the images glued on and the Perspex frame clipped in place.

I’m so pleased with how my brand vision board turned out and can’t wait to put it on display in my craft room / office. I hope you find it visually appealing too and agree that it reflects my key ideas about my little Etsy shop.

Have you ever tried a similar process for your handmade business? If not, I thoroughly recommend it. I had great fun and I now have a board full of beautiful pictures to remind me of what’s at the heart of my brand and to inspire me when I’m working in my craft room each day.