Barre Body and Bende founder, Emma Seibold, has launched a six-part start-up series that aims to help you take your idea from a seedling to a blossoming business. In this series, Seibold will share her journey, as well as the tips, tricks, and lessons she’s learnt along the way. Read on for part three, see part two here.
This practical 6-part guide to starting your side-hustle with soul will show you how to take your idea from a seedling to a blossoming business. Emma Seibold knows all about building a business from scratch. She started Barre Body on a shoestring budget with a 6-month old baby and now it’s a multi-million-dollar brand employing almost 100 women (and a man or two). In this series, Emma will share her journey as well as short-cuts, tips, tricks, and the lessons she’s learnt along the way to help you from whoa-to-go.
My university degree and professional background before starting Barre Body was in marketing, so creating a brand was my favourite part of the startup process. It’s also one of the most tangible as once you have some of the basics like a name, social media handles and a URL, your business dream really starts to take shape in your mind.
Whenever I am talking to people who are in the ideas phase of their business and they want to know where to begin, my advice is always the same. I tell people to start with a business/brand name. When I was thinking up Barre Body eight years ago, I spent quite a few days throwing different names around (Barre Body was almost Barre Yoga which feels so wrong now) and checking to see which URLs and social media handles were available. It’s a really great place start. Let’s explore some steps in creating your brand.
Choose a name
You might want to choose a name that clearly defines your business, for example if you wanted to sell custom baby bonnets, you might call your business Tiny Hats. This is pretty much what I did with Barre Body. Another popular method is to choose a word in a different language, or make up a word that embodies the vibe you are after. The name you choose will sometimes take a while to get used to. I didn’t love Barre Body at first, but I love it now.
Register a website domain name
This is also so fun and feels so good as it’s a very concrete step towards creating your business. I use both GoDaddy and Crazy Domains and you can’t really go wrong with either. It’s a good idea to check the domain name (and social media handles) before you decide on a name as you ideally want to get the .com.au for your business.
Set up your social media accounts
At the same time as choosing your name and website domain, you should check to see what social handles are available on the channels you want to use. The main focuses in Australia are Instagram and Facebook, but you might like to look at Pinterest, Twitter, SnapChat and others if you feel they will benefit your brand, product/service and audience. Choose the handles you want and then nab them before someone else does! You don’t have to start posting yet, but it’s important to secure good social media handles for your brand.
Design your logo
There are a plethora of resources for this nowadays. You can design your own logo in apps like Over and Easil, or you can opt to use a graphic designer. Find a freelancer through friends or your networks or use a website like 99Designs. You will need to be able to clearly articulate the style, colours and vibe you are after so make sure you find references of things you like to show to your designer. Step nine in this list (choose five brand words) will really help with this process.
First and foremost you should check the Australian trademark register to see if the name you want to use is already trademarked in your industry. If so, choose again; you do not want to have any legal battles in your future. It doesn’t matter how great a name you’ve chosen, it’s not worth it. If there isn’t already a trademark for your chosen name, it’s a good idea to trademark it. This will protect you against copycats and give you legal ownership over the name. It also protects you down the track if someone says that your name is too similar to their name. If you are already trademarked, that’s that. You may or may not choose to trademark your logo, but it’s wise to at least trademark your name. Registering your business name helps, but it is not the same thing as trademarking.
Set up an email account
This is another step in the brand creation process that feels so good! Imagine how you’ll feel when you have an email address and you can start sending and receiving emails from it. I use Google Suite for this as it’s very simple and easy to administer.
Choose a colour palette
Choose one to five colours that you want to use to represent your brand. There are some great websites that help you to do this like Coolors and Colourmind.
Start designing your website
I love this step in the process too. You can use a website designer or you can have a go yourself with Wix, SquareSpace or WordPress. When you start customising your website and writing your website copy, it will help to further develop your business concept as you will need to start thinking about what you might say on your webpages. Some of these pages might be: about us, services, what we do, pricing, contact us.
Choose five brand words
There are many ways to do this, but my favourite is to brainstorm a heap of words that you think describe what you want your brand to be and then cut the list down to five key brand words. It’s okay if you have less than five, but try not to have more than five, as the more words you have, the less clear your brand becomes. While this might sound like a really basic way to define a brand, it’s a very useful tool in deciding what you will and won’t do, how your brands looks and feels, what it says and how it says it. These five words are like a filter that you can put all of your communications and ideas through.
While there is a little more to creating a brand, this list is a really wonderful place to start. In part four of this series, we’ll look at how to make a plan, and everything you need to do before you launch.