When you’re just getting started as a yoga teacher or with your spiritual coaching business, building your brand can be totally overwhelming. Let me start by saying that your logo is not your brand. I know it’s what many yoga teachers start with, but that’s really not what you should do.
At the same time, creating your brand doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t need to hire a designer or branding consultant. It’s actually fun, I promise! Getting clear on things like your WHY and your mission can also help you when it comes to creating offers for your students. Creating a brand is an essential step for any entrepreneur, no matter the industry you’re in.
#1 Finding Your WHY & Creating Your Mission Statement
Your mission statement is really important because it will help you stay true to your goals and to remember why you do what you do when things get tough (which, let’s face it, every entrepreneur will encounter). At those times it really helps to remember why you do what you do.
So, what’s a mission statement? Your mission statement should capture the essence of your goals for your business, your values, what you offer and who you do it for. It signifies what you’re all about. I know, it sounds like something super complicated that will take you weeks to figure out, but it’s really not.
To give you an example, here’s my mission statement:
“My mission is to help yoga teachers and wellness entrepreneurs build a thriving online business so they can find more financial freedom in their business. I give them online courses with tools and strategies so they are empowered to build their authentic brand, beautiful website and create and sell digital products successfully. I do this by showing up passionately and consistently while living my best life.”
That’s mine, yours might look similar or completely different. So how do you come up with your mission statement? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started:
Why did you become a yoga teacher or start your business?
In my case, my goal was to work with yoga teachers and help them with their marketing, but also to be location independent and be able to work from anywhere, and be my own boss! Because that’s one of my main goals, I focused on selling online courses right from the get-go, and it’s definitely been the best decision for me. If my goals had been slightly different, I could also have ended up working for a yoga studio, or a big yoga brand, but that wouldn’t have made me happy! So being clear on my mission helped me stay focused, even when it was difficult in the beginning because I wasn’t making enough sales.
Who are your customers?
This is important to ask yourself! If your students are all in their sixties, you’re going to create different offers for them than if they are young mums or students.
Whether you’re designing a new product or service, writing copy for your website, writing emails or creating social media updates – it will help you immensely if you have an idea who your ideal customer is.
How do you help your customers?
When you’re teaching, do you bring calm into your students every day? More energy? Fitness? Help with back problems? Focus on the main things here, don’t list 20 benefits of yoga, this is not what this exercise is about. It’s about what’s really important to you, and what you mainly want to help your students with.
#2 Creating A Mood Board
When you hear branding, you probably think about big brands or famous yoga teachers who trademark their own style of yoga. Or about what pictures you use, what logo and what colors there are on your website. But really it’s about creating an emotional impact on the people who interact with you on your website, on social media, or even in person. It’s about a feeling you convert. You want that feeling to be positive, so people keep coming back.
So before you start creating your logo or social media images, let’s do some research and create a mood board. This is brainstorming on a visual level. You’re going to look for images that you feel resonate with the brand and business you want to build. It will help you understand what you are attracted to, and also what you don’t like.
For example, I don’t like strong colors. I’m always drawn to light and muted colors. And I love freedom and positivity, and that’s what I want my brand to convey as well. So how do you get started? Here’s what I want you to do: head over to Pinterest and create a secret board (a board that no one else besides you can see). Start adding pictures to that board that speak to you. Pin images of colors, textures, photos, logos, design elements or homepage layouts, quotes – any image that you feel you would like your brand to be like.
You can also upload your own images to Pinterest to pin them to the board. In the first step you don’t need to edit anything, simply add things, the more the better. Aim to get at least 20 images pinned. The second step is to edit your board and really focus on the images that you like most and find more like them. Have a look at your images and see if a theme appears. Are there certain colors that you’re drawn to? Special elements or styles?
Edit your board until you only have images that reflect you and your brand and that show what you want your audience to feel. You can then download or screenshot them and create a mood board in Canva for example, or add them to a google slide, so that you have everything in one place. I actually love this step of defining a brand – I hope you do to. Have some fun with it and create your dream mood board!
#3 Choose Your Brand Colors
I know from my students on my website course that choosing your brand colors can be a bit scary, especially if you’re not a designer – but it’s an important step! Colors have such a powerful effect on our emotions, on what we feel. Just imagine looking at an image that has a lot of very strong colors, bright pink, white, black – you’re going to feel very different when you look at an image that consists of calm, soft colors, like grey, soft blue, beige…
So it’s important to think about the message you want to convey and whether or not the colors you’re using fit that tone. Normally you want to have one main color for your brand, that really defines your brand but that also you use sparingly, especially if it’s a strong color. On your website, you could use your main color for things like your links and buttons. You also want to add a few accent colors that go with your main color and that make everything more interesting. Make sure to also choose a few background colors that are more neutral and that you can use on your website in the background, for example, to separate modules on one page.
Try to limit yourself to 2-3 colors for your main color and accent colors. If there are too many accent colors, they will create too many focal points that may confuse your visitors. You want your website visitors to feel comfortable browsing your website. You don’t want to annoy them or make it challenging to absorb your content by using overly bold or bright background colors.
Besides on your website, you can also use your colors on social media, for things like quote images, or on flyers. Having and using your brand colors will help your business look more ‘together’ and professional – people will recognize your brand more easily and this will help you stand out.
I recommend Pinterest yet again to help you find your brand colors. Maybe you already identified some colors when you created your mood board. You can also put things like ‘brand color board’ in the search bar, and you’ll find tons of amazing examples. Searching on Pinterest is always my first step when I design a website. I love choosing colors and I hope you will too!
One thing to remember if you feel really stuck here is that the colors you choose now don’t have to stay forever! You can change them anytime you feel like they don’t represent your brand anymore, or when you feel something’s not working. To give you an example, I added a gold yellow color to my color scheme last year because I felt that next to all those soft, light colors I needed a stronger color that would help me make things stand out more. I didn’t change anything else, just added that color and now I use it sparingly on my website and I love it.
#4 Create Your Logo
I don’t think it’s a good idea to invest in a designer to create your logo for you when you’re just starting out. Mainly because you get what you pay for. I’ve heard so many stories of people who hired a designer from sites like Fiverr, and got really terrible results. The fact is, a good logo designer will cost you good money, money you probably don’t have yet!
The good news is, you can easily create your first logo yourself with Canva! You can choose from their range of professionally designed logo templates, or design from scratch. If it’s your first logo I would recommend keeping it clean and simple, maybe just write your name in a nice font, as I did for my brand. This works best especially online, on your website because you don’t want a logo that takes up a lot of space in your header, or that contains text that’s so small it’s impossible to read on a mobile phone.
Once you’re at a point where you are ready to invest in your branding a little more, you can always choose to hire a designer and revamp your logo if you’d like. If you decide to hire someone to design your logo, to get the best results, I would suggest preparing a detailed brief for the designer with examples of logos you like, what you want and don’t want. Include your mood board and as many details about you and your background as possible.
This should help but remember that you still have no guarantee that you’ll actually love what you’ll be getting! You can get an amazing logo or be bitterly disappointed. Quite risky – that’s why I don’t recommend this option, especially when you are just starting out and can use the money elsewhere. I actually think many people overthink their logos. It doesn’t have to be something fancy, really, a simple font with your name is enough. I would rather you spend the money on a professional photoshoot instead for example.
#5 Bring It All Together In Your Style Guide
Your style guide is home to all of your brand elements so that you can see them in one place. All you’ve got to do is create one document with the following elements in:
- Your logo
- Your colors
- Your fonts – we haven’t talked about them here but this is something you want to look at as well when it comes to creating your brand.
- Photos / inspiration / icons / textures…
This will simplify design for you and help you look more consistent, professional and authentic online. I also think it’s very motivating, it always gives me a fresh burst of inspiration and excitement when I work on my brand. I really hope you’re feeling inspired now as well and put these steps I’ve shared with you into action!