How to Successfully Launch Your New Brand

The time has come! Your new brand is complete and your website is ready to go. You're so excited to reveal it with the world... but how? Is there a "right" way to do this whole launching thing? Yes and no. 

All of my clients find themselves in this particular situation at the end of our time together. In the past, I've sent them a few articles and typed up some ideas of how they could launch in a way that's appropriate for their business and audience. Today, I'm sharing it with all of you here on the blog! 


1. Think about your business and audience.

Who have been your favorite clients? Or if you're working towards a new direction, what does that dream client look like? Think of them and what they would be looking for from you. What interests them? Where do they spend their social media time – is it Instagram? Facebook? Snapchat? Maybe you have different audiences on all three of these platforms. And, just as importantly, think of how you love to communicate about your brand. This is certainly a chance to step outside of your comfort zone, but do it in a way that is true to who you are. My favorite way to solve this question? Think of how you'd tell your best friend about your new brand. Write it down as if you were sitting at coffee with her. Then carry this phrasing into the next step...

2. Make a social media game plan to communicate authentically about your business. 

Print out or roughly sketch out a calendar for yourself. I'll go into ideas of content in the next few steps, but a hugely important component of this is to make a plan of what days and times you are going to post so that you have a plan to stick to! Otherwise – if you're like myself and the majority of people – you likely won't follow through with it at all. (Bonus points if you create the content and schedule it in advance! Done and done.)

3. You could... start a countdown. 

Not only holding you accountable to a certain day, countdowns build a lot of fun anticipation for your audience and serve as a great reminder that something fun is coming. Fun places to implement this are in your blog sidebar, on your site's homepage, and/or on your social media platforms. 

4. You could... encourage your community to share.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out in a reliable way. Have you seen how many people talk up great new books about to release on Instagram? Usually those authors (and their publishers) will send out the books early to a select group to give them a sneak peek and have them build buzz with you.

Consider how this could work for your brand – perhaps putting together a dozen gift packages with your new business cards and a few other thoughtful items that reflect your new look could be the perfect mailer to get excitement going among people in your industry. And be brave! It doesn't hurt to ask them to share about your launch on social media on a certain date. In fact, you might be surprised at how willing they are to join in on the excitement! There are so many ways you could get creative with this, and it's always fun getting your community rallied around your passions.

5. You could... share sneak peeks.

How often do you click on a link to see behind-the-scenes of your favorite brands? Invite your followers behind your new launch by sharing sneak peeks on your blog and social media platforms. Not only does this build anticipation, but it also makes your business more personable – and in turn, trustworthy.

6. You could... create a relevant giveaway.

Giveaways are a great opportunity to get your followers involved with your launch by their sharing and providing feedback. When you give away items relevant to your business and attractive to your followers, you have the ability to expand your reach by requiring them to share the launch. You could run the giveaway before your launch or on the day of – either way, you're building your audience!

7. You could... blog about it.

If you have a blog, use it to your advantage! You can share about the process of getting to your new brand, explain its benefits, and plant seeds about the launch long before you release more details. 

8. You could... set up a cover page.

Sometimes when launching a new brand, cover pages can be helpful for building anticipation while you’re making final adjustments and getting things all set up. They can also give your audience a sneak peek of what’s to come and point them to follow your social media accounts and sign up for your newsletter. 

A month before I launched brittanyknight.com, I set up an inviting, visually-appealing cover page that explained what the site was going to be, announced when it would be launching, and encouraged visitors to follow via social media and the newsletter. This was a great way to get people following along early so they started getting blog posts in their inbox from day one! (Squarespace makes setting up these covers pages incredibly simple to do, and they have a variety of amazing templates to choose from!)

9. You could... create a video.

Videos are an unexpected and exciting way to create buzz around your launch in a way that's both inviting and high quality. To announce your new brand, a video could explain your new branding in further detail, offer a behind-the-scenes reel, or simply announce your new brand in a fun, unique way. 

10. Launch on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. 

By launching in the middle of the week, you have plenty of time to remind your audience about your new brand earlier in the week while still having a few days to keep the excitement going at the end of the week. This could vary based on your industry and your audience, but for the most part, this is best for most creative entrepreneurs and bloggers! 

Lastly... Forget perfection.

You may be feeling a little bit hesitant to launch just yet. What if this wording isn't exactly right? Should I get a few more opinions? Shouldn't I do a huge giveaway leading up to launch day? You certainly could. It's often tempting to wait, and when you do, what usually happens is that you end up waiting – and waiting. You forget what made you so excited about your new brand in the first place. Go ahead and launch. Share your excitement! Your business is always a work in progress, and giving yourself grace is one of the best things you can do as a business owner. There is no perfect launch process. Be true to you, and share what you have to show the world!


These tips don't just apply to new brands... they're great brainstorming points for launching anything new! New products, e-books, classes, workshops, retreats, services, you name it – using these ideas creatively can be a fun, unique way to engage and grow your audience and really make that launch day the party it is. 

And if it's not a new brand that you're launching... brand your launch!

Want help branding that exciting new retreat you're putting together? Looking for inviting, attention-grabbing images and cover art for that e-book you've been working on? Want to announce the new service your offering in a way that's beautiful and informative? Let me know!

TPA Brand Photo by Jessica Scott

New Brand + Website for Matt & Julie Weddings

Oh my goodness, y'all... I am so excited to introduce to you the new brand and website for Matt & Julie Weddings

A few months ago, I heard from an adorable couple who are wedding photographers in Fort Worth, Texas. Matt and Julie have been in the business for several years, and they were ready to upgrade their branding to something that would more accurately match who they were the quality of services that they offer. I was excited to get started!

In our kick-off call, Matt and Julie shared that their current website was failing at some core features – inquiries weren't making it to their inbox (YIKES), the galleries were incredibly difficult to update, and the photos were way too small to display their quality and skills. I was really thrilled to get to chat with them more about Squarespace. If you've been following along with TPA, you'll know that I only design websites using the Squarespace platform (including my own!), and I love how user-friendly, reliable, and versatile that it is. I knew this was going to be a perfect fit for them! 

Design-wise, Matt and Julie expressed that they were looking for something fresh and clean, and also a brand that would accurately portray their balance of masculinity and femininity, since they're a husband and wife team. One of my favorite things to ask is, "If you could only shop at one clothing store, where would it be?" Julie's answer was a resounding, "Madewell! We love Madewell." (Love. It.) After determining that they also love vintage furniture and shades of blue, I got to work. 

I created two mood boards for Matt and Julie to review. These would set the tone of our design moving forward and help us get on the same page from the beginning. 

The first option was much more bold, incorporating hints of mid-century mod and a pop of bright yellow for some fun (and a nod to their previous blue and yellow branding). The second option was much more subdued, evoking the atmosphere of a simple, easygoing coffee house with a calming color palette.

Matt and Julie were immediately drawn to option two – they were thrilled that it was so easy to pick an option they both loved! With this vintage, romantic, and soft direction that is still keeping a balance of masculine and feminine, we moved forward to work on the logo.

With Matt and Julie's logo, I wanted to convey their warmth and friendliness while still keeping things really clean. They ultimately decided to go with option three, with it's elegant (but not stuffy) script typeface and straightforward design. I was so excited to get to use that ampersand in their branding! Speaking of which...

...here's our finalized Brand Elements sheet! This is where we take the mood board and the logo and really make things come to life. You can see the color palette and some of the inspiration images from the mood board, plus flushing out typefaces and secondary logos. These secondary logos (or sublogos) can be used in a variety of ways across anything Matt and Julie might need for their brand, and help add cohesive life and character. The ampersands especially come in handy – being better suited to a square area, they work great for small profile pictures (think gmail or Instagram), and can also be employed as their website's favicon (the little image that shows up in your browser tab). They'd also make adorable stamps and stickers! 

Next, we use the Brand Elements sheet as a set of "guidelines" to design the website. Matt and Julie were looking for something that felt much more updated than their old site, but was also easy to navigate and clean. We wanted to make it very clear where we wanted visitors to go on the site (see their work, see their collections, and contact them!). After a few weeks of setting things up and fine-tuning the details, the site was ready to roll. The screenshots don't do it justice, so check out the whole site here!

I'm really excited with how everything turned out, and mostly about how excited Matt and Julie are with their new brand and website. I really can't describe how awesome it is to help clients to feel known and to express that in their business's branding. Plus, the friendships that inevitably form from such intimate work are a big bonus ;) Make sure to go check out Matt & Julie Weddings – I know you'll love them, too. 


We could not be happier that we chose That's Pretty Ace to design our new brand! When we started our company together three years ago, we spent countless hours designing our own website. Fast forward to now, we knew that our current brand was not a reflection of who we are, and we knew our website was not displaying our work in a way that was compelling or beautiful! We knew we needed an overhaul and we were so excited to start the journey with Brittany! Brittany was so great to work with; we feel like she was able to know us and have a true understanding of who we are. We loved the inspiration board off the bat and knew the rest of the design elements were going to be perfect and they were! We also loved the design process timeline – having a week to respond with our feedback and knowing we would see designs within a week after that was awesome. She understood what we wanted to accomplish with our brand and was able to create a new website and brand experience that is so perfect for us! – Julie of Matt & Julie Weddings

My Biggest News Yet

My friends, if you haven't heard from Instagram or Facebook just yet, I am excited to share that Chris and I are expecting our first child! She (yes, she!) is a very welcome gift and we are absolutely over the moon. I'm three months along, and my belly is slowly but surely expanding. Our baby girl is growing fast and furiously and is currently about the size of an orange! We are incredibly honored to be mom and dad to this little girl. Her name will be Grace Lynn Knight and are prayerfully looking forward to all that God has planned for her life.

On that note, I will be taking maternity leave following the upcoming holiday season. Grace is due on January 4th of next year, so I will be closing the office as usual from mid December to New Year's and adding the month of January to that time off. I plan to slowly ease back into client projects in February – and I'm already so excited to do so, because I love you guys dearly!

If you are interested in using That's Pretty Ace for your design needs in the coming month, I am looking forward to hearing from you! I am already praying over you and your businesses, and I'm excited to see what the rest of this year and 2017 have in store for us. xo

New Website for Wondrous Whimsy

Back-to-back posts of client launches? It's like Christmas around here! 

My client process has been keeping me busy, and I'm excited to not only give you a look at the finished website for one of my latest clients, Wondrous Whimsy, but also share a behind-the-scenes look at how I created it. 


I met Samantha during our freshman year of college – both art majors, we sat down next to each other in 2D Design class and hit it off right away. We ended up spending a summer studying abroad together and even lived as roommates for two years! After college, Samantha headed back to her hometown of Austin, Texas and I started my first job in Dallas and life took us our separate ways for a bit. But God has a funny way of reconnecting people at the perfect time :)

Shortly after my move to Austin last year, we grabbed coffee and I had a chance to hear all about Samantha's amazing calligraphy business... and the new and very special service she was looking to offer. She explained that the fully custom suites aren't what works best for every bride –it's very in-depth and it can be overwhelming, especially for brides who aren't looking to be involved in every detail of the design process. So Samantha put together five ready-made collections, available to be customized and ordered directly from her site. These collections are a great (and affordable!) option for brides wanting Samantha's style and quality of work without the custom design process. 

There was one snag... Samantha had been trying to figure out how to add commerce to her Squarespace site to accommodate her collections' needs, but she was having trouble figuring out how to best go about it. I was thrilled to jump on board and lend her a hand.

We started out by sitting down and talking through the design process for the ready-made collection. We worked through not just how we wanted the process to work for Sam, business-wise, but also how we wanted her customers to feel as they moved through the site. Sam had so many wonderful ideas to add – options to order samples, explanations of how to choose printing and paper types, and the ability to add on fun details, like wax seal stamps and envelopes with Samantha's gorgeous calligraphy addressing. 

What we ended up with was a site that not only functions as needed, but also functions beautifully. Samantha pulled in Ellen Westscott of Westscott Weddings and Jess of Jessica Scott Photography to style and shoot her new collections – and the images are stunning. I can't even! Truly, a good site will get you far, but adding in those high-quality, branded images takes things to the next level in the best way. 

I'm so thrilled with how the site turned out, and even more thrilled that Samantha is in love with the outcome, too. Screenshots don't do the site justice, so head over and check it out... and maybe get lost in Samantha's gorgeous artwork! 

New Brand + Website for Jessica Shae Photography

Things have been a little busy around here! I've booked over 20 projects so far for 2016 and it feels like this year has flown by quicker than any before. 

With little turnover time between clients projects, plus planning our upcoming move from Austin to Jackson, Mississippi, I have a few fun brands that haven't made an appearance on the blog quite yet.

So if you enjoy Elle & Company client project reveal days, you're in for a treat... I have 2 new brands and websites to share with you (along with a little snippet of the process behind each one)! You'll get to see one today and the other next week.


Jessica Shae Photography


Jessica heard of me through her friend Lillie, who I'd worked with on several projects, most recently Stewarding Life Wellness. Jessica has been in the wedding photography industry for several years and was looking to make her brand better reflect who she is and what she offers to her clients. It's so much fun meeting with clients at this point in their business adventure – they've been in their business long enough to begin to see it take shape and see what is working and what isn't. They're ready to solidify their mission! 

Jessica is a hard-core literary lover and it made my heart happy when she sent me a Word document completely filled with quotes she loves. I'm pretty sure that at one point she told me "Anne of Green Gables is my spirit animal" and I immediately knew we were going to have fun! Jessica loves anything floral and has a deep appreciation for vintage antiques. She sent me over a logo that she had been working on previously and wanted to take things to the next level. So this is what I sent her...

 

Options 1 and 2 included the silhouette and lettering of the logo she provided, but we were both immediately drawn to option 4. After discussing the options a bit further, Jessica decided she wanted to see organic calligraphy and a revised color palette for option 4. Which led us to her final logo...!

All the heart eyes, right? I spent so many hours re-working the flowers in her "bouquet" to be something sweetly feminine and full, but still compliment (and not overwhelm!) the silhouette shape. So much researching botanical prints and trimming them out! I'll admit... I truly relished the work. We made up a one-color option too, for whenever that need may arise.

And then we moved on to her Brand Elements sheet. I combined literary type with vintage-style elements and leaned heavily on our floral bouquet. 

Jessica opted not to do the four collateral pieces included in my standard package, so we moved right along to her website at this point. I included typography with a literary nod, beautiful calligraphy, and gave Jessica some sophistication with the navy and grey palette. Screenshots really do not do it justice and you must go see it for yourself! (And maybe schedule a session with Jessica while you're at it...!)

So tell me – what do you think of Jessica's new brand and website? We're so thrilled with how everything turned out, but feedback from you is always welcome and appreciated. Can't wait to show you next week's finished project... she's a stunner!