GUEST POST: Setting a Vision for Your Brand Using Moodboards
Hey, sweet friends!
Today is a special day for this little online magazine... We're sharing Kindred's first-ever GUEST POST with you!
Today's post comes from Shaina Longstreet, one of my Biz Besties! You can read more about how we met here or just enjoy these photos of us dancing like robots! ;) (Thanks to Hither & Hold for the rad film photos!)
Shaina is a talented photographer and designer, the owner of Your Ampersand Studio, and the new Creative Director & Lead Photographer at 8020 Social! She loves naps, theatre (she's even in a play with her sweet hubby this month!), and moodboards are her superpower.
Speaking of moodboards... When I think of branding, I think of Shaina. She's so naturally gifted at building a cohesive brand from its initial concept and purpose to moodboards all the way to logo design. Just take a peek at her Instagram to connect with her and see what I mean!
I knew I wanted Shaina to share some of her amazing branding wisdom with us, so I reached out to her and asked if she'd be interested in writing a post about vision setting for our brands! I am so excited she said yes!
So without further ado, MEET SHAINA!
I know you'll love her as much as I do.
I'm Shaina, Creative Director and Lead Photographer at 8020 Social, a one-stop-shop for FREE stock photos, feminine-styled stock and ready-made social posts for businesses! In fact, you can grab 10 free stock photos and 10 free ready-made graphics right now!
8020 Social is currently building its library and hopes to become the go-to resource for anyone looking for styled stock photography and ready-made graphics to utilize in their social media marketing. We’re especially interested in creating images and graphics for small business owners, direct sellers and creative entrepreneurs. Soon there will be an extensive library of free content available, and a membership option that will come with perks and exclusive content. With plans to launch later this year, we hope you join our growing community over on Instagram @8020_social.
What is a brand?
Seth Godin defines a brand as: "the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another."
Creating and using a moodboard is one tool that can help you can make decisions about your brand that keep all those elements consistent and true. A moodboard can be a great place to house key elements of your brand, especially if you're a visual thinker, and you can keep it handy to refer back to when creating content for your social media channels.
Here at 8020 Social we live by the 80/20 Rule, which states that 80% of the content you share should be educational, relevant to your industry and interesting to your audience, but not promotional. The remaining 20% of your content should be promotional - talking about your products or services, sharing specials or sales, etc. However, all of the content you share on your social channels should be recognizable. Your followers should be able to spot your posts as they’re browsing their feeds. That means your brand is memorable, consistent visually, and impactful… all the things we want it to be!
So how will a moodboard help you to set your vision for your brand?
Through colors, images, textures, patterns and fonts you communicate ideas and intentions in a tangible way. Is your brand friendly and inspirational, or studious and educational? Those two brands would have very different visuals, and so gathering together all those elements that really speak to your brand’s feel will help you stay true to your aesthetic.
Let’s use our moodboard for 8020 Social as an example:
We started curating this moodboard with our logo and our 3 branding colors: blush, navy and mint. Pairing those elements with our goal to be a hub for all things styled stock photography, graphics and social media marketing, we searched Pinterest for images that captured that intention. We want 8020 Social to feel approachable, credible and come across as an expert in the industry. All the elements together express that at first glance. Powerful, right?
This moodboard showcases the type of people we are, and the type of businesses we aim to serve. It captures our playful nature, our love of family and the importance of balancing priorities while still getting things done.
Now we have this as a tool to refer back to when making choices for what content we want to create, curate and share with our audience. This moodboard and brand vision helps us to see that we can, for instance, share quotes about entrepreneurship, photography tips, work-life balance issues and inspiration. We keep this moodboard someplace where we can always refer back to it before we hit publish!
Are you eager to create a moodboard for your own brand? You’re in luck! We would love to share our moodboard template with you. You can download the .psd file here.
You can then scour Pinterest for images, colors and textures that speak to your brand’s intentions and fill up the empty spaces with all your inspiration. Be sure to tag #8020social on Instagram if you share your moodboard. We’d love to see how your visuals came together and how you’re using it as a tool for your brand’s voice and content moving forward!
Do you have a moodboard for your brand already? How has it helped you remain true to your brand’s vision?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below or find 8020 Social on Instagram to dialogue! And don't forget to snag your 10 free stock photos and 10 free graphics here!
With 13+ years in the photography and design industry, Shaina brings a special sensibility and unique insight to 8020 Social. Her creative vision is our guiding light and sounding board. She loves coffee, her fur-kids, performing at her local community theater and Nancy Drew Mysteries.