Building a brand is a crucial part of your marketing as you grow a business, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to do it. Brand strategist & web designer, Megan Turkovic is here to bust through common branding mistakes and give you the tips you need to create a stand-out brand.
Thankfully, web designer and branding strategist Megan Turkovic is here to help you create branding that doesn’t just make you look good in your social media content, but that actually brings in your dream clients.
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Courtney Elmer 0:00
Welcome back. It's the System's Made Simple™ Podcast. This is episode 120. And if you're listening to my voice right now, I'm gonna go ahead and guess that you run a business similar to The EffortLESS Life, and if you have a business like The EffortLESS Life, then you have a brand. But does your brand makes people want to buy? That's what you're going to find out inside of today's episode.
Courtney Elmer 3:55
Today I am joined by a very special guest who is both a web designer and a branding strategist. And she's on a mission to help you create branding and a website that doesn't make you look good. But that actually brings you your dream clients. She's designed several websites for The EffortLESS Life too. Over the years The EffortLESS Life brand has evolved so many times.
She also runs point on The EffortLESS Life landing pages. If you've ever signed up for anything from The EffortLESS Life; a free resource, a course, anything like that you have seen her work. Her name is Megan Turkovic. And today she's going to unpack the branding secrets that you need to know that's going to make or break your first impression with your potential clients. Megan, welcome, girl, I am so excited that you're here today.
Megan Turkovic 6:30
I'm so excited to be here Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 6:37
I'm excited to unpack all of this with you today and really dig into what is a brand? What makes a brand worthwhile, what makes it effective? What makes it functional? And does your brand actually make people want to buy?
Megan Turkovic 7:27
Yeah, that's the big one, that last point there is what a lot of people want, but they don't do any of the work beforehand to get to that point. Well, for those of you who don't know who I am, I design websites and brands like The EffortLESS Life for creative entrepreneurs, coaches, and course creators. And so I love to work with people like Courtney Elmer and The EffortLESS Life who are excited about what it is that they do, and excited for helping the people with their product or service. So the bigger overarching question is what is a brand? I feel like that is probably the number one question I get asked when I have a call with somebody they're like, I don't even know what a brand is. I don't know what brand strategy is, can you break it down for me.
So when we look at what a brand is, it's really a business or a marketing concept that people recognize that belongs to a specific business. Like The EffortLESS Life. It really sets them apart from the competition, hopefully in a positive way, although there are brands out there who do that the opposite way. We can use you as a good example Courtney ELmer, like The EffortLESS Life. Or if we think of the shoe company, toms, you probably immediately think of that classic shoe designed with that canvas material. But their humanitarian mission tops the list to if we buy a pair of shoes, they donate a pair of shoes, and it's a feel good brand strategy that people are completely obsessed with. And so when you have a connection that's so personal, it goes way beyond the pair of shoes. So brand strategy should really ask Why should people care about what it is that I do? That's pretty much the overarching question Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 9:51
I love that and I think this You're right. This is something that people don't really understand, or they don't know how The impact that a brand has on your business on the results that you are getting or not getting in your business. And so when we're often in business for ourselves, you are your brand. And I think we can often discredit that because we're like, Well, I'm a person doing these things over here to help people. But it's actually you. And the way that you show up is a brand in and of itself. At some point, my vision for my company for my brand has to grow, it has to stretch, it has to evolve. Starting with what that even looks like down the road, long term, big picture vision, will then help you reverse engineer that process to actually build to that, which I think is really cool. And I think it's not something that a lot of people think about when it comes to branding.
Megan Turkovic 11:03
Yeah Courtney Elmer, it's something they miss a lot. And there was a book that I read, and I'll never forget it. And it said brand early, not often, and that throws people for a loop. Because no, in 60 years, your brand is going to evolve, obviously. And that's through rebranding, that's changing a few things, , we've gone through this together with The EffortLESS Life, but , changing a few things, changing the name of a product or program, changing your colors, your fonts, you want to continuously shift and evolve, but overall, your brand, it's made up of so many different facets of your business. And it really is this foundation of how your business is going to grow. So you're not answering emails, six years down the line, you're not doing all of these back end things. But it is your business personified. And I think personified in a sense that our brand is its own entity, like The EffortLESS Life.
Courtney Elmer, I have to tell you a story that I think is kind of funny, I remember stepping into an MLM for a few years, I don't know, it's like maybe seven years ago, and our uplines would constantly have us fill out these ideal client avatar forms and then submit them to the group and I never understood why we had to pick one person and be so freakin specific about them. It It made no sense to me. It's like okay, we've got Becky who likes shopping at Target and drinking a frappuccino and has a college degree makes $55,000 a year. Great. We love you, Becky, if that's you listening, we love you. But knowing those things doesn't actually help us, as business owners solve the problem. Giving the transformation that people need, that is what we need to do. At the end of the day, our business should solve problems. But we shouldn't try to cater perfectly to all the Becky's, we should focus really on trying to appease a very specific customer. When we focus on trying to appease a very specific customer, we do two things. Number one, Courtney Elmer, we shut out all of the other people who need us. And number two, Courtney Elmer, we don't stay true to our business values. And our ideals, which is basically our brand strategy.
Courtney Elmer 13:07
I'm so glad you brought this up. Because this is another thing that I think people completely miss. People miss that your brand is a reflection of your values. Yes. And we don't often think about that. If you are building a business that is not in alignment with your values at your core, then you will always feel out of alignment with your business, there will always be some kind of friction, some kind of resistance, a lot of what I see often happening is that people will adopt these values for their company that they think they should have my value, I should value making money, I should value this or that. But at the end of the day, if you're picking values that you feel you should value because someone told you that you should or because someone else values those things. That might not actually be what you already intrinsically value. And so 1,000% Like when you're building a business, you have to first uncover what it is you value and then bring that into your brand and into your company as a whole like I did with The EffortLESS Life.
Megan Turkovic 14:30
I love that Courtney Elmer. And you did that with The EffortLESS Life. And I think it's true in our concept of business has shifted so much and I have to credit most of this to social media for the value that it gives people and this look inside people's lives. We do have to live as our brand any kind of interaction we have with somebody whether it's an Instagram comment or a DM or an email or showing up for a podcast , we have to consistently be our brand and for most of your listeners, If you are running the show, you are a direct reflection of your business.
Courtney Elmer 15:13
The story that comes to mind for me, I can think back to the early days of The EffortLESS Life. And I was a new mom at the time to my son was home with me full time as a newborn. And I was working in all the nooks and crannies of the day, inevitably, I would never get to the things that I had planned to do in that day, because of having to context switch and jump back and forth so much between being a mom and The EffortLESS Life.
I remember thinking that, yes, this is a season is temporary. But I felt so much resistance to that because my "The EffortLESS Life" brand is to live an effortless life. And if your business is not working for you, then it's not worth working your business like that is who we are, that is what we embody, and in helping people get the right systems and structure and support in place where they can live effortlessly, really literally meaning without effort with less effort, and less hustle and hard work. I felt like in that season in my life, I was doing the opposite ofThe EffortLESS Life. I was not able to show up fully in the way that I am as who I am as a person and the way that I wanted to show up because the season in my life kind of dictated that I couldn't live in alignment with what I actually value, which is downtime at night and on the weekends. And so that's an example that I share that yeah, maybe there are seasons in your life, where you're not gonna be able to show up fully because of whatever you've got going on. And that's fine. We all go through those seasons. But imagine when you don't have clarity on your values, and you're living your whole life in business that way out of alignment. No wonder growing a business feels so hard. It's going to feel incredibly difficult and it's in you're making it a lot harder than it has to be.
Megan Turkovic 17:11
Yes Courtney Elmer, not only is it harder than it has to be, it's not fun and selling or making the money in your business feels like it's practically impossible. How could you possibly with your brand in its current state sell to people? Or how would people want to buy from you when you are in this particular season of your life? Like no, it's it all ebbs, and it all flows.
Courtney Elmer 17:37
This was a question that came to mind as you were sharing a minute ago. What are some of the mistakes that you see people making with their brand?
Megan Turkovic 17:47
The first thing I like to look Courtney Elmer at is the overall strategy. And this is really, like I said, that's that foundation for understanding where your business currently sits, the transformation, all these things. So what people tend to do is, is like those ideal client avatars, they get very specific on a person and not so much these overarching values, or what the transformation is for their business. So in order to dive deep, and really understand the nitty gritty of your business, we need to channel our inner toddler, I'm sure what this is like. But you want to continuously ask the question, why? Ask why? Until you want to throw up like, Courtney Elmer, every time you think of something in The EffortLESS Life, you should ask, Why? Why do we need this in this noisy online world, we've got to differentiate ourselves with The EffortLESS Life and we have to show up and provide this transformation. But it's no longer about creating this business. It's not about putting together a DIY site and posting on Instagram a few times a week. If your goal is to grow and scale over time, you need to set yourself up for success. So why does this client need this product or service? Why is my brand so much better than the one down the street? It has to grab people in and make them feel something, like you do with The EffortLESS Life.
Courtney Elmer 19:11
I love that I'm laughing to myself because literally with my four year old following me around all day, But why? Why ask the question. And I'm like, When do why why? When are you gonna get out of the stage? And why are you still in the stage like that? That's my question. But no, and it's a beautiful question because gosh, it shows the inquisitiveness and the curiosity of, of what our minds are actually wired. We're wired to know we're wired to uncover to discover we're curious, we're naturally curious. And in nowhere is that more evident than with a toddler, a three year old or four year old. And so I remind myself of that. And I think applying this to our business is so wise, it's so simple that it gets overlooked, which is unfortunate.
Megan Turkovic 20:06
When we have this foundation Courtney Elmer, everything else can kind of fall into place and feel a little bit easier. And it, it makes going into your visuals a lot easier going into your website into all the details of your offers, everything else can fall into place, when you have those questions asked. So if we were to look at it from the strategic site building process that I run, there's three things that I really focus on. When I work with a client like you and The EffortLESS Life.
Number one, Courtney Elmer, is the visuals. So that includes things like the logo, which we should not use Canva logos for if you're using a Canva logo starting out, sometimes you have to do that. But when you're really starting to get into your business, you want to make sure that you have something that really represents this overarching brand strategy like The EffortLESS Life. So your logo, your colors, your fonts, even photos and videos, do the visuals match the brand vibe, do they match the voice the message? Does it attract the right audience? People are visual, especially like this younger generation, we judge based on what we see to an extent, like not in a bad way. But mostly because of social media. We are a very aesthetically driven world. And so to have something that can visually represent all of these values that you worked so hard to get to the core answer when you ask why so much, we should be able to have somebody that matches that as well. So that's the first thing Courtney Elmer.
The second thing that you want to consider Courtney Elmer, is this content or copy whether this is for emails, or your website or social media. Does the content present itself in a way that makes you the expert in your field? Does it follow the brand voice? Or does it feel like something you pulled together last minute like a college essay not saying that I know what that's like, but , your words do matter. And they should pull people in, they should make you feel the feels, they should answer all of the FAQ people might have. And you should have them so invested that the only thing that they're going to be able to do for you and your product and your service is say yes. Again, like you do with The EffortLESS Life. So that's really, really important Courtney Elmer.
And then the last piece of putting this all together Courtney Elmer, is the functionality, especially for a website, it's what do you want your brand to accomplish for you. So if we look at The EffortLESS Life website, as a website example, does your website function the way it needs to to be able to sell your products, sell your services, get them signed up for free training, get on a call to book a service? It even matters what platform you choose. So you can see how those first couple of questions that you ask about your business. And you ask why how it like, comes out to be like a million different facets of your business. And it can feel super, super overwhelming Courtney Elmer. But if you can narrow in, I promise you, it'll make the world of difference for you.
Courtney Elmer 22:57
Yeah, and how that informs literally everything. Because then you have clarity on that overarching theme, that overarching vision, for lack of a better word, I think that is the perfect word, the vision you have for your company and your brand and what you value within that vision. And then it's a matter of plugging it into the right things to make that brand come to life. Because then it makes it easy to answer the other questions that inevitably come up, like what platform do I need to be on? And for our The EffortLESS Life website, what are our calls to actions need to be? And what's the layout of this and that other thing again, using The EffortLESS Life website example.
In fact, it was funny when you mentioned point number two about the content and a copy. I remember our first The EffortLESS Life website. and I'm laughing because, okay, you have to know me. I have a background in English literature. I know yawn, boring, why the heck do I have that as a degree? I have no idea. I couldn't tell you. But I studied so much literature. And so much of my college career was spent writing and I was a prolific writer and a very verbose writer. And so I took all of that training and skill, a skill, I don't know if it was really a skill. But I took that skill. And I applied it to The EffortLESS Life in the early days. And so if you were to visit The EffortLESS Life original website, you would be met with pages of stuff, you'd have to scroll like five times to get to the bottom. Isn't that so funny to think about? I know you didn't see that site, but I'm glad you did because it was like holy cow. Like what does this girl want me to do? It was not The EffortLESS Life. It was totally against what we said we were here to do, which was to make things effortless. So I laugh at that. And I laugh at myself now, like, we learned the hard way, oftentimes in business. But isn't that a perfect example like of how what not to do? Because if you don't have that clarity, or if your brand is not reflecting the values that you have, you can see how that would easily be costing you that potential business that you could have.
Megan Turkovic 25:36
Oh, yeah Courtney Elmer. We don't have a whole lot of time anymore in our day to day lives. And so people are like, I don't have time to read all this, Courtney Elmer, The EffortLESS Life website is amazing. This is beautifully written. But I don't have time to read all of this. And so we have to , keep it simple and get them to say yes, sometimes even this, this is true. Sometimes when we have too much, we can actually do ourselves a disservice and turn that person off by either going too deep into the conversation. When you simplify it all, Courtney Elmer, it gives them the opportunity to see themselves in your brand's expertise. And it makes it so much easier for them to say, yes, here's my credit card, take my money. Let's do this.
Courtney Elmer 26:28
It's such a great point. I agree. And we do live in such a fast paced society now. Information learning has been distilled down to a 15 second tick tock or a 15. Second Instagram reel. That is how we consume information. So when you think of what that does on to our attention spans, and then how that translates on a greater scale when you're trying to educate anyone about anything. I mean, it's it's a wonder that people listen to podcasts, and so many people do. I mean, I'm really glad because I think there are people out there that do crave to go deep, when they want to go deep, yes. But you putting, , if I were to put a transcript from this, on our The EffortLESS Life website, say, this is what we do, and it's like four pages long, like, nobody's going to read that. And you're right, it it will turn them off.
Courtney Elmer 27:25
It's kind of like baiting a hook. I mean, that's really what we're doing. And all of The EffortLESS Life marketing is guiding them along the way. , another metaphor not to mix metaphors here. But dangling that carrot, like getting them to consume a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more, until they finally are like, Okay, I really liked who this person is, unlike what they're about, I feel like I resonate with what they're doing, I'm going to hit that follow button, or I'm going to sign up for their lead magnet, or I'm going to go listen to their podcast, whatever it may be, and then they go down the rabbit hole with you. But they've chosen to do that because of how you have originally presented the information to them.
Megan Turkovic 28:03
Exactly Courtney Elmer. And I'm sure like, it's Listen, finding friends in your 30s I feel like is a task in and of itself. But when you are trying to find a new friend, let's say you move to a new area, and you have a conversation with somebody, you pretty much know in the first like 30 minutes if you're gonna jive with them or not. And you don't have to sit there and like talk about every single little detail.
Courtney Elmer 28:39
Yeah, absolutely. So, to wrap all of this up, in terms of next steps for someone listening right now, what would be the natural next step for someone at this point?
Megan Turkovic 28:59
Hmm, I would say to kind of echo back to what you talked about the beginning is really feeling as though is this brand and business in alignment? I love using that phrase Courtney Elmer, even with myself and my clients is is it in alignment with who I am as a person and what I want in order to grow? I think if you say no, right away, it's time to take a deeper look, it's time to go back to the drawing board and really think about what things are going to feel really good for you because you have to love what you do. So feel if it's in alignment, like it did for you with The EffortLESS Life, the next thing is to look at does this new quote unquote rebrand? Does it fit the bill as far as with the visuals with the content and the copy? And is it functional? I would say overall, though, if you can, if you can touch on those three topics. You're already on a roll, and you don't have to start from scratch every single time. I mean, I have clients that I work with, like The EffortLESS Life who have a really great starting point. They have a really great offer, but it's not it doesn't go deep enough there. About selling it because it doesn't really touch on this transformation. And so maybe we look at the particular offer, maybe we look at, does all of this together actually feel aligned?
Courtney Elmer 30:13
Yeah, I think that really is the best way to say it, It is that feeling of alignment. And only you can know that. Megan, where can people reach out to connect with you and find you online?
Megan Turkovic 32:05
On Instagram at Lilly and co creative. That is my business. So you can find on Instagram at Lillian co creative also Lillian co creative.com With my new revamped website. And then I also host my own podcasts that I learned how to run from Courtney Elmer and The EffortLESS Life. And it's called the creatively yours podcast.
Courtney Elmer 32:31
Megan, thank you so much for being here with us today.
Megan Turkovic 32:34
Thanks for having me Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 32:53
Coming up next week on the show, we're doing a little something different, and a whole lot of fun. I really hope you like it, because I am going to be interviewed and teach you the fastest, most effective way to drive more leads into your business and into your sales funnels. We are experiencing with some new show formatting and I can't wait to reveal it to you. This has been something on my heart for a while that I have wanted to do. And I hope that you love it as much as I do. All right, I'll see you back here next week. Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.