Alexandrea Bailey had already been working as a virtual assistant for more than two years when she approached me for her branding project. She’d started her business during a time of need and had quickly thrown together a website that she could send leads to immediately.
She’d been able to get enough clients and make the money she needed. But after two years, she was ready to move in a more intentional direction and build a business that fulfilled her and gave her more time with her family. She knew that in order to do that, she needed to start working in a different niche. But she felt held back by her website and lack of a real brand identity.
She felt stuck working with the same types of clients and battling the same kinds of problems that were keeping her glued to her computer. Sure, she was meeting all her financial goals. But the work was uninspiring, impersonal, and she felt completely unappreciated. Her boundaries were always being tested and she was tired of sacrificing her family time to work long hours and weekends.
Defining the Brand
The first thing we did was to work together to get clear about Alexandrea’s brand foundation. Together, we defined what her business is about and who her ideal client is:
Alexandrea Bailey is a Virtual Assistant who helps busy heart-centered entrepreneurs protect their work-life balance by taking ownership of their to-do lists so they can focus on what matters most. She develops an intimate partnership with each client, which allows her to find strategies and ideas that help make their days easier and their businesses more successful. This allows her to take on tasks seamlessly and become an invaluable asset to her clients.
Her ideal client is the driven but soul-centered creative woman who is forging her own path by launching a purposeful business. As she reaches new levels of success, she’s looking for someone to help her maintain the balance she’s created in her life so she can keep growing her business.
She is optimistic, confident, and courageous. Her business helps her feel fulfilled because she knows she’s making a difference through her work. She wholeheartedly believes in what she’s selling and nothing excites her more than seeing the difference she’s making in the lives of others.
One of her top priorities is making sure she plans her down time intentionally so she can have time to invest in the things that keep her centered. Her biggest struggle is keeping the right balance between her rewarding career and the life she loves.
Then, we talked about the types of businesses she wants to fit in with and stand apart from to define her place in the market:
Alexandrea Bailey wants her brand to fit in with online businesses that focus on putting people first. They prioritize relationships over profits and aren’t afraid to take unconventional paths to do so. They are inspiring, uplifting, empowering, and brave.
She wants to stand apart from large virtual assistant matching sites that put profits first and offer quick fixes at the expense of relationships. Alexandrea doesn’t just mindlessly check things off your to-do list. She has a warm and personal approach that allows her to develop long term working relationships and deliver high value.
We agreed that the main goal would be to set her up with Brand Building Blocks that helped reposition her business, reach her new ideal client, and repel the potential clients who were no longer a good match. These graphics would serve as the foundation of her new brand and give her the boost of confidence she needed to establish good boundaries.
Setting the Direction
After we had the brand foundation nailed down, we worked on the tone and value boards to start bringing Alexandrea’s visual brand to life.
The tone words we chose for Alexandrea’s brand are confident, grounded, and reliable. They convey the calm inner strength Alexandrea can create in both herself and her clients.
This process also helped Alexandrea get clear about her brand values. We found that connection, trust, balance, and purpose were at the core of her business and the kinds of businesses she was dying to work with. We used some images from her tone boards and brought in some new inspiration to round out her values board.
Using the visual cues of her tone and value boards, I created five style boards to show Alexandrea the different directions we could take with her branding. They ranged from classic and high end to modern and playful.
Alexandrea fell in love with the breezy modern minimalistic style board you see below. It makes use of black and white photos and generous amounts of white space to communicate the calm and dependability her brand promises without coming across as cold or losing that soft emotional connection.
Designing the Brand Building Blocks
With Alexandrea’s brand clear, it was time to move on to the design stage. Her ideal clients run online businesses, so we focused on graphics that would help her create a strong impression on her website and social media platforms. I headed into the studio and started drafting concepts.
Because Alexandrea’s ideal client is looking for both personal connection and professionalism, I decided to make her logo approachable but strong. This would help instantly communicate how Alexandrea approaches traditional tasks like scheduling and support with a modern focus on relationship and connection.
A slightly edgy hand-lettered wordmark was the best solution. It could feel bold and friendly at the same time, communicating the balance Alexandrea wanted her brand to convey. I tried dozens of fonts until I found the perfect one.
I knew Alexandrea would be using her logo on different social media platforms and that her main logo might not always come across clearly. Her more modern focus and tone meant she could use several variations of her logo without confusing her audience or compromising her brand. I created an angled version of her name as well as a circular emblem with her initials. This gave her several different options that still flow together and feel cohesive.
For her color palette, I wanted to make sure I chose colors that were bold and full of personality, but that didn’t overpower the calm tone we were creating. I went with slightly more toned down versions of the blue and pink in the style board. These near-complementary colors would infuse a little bit energy and friendliness without feeling overwhelming.
I created a three geometric graphics to infuse more energy, add interest, and tie everything together. These could be used in several different ways to create borders, patterns, and accents. Three shapes was all I needed to create enough variety.
Last, I chose fonts that supported the minimalistic airy feel I’d been creating. For titles and large text, a sans-serif in all caps would reinforce the clean and modern feel. The same font in lowercase italics would continue that tone, but also help ground the modern headlines.
For her marketing pieces, Alexandrea would make the most use of a business card, thank you note, and Instagram quote template. Having these pieces laid out also gave her a strong sense of how everything would come together. These layouts could later serve as the jumping off point for her website, social media templates, and more.
The Brand Clarity process helped Alexandrea tremendously. Before even launching her new brand, she booked the ideal client she’s been dreaming of. She was able to communicate her boundaries and quote the amount she knew she was worth without fear, which now allows her to spend more time with her family and feel confident about her work.
Now that Alexandrea has a clear brand and the graphics to support it, she feels good about doing what feels right for her and has has a solid plan to overhaul her online presence to attract even more dream clients.