Psst - before we get started, if you're ready to leap into your visual branding with a designer, don't hesitate to get in touch!
1. Define what isn't working for your current brand, and begin developing your brand style.
If you already have an existing organization or product, what isn't working for your brand? Are you not reaching the audience you want to, or not selling at the price point you desire? Once you're able to identify the specifics behind why you aren't happy with your existing brand, narrow down how you think your visual brand can change.
At this point, whether your product or organization is brand new or existing, you can start defining your brand style. Who is your audience, and what are some of the visuals that might attract them? What is your brand's mission, and what are some of the images and graphic styles that could represent that? Through narrowing down these ideas and experimenting with what overlaps, you can start to see a brand style emerge.
2. Find imagery that matches your brand style.
I used to think mood boards were a little hokey. But once I started using them, I saw a dramatic change in the brand discovery process. Sometimes the feeling of your brand is hard to put into words, and instead putting your brand into visuals is the best way to elicit the emotional response that you want and need. Sourcing imagery that matches up with your brand style - whether that's photos, logos, colors, typography, or other graphics - is the best way to show exactly what direction you want to head in.
3. Have an idea of what you want to spend, and what you want to get.
Before diving into the search for a specific designer, think about the amount of money you have to invest in the branding of your business. Not only does this help you come up with a vague number, but will also help you establish what exactly you want to get out of the process. If you have a very specific idea of what you want and simply need a designer to execute it, you'll likely spend a bit less. If you're hoping for more strategy and/or need more deliverables at the end of the project, you're looking at a higher price tag.
4. Get in touch with graphic designers that will play to the strengths of your brand.
Now is the time to begin looking for the designer that will make your brand come to life! The secret to finding the perfect designer to you relies mostly 1) in their work process, and 2) in their prior work. By viewing their prior work, you'll get an idea of the types of brand design they excel at, and how you could possibly work together. As you get in touch with these designers, be sure to ask about their process, timelines, and how you can best work together to create something awesome.
And as a pro tip - if you're not ready to invest in your business, you can still start shopping around to have a few designers in mind when you're ready to sink that cash into your organization.