Creating a Brand Style Guide for Your Podcast or Show
When collaborating with others, you’ll want to make sure your personal brand is being correctly represented
Whether you're a podcaster, content creator, or business owner, having a cohesive brand style is crucial to building a strong and recognizable presence. A brand style guide serves as a reference point for all of your content, ensuring consistency across different platforms and mediums.
Defining Your Brand's Voice and Tone
A well-defined brand voice and tone sets the stage for consistent and engaging content. Consider the personality you want your brand to embody and the emotions you want to evoke in your audience. Are you aiming for a friendly and approachable vibe, or a more authoritative and professional tone? Keep your target audience in mind as you define your brand's voice and tone.
Choosing Your Brand's Color Palette
Colors play a significant role in shaping your brand's visual identity. Select a primary color and a few complementary colors to create a harmonious palette that represents your brand's personality. Be mindful of color psychology—different colors evoke different emotions and associations depending on the cultural context. For instance, blue is often associated with trust and stability, while red can signify passion, energy, and power. But red can also represent warmth and coziness, depending on the shade of red and who is consuming your content (and ultimately, what that content is about).
Selecting Fonts and Typography
Typography is another essential aspect of your brand's visual identity. Choose fonts that align with your brand's personality and are easy to read. You'll typically need a header font for titles, a body font for paragraphs, and possibly accent font for quotes or special text (although this largely optional). Ensure that your chosen fonts are versatile and work well across different platforms and devices.
Keep in mind that the only thing you can control on the platforms your listeners actually use to consume your content is the text copy (show notes, etc.) and your show’s images and episode thumbnails. These are where displaying your chosen typography is important—only on your website will you be able to customize everything top to bottom.
Developing Your Brand's Imagery
Your brand's imagery style includes the photos, illustrations, and graphics you use in your content. Establish guidelines for the types of images you'll use, as well as any filters or editing techniques that should be applied consistently. Consider whether you want your imagery to be minimalistic, vibrant, or something in between.
If you’re a solo creator, consider collaborating with other specialized creators (photographers, illustrators, etc.) to help contribute to your visual identity, or if you’re really strapped budget-wise or network-wise, image generation AI tools like DALL•E and Midjourney can be a great way to get your show off the ground.
Creating a Logo and Iconography
A memorable logo and set of icons can help solidify your brand's identity. Design a logo that represents your brand's essence and is easily recognizable. Create a set of icons for use across your content, ensuring that they align with your overall aesthetic and color palette.
A good heuristic for developing a good logo is making sure it would appear clearly on different media formats, such as print, small screens, big screens, business cards, etc. It might not necessarily appear in all these places, but generally, if you anticipate your logo being very recognizable and legible in these places, you’ll find a good logo often falls into place. This means that you’ll want black and white versions of your logo, color versions of your logo (in various colorways), and potentially a logo with any text (although you could design a logo which always requires text too—it can go both ways).
Consistency in Your Podcast Content
Apply your brand style guide to all aspects of your podcast, from the cover art and promotional materials to the show notes and transcripts. Use your established voice and tone throughout your podcast episodes, and ensure that any visuals, such as episode thumbnails, align with your brand's aesthetic.
Don’t forget the music too! Even if you don’t use the same music for every podcast (although having a solid hook is a good idea), you’ll likely want to stick to the same texture or aesthetic. Having a chosen style or even producer that you go to can aid in this.
Adhering to Your Style Guide in Written Content
When creating written content, such as blog posts or social media captions, adhere to your brand's voice, tone, and typography guidelines. Consistently use your chosen fonts and colors, and incorporate your brand's imagery style in any accompanying visuals.
Remember, tools like PodiumGPT can help you write content that will automatically stick to your style, since it’s lifting it directly from the audio you upload to the platform.
Applying Your Brand Style to Video Content
For video content, maintain consistency by using your brand's color palette, fonts, and imagery style in your video thumbnails, graphics, and animations. Ensure that your on-screen presence aligns with your brand's voice and tone, and incorporate your logo and iconography where appropriate.
Utilizing AI Tools for Content Creation
Take advantage of AI tools like Podium to streamline your content creation process. These tools can generate show notes, summaries, transcripts, and more, all while adhering to your brand style guide.
Creating Templates for Different Content Types
Develop templates for various content types, such as blog posts, social media posts, video thumbnails, and podcast episode art, that adhere to your brand style guide. These templates will save time and ensure consistency across all of your content.
Some tools that create clips of your content might allow you to customize your templates or brand choices, so that spinning up new templates will automatically be “on-brand”.
Assembling a Content Creation Team
If your content output is extensive, consider assembling a content creation team to help you maintain consistency and quality. Ensure that every team member is familiar with your brand style guide and can apply it to their work. This is obviously only a choice for podcasters and creators who have the budget—which is why using AI tools can be a great fill-in.
Conclusion: The Power of a Strong Brand Style Guide
A well-crafted brand style guide is essential for maintaining consistency and establishing a strong brand identity across all of your content. By defining your brand's core elements, crafting a consistent visual aesthetic, implementing your style guide across different content types, and streamlining your content creation workflow, you'll create a cohesive and recognizable brand that resonates with your audience. Remember to review and update your style guide regularly to ensure it continues to represent your brand accurately as it grows and evolves.