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ENSURING YOUR BRAND IS ACCESSIBLE TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Are you making your brand accessible to your audience?


You already know who your ideal client is, now the question is, can they find you? The main point here is to make yourself available to be found and contacted. Consider the process that a potential client has to go through in order to a) get in touch with you and b) buy from you. This is usually called a client journey and it’s always a good idea to have one in place for every aspect of your brand.


For example, if your ideal client is on Instagram but they are not following you, how would they get about knowing you exist? On the other end of the spectrum, if they are not on Instagram, why are you spending hours creating stories, researching hashtags, and interacting on here? Whatever media your client uses, that’s where you should be.


All of this is, of course, if you want to be available. If you have so many leads contacting you regularly, you may want to break one of the steps in the client journey so that you have fewer (only those really dedicated to finding you). Creating any difficulties in your availability will help you weed out people you don’t want to work with anyway.


Usually, when we think of accessibility, we’re thinking of people with disabilities. But the practice of making your brand accessible benefits everyone, including you. Honestly, with everybody (me included) constantly talking about niching down and finding your exact person to market to, some people put accessibility on the back burner. For example, if you’ve found your ideal client is not tech-savvy at all, why would you care if you even had a website? On the other side of the spectrum, we have some people that are SO FOCUSED on things being accessible to everyone, that their ideal client sees nothing in their brand that speaks to them.


I’m going to go over FIVE specific areas to check for your accessibility and if you should even care about it.

  • Specialty fonts

  • Mobile vs desktop

  • Colours

  • Language

  • User interface


SPECIALTY FONTS

Specialty fonts, in this case, refers to…

  • Signature

  • Script

  • Handwritten

  • Chalk/marker

  • Graphic

  • Intricate/detailed

Yea, they’re all cool and the rage and used everywhere (I use one too), but make sure you know when to use and, even more importantly, when NOT TO use it.

  • Do not use in small sizes, even if it looks like it could be legible. This makes it very hard to read on a desktop and mobile it’s honestly a headache. Especially signature fonts, which are already hard enough to read as is; there’s no need to make it harder.

  • Do not use for important points or calls to action. You want whatever your call to action or first message is to be distinctive from the rest of your text, but still, be legible! If you write “call me now” and nobody can read it, nobody is going to call you.

  • Do not use in paragraphs. That hard to read bit? Even harder. For example, most signature fonts have very high ascenders and low descenders, which makes it even harder to read and extremely crowded. On the other hand, creating extra space does not make it look like paragraphs.

Now… should you care about this? If whatever you are using your specialty fonts for is not your primary message or your call to action, then go crazy! Consider what information is being displayed in this way and who is it for… maybe your ideal client likes the idea of solving the puzzle and finding the hidden message in your text. Instead of choosing a typeface because you like it, choose one because it is legible, gets your message across, meets your audience’s expectations, AND connects with your own values and style.


MOBILE VS DESKTOP

When it comes to mobile vs desktop, knowing where your audience hangs out can save you a lot of headaches! I want you to consider both if your website is mobile-friendly and all of your products and services, including your freebies! While this one may seem obvious to some, I am still getting freebies sent to me that I can only read on my computer, meaning during work hours, meaning I never get to them! And I know I am not the only one because the idea behind this topic came about after a conversation with a client of mine, where she had multiple of her own clients mention her freebies were hard to read!


Consider what information you are sharing with who. This goes back to your ideal clients and awareness goals. If your audience is hanging out on Instagram all the time, then they are most likely using mobile. This means, the link in your bio should lead to a mobile-friendly page and any freebies that you’re handing out through Instagram, should be mobile friendly. For example, I downloaded a PDF freebie the other day that I deleted shortly after downloading because it was set to be read on a computer. The other option was to zoom in and out and manually scroll every line… who has time for that?


If you’re not sure where your audience is hanging out, honestly… stay safe and look at some statistics. Mobile use has gone up significantly since the introduction of the smartphone And there are some places in the world where it’s actually more popular to use mobile than to use desktop. And then you have apps like Instagram that are, honestly, not desktop friendly. So think about what you are posting and where. Instead of creating them in the most popular or trendy style, using the coolest new template offered on Canva or Spark, or whatever… think of who is going to read it and where!


COLOURS

Colours play the biggest role in accessibility because it’s the easiest one to notice and change. For example, here are the worst possible colour combinations to use (meaning, don’t use them)…

  • Yellow text on a green background

  • Purple text on a green background

  • Yellow text on a white background

  • Navy blue text on a black background

  • Blue text on a red background (and reverse)

  • The entire rainbow in one place

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but roughly 5% of the world population has some type of colour blindness. 5% of 8 billion people! And the most common type of colour blindness is called red-green. This means that green looks more red, red looks greener or less bright, and being unable to tell the difference between these two at all. Most accessibility rules focus in some way or another very heavily on colour. You want to make sure that your message is legible not only with the typeface that you choose, but with the colour combinations that you have. This is due to approximately 5% of the world population has some form of colour blindness.


There are so many online contrast checkers available for free. Use them. Usually, if you think it’s not enough contrast then there isn’t. And if you’re still questioning it when others tell you it’s fine, go online and check. And by the way, contrast does not necessarily mean black text on a white background is the go-to.


Now, if by any chance you are targeting a very specific niche that has some form of colour blindness, you may ignore my previous suggestions as to colours not to use, because maybe one of those suggestions works better for your audience. Instead of going through and changing all of your colours to match accessibility standards, think about your audience. How likely is it for them to have some type of colour blindness AND would they even care if your brand colours are red or green?


LANGUAGE

I’ve talked about this so much on my social media and have even done a few language challenges, but in this case, I am referring to the more basic checks of spelling and grammar.


Before you create any content do the following…

  • Check your spelling

  • Check your grammar

  • Check them both again

  • And one more time

And if you miss something after that… hey, we’re only human! But there are a lot of free spell-checkers and grammar-checkers online. So if you’re finding yourself making multiple mistakes regularly, use one! You don’t want to seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about because you couldn’t say it properly. People will focus on that spelling mistake or that.


You want to make your content accessible with the legibility, with the colours, and with the actual message you’re sending through by making it easy to consume. If people catch a spelling mistake, they’re going to focus on that spelling mistake, not on the message behind it. PS. the easiest way for somebody to ignore you (and block you) is to pitch them without the proper grammar. I mean… “your want buy now?”


If you want to focus on language a bit more, what I’m going to suggest is come up with a style guide for your brand. What words to use when and where. But also, you may want to think about your spelling and how it relates to your audience. For example, I live in Canada and lived in the UK before that and I have had a lot more Australian clients than American and COLOURS are important to all of them!


And again, as usual, we go back to your audience. I want you to consider the language they use (not, not English vs anything else). Think about how they type – full sentences with proper grammar or str8 2 the point. Oooh.. or modern hieroglyphs! 👩🏻‍🔧❤️😸!


USER INTERFACE

Time to get a little technical and satisfy the nerd inside me. The good thing is that this information is useful not only for your social media accounts but also for your website.


I want you to think about the three-click rule and how to make it work from anywhere!

  • Find the shortest path possible

  • Avoid distractions on the way

  • Make it clear and concise

Social media platforms are not yours. Sadly, they don’t belong to you. The point on here is to get people interested in your content so that they go to your space, where you’re the queen. Whether that is a landing page, website, sign-up form, chat-box… whatever it is! You want to get your audience familiar with who you are. So the link in your bio is extremely powerful!


And to get people from your posts to it… to get them to click it, then go through the entire process afterwards of finding your offer… you want to make that as easy and comfortable as possible! Remember my earlier mention about mobile vs. desktop? These two are related because you want to not only find the fastest route, you also want it to finish somewhere accessible!


Now we’re getting a bit more into the technical side of it, and I’m not talking about going through and developing a whole new application or creating a new website from scratch, but I want to mention it because this one is important to your brand, especially if you’re using any social media as your main social media platform.


There is an unspoken, spoken… I’m actually not 100% sure on this, I have to look it up but there’s a three-click-rule. That means, when you’re building a website, it will take three clicks for your audience to get from where ever they entered the website to where ever they want to go on your website. So, let’s take into account social media accounts like Instagram.


Let’s say that you’ve posted a story on Instagram and you want people to go from your story into your website to read your latest blog article. Click number one is going to be your profile pic from your story to get into your bio. Click number two is going to be the link in your bio. Click number three is going to be a button on the webpage that’s being accessed that leads to that article.

Keep in mind that the more clicks options that you have and the more options that there are in general, then the more likely it is for your audience to get distracted and go somewhere else. Stuff like pop-ups, links within links, a crazy amount of buttons on the page that you are linking people to… all of that is going to make it really hard for your audience to get to the final destination. Find the shortest path possible for them to get from point A to point B. Simple.

Now, on the other hand, if your audience is extremely stubborn, very focused, knows exactly what they want, exactly where to go, and exactly what to do, feel free to take them on a merry chase. If they’re going to go on that chase, they’re going to love it, do it. Maybe that’s their thing.


As usual, let’s talk about your target audience… no, wait! You know all about that already, let’s focus on your awareness goals. This is when you make plans and figure out where your audience is hanging out and their general actions and steps to get from point A to point B. So that you can make yourself point B!

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