Nesha Designs

How to choose the perfect colour palette for your small business

BrandingNesha Woolery

Do your brand colours really matter? 

Are your potential clients going to care what shade of blue you used on your website?

Does your business colour palette have any say in whether someone buys from you?

It may astonish some folks, but the answer to all of those questions is yes. 

About Education put it better than I ever could myself when they wrote, 'colour can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions. It is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and cause psychological reactions.'

The power of colour has never ceased to amaze me, not even when I was a kid. When I was six years old I loved the way yellow could cheer me up and make me feel happy. In fact, I went through a stage of wanting yellow everything! Yellow coat, yellow boots, yellow headbands, yellow socks... Even at six years old I subconsciously recognized that yellow made me feel good, so I wanted more of it.

The psychological affects of colour still aren't fully understood by today's scientists (which makes it all the more magical!) but there are certain colours that are universally known for having the same psychological affects on people around the world. 


Red is stimulating, lively and powerful. Some people also view it as demanding or intense. It's associated with love, warmth and comfort and is the perfect colour to use for things like call to actions on your website!


Blue is often associated with stability, trust and responsibility. It's a quiet colour; a colour that conveys peace and tranquility. In other words, it's the perfect colour for health-based businesses, or businesses that want to convey trustworthiness and calmness among other stable, professional qualities. 


I love yellow! It's one of my all-time favourites, so excuse me while I totally geek about it. Right. Here goes...

Yellow resonates with the left side of our brain. It's the best colour to stimulate enthusiasm and joy! Teamed with other bright colours, it can really help create a happy, colourful brand. 


Green is a colour of balance and harmony, which is why you'll usually see it used with healthcare businesses and psychology practices. It's a positive colour that goes hand in hand with growth and renewal!

You're probably thinking this all sounds a little woo woo, right?

But stick around. I promise I'm not just making this stuff up.

Some people don't understand how colour can affect people, or how it has any real impact at all. I get how it can seem that way. But evidence doesn't lie. Take a look at some of these amazing ways colour has affected people psychologically:

  • One study found that warm coloured placebo pills were reported as more effective than cool-coloured placebo pills.
  • Researchers at the Nation Hockey League games discovered that teams who wore black were penalized more than others. 
  • Researchers at Creighton University found that people with blue offices felt calmer and more hopeful towards their work than people with other office colors. 
  • And finally, my favourite: research shows that red is associated with passion so it's the colour that men like the most on a woman they're on a first date with. However, blue is the most stable colour and women love stable men, so blue always goes down a treat with the ladies. (I don't know about you girls out there but that's true in my book!)

How to choose the perfect colour palette for your small business

So you get the importance of colour and the psychological affect it can have on people. But let's apply this stuff to business!

Before choosing a colour palette, ask yourself...

  • What psychological affect do I want my business to have on my customers?
  • How do I want people to feel about my brand?
  • What do I want people to think when my brand name comes up?
  • Which brands make be feel the best and why? How do they accomplish that?

Those are all things that your colour palette has a lot of control over. If you want your brand to leave potential clients with a good impression, you need to use a colour palette that expresses exactly what your brand stands for. Your colour palette needs to trigger the emotions you want from your clients and customers. 

But how do you choose the perfect colour palette to do that?

Here's a little graphic I made to help you find your perfect colour palette!

I've listed four categories above that all convey completely different emotions to each other. Depending on the emotions and vibes you want your brand to convey, you may fit into one of the categories in the graphic! Here's a more detailed breakdown of the emotion behind each category, and what types of businesses suit each category. 

1. Feminine, light and happy

A brand with colours like this conveys feelings of happiness, lightness, joy, friendliness and clarity. I find that light, bright and feminine colours are perfect for wedding-based businesses, party-based businesses or businesses that only target women.

2. Bright, bold and strong

The second palette conveys just as much happiness as the first, but it's a lot stronger and bolder. Bold, bright colours suit business owners with big, vibrant personalities! They're especially suitable for coaching businesses, accessories shops or stationery shops. Think Kate Spade and Whitney English!

3. Natural, deep and intimate

This colour palette is a lot more muted than the first two. It's deep, natural, dark, but not depressing. Businesses that choose a palette like this are usually trying to make their clients and customers feel a sense of belonging and calm, such as yoga instructors or crisis coaches.

4. Cosy and comforting

Lastly, we have a palette that is cosy, warm, comforting and friendly. These kind of palettes are a great option for business owners who fit into the category of 'natural, deep and intimate' but want a palette that is more welcoming and warm.

Why invest in a professional logo?

BrandingNesha Woolery

"I can make my own logo. So why should I pay a professional to do it for me?"

That's a line I've heard time and time again, often said by new business owners who used a free font in Canva, or worse: took a screenshot of a font from Myfonts and cropped it to make their 'logo'.

I don't blame new business owners wanting to save money. After all, starting a business can be costly, especially if you don't have any clients yet. But investing in something as essential as a professional logo is what I like to call a smart investment: an investment that will pay off ten-fold. And investment you won't have to make again for years.

Hiring a designer to create your logo doesn't cost very much in the grand scale of things, and it benefits your business tremendously. 

You're probably wondering how. I bet you're thinking...

  • I've survived perfectly fine with my homemade logo so far.
  • What's wrong with taking screenshots of fonts from sites like Myfonts and cropping them to make my logo? (You know that's illegal... right?)
  • How can a logo benefit my business so much? 

I understand that it can seem baffling to non-designer. That's why I'm going to break down why you need a professional logo, and the difference between a professional and homemade logo. By the end of this article you should be perfectly clear on whether you need to purchase a logo design or not!  

The difference between a professional logo and a DIY'd logo

Believe it or not, there are a lot of differences. BIG differences. But here are the most imperative...

01. Level of experience

Even though you may think your logo is utterly beautiful, someone with years of design experience may immediately be able to see that it isn't.

Why is that?

A novice hasn't designed anything before and lacks experience, knowledge and an eye for brand design. Because of that, they sometimes don't recognize their creation isn't great. 

But a designer has had years of experience and will be able to perfectly articulate what you want your brand to convey through your logo and style.

I'm not saying that anyone who isn't a professional designer sucks at design- nooooo way. Some people are naturally talented when it comes to art and design! But if your speciality isn't design, don't try and kid yourself into thinking that it is. That's like me trying to take perfectly professional photos of my workspace. They'd probably turn out OK, but I wouldn't be able to get my photos looking as good as a pro would because photography isn't what I specialize in. 

02. Practicality

A novice who DIY'd their logo most likely made it in Canva or Photoshop. You may think that Photoshop is an acceptable program to create logos in, but it isn't. 

Designers use Illustrator to create logos because Illustrator allows vector designs, and Photoshop doesn't. A vector logo can scale to any size without pixelating or losing quality.

Designers also go even further by ensuring the logo is print friendly, is in a variety of web and print file formats for the business owner, and is correctly set up. 

If the business owner sent off their homemade logo to print, chances are that it would come out blurry. But a professionally-made logo won't.

The visuals

Let's face it- most people can spot a DIY'd logo from a mile away. An unprofessional logo gives off an unprofessional impression. 

If you had to choose between buying from a shop that has a professional logo and polished image, and one that has a DIY'd logo and amateur identity, who would you choose? I'd choose the former. 

How you present your business will hugely impact your level of success. At the end of the day, you could have the best homepage copy in the world, the most amazing head shots, the greatest products and a killer marketing plan... But a shabby presentation (aka. brand identity and website) will put most potential customers off before they even get to the other stuff. 

Think of it this way. Imagine you're walking along the street and you pass a tiny, soggy cardboard box. Would you pick it up and look inside? Of course not! You'd walk by without a care in the world.

What if the box was a Tiffany box? One of their signature blue boxes? It's just sitting there, unopened, right beside your feet! Would you bend down and pick it up? Would you check to make sure there's something inside? Would your heart flutter when you see a beautiful diamond ring inside? 

The answer to all of those questions is yes. 

But why? What's the difference between the first scenario and the second?


Even though a lot of business owners don't like to think it, presentation is the thing that will either draw customers in or turn them away. 

Need a designer?

I'm currently booking design clients for the end of the year! If you're in need of a brand or website design for your small business, head over here to check out my packages, prices and process. When you're ready, get in touch and we can discuss your project!

My top 10 tips for newbie designers

BusinessNesha Woolery
My top 10 tips for newbie designers. Advice to help new designers start freelancing and start making a consistent, sustainable income from it. 

If you're a newbie designer, you're most likely a college student itching to get their work into the world and start living the freelance life. 

Or, you're someone who has an interest or a qualification in design but you're stuck in a toxic day job that eats away at your soul. You want to quit and start freelancing. You want to be your own boss. You sometimes do freelance work on evenings and weekends, but it doesn't bring in enough money to enable you to quit your day job. 

You need the income your day job provides. After all, there's rent to pay, food to buy, a car to run... Quitting your job just doesn't seem feasible right now. Especially since the bulk of financial responsibility will lie on your hubby. Leaving him to handle most bills by himself while you build the dream hardly seems fair, does it?

I completely understand how you feel. 

It's a catch 22, am I right?

I was one of the lucky ones. When I started freelancing, I was living at home and I didn't have many expenses to think about. Quitting my day job wasn't as life-threatening as it is for the mother of two with a hard-working husband, or the young wife with a mortgage to pay. 

But even though it wasn't extremely difficult for me to quit my day job and become a freelance designer, I've consulted with women who are in these exact situations.

I've also spoken with new designers who:

  • Can't seem to book any clients.
  • Don't have ANY inquiries coming in (which means they have no money coming in.)
  • Keep booking the wrong kind of clients. (Aka. The Penny Pinchers) and don't know how to attract any other kind of client. 
  • Feel like they're in over their heads and super stressed out. 

Being a newbie designer is hard work, and my heart goes out to you. You have the passion to make a success of your freelance business but it feels so HARD sometimes- am I right?

Let me show you some freelance statistics to put a smile back on your face

Here's are some stats from The Freelancers Union:

  • There are 53 million people freelancing in the US and 1.4 million in the UK (which is a 14% growth for us Brits!)
  • Twice as many freelancers have seen an increase in demand in the past year as have seen a decrease – 32% experienced an increase versus 15% who have seen a decrease.
  • 65% said freelancing as a career path is more respected today than it was three years ago.

And yet, finding work and, correspondingly, income stability are the top barriers that stop people from freelancing full-time. 

In other words? Fear is what stops people from freelancing. 

When we look at those statistics we can clearly see that the odds are with us freelance designers, not against us. Even though there are SO many people taking up the freelance ranks, there's still enough work for us all. 

(If you're looking for ways to actually get that work, fill out the form below to get my freebie: 5 *non-icky* ways to promote your services!)

I want you to be a part of the freelancers that take the leap and make a success of their businesses, not the freelancers that decide against freelancing full-time because of fear. 

But I realize that starting a freelance design business can be scary. It was for me! 

Here are my top 10 tips for newbie designers:

1. Save as much money as you can before you quit your day job

Before I quit my day job, I saved some money so that I could use it to live a comfortable lifestyle while freelancing full-time and trying to build my business. However, I still wish I'd saved more. Having money saved away for tough times makes me feel less stressed and more secure. If you have a lot of expenses to cover, like a mortgage and a car, try and save as much as you possibly can before freelancing full-time. Even if your freelance business immediately brings in shed loads of money, you'll benefit from having some tucked away in a savings account. 

2. Still studying? Intern as much as possible

Learning from how other designers run their businesses will help you understand how you should run yours. When you intern for others, you'll be able to learn how to communicate with clients, set client boundaries, charge clients, manage projects, manage expenses and much more. 

3. Don't niche your business- yet

Every business owner on the web tells you to choose a niche for your business, but this is only solid advice if you've been in business for a year or more. I tell new designers to wait. Try everything under the sun first! Try corporate design, designing for small businesses, designing for men and women, print design, web design... Try as many aspects of design as you can, then specialize in the areas you loved the most. 

4. Create a business plan.

So you decided to leap into freelancing? Excellent! I applaud you. But now what? Before doing anything, create a business plan. A plan will keep you on track towards hitting your income goals, and it will ensure that you stay focused. I conducted business without a plan for two years because I simply couldn't get the hang of planning. But when I incorporated a business plan, my income tripled and I managed my business ten times better. Business plans are worth it. 

If you need a fun and simple business plan template, we have one in The Shelancers Club!

5. Make friends.

One of the best ways to make a name for yourself online as a designer is to make friends with other designers! You could learn a lot from them, and they could provide you with some really great advice. You may also find that your friends end up referring work to you- double win!

6. Don't compare yourself with others.

Do you often compare yourself with designers who have been freelancing for years? Don't!! The truth is, they haven't always been so good at what they do. They've had to start at the very beginning like you. Don't compare someone else's Level 5 with your Level 1. 

7. Build your portfolio

You're a newbie designer, so I'm guessing you have some time on your hands while you build up your business, right? Use that time to build up a portfolio of the kind of work you'd like to do. If you don't have paying clients, create your own design projects! You can still add self-initiated work to your portfolio because it's still an example of the quality of work you can deliver. 

8. Uncover your core purpose

The aim of freelancing isn't simply to make money. You should love designing. If you don't have a true passion for it, you may yourself getting tired of it as the years go on. This can result in resenting your clients and half-heartedly completing their projects. So, if you haven't started your design business yet, ask yourself- do you truly love what you do? If not, is there another freelance career you could choose? Something you'll love doing and never get tired of?

10. Create content

When I first became a freelance designer, I started a blog. My blog has not only lead clients to me but it has also lead me to a lot of my designer friends. If you create a blog about design, your articles will prove to your potential clients that you know what you're talking about.

You shouldn't only be creating blog posts though. You should create paid products, like digital files or eBooks! Selling things like this will make you some spare income on the side of your design business. Passive income is a really great thing to have when your design business starts to go through a slow patch!

FREE bonus!

It can be hard for new designers to get their name known in the online world. The hustle is real!! Landing your first few clients is the hardest part, but I've put together a guidebook of 5 ways you can promote your services and get your business going! Just click the button below to download it. Enjoy, my friends!

4 ways to get more newsletter subscribers from your website

Website TipsNesha Woolery

95% of your visitors won't buy anything on their first visit.

They have usually stumbled across you via social media, someone else's website or Google, so they're just browsing around and looking for free stuff that may interest them. 

The best way to turn these visitors into paying customers/clients? Get them on your list! Send them freebies, regularly remind them you exist, and turn them into your super-fans.

You probably already know this because there are thousands of articles, podcasts and books telling us we need to build an email list, but why? Does every business owner need one? And if you decide to build your list, how can you do it?

Those are the questions I'm hoping to answer in this article. Because I totally understand how it can feel, knowing that you need a list but not knowing where to start or how to build it. 

Most newsletter subscribers are going to opt in on your website, right? That means you need to spend some time strategically planning ways to get more subscribers from your website. Opt-in placement, lead magnets (aka. The thing you offer your subscribers in exchange for their email address), opt-in design and how frequently you mention your newsletter are all major factors when growing your list.

So, let's break those points down!

9 ways to get more newsletter subscribers from your website

01. Opt-in placement

Web users spend 80% of their time on a website above the fold (that's the upper-half of your site.) It's a proven fact that placing an opt-in above the fold it results in more newsletter subscribers than simply placing it in your sidebar or footer. If your website theme allows it, that's great! An opt-in right below your header is the prime position, and results in the most subscribers. 

However, sometimes it's not possible to add an op-tin there, especially if you're a Squarespace user and you template doesn't allow that. Need a little workaround? Squarespace users should enable the announcement bar. It's the bar you see above my nav menu. Since adding that bar, my number of monthly subscribers has grown by 60%. Woah!!

As well as placing an opt-in above the fold, try placing one in your sidebar, on your homepage and in your footer. The more important your newsletter is to you, the more frequently it should appear on your website. {Click to tweet}

02. Lead magnets

A lead magnet is the freebie you offer your visitors when they opt in to your newsletter. When creating a lead magnet, you want it to convert as many visitors to subscribers as possible, so do this:

01. Write down who your target audience is. For me, it's femtrepreneurs who want to stand out online and start attracting their dream clients.

02. Then write down the things they struggle with; things that are related to your industry. For example, I'm a designer, so things my target audience struggle with when it comes to design is defining their brand position, gaining brand clarity, designing brand collateral, using Squarespace and website design. Because I understand what my target audience struggles with, I can create a lead magnet that appeals to their pain points and solves their struggles.

03. Brainstorm lots of product ideas using those topics. This product is going to be your free lead magnet, so when you've chosen a topic that your audience struggles with, you'll need to decide on a format (ebook, email course, checklist, video...) and get creating. 

04. When you've created your opt-in freebie, start advertising it on your website alongside your newsletter! You'll see lots more subscribers flooding in. 

03. Opt-in design

Opt-ins that are bright with bold text always get the most subscribers, so try and make your opt-in background a bright color, your text a bright color, or your button bright. 

It also improves your subscriber rate to add an image of your freebie next to your opt-in. Since I added an image of my free Brand Discovery eBook to my sidebar newsletter, my subscribers rate has increased. Cool, right?

Pictured above: My sidebar newsletter and this bright and beautiful opt-in from Jess Says.

04. Frequently mention your newsletter

Throughout your website, you can link to your newsletter page. I do this in blog posts that are related to my opt-in freebie. I simply add a line to my post like, 'Pssst! I made a free book about this. You can download it here.'

Another excellent way to mention your newsletter in blog posts is content upgrades. They've become insanely popular lately- and for good reason. A content upgrade is a bonus freebie that's related to your post. At the end of your post, you offer your readers the free upgrade in exchange for their email address. 

Just look below at the stats of one of my recent content upgrades. From just one blog post, I gained 57 (and counting) new subscribers thanks to my content upgrade. Those are subscribers I may never have gained if I hadn't added that upgrade to my post. 

There are dozens of ways you can gain more newsletter subscribers from your website. The best thing I can advise you to do is experiment. Experiment with your opt-in placement, design, lead magnet and content upgrades until you find what works for you.

5 ways to use Pancake app in your freelance business

BusinessNesha Woolery
5 ways to use Pancake App in your freelance business. Pancake is my favorite tool for invoicing! Perfect for creative entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners.

What is Pancake App? Why use Pancake?

Pancake is online invoicing, project management, time tracking and proposal software for your business. You only pay for it once and then you're done! No monthly payments snapping at your bank balance. 

Pancake app does what Freshbooks, Quickbooks and Wave does- but better. 

I've been using Pancake to invoice my clients for the last two years and even though I've tried a lot of other invoicing systems, they haven't come close to what Pancake can do. 

With Pancake I can:

  • Create, brand and customize my invoices. 
  • Create payments plans for my clients (which is sadly something I couldn't do when I tried Freshbooks.)
  • Send estimates and proposals.
  • Bill my clients in any currency (which I couldn't do in Wave.)
  • Track my time.
  • Track my expenses.
  • Manage my projects with my clients and other team members.

I've tried Freshbooks, Outright and lots of other systems for invoicing, but I've come back to Pancake each time because it offers more. It's probably the best business tool I've ever had the pleasure of using in my biz!

Since a lot of freelancers were asking me questions about it on Facebook, I thought I'd do a review so I could dive deeper into what Pancake app can do and show you how Pancake app can benefit your business.

5 ways to use Pancake app for your freelance business

1. Create and send proposals. Pancake has a simple, easy-to-use proposal system that allows you to create beautiful multi-page proposals. This is the perfect way to win client work! While other freelancers are sending one-page estimates or quoting directly within emails, you can create beautiful documents that will not only outline the cost of your projects but also impress your clients. 

You can even create reusable sections so that creating proposals again and again doesn't take up much time. 

2. Create, brand and customize your estimates and invoices. If you don't need to send multi-page proposals to your potential clients, you can send one-page estimates. You can create reusable invoice items detailing each of your services and what they include, so you don't have to keep writing out every estimate. You just choose the services the client wants and they appear on the estimate!

When the client accepts the estimate, Pancake turns it into an invoice and automatically creates a project for you in the Project Management section. 

Creating invoices using Pancake app is really fun and easy! You can customize them with your brand colors and logo, and you can even tweak fonts and layout if you know CSS.

You can create payment plans that go at the bottom of your invoices, so you can easily charge your client a deposit and then split their remaining payment however you'd like- without having to create a separate invoice for each part of their payment. 

Your clients can pay a number of ways through your Pancake invoices: credit cards, Paypal, Stripe, bank transfer... you name it!

3. Manage your projects. Managing projects shouldn't be complicated. With Pancake, you get a project management section where you can set project milestones, tasks, create discussions with your clients and share files. 

4. Track your time. Pancake has built-in timers (and even a mobile time-tracking app!) to help you time your work and see how much time you're spending on each project. Pancake then creates timesheets and gives you a snapshot of what projects/tasks you spend the most time on. 

5. Track your expenses and view financial reports. Pancake app lets you upload expenses, categorize them and attach your receipts to them. It also offers a range of financial reports that show you how much money you earn per client, how many payments are overdue, the most popular payment methods your clients use and more.

Other things you should know about Pancake app...

  • It allows you to see when a client has viewed your invoices.
  • You pay once for it and install it on your own website (but please beware: you can't install Pancake on Squarespace websites. Pancake is perfect for Wordpress website owners though.)
  • If you don't know how to install it on your website, that's cool. The Pancake team will install it for you for free!

* You should know- the links in this post are affiliate links. But don't worry- I'm only an affiliate for products I truly love; products that have benefited my business and improved my process.

* The images in this blog post are property of Pancake App.

Free content bonus!

If you like the look of Pancake then you'll LOVE the 19 other tools I've put together in my free guide for solopreneurs. Click the button below to get it!