Create a standard logo and avatar

Mobile has made ecommerce more visual than ever before, and your logo is often a buyer’s first impression of your company. You want it to not only give a good one but also reflect your selling personality.

Here’s what to do:

This step is very similar to the previous one but deals with graphics instead of words. If don’t already have a logo, there are a variety of logo generators online that do a great job for free. (Just for fun, I made the logo to the right in under a couple of seconds here.) There are also places like Fiverr, where you can have graphics made for you on the cheap. If you do have a logo, now’s a good time to look at it with fresh eyes. The word “professional” can sometimes be synonymous with sterile, but what you really want is something that’s memorable and eye-catching without being obviously amateurish. While that may be hard to define, look at what others in your niche and similar sites are doing in comparison to yours. If something sticks out as off, chances are it needs some more work or a fresh take. If your graphics skills aren’t great, it’s a worthwhile investment to hire a professional here because of how important a logo is to not just your marketing but also your business as a whole.

Once you’ve got a look you like, you’re going to create two basic versions of your logo. Square–width and height are the same, two banners–length is longer than height, where one is half the length of the other. Your logo need not have straight sides or even be symmetric; the idea is just to create a version that would fit into a square location and another that would fit into a rectangle. What you’re making now is the ideal version of the logo and will probably be a very large file, so it’s not a bad idea to save additional copies in a lower resolution like 72 dpi, which is better for web viewing. Just make sure you keep editable versions of all original files in case you need to modify or do a different version later.

While you’re at it, select a picture you’d like to use for your own standard headshot for the places that may call for it and crop it so you have versions in both square and rectangle orientations. While a candid can work, a photo of you at work or surrounded by something related to your niche would be the most help to humanize you to your customers.

Why are we doing this?

While a personal photo can work for your avatar everywhere in certain cases, a nice, clean logo can show your customers what you’re all about and what you sell at a glance. One that’s eye-catching and memorable can also help market your business and frame how your customers think about what and how you sell. But while the marketing benefits of a good logo are many, taking the time to do all this ahead of time is a real time-saver as well.

While every site has its own specific image requirements, you’ve given yourself a great template for just about everywhere you’re going to need an image so you don’t have to waste time designing something from scratch every time you sign up somewhere new. The banner can be modified to fit places such as your eBay store header, Facebook banner, or even banner ads you may do on other websites, while the square version is great for avatars like profile pictures and even for using on your company checks or letterhead.