Humans are programmed to react to colors in a predictably emotional way.
There’s a whole psychology of colors, in fact, that allows us to create specific feelings and emotional responses by careful choice of colors for our advertising, websites, logos, etc.
Any time we can discern a pattern in the behavior of our ideal prospects and clients, we can use that built-in response behavior to attract them over and over.
You can quickly learn what colors mean to people and how to set up your Signature Colors to draw in exactly the right people who appreciate you and what you stand for.
COLOR BASICS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Let’s get a quick review of major color groups as a foundation for our discussion.
Primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. Of course, children love the primary colors because they’re bright and clean and fun. Who doesn’t, right? We’re all kids at heart.
Red is all about attraction — an action color, energy, strength, passion excitement, and adventure. It intensely challenges the eyes and the emotions. You see it with food logos such as Wendy’s, Chic Filet, and Kentucky Fried Chicken…not to mention Coca-Cola, ESP, and Canon.
Red is also about danger (fire / fire truck), anger (seeing red), and warning (stop sign).
Blue is calming, confident, trustworthy, purposeful, and loyal. It’s relaxing, no stress, somehow feels good, like the blue sky and blue waters. Think IBM, Facebook, Samsung, HP, and PayPal…and your vacation to favorite seaside spots.
Yellow tends to feel cheery, positive, fun joyful, and bright like a sunny day. It seems to stimulate the thought of logic, but also can convey cowardice, deception, and caution…as in when the traffic light turns yellow. Too much yellow, too bright can be off-putting. Better to use it more for accents with colors that go well with yellow, such as blue, charcoal, and (think the Green Bay Packers), green. Think McDonald’s Golden Arches, Shell Oil (with red), and Post-Its.
Secondary colors are combinations of primary colors: green, orange, and purple.
Green (blue + yellow) is universally about life, nature, health, prosperity, harmony, and safety. Think outdoors, luck (four-leaf clover), and good things happening. Think John Deere tractors, Subway, and Land Rover logos.
Orange (red + yellow) evokes optimism, freedom, youth, and pleasure. Think of the soft drink logos for Fanta and Crush…UPS (on brown)…and Nickelodeon.
Purple (red + blue) is perceived as a royal shade of value, wisdom, luxury, and power.
Back to kids, we know they love the colors in a rainbow, which include both primary and secondary colors.
Tertiary colors are combinations of primary and secondary – yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, and yellow-green. Tertiary colors work well with the others when picking your third basic color for your signature look.
Here’s an example of a mixed color that can work well for some people.
Champagne is a classy and stylish color and signature attraction, while still being “modest.” It’s a tertiary color mixture of yellow and orange.
Make sure it works with your skin tone (see Video Color Rules down below).
And finally, complementary combinations tend to be pleasing to the eye and good combinations for marketing: blue and orange…red and green…purple and yellow.
Black represents power, boldness, mystery, elegance, and stability. It goes with almost every color as a background or accent. Black is actually blue + red + yellow…or orange + purple + green.
White is all about purity, innocence, luxury, security, and peace…wedding dresses, doves, and all things clean. White has equal shares of all the colors, which is why it tends to go well with everything except the super pale colors.
Then there are color mixes that tend to be trendy (remember avocado and gold appliances and shag carpets in the 70s?) – teal, peach, magenta, turquoise, and so on.
These mixtures show up in new car paint colors each year and interior decorators’ recommendations for your home (light grey-brown one year, beige another, etc.).
DON’T FORGET: You’re not picking your favorite colors, because it’s not about you. Choose colors for how your viewers react emotionally, to make it a connecting experience for them. That’s how you draw your ideal customers.
HOW VIDEO IS DIFFERENT
Video is built around electronic colors for televisions, mobile screens, and computer monitors.
It’s the RGB system — RED, GREEN, and BLUE as its primary colors…
Making CYAN, YELLOW, and MAGENTA the secondary colors.
A six-digit hex code identifies each color – for example, #23f4a3 – which makes it so much easier to pick precise colors for your video work.
HINT: It’s better to search RGB color samples because that’s what you see on screen. Find a site that lets you see all the various RGB color samples and also color families that work well together.
WHY COLOR IS KEY TO BUILD YOUR BRAND
It ain’t about you, friend, but all about your viewers.
Remember, your messages on video and elsewhere are not about you, but about attracting your ideal prospects – so don’t let yourself pick your favorite colors. It’s the best colors to draw in your ideal clients that you want on that screen at all times.
You want your ideal prospects to resonate with you and your brand – i.e., to feel good about the way you look and sound as a potential solution to their urgent pains, fears, needs, or wants.
You want them to trust you, to accept your authority, and to be impressed with your credentials. You can accomplish all three with proper use of color and get almost immediate acceptance of you as a problem solver.
So your “Signature Look” that seals the deal is a combination of color, words, and etcetera that says “professional go-to expert in your niche” to your ideal customers.
Choose 3 RGB family colors for your outreach (website, online ads and social media posts, on-camera background and theme, etc.):
- 1 Main Theme – find one color that’s not too dark or light, but which richly conveys the feelings you want them to have about you. I like the widely appreciated dark but rich blue as my background for its sense of confidence, trust, professionalism, and just plain beauty.
- 2 Support Color – choose a blue family color, or a complementary color for accent lines, boxes, buttons, etc. You can easily find charts online that show you all the combinations for picking here. For a blue main, this color could be red, yellow, gold, orange, magenta, etc.
- 3 Accent Color – used for thin lines, bullets, buttons to push, and anything you want to stand out and get noticed. Red, yellow, gold, and white work well for most things.
Here are a few examples of ideal combinations from Canva.com.
Find that pleasant-to-your-viewers’-eyes combination that generates the right attributes in the viewer’s mind and sets a positive standard people will recognize as your brand.
Recommendation: Hire an experienced video graphic artist to lay out all your visuals to give them professional formatting, balance, and design. This person will be able to find the exact hex numbers for the best match of 1-3 above.
Color is a powerful way to attract your ideal customers who can appreciate your qualities and the solutions you can provide – or to chase them away with bad choices.
Set your own personal preferences aside and let the natural human message of each color you use serve to be a strong connection to you and your brand for your ideal customers.
Let your ideal customers “choose” those colors for you, based on their sense of your personal qualities and what you have to offer as solutions for their problems.
If your research is thorough, your colors will convey that you understand their specific pains and have a trustworthy solution for them.
Those who resonate most with those colors and your message will end up being your ideal customers – the only ones you’ll want to attract, because they will be your long-term tribe and sell your business for you with their enthusiastic testimonials.
Color chosen by your ideal customers is your friend. Embrace that new friend and prosper.