In this day and age, with social media profiles and easy access for employers to track and see your every typed word, it’s more important than ever to create and promote a personal brand. Being an employee in the competitive arts industry — graphic design, marketing, advertising, copywriting, PR, etc.— the need to create a personal brand emerges as the key to stand out from our peers.
When I started to create the Brett Brieva brand I wanted it to be completely different from anything on the scene now. I was inspired by static & natural patterns. I went with orange because it is an energetic colour and isn’t used as frequently, say like blue or green. And then I created everything. The logo, business cards, letterhead, rack card. The website, Facebook, Twitter, redid the Instagram, updated the LinkedIn, pin the posts on Pinterest. All so that I have a consistent brand across all platforms.
I know it’s work, and for some it might be hard to create all the creative elements of the brand, but if you invest in yourself it will payoff. Here are my tips to creating and promoting your brand to the fullest.
Live Your Brand. When you are at a public function; when you are at work; when you are in a community space — Live your brand. You are the walking, talking, sponsor of yourself. It is important to know that in certain situations you must always be “on”. If your personal brand is funny and rowdy, go for it. If it’s quiet and reserved, stand away from the crowd. Do whatever you feel best represents you and your brand.
Extend Your Brand. When your comfortable enough, and thinking of what is next for your brand. Extend it. For me, I created the ANARCHY magazine, showcasing local talent. Then I created this very blog. Next? I created a weekly newsletter called The Brief, summarizing the week’s news. Why? Because extending your brand shows range and allows you to use different outlets and gain experience that you can translate into your current or future workplace. Now, you don’t have to go buck wild and do it all. I just like to stay busy. But adding extensions onto your brand show a diverse portfolio and will communicate to your employers that you mean business.
Promote Your Brand. Hootsuite it. MailChimp it. Blog it. Yep. You need to always be generating that content that will go out to potential employers and clients. I like to differ the content from my Facebook to LinkedIn. Though they are the same in context, one is B2C and the other is B2B. Like a business, make sure you are marketing the correct content to your desired audience. Whether that be a tweet, a status, or a blog post. Try Facebook Ads for something, like boosting your website or a freelancing post. Promote it because you never know who is going to see it, and you are gaining the experience of using Ads at the same time. It will all come full circle and nothing will be done without knowledge being built.
Invest In Your Brand. I know, I know. Money, money, money. But money well spent will come back around. You never know who is going to read your blog post, sign up to your newsletter, like your tweet. Invest the right amount into your brand. For the best stationary products, such as business cards and letterheads, use moo.com.
Believe In Your Friends. This is my number one tip. If your friends come to you asking for input or your expertise, help them and believe in them. You need to help them build their brand as well. Especially with us designers and marketers, we can help all of our friends succeed in their industry by lending our time and skills.
And lastly, Don’t Stop. If you feel the need to quit a brand extension, don’t. If you feel you are running dry on content, take an evening to do brainstorming session with friends or family. All your hard work will pay off and have amazing benefits when you don’t stop, believe in yourself, and push through.
Here are some personal brands that I love!
Carly McCready. Carly is a copywriter from Toronto. I love her witty sense of humour and her professional website design. She carries her brand on and offline.
Amy Zhou. Amy is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo. Amy has an awesome Facebook Live show called aLIVE With Amy where she chats with friends about different topics from politics to friendship. She’s a gem.
7th.wonder. This dude is a killer photographer and always translates his profile vibes into his Instagram Stories.