Assuming you use Pinterest as much as I do, you’ve probably seen the word “branding” pop up here and there. But what is branding, how do you create a brand, and how do you brand yourself? Branding is the personality of your business.
Think about your best friend and your boss. Unless your best friend is your boss, you probably speak and interact with these people differently. You may goof off with your best friend and can act out. But with your Boss, you act more professional.
So let’s compare this with your brand.
Your brand has to do with how you interact with your customers and how they perceive you. So, your boss sees you as a hard-working professional, while your friend sees you as crazy and a fun friend.
Are you starting to get it?
You get to choose how people view and interact with your brand. Will individuals who see your brand see a business with a professional tone, a caring tone, or a fun and colourful tone?
Brand Yourself in 5 Steps
I create brands for small businesses and bloggers professionally, so I know that I can help you create an excellent brand, but you’ll need to do some work.
Grab a pen and paper and let’s get to work. If you follow along, you’ll have an impressive and functional brand like the one below by the end of this post. So let’s get started, shall we?
Brand Yourself Step 1: Determine Your Brand Purpose
To create the visual aspects of your brand, you need to narrow in on your purpose. You need to think about what YOU want to do, what your AUDIENCE expects from you, and how those two things tie together. Here are a few questions I ask my clients to understand their purpose and create a killer brand for them:
- What are your goals for your business?
- Then, What service does your business provide?
- Who is your audience? Get specific (think age, gender, goals, occupation, hobbies, etc.)
- Then, What will your audience expect to get from your business?
- Finally, What value does your brand give to your audience?
Okay, so now get to work. Did you grab that paper and pen or workbook at the beginning of the post? No? Get it now! I’ll wait.
Ready to start now? Awesome.
I want you to look over the questions above one more time and jot down your answer to each one. These responses are essential because they will guide your business and brand. Remember, your brand is all about serving your audience, so be thoughtful in your replies.
Once you’ve come up with some answers, combine them into one single statement (it can be more than one sentence). For my own business, I would say: Bree Brudnicki Creative Design Studios provides website design, branding, and stock photos to women ages 20-50 who want to start a small business or blog. My goal is to provide these services and educate my audience so that they can understand their website and run a profitable business.
Brand Yourself Step 2: Find Your Brand Personality
We have one more planning step to get your brand on the road. If you want to brand yourself, you need to think about your brand’s personality. Thinking about your brand’s personality will help you as you choose the visual parts of your brand. It will allow you to choose visuals that reflect your brand’s personality.
Still, have your pen and paper ready? Good. Because I’m going to ask you a few more questions to narrow your focus. Write down your answers to each question, and we can get to the fun part (the visuals!)
- What are the 3-5 core values of your brand?
- If your brand was a person, what personality traits would it have?
- How do you want your brand to come across to your audience?
Set a timer for 5 minutes. Write down any words you would use to represent your brand.
Have your answers? Good! Now let’s apply them in picking some brand visuals.
Brand Yourself Step 3: Create a Pinterest Board
I hope you like Pinterest because our next step is done there. Open another tab or window and go to Pinterest. I want you to create a new board. You can call it whatever you want, and it can be public or secret. Mine is called “Personal Brand Board”, and it’s secret, but as I said, yours can be whatever you want.
Once you’ve created a new board go ahead and look at your purpose statement and the words you came up with when brainstorming your personality. You are going to use both of those things together to create your inspiration board.
First, you’re going to use your personality words. Remember that list of words you created in 5 minutes? Take that list and find at least one pin to represent each word and pin it to the new board you created. You can also do this for your values and personality traits, but it’s most important for the words you came up with when you had your timer going.
After you’ve pinned at least one image for every word, visit your brand board. I want you to look at your pins and delete any that don’t fit your purpose, values, and brand personality. After that, you can remove any others that just don’t fit visually. You should have a pretty cohesive look by now that represents your brand.
This is what mine looks like!
Brand Yourself Step 4: Choose Your Colours
Are you getting excited? You’re already over halfway done building your brand!
Again, look at your board. I want you to write down any colour themes you see and any moods or themes (these themes should match your values and personality traits you came up with). If you already have a great colour scheme from that, then that’s awesome. If not, here are my three favourite tools I enjoy using:
- Adobe Color CC – This one is great if you found one or maybe two colours that you like but want to make a complete colour scheme with it. You can put in your base colour and then choose what type of colour scheme you want (monochromatic, complementary, etc.). There’s also a custom option if you want to play with all the colours.
- Coolers – Coolers will randomly generate colour palettes for you. If you find a full palette you like, then you can use it. If a palette pops up and you like one colour you can lock that colour and have it continue generating colours to go with that colour. You can do a lot of fiddling to get the perfect colour scheme.
- Canva – If you want the easiest way to pick a colour scheme, choose Canva. Choose a photo from your board with colours that you want to represent your brand and upload it here. Canva will look at the image and pick colours from it. BOOM! There’s your colour palette.
As you create your palette, keep in mind a great colour palette will consist of 3-5 colours. Mine just has two colours and then a few neutrals, so you can pick whatever works best for your brand.
Here’s an example of what canva came up with using one of their sample images.
Brand Yourself Step 5: Choose Your Fonts
Woohoo! We made it to the last step, selecting fonts. We’re going to pick fonts from Google fonts because they’re free for web use and you can also use them when creating graphics. Win win!
So head over to Google fonts. Do you see in the right-hand corner where it says categories? You get to choose TWO and only two. You will choose one to be the text for your headings and one to be your body copy text. You’ll probably want to choose a serif and a sans-serif.
Choose one font in each of the categories you selected. Make sure they look beautiful together and that they fit your brand personality. If you used one or both of those fonts in a graphic, would it look nice with your brand board? If so, you’ve chosen your fonts.
Put It All Together
Wow, you just created your brand! That wasn’t too hard, was it? Now let’s put it all together into one cohesive brand board for you to look back at as you continue working on your blog. All you have to do is download the template here and plugin your colours, fonts, and photo inspiration that you’ve already chosen.
Be sure to post your completed brand boards on social media and tag Claire (@Clarity.Avenue)) and me (@breebrudnicki)! We would love to see what you came up with and hear about your personal brand journey.