Update: Like watching videos instead? Scroll down to watch the video of this blog post.
Also be sure to read Part 2 when you’re done: The Secrets To Revitalizing Your Brand Online (Part 2)
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou
What does Maya Angelou have to do with branding? Lots, my friends.
And speaking of friends, I must say I have great friends.
Because they didn’t get annoyed at me for saying for the past X months that I needed to refresh/revitalize/renew and about any word that started with an “r-e” to my brand.
Even saying “my brand” sounds cheesy to me, because I believe that building a brand should be organic and no frills and based on the real you.
Since I’m very busy, and constantly juggling lot of balls in the air, I needed to refresh/revitalize/renew my personal brand in a way that could be done relatively easily.
So this is what I did and you can use the same steps to refresh/revitalize/renew your brand too. And I promise that’s the last time I’ll use this joke in the article.
STEP I: CREATE YOUR BLUEPRINT
1. Get Clear
Before you do anything at all in life, you need to (or at least it’s best to) GET CLEAR. Many times people confuse getting clear with having everything figured out. They are not the same thing. Getting clear is having a focus, not necessarily planning all the itty bitty details in advance. I knew for me my focus on my website would be all about creativity.
2. What’s Your Purpose?
In order to have a clear brand you must know your purpose. What is the end goal that you want to achieve? Most people want to eventually sell products and services. However, you must know why you want to sell them, and how they will benefit your audience. Part of my purpose is to engage, entertain, and enlighten, which also happens to be one of the key benefits they receive. So my tip is to make sure your purpose ties into your key benefit(s).
3. What’s Your Promise?
What is your promise to your readers and viewers? Is it to blow their minds with amazing content? To make them feel special? If you can always fulfill that promise to your fans, the sky’s the limit. Everyday work on fulfilling that promise. How do you do that? By asking yourself the question: “How do I want to make my fans feel?” I told you the Maya Angelou quote fits in. If you can get a handle on how you want your audience to feel you will have won them over.
STEP II: CREATING YOUR IMAGE
1. Take Inventory
Imagery is powerful. “An image is worth a thousand words,” is now “An image is worth a million fans.” Take a look at the images on your site/or the ones you plan to use and ask yourself what they are saying to you. Ask a few people who know you well and some who don’t know you well to describe the current images you use/or plan on using in one or two words. Make a note of how they describe them. Is this how you want your audience to feel? If not, think of how you would like your images described and make a list.
2. Hire a Professional Photographer
I’m going to spend a little bit more time on this because I don’t think a lot people get the value of hiring a professional photographer. In the world of personal branding hiring a photographer is no longer something that’s reserved for famous actors and models. It may be scary because you’re camera shy but the right photographer will make you feel amazing. For me hiring a photographer was really a non-negotiable for my personal site and for this site as well.
Think about it your personal brand means that your face will be plastered all over the internet, from your website to your social media profiles to when the media is writing about or interviewing you. This means that your photos are an essential part of your marketing package. That also means getting your bff or grandma to snap pics, or stopping by the JCPenny photo studio is really not enough. You must invest in a photographer that knows how to capture your essence and will make you stand out from the crowd and look the best possible while still looking like you.
I got my headshots professionally done and I can tell you it was 1000% worth it.
This is my resulting headshot. Look familiar?
**BIG NOTES: #1: Stuffy headshots and portraits are a thing of the past. Your photo shoot should showcase your personality not just you in a suit. Also, if possible I recommend not wearing a suit at all. If you want a more business flair to your headshots your photographer will work with you on what wardrobe choices will convey this. #2: Photos are not a one time you’re done or once in a lifetime affair. Plan on revamping your photos every 2 years or so especially if your brand is your face.
3. Hire a Graphic Designer
This is also a non-negotiable. Besides your images a strong logo is essential in creating a strong brand. I developed both the branding for my site and ThereseSquared and I worked alongside a graphic designer to create the logos for both. Remember people remember images, so make sure your choice conveys a strong image.
Below is an image of my old site. As you can see the design wasn’t awful but there was nothing special about it. I didn’t hire a designer and what the end result was that the image and logo didn’t represent who I was.
Below is the new image for my site. I wanted to portray something earthy, warm and I wanted to glam it up a bit. I’m usually very shy, so for me this was about stepping outside my comfort zone. The first photo shoot I did was on the beach because I knew I wanted that feel for the site. You don’t have to do the same for your brand as it should be different but think about what you are selling, who your audience is and what your intention is.
So there you have the first part in revitalizing your online brand. I will be publishing Part 2 of this post where I will cover the other essentials like social media in the next week.
In the meantime, I’d love to know what you think about this post/video. Please leave a comment below and share your story or maybe you have another idea. Regardless sound off in the comments section! And of course take a moment and please share this on your social network (Facebook, Twitter and the like)!
Also be sure to read Part 2: The Secrets To Revitalizing Your Brand Online (Part 2)
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