Last year I decided to create my own blog.
See, I was writing for a friend’s blog as a contributor because he was the only one producing blog posts for the site at the time. It started off great, but eventually I got tired of waiting weeks, sometimes months, to see my posts go live on his site. I also wanted to have my own voice, as I was writing more for the tone and voice he established for his site than I was for how I wanted my blog posts to sound.
In other words, I wanted my own brand.
Branding is important. Just look around at the billboards, television and radio ads, and social media posts you see daily. Companies are always promoting their brand with newer, slicker commercials and pop culture icons. As a designer, you can build your brand and promote your products, too! Here are 5 brand building tips.
Create an image for your brand
Think of some of your favorite brands. I bet you can conjure up their logo if you close your eyes and focus. A logo is a powerful way to capture the attention of potential customers and clients. You can add that logo to all of your marketing materials, company swag, ads, and pages on your website.
Create a slogan/tagline for your brand
“Get more. Pay less.” “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” “Just Do It.” These are just a couple of the taglines I could bring up where you know exactly what product or company to which it’s linked. That’s because a slogan or tagline is meant to be memorable, like the hook of a song that you just can’t get out of your mind. According to a post on Hubspot, a good slogan or tagline has a couple of important components:
- It’s memorable
- It includes a key benefit
- It differentiates the brand
- It imparts positive feelings about the brand
When thinking about a tagline or slogan for your personal brand, make sure it incorporates all of the above components.
Build your own website
The next step is a big one: building your own website! What’s that, you say? You don’t have any computer programming skills? No worries, I don’t have any, either! As I pointed out earlier, I have my own website where I write blog posts, share short stories, poetry, and photographs. I was able to build this thanks to a hosting website. Companies like Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress help you build your own website, no matter your programming skills. Each one has its own set of templates you can use to style your new website. Take a look at a couple of different hosting sites before you choose one. Check out the templates they offer, the subscription prices, and choose the one that fits your needs!
Create branded social media accounts
I have a friend who is an up-and-coming rapper. To promote his music and his live shows, he created Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts under his rap name, even though he already had personal accounts under his birth name. Jamar, you ask, isn’t that double the work? Why wouldn’t he just promote his music and shows under the accounts he already had. Good question! Yes, it would’ve been easier to just promote everything from the accounts he already had, but having dedicated social media for his brand keeps his personal and professional life separate. You want to have a different voice for your brand than for your personal social media posts, and a different way for fans to interact with you than your family and friends.
Promote your brand shamelessly
Yes, I said shamelessly! Every time you write a new blog entry, promote it on every branded social media account that you build. Every time you create a new design on Zazzle, promote the heck out of it! Have marketing materials like business cards, stickers, pens, and the like printed with your logo and brand tagline, then hand them out wherever you can to build brand awareness. Have your friends and family follow your social media accounts, and ask them to share any new tweets, Instagram photos, or Facebook posts you publish.
Brand awareness has a snowball effect: you’ll need to roll the snowball up the giant hill at first, building a following through hard work and effort. However, once you reach a certain point your followers will do a lot of the work for you, just like gravity takes control of the snowball and sends it tumbling down the hill you just climbed.
Those are 5 brand building tips. Now you’ve got your own logo, tagline, website, and social media accounts. Time to start promoting your brand!