When you’re trying to brand yourself, it seems like every career adviser just keeps barking at you,”Everything’s online! Social media! Posts! Search Engine Performance!” But it can be hard to do that, while also remaining your authentic self. Loryn Engelbrecht, owner and creative director of Loryn Design, came to coach us through having the best of both worlds.
Your Online Brand – How to Authentically Represent Yourself
In the digital age, it is so easy to let prospective employers & clients access so much information about you. Is what you're putting out into the digital world representing YOU in the best light? Everyone is, whether consciously or not, creating a brand for themselves online: the question is, are you cultivating and creating it with intention, or are you letting it define you on your behalf? Build a brand for yourself or your company with intention and a create something that will make you SHINE online!
But how does one do that?
You're committed to creating a brand for your company or yourself. The following steps will work so you can solidify your brand! Your brand should reflect YOU and what YOU love. This way, it'll remain authentic and something you are proud & excited to show off!
1. Create a Brand Vision Board!
Having a space to collect things that inspires you will keep you motivated and focused. You can clip images out of a magazine & paste them on a board, but my favorite way is to use Pinterest! Create a board and title it, "MY COMPANY'S VISION BOARD!". Then start scouring Pinterest for at least 20-25 images that speak to you, that you are immediately drawn to. Can include, but not limited to: colors, landscapes, architecture, text & fonts, patterns, photographs, & objects. After you collect 20-25 images, patterns in your selections will develop. You may discover your style leans towards vintage/romantic, modern/industrial, natural/minimalistic.... etc.! Create a collage for these images that "go" together to reference for inspiration!
2. Ask Yourself Questions!
You are creating a brand that is a reflection of you, so it is important to narrow down exactly what you want to convey in a brand. Here are a few examples of what to ask yourself to flesh out ideas. Don't think too hard! There is no right or wrong answer: your "gut" reaction is always your best!
- What are your/your businesses core values?
- When people think of you / your business, what words do you want them to use to describe it?
- What are the most rewarding parts of your work / occupation?
- Who is your target market? Why will they want to work with you?
The answers to these questions will focus your intention of WHO you want to notice you and be a part of your vision and brand! The people who notice the authenticity in you will be drawn to you, so create a brand that reflects these answers!
3. Have a Home Online (thanks for the great title, Ash!)
What online social media platform would do your business the most service? What platforms can you get your name or business out on in the most effective way? To start: pick ONE OR TWO! Focus your efforts until they either WORK or you need to switch. Don't put too many eggs in one basket. Whether that is an actual .com website or Facebook, etsy, Linkedin, etc. You have to have a place to "live" online! Learn the ins-and-outs of that format and ROCK it! What is going out in the world representing YOU? Take control of these presences and brand them accordingly!
BONUS TIPS: Find your tribe and spread the word! The people surrounding you who are supportive & are eager to see you succeed are your BEST ASSET! Share your story, your mission, and your vision with those around you. Those who are "on board" will be your sounding board, your mentors, & your friends that will do what they can to help you soar! They will know you best & be able to tell if your brand is authentic to YOU and how you can properly represent it. Work hard & ask for assistance and advice when needed! You will find strength from these people during the tough times!
Watch my Mass Appeal segment HERE: