Yes! There is something different here!
I HAVE MY OWN BRAND!
I’m sorry for the extra excitement but I feel like this is huge!
I’ve been thinking about launching myself as a freelancer for months and everything is starting to come together!
This is my step by step for launching your personal brand!
#1: Think of a brand name.
Make it easy to pronounce but meaningful and something you love.
This may be your name or an expression you come up with. For me it was a composition of my three word birth name. Da+Lei+An.
(The description of what you’ll do as a freelancer is a plus. Mine is a combination of one of my personality traits, my hobbies and what I’ve majored in. I smile a lot, I love to read and write and I take pictures.)
#2: Own your domain and email.
(This one is optional but in time you’ll see its importance.)
When I began blogging a few years ago I created “The Magnolia” on Blogger. Then I changed it to “(not) The Sweetest Girl” and I loved that name. But this was my blog, not my brand. I could have kept it and it would have been fine but I wanted to make this website something I called my own. Something I was proud of and could show to potential clients.
So I went to Go Daddy and created my website: daleian.com which is still hosted by Blogger because I find it easier to manipulate.
After that I looked for ways to have my @daleian.com email and since I had been using Gmail forever and knew almost everything about it, I found it to be the perfect match.
If you can and are willing to invest in your brand, spending a small amount a year to have your own domain and email is doing yourself a favor.
#3: Get your name out there.
This means getting on social media and being present. Understand how each one of them functions and make sure you establish your brand as something that future clients will love to follow. If you think Pinterest or Instagram are not for you, jump on Facebook and Twitter, or vice versa. You could even just use newsletters and emails but first you need clients to find you!
This also goes for one-on-one communication. Talk to people! Learn to present your name and your brand. Some say you should be able to pitch what you do on a small elevator ride. Practice!
#4: Have a logo.
It’s really important for people to recognize your brand. It’s great when people recognize your business just by a symbol or a color. On a large scale, think of Starbucks or Apple.
In a smaller scale, this is extremely useful to have as a watermark on your photos if you’re a photographer and obviously as a profile picture on your Facebook Page. On the blogosphere we use it as a button on other peoples blogs or business cards.
A few days ago this was just my blog title in a JPEG format and it worked for what I needed at the time! But now, it’s a professionally designed image.
The good news is that you can go on Fiverr and find amazing artists and illustrators ready to make wonderful art for you for a really cheap price!
I told my designer what I liked and what I wanted, showed my Instagram and spoke a little about my likes and dislikes. So I got this delicate work of art filled with what makes me Daleian!
Flash is there, of course, as a cute little puppy; then I have my pen and my camera as well as my favorite color!
#5: Be consistent.
Set goals, short or long term ones, plan your life and write down everything you need to do (emails, networking, business proposals) and practice your communication skills. Stick to the plan and don’t give up.
I have to say this is probably the hardest one for me. I can guarantee you that the initial excitement will wear off and you’ll have to push through the hard mornings when you just want to sleep and the dreadful white page! But if you keep working it will pay off!
You don’t have to create new content all the time but make sure you are making it perfect! It’s better to post fewer times a week than to post bad content every day. Just as people have the power to click that button and follow you if they love what you post, they’ll do the same and unfollow you if they don’t.
#6: Be yourself.
The most important thing to remember is that people such as clients or readers or fans will only connect with you if they like who you are or what you’re selling. But this doesn’t mean you have to change yourself to be more successful!
The secret is in doing what you love and being who you are because only then will you work towards something that makes you happy and will make other people happy.
In the end, your personal brand should be about you!