Becoming a Brand Online

Phil Pallen is a Social Media Designer based in Los Angeles, designing and managing brands for celebrity and high-profile clients throughout North America.

Having a personal brand is no longer a novelty – it’s a requirement. And personal branding is not easy for a lot of us because it feels daunting. Before you become overwhelmed with it all, remember that branding is simply figuring out how you want to be perceived by others. It’s no different than how you greet someone in-person. Start by asking yourself these questions:

1. What is your brand now?
Take a moment to think about it. It’s not necessarily your interpretation of you, but more importantly, ours.  If I Google your name, what will come up? Welcome to the digital age, where your top 5 Google results are an inevitable element of how I’m going to digest your online presence. If you’ve got an existing brand, you need to take the necessary steps to make sure we can find it. If you don’t, think of this as an exciting opportunity to start fresh.

2. What are you really passionate about?
Some people love their job, but a lot of people hate it. I get it. It pays the bills for now, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a job you love? There’s your goal. Figure out what you love and where your passion is — it could be a career or a hobby — build a brand and figure out how to monetize it. Trust me, it’s possible. You might already be an expert on your brand and you never realized it. The Internet removes geographical boundaries, which allows niche interests to thrive more than ever. People are people, and we want our lives enriched by knowledge and relationships, rather than traditional marketing. If your brand is your passion, you’ll get enjoyment from generating content that will appeal to others.

3. How should your brand look?
The Internet is your playground. A lot of people are doing it wrong, but a lot are doing it right. Spend some time researching your brand, others like you, and let the good inspire you. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to look into different brands and industries. Once you have a bunch of different elements you like, bring them all together. Your brand will reflect you if it’s done right.

4. What next?
I can’t answer that — it’s up to you. You’ve got to make it happen, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends and family know you best, so ask them for their input. Make sure your brand is relevant. Be self-aware and passionate. Be able to sum up your brand in one sentence.

If you can handle all of that, you’re definitely on your way.


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