Thursday, April 11, 2024


The art of branding…

It’s a blend of what makes you YOU and the persona you put forth for your business, whatever that may be. This may change as you grow and evolve your business, not to mention the changes that arise with algorithm changes and new marketing platforms. 

So—what branding ISN’T? Marketing! (But it is integral to your marketing plan! Go figure.)

What branding IS? Something that distinguishes you from the rest. Something that your viewership will scroll past and immediately know “Oh, that’s so-and-so” without even looking at the username. Something that sets you apart. 

Where do we get the term “branding” anyway? Cattle ranchers will use a metal design heated in fire to brand the hide on their cattle, some sort of design that differentiates their cattle from the neighboring ranches’ stock. That way, they can graze public lands without fear of getting Person A’s stock mixed up with Person B’s. They will also do the same with horses. Ranch horses will have a brand unique to the ranch owner’s (or sometimes multiple brands, if they are owned by multiple ranchers over their lifetime). Typically on the animal, especially cattle, will be an ear tag that provides contact information for the ranch owner should the animal go astray.

Are you starting to see how branding, the version used on ranches, can be used for your own “stock?” You want your own product/service/business to be easily identified in a crowd. Amongst other creators and entrepreneurs and freelancers, other people will be able to glance at something you’re offering (i.e. a post on Instagram) and immediately know that you posted it. They need to go to you for more information…(and you should probably have your contact info close-by so they can do just that!)

So whether you’re beginning your business or looking to grow? Here are some tips that will help you hone in your brand.

1.    What makes you YOU? Your aesthetic? Your likes and dislikes? Ask a few trusted friends for help.

For example, if you love plaid button-ups? Feature them in your pictures! Wear them, have flatlays where the plaid shirt is part of the background, talk about why you like them in a “Get to know me” post! Love a certain style of music or a particular artist? Integrate that into reels continuously. Obsessed with your favorite color? Feature something in each picture that’s that color. Have a green thumb? Include your plants! (Don’t have a green thumb but still like plants, like me? You can find fake plants that look very realistic!)  Develop your own style or aesthetic: like blurry pictures, micro-close shots of tiny details, and so forth. You don’t have to come up with something completely different from what everyone else is doing. You just have to merge your style (or public persona) with what you’re offering.

2.             What makes your business unique? How do you plan to serve others with your business?

You will likely incorporate some aspects of your personal preferences and style into things like web design, logos, and so forth. This is where you do want to stand out from the crowd a little bit. This can change with time (a “brand refresh”) but it’s important to come up with some form of continuity and follow through with it.

Secondly, how do you plan on serving others with what you’re offering? Incorporate that into your brand as well. Consider materials like tips and tricks that you offer consistently, a writing style or dynamic questions that consumers will get used to and will also use to identify you from the crowd.

3.             Where is the intersect between your personal tendencies and your business’ uniqueness? Use that.

4.             If you’re using a persona, why and how will you ensure this will be an authentic connection with others?

In this fast-paced culture we’ve built on social media, people are craving personal connection above all else. While it’s good to have some barriers, even healthy, you should still seek to create boundaries without coming off as cold or too closed-off. For me, it was realizing that I had to let people in on some of the writing process, which I began doing once a month. It’s just a quick post, but I was surprised at how many people communicate with those posts than the consumer-level “behold, a book” stuff I typically share. That connection is valuable. Find ways you’re willing and comfortable with being personable and utilize it continuously so viewers learn to anticipate or expect it from you.

5.             Brainstorm ways you can incorporate your brand into your photos, your marketing materials, captions, blog posts, etc—every run of the mill interaction folks will have with you! This doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. Throw some random ideas out on paper and run with it. You’d be surprised what you can come up with that works!


If you want more in-depth analysis of branding, I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF AUTHOR BRANDING by Shayla Raquel. It’s a book I have used to death not only for my own writing, but my editing business as well. What, you aren’t an author? You can also translate those same principles to your own business! The same theories apply in a very no-nonsense manner. Another resource I would recommend is the Ministry of Marketing webinar that author Erin Phillips hosts sometimes. Follow her on Instagram and keep your eyes peeled! Both have been absolutely instrumental to my growth in the marketing realm. 


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