When I decided to build this website in January, I knew I was undertaking quite a task. I wasn’t just building a website – I was building my personal brand.
Some people may laugh when they read that line. But it’s true – you as a person have a brand that’s unique unto you. It’s how you present yourself as a professional. Just like an interaction with a company, your coworkers and colleagues interact with your brand every time they work with you. Not everyone takes it to the extent that I have, but everyone definitely has a brand. I used this site as a launching pad to begin developing my personal brand, specifically the visual look.
I started building my brand back in 2006. I was unhappy with my current job, and iwas considering a career in freelance copywriting. Believe it or not, the thought that got it going was “I need something to put on an invoice if I send it.”
I began developing my logo. I knew I wanted it go be a take on my initials because of how unique they are. I wanted the colors to reflect this as well. After a few iterations, I settled on the logo you see at the top of every page on this site.
Next, I needed a tagline. Playing off my initials again, I used “From A to Z and everything in between.” This also keyed in on my rather unique work experience. I really liked it, although it fell by the wayside for the much more self-deprecating tagline you see above.
I didn’t go the freelance route, so the logo remained saved on my hard drive for some time. It was until I decided to create this site that I dusted it off to be used.
I knew I wanted the look and feel to this site to build off the work I put into my logo. This is when I realized that this was the start of building my brand. I looked at the site as a whole and knew it was the front door to my brand. Every part of it -from the layout to the font to the documents that would be available to download – had to reflect this brand I was building.
It took some digging but I was able to nail down the exact colors I used in my logo and realized that it would have been a lot easier if I had written it down 3 years ago. Luckily, the other colors in the logo besides the green were black and white, so that was easy. I picked an alternate green to use as an accent color and built a Color Guidelines document. This document listed all the colors I use and there mixes in CMYK, RGB, PMS and web colors.
With my colors en tow, I set out to build the site template. I never dabbled in CSS before, so this was a big undertaking with a huge learning curve. It took a bit, but I was able to find and modify all the colors and image placeholders to get the site where I wanted to go. It wasn’t easy (it took over a week) but I knew I needed to keep my personal brand reflected throughout the site.
So far, things have been going well! I think this site is a great representation of the personal brand I’m trying to convey. I’m very happy with site and the image of myself that it conveys.
And it’s starting to spread. A brand needs to be represented in every place it can be interacted with. Whenever possible, I try to modify what I can to match my brand. Some great examples are:
I have future plans of using my brand on personal business cards, decorating my personal office, and possibly a few other avenues.
So far, it’s been a fun, enlightening journey building my brand. Co-workers have actually remarked about how “branded” I am. Hopefully I can continue this and turn it into something great.