What's Your Brand?
The other day, the CEO of The Brand Girls came out to JMU and spoke in front of the entire Panhellenic council about how to grow our confidence and our brand in order to achieve our dream job. After listening to her talk, I started thinking about what my brand is and what it is I want to accomplish in life. Lately, I have been questioning my intentions to become a teacher and have been toying with the idea to switch to business and branding. I'm not entirely sure where my heart is at the moment; part of me loves kids and the idea of being able to inspire so many young adults, but another part of me really loves the concept of building a brand and working in business. So, what comes next? I'm not entirely too sure, but what I am sure about is the brand that I want for Daily Dose of Prep. I have really been enjoying working on social media over the past year and a half and writing a post everyday (minus a day here and there) really makes my heart happy.
I'm not lying when I say that I have been happier in these past 18 months that I have been my entire life. I believe I have successfully made Daily Dose of Prep a happy "work environment" and I use that term loosely, because writing posts and taking pictures is so much fun for me that I don't consider this work at all. When readers visit DDoP or find my Instagram feed, they often ask how I build a blog. I could answer in the quite literal way about how to build a blog with sidebars, menus, and a header but I like to answer in the figurative way. Your blog is only as good as your brand so I like to let that message shine through when asking questions about how to build a blog.
Here at Daily Dose of Prep I created a brand that is tailored to fashion savvy girls who are confident and comfortable in their own skin. I wanted to create a space when readers can come and leave comments, share posts, and feel like they belong. Although I am no expert, here are some tips to help create your brand to your readers, whatever it may be!
Show Your Confidence - No reader is going want to follow or read anything from a person who doesn't seem confident in their work. This confidence can be enhanced by posting more pictures, especially those with your face in it.This can also come from reducing typos and false facts in your work. Every now and then, a typo slips through the cracks (trust me, I know!) but by re-reading and editing, you will feel more confident in your final product.
Engaging with Readers - No one is going to feel like they are welcomed if they continue to leave comments and write emails without receiving a word back from you. It's important to try your hardest to reciprocate communication with readers as they do to you. If someone comments on a post, it's courtesy to comment back. If there's no question to answer a simple thank you is just as kind. Another tip for engaging readers is to have some way for readers to contact you privately. Whether it's by leaving your email address on your homepage or by creating a contact page, some readers want a more private setting when reaching out. Not only is this courtesy but it sparks growth with outside readers.
Practice What Your Preach - Similar to doing as you say, your blog should mirror your brand. I created a space for fashion savvy girls who want not only fashion advice but life and lifestyle tips. I share exactly that. If I didn't, people wouldn't believe of care to follow my advice.
Take Advantage of Social Media - Social Media is tomorrow's platform. Gone are the days where you see fliers hanging or people handing out pamphlets. Everything is promoted through social media. Instagram especially has blown up with companies searching for promoters and influencers. Put yourself on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest to not only give readers easier and quicker access to your life but to help grow contacts and relationships with companies. Instagram is also great because you can use certain hashtags and tag specific companies to increase the chance of them seeing your work.
Establish a Logo - By establishing a logo, you are not only making a name for yourself but you are also putting an easily identifiable version of yourself out to the public. You can place this at the top of your blog or website along with creating merchandise. I created logo stickers so I can not only hand them out to friends and family but I can sell some to turn a profit and use some as incentives for giveaways. It's a great way to get people all over to talk about you. It's always fun to see where stickers are being sent. I've had many orders from Texas, Tennessee, Washington and some as close as 20 minutes away from my house in Virginia. The more your brand is out there, the better.