A beginners guide to branding yourself
Including my name within a brand is one of the most terrifying things I have had to do. I recently likened it to standing in front of a room naked with nothing to hide behind.
I have had branding done before, I ran two 'one women show' type videography businesses that focused on wedding films and events. I would never in a million years have chosen to use my own name for these businesses as I just had no confidence at all in what I was delivering. It made much more sense to separate myself and use a business name that I could hide behind. In actual fact these businesses did well for what they were and I was very much the person that represented the work regardless.
When planning to go out on my own a couple of months ago, I made the bold decision to do exactly that - go out on my own. 'Diana Fisk' is now much more than a name that I took when I married my husband. It now represents the work that I feel passionate about, the type of creative I want to be known as and a representation of my values and motives.
In a way, having a name so closely related (or in this case 100% the same) to who I identify as, has made things somewhat easier. I was very clear with my intentions for this venture, because they are connected to my personal goals and desires.
And so it began, with a plan in place I started to get things rolling and am really happy to share the main elements that have contributed to 'Diana Fisk'.
Step 1: A very clear definition of who you are and what you want to achieve
I discussed in a previous post the importance of defining your purpose and this is the best place to start.
For me, the main point I want to deliver is how passionate I am about filmmaking and storytelling and the ability I have to make a positive impact by being a part of powerful stories.
I don't just take any jobs on, I am intentional about my work and determined for each project to contribute to either the grand vision of spending my time in documentaries full time, or to provide me with growth or further experience that will empower me on my journey.
Another thing that is extremely important to me is to create a community. Not only a community of clients that will allow me to work on projects, but a community of storytellers and filmmakers who have a desire to be involved in something that matters.
I want people to connect to me. Through the films that I create, the blogs I write, or even the resources I share, people should feel included in what I am doing.
For a full breakdown of the approach I took to defining my purpose, check out my previous blog and more importantly the project plan I am sharing.
Step 2: Determine what's important and what you need help with
By now I have a pretty good understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, so this step was pretty simple for me.
Firstly, I knew that I wanted images of myself to be included on my website and social media. I want people to have a visual clue for who I am and to deepen the level of connection.
It is vital for me to understand my photographer completely and the work they do, so I wanted to be sure to find the right fit for the photoshoot. I love that we are living in a time where we can jump on a community page and put a call out, and that's exactly what I did. For me, it was Melbourne Creative Network on Facebook, and I was very clear in what I was looking for. The most important thing I included in my post was the below line:
'Please don't reply to this unless you are 100% committed to understanding the purpose of this photoshoot and who I am as a person.'
With that I got a load of pretty standard replies but 4-5 responses that actually embraced that line and showed desire to be a part of it. I took a look at each persons work and felt immediately connected to the amazing Bree at Love Bree Photography. Her work was of a very high standard but more importantly for me, I could tell she really cared about the people she was shooting.
Here are my two favourite images from the photoshoot with Bree (there were sooooo many to choose from), the first was in response to me wanting to be independent and strong with my intentions. The second was to portray the feeling of warmth and inclusion I hope to give people that connect with me - you may also notice this one made it on my homepage.
Another little tip - I had Bree take some more 'stock' like photo's of me for blog posts and marketing purposes. It is so much easier doing everything in once and all it meant was a separate location and a few wardrobe changes. Have a think about what you may need in the upcoming months and try and do it all in one.
I wanted to be very clear that my name not only represented me but now a business as well, so having a logo to help separate that was crucial.
My brief was simple, to create something bold and independent, as this is a mighty big thing for me to be doing. I knew I loved illustrative styles of logo's and after reaching out to my people of Facebook, I came across the amazing Joel Pringle.
Joel has a process that he goes through with you, he asks you to fill out a form to fully understand what you are trying to achieve and then allows for revisions to make sure it is hitting the mark. The logo below was the first one he sent to me and I loved it immediately - no revisions required.
In addition to the logo, I asked Joel to put together some style guidelines that included font types, colours and a recommendation for my website template which I go into more detail below.
I can't tell you enough what a difference it makes to have people working with you that 100% get what you are trying to say and do. The process with both Joel and Bree was quick and pain free and I believe that is because I knew what I was getting from them and they understood what I was looking for.
I decided to tackle the website on my own. I knew that the content going on the website would be quite simple to begin with and I have had good experience using Squarespace and felt confident doing so again.
With Joel's help on the template recommendation I started plugging in all the content I had saved in a google doc, uploading the gorgeous images from the photoshoot with Bree, and moving bits and pieces around until it felt right.
I have a number of unlinked pages that are not live yet and totally acknowledge that I may need a hand at a later point if I want to add anything in that is really complicated, but for now - simplicity is golden, and it only took me about a day to get it looking right.
Step 3 - Getting it out there
As lovely as it is to have everything look pretty, it is pretty useless if nobody is seeing it!
I am all about plans, so I put a social media plan together that I am starting to implement now that I have all the components together. In that, the intention is to post on Instagram once a day, Twitter every other day and I have a new Facebook page that is ready to go live any day now.
My posts are currently surrounding what I am up to in the initial set up of the business, as well as anything relevant personally that will allow people to connect to me. I should say that it's important for me to keep things consistent, with branding and also the content I put out there. I don't really want to be sharing cute picture of my sons being monkeys unless it is relevant to something I am wanting to share that makes sense to this journey.
There are better times of the day and days of the week to post things on social media, a really helpful guide can be found here. Another great tool to use is a social media scheduler such as Hootsuite, that allows you to schedule everything at once and not think about it for a few days.
Step 4 - When you are ready GO, GO, GO!
It is a pretty incredible moment when you are ready to go live, it can also be quite daunting.
Just do it.
You have worked hard to get where you are and have all the systems in place to put yourself out there and start get to work chasing those dreams.
Things will continue to evolve and you will discover things along the way you have forgotten or that could have been done better.. but as my good friend (a girl can dream) Tony Robbins says:
'Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right.'