Your Personal Brand


Why should we care about our personal brand? Whether or not you realize it you already have a brand. Do you use social media? Do you present yourself in a certain way? Do you have a preference for certain styles, products, labels or content? Your personal brand is a combination of all of these things.

Having a clear brand as an entrepreneur is even more important as it is a representation of your aesthetic, of your reputation, of your mission and of your core values. I have been using these last few months to reflect, self excavate and narrow down on what my story is, what my work represents and what my brand (and art) should look and feel like. Through this process I have realized what my mission statement is - To inspire you by sharing the wonder of our world through minimal design and colourful art. 

What does Elyse 2.0 look like? It begins with geometric mountains but it journeys through minimal architecture, lush landscapes and different art forms and mediums. Follow @ElyseDodge on Instagram to watch this new body of work unfold.

Are you interested in defining your own personal brand? Here are some tools that I used to help me find further clarity:

1. Andy J. Pizza's Skillshare Workshop

I love listening to Andy J Pizza's podcast, Creative Pep Talk. It always fills me with some much needed pep in the studio on my work days. His podcast lead me to the most recent Skillshare class that Andy did titled, "Find Your Style: 5 Exercises to Unlock Your Creative Identity."

Whether you’re just figuring out your style or finally articulating an approach you’ve practiced for years, this workshop will help take you on a journey to self that helps bring clarity to who you are. Your style will evolve with you, so return to these exercises whenever you’re feeling stuck or stumped by the blank page. 

Here is a screenshot of my Pinterest "Master Board" which is a result from one of the fun exercises in his workshop.

2. Define Your Strengths with the "Flatter Yourself List"

Start by asking who you are and what you want to be known for. That’s the single most important thing to defining your personal brand. Then fill out this quick and easy "Flatter Yourself List" which helps you find clarity on your strengths and weaknesses. You can’t build a personal brand if you don’t know who you are, what you want to be known for and how you’re going to serve people. These things can evolve over time but the core values and principles should always stay the same. 

3. Do a Google Search for Your Name

Its so basic, but if you have a presence online just google search your name. What comes up? Search in images and review all of the content together. Do you show up? If you do, is it an accurate representation of you? I like this method because it often pulls up older work that you forgot about or some random photos or interviews from the past.

If nothing shows up then once you have done steps 1 and 2 above start thinking about ways to build your presence online. Here are a few things to try: 

1) Make a website. There are so many great platforms but I personally love Squarespace for the clean layout and easy link for e-commerce to Shopify. I have also heard great things about Wix if you are looking for something pretty standard. Etsy is also a great platform if you are selling goods and need to build an audience.

2) Consistency: Use the same logo, colour palette, font, description or even just a headshot that you like across all your social media platforms. If one platform is dated then peoples perception of your attention to detail or how professional you are can also lower. 

3) Interviews: Have a niche? Have a message to tell the world? Get creative on which publications or media you reach out to and make it easy for them to post. Do the work and pull together your top selection of photos and have a bio and message ready to go. Also, don't reach out to the biggest publications because their inbox's are already full of requests. Reach out to your hometown online platforms or smaller businesses.  

Your social media platforms are a mirror of who you are and what you represent. Be thoughtful on what you post, how you present yourself and how you communicate to others. Your reputation is your brand.