BRAID CREATIVE & CONSULTING
is branding & business visioning
for creative entrepreneurs.

Today I want to share just a few tips on how to embrace your personal brand in business but first – our Braid ECourse Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are with What You Do is in-session starting this Friday. It's by far our most popular ECourse and has already been taken by hundreds of creatives, aspiring entrepreneurs, and bloggers. Learn more and see if it's a good time to take it here.

As the phrase "personal branding" continues to catch more mainstream buzz I'm finding creatives become even more confused and intimidated by the whole topic. "What is a personal brand? What's MY personal brand? Oh my God, WHO AM I?" It turns out stressing out about your personal brand looks a lot like having a quarter-life crisis. So today I'm going to uncomplicate it and break it down with just a few tips for you.

Personal branding is simply being yourself.
It's about being brave enough to be enthusiastic about what you like and sharing that with not only your friends but your coworkers and clients too. That may look like wearing what you want even when you're "on the clock". It might look like asking your clients to indulge in a quick 2-minute meditation with you. Or it could even look like being transparent about the things you don't know or can't do. Just be yourself 100% of the time and you'll see it pay off in both your bank account and in your soul.

Personal branding is ditching the "we" speak.
If you're a solopreneur you might be hiding behind the "we" on your blog, your website, and in your newsletters. Your intentions may be good – you say "we" because you have an amazing and supportive partner behind-the-scenes, or maybe you have big vision of expanding your team one day. Perhaps you're saying "we" because you want your client to feel confident in your services by pretending that you aren't doing it all by yourself. But here's the deal: it's cool that you are talented and confident enough to have launched your own thing. Own that. That means trading out "we" for "I". Try it on for size. I think you'll like how it feels. (And if you do say "we" specify who the other person is – otherwise you might sound like you have multiple personalities.)

Personal branding is the stories you tell.
From your big adventures to small weekend anecdotes your personal brand is about the stories you tell on Monday morning at the coffee shop and the stories you tell on Thursday nights over cocktails. It's the stories you share online – from detailed blog posts to an Instagram snap. What stories do you want to be known for?

In closing I'd like to point out that the difference between simply being a person (a really interesting, rad, and creative person) and having a personal brand is understanding that sharing who you are with your clients, colleagues, and potential customers can be financially lucrative. It's accepting that you might not be for everyone – some people may be scared or intimidated by your ability to live with authenticity and a whole heart all the time – and that's okay. Because in return, by embracing and sharing who you are online and off, you'll be attracting your true tribe.

Want more? Sign up for our Letters for Creatives where I'll be sharing how becoming a mom has impacted my own personal brand.

Our Braid ECourse Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do is the next to be in session! This ECourse is by far our most popular and shares a lot more when it comes to being who you are on your blog – both professionally and personally. It will be in-session from May 16-25th. Learn more and register here.

Or check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s insight delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks.

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Nothing prepares you (or forces you) to be more confident talking about what you do for living, like being interviewed about it. Isn’t it odd that just ten years ago, being interviewed would be limited to a very specific format, most likely print, or if you were super famous, then broadcast, for like, Johnny Carson? Okay maybe I’m thinking fifty years ago. I’ve been watching too much Mad Men. 

Tara here, and I think it’s pretty neat that Kathleen and I get to talk about what we do, teach others what we’ve learned, and get to feel mini-famous, at least for thirty minutes when other creatives want to have a conversation with us, because they found us online, and believe in our vision, or just think it’s really cool what we get to do – even when we live right smack dab in the middle of middle-America.

We work and live in a city that’s not always on the radar, but it’s still a city where we run into other creatives every single day. Meanwhile we’ve worked with creatives who live in the middle of nowhere, who still run into other creatives (there’s more of us than you will ever know) every single day, too, and are getting more than just mini-famous on platforms of their own.

But who’s to say that anywhere is nowhere? When we’re all made of the same stardust, who’s to say we can’t all be stars? I’ve also been watching too much Cosmos

If someone has a passion and is able to tap into what they really do best, and have a platform for sharing it – maybe they don’t have to move to the coast or the big city, they can bring the bigger and better, and the next chapter of what they want to do… to them. Before I start getting all Parks & Rec on you (if you saw the last episode Leslie Knope knows what I mean, it’s only a semi-spoiler if you haven’t), let me share how I get ready for an interview, but I’m going to share in the “we,” as I speak for Kathleen, too, who gets interviewed way more than I do, as she is quickly moving out of the mini-famous into the almost-famous, ha!

Because Creatives Can Have a Voice from Anywhere. Preparing for your next interview:

1. First off, you can not watch too much awesome TV as proved by above. No, this has nothing to do with being interviewed, just getting that point out of the way. Unless you like to pretend you are Don Draper, Neil deGrasse Tyson, or Leslie Knope while you’re being interviewed – which actually, is actually a pretty awesome confidence booster on all three counts.

2. No, we don’t like listening to our own recorded voices. And you won’t either. This is a universal law of astro-physics. Everyone hates their own voice. Neil deGrasse Tyson is about to do an upcoming episode all about it. Not really. Okay, maybe.

3. If you’re about to be interviewed, jot down one or two stories, and three points you’d like to make, then cut that list in half.

4. Go for a walk or run and try to remember the points in your head without looking at anything.

5. If you want to look extra crazy. hold an interview with yourself while you’re walking and see where the rabbit hole takes you, if anything you’ll just wear out your inner over-talker and know which tangents to not go down during the real thing.

6. Then just wing it! Have confidence, and hope that you’re interviewer is a great editor, and they’ll always make you sound good (like ours have been!).

7. Yes, we do love the clarity that comes out of being put on the spot to say what you mean, or at least say something in your own voice and style. It’s scary for about one second, and then you just gotta enjoy it.



If you want to listen to or read some of our recent interviews, check them out here:

How to Connect With Your Audience with Kathleen Shannon and Erin Anacker of Pixology and her Below The Fold Podcast, about the stories and voices of women in design.

Kathleen’s talking about how your process should be delighting customers every step of the way, while asking the question – do your customers want to know exactly what it is you do or just how you’re enabling them to do what they want to do?

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With Purpose Episode 10 with Tara Street and Erin Haslag and Katie Dalebout of With Purpose Podcast, for feeling, fulfilling and working toward that big sense of purpose with your life.

Tara’s talking about what it means to have that sparkly inspiration mixed with the logical process and how both of these sides of your creativity are how creatives can sell themselves as experts.

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Braid Creative | The Sisters with Kathleen & Tara and Aimee Adams of OkieMama magazine for connecting the lives and stories of those pioneering people who have chosen to grow roots in the heartland.

Both of us sharing about what it means to grow up in a small community in Oklahoma, and now growing a business here, while sticking close to family.

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Our Braid ECourse Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do  is the next to be in session! This ECourse is by far our most popular and shares a lot more when it comes to being who you are on your blog – both professionally and personally. It will be in-session from May 16-25th. Learn more and register here. 



Or check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s insight delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks. 

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Kathleen here. If you know me, you know I blog. I blog here on Braid Creative with my sister and business partner, Tara, and also over on my personal blog, &Kathleen. Some days it feels like my whole working day is filled with writing and planning posts. And I it like that way. Maybe you’d like it that way, too. Or perhaps you just want to dip your toe in the water of blogging.

Since “getting fit” is on everyone’s brain this time of year, why not your blog, too? The new year is a great time to shape up your blog content. But starting from scratch or simply wanting to focus and grow the blog (and audience) you’ve already got, can feel intimidating and overwhelming. Yet, if you feel the urgent need to do something about it, then you kind of already know what I’m about to tell you – that blogging is a great way to attract dream clients, prove your expertise, shape and share your ideas, and cultivate creativity, both personally and professionally. 

So whether you want to start a blog a-fresh, or just give the blog you’ve got a good shake-up and shape-up... it’s never too late to begin. Here are six ideas on how to start: 

1. Write about where you’re at. 
Lots of our clients want to blog (or refine their blog content) but don’t know where to begin. It’s tempting to over-explain and share your entire life story and professional experience right off the bat. But I always recommend that you start small. You’ll have years of blogging ahead of you to share bits and pieces of your story as you go. So one way to start blogging is to open a blank page and at the top write down this “What I really want to tell you is this …” and then simply start writing. Then hit publish. Rinse and repeat.  P.S. I’ve been blogging for years and use this technique when I feel at a loss of words. 

2. Share your gifts of knowledge. 
This includes how tos, DIYs, advice, and even inspiration that will leave your potential dream customer or a new fan respecting your expertise and wanting more. Some creatives are afraid that if they share too much of their process or services nobody will actually want to hire them but I have found again and again that the opposite is true. Try putting it all out there and I promise you’ll see a cash money return on your generosity.  
From the Archives: Going from Doing to Teaching

3. Document your stories, aspirations, and purpose. 
Blogging isn’t just for your audience. It’s a place for you to share, express, and cultivate your own creative desires and passions. I’ve worked through some of my best business ideas and have really refined my point-of-view, personally and professionally, through blogging. 
From the Archives: Personal Branding is Sharing Your Stories

4. Get focused. 
If you could only have four categories for your blog what would they be? And what would some of the post titles or topics under each category be about? Or try this: write down all the topics you’re interested in sharing – this can be a total brain dump. Then bust out four highlighters (because I know you’re a highlighter junkie like we are) and start grouping subjects together by color. If you had to dump each color into a separate bucket what would you label each bucket? Those are your blogging categories. 

5. Find your frequency. 
Lots of our clients ask us how often they should be blogging. But it’s truly up to you. I recommend to most people who are new to blogging to start with once a week. If that feels good and you want to do more bump it up to twice a week. Or if you’re feeling spread thin and stressed out trying to create weekly content then try twice a month. The frequency of your posts doesn’t matter nearly as much as the consistency. 

6. If you don’t like writing... 
That’s okay! There are other ways to share content – designed images, a curated moodboard, photos, videos, and podcasts are great alternatives to writing. And it doesn’t have to be fancy. You can literally use your iPhone with apps like VSCO, 8mm, and iMovie to make some stylish photos and videos. 

What are some of your blogging insecurities? Or what do you love about blogging? Let’s continue the conversation on Facebook. 

If you’re a creative entrepreneur who wants to shape up your blog content to attract more dream customers check out our Braid ECourse for Creative Entrepreneurs – Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How to Buy You. This 4-part complete-at-your-own-pace ECourse is now open for registration and will be in session from Jan. 17 - 26th. Learn more and register here. 

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Braid Creative & Consulting is branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. The Braid Blog is where we share weekly insights and resources for creatives.

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