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When and How Should I Re-Brand Myself?

As a designer, you know how important branding is.  Creating a cohesive message and design that portrays your brand how you’d like others to see it is one of the most important marketing strategies around.  While you know how to brand a website, a logo, or an entire company, you might forget about the one most important brand you run – yourself.

How do I know I need to be re-branded?

Do you cringe every time you see the design on your business cards?  Does your website design complement your overall image?  Is all your information up-to-date?  Did you ever even bother to brand yourself in the first place?  These are all questions you need to ask yourself when considering a re-brand.  You want your brand to send a strong, powerful message about who you are and why people should hire you.  If your current brand does not do that, it might be time for a change.

Where do I start?

Figure out what you want to say to people.  You know the properties of design, how to use color, type, and other elements to convey a message, so figuring out the message should be the toughest part.  Write a personal statement about who you are, what you do, and what sets you apart.  If you need to, just ramble in stream of consciousness style just so you have something concrete that you can go back and read later.  Pare down your statement into a tagline or a one-sentence description, and that’s the beginning of your new brand.

Seek Inspiration

Once you have your tagline, you might still be lost on how to make your entire brand say what you want it to say, so do some research.  Look for inspiration from designers in your field whom you admire.  You can look at the overall feel of their website and figure out why it works.  Then you can use the elements you like and mold them into something that is uniquely you.

Make it cohesive

Whatever you decide you want your brand to say, make sure to carry that message through all of your branding materials, your work and yourself.  Your brand is not just the design of your website and your business cards, but the entire package someone gets when they hire you.  You want your brand to send a message about who you are and what you do, so your design and the copy you put on your website should all convey the same message so that clients feel like they know you just by knowing your brand.

Get Feedback

You might be a branding expert, but branding yourself is hard work.  You might see yourself in a completely different light than how everyone else sees you, so it’s important to find out what others think about your brand.  You might think it conveys one message, but it could say something totally different to different people.  You need to make sure that your potential clients see what you want them to see, so ask people you trust what they think and take their opinions very seriously.

Spread the Word

Now that you have a new brand that you’re happy with, don’t keep it quiet.  Use your new image in your promotion and outreach methods.  Incorporate your cohesive message into your social media efforts, write your tagline into the bottom of your emails, and just keep the brand strategy in mind whenever you’re working with a new or potential client.

These tips are just a few things to think about when creating a new brand.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that the brand represents you, so it is very important and should not be overlooked.  Do you have any other re-branding tips that have worked well for you?

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