5 Easy Tips to Build Your Brand While Not Quitting Your Day Job

Building Your Brand // digital-couture

There seems to be a cultural shift with the big box stores all having similar items for sale made from over seas to a new trend of using creative makers from across our good ol’ US of A getting in on a piece of the action. More and more avenues are opening up to the independent designer, this is great news as a whole, but success doesn’t happen over night for most brands. Some of us still rely on making a living the old fashioned way with a full time or close to full time job and moonlighting as our brand’s designer, marketer, blogger and so on.

There is a strategy to building your brand successfully while juggling the most demanding of jobs as long as there is plenty of room for organization, discipline and determination. Every decision you make is fundamental to building your brand and taking it to the next level. Here are 5 easy steps you can follow

1 |  AVOID DISTRACTIONS

The next time you catch yourself sitting down to watch TV or aimlessly reading Facebook updates, remember the discipline it takes to launch your business. Go analog if you have to, but don’t let yourself fall down the proverbial rabbit hole when it’s time to get some work done.

2 |  KEEP TRACK OF YOUR IDEAS

This is so important, especially if you’re like me, getting the ideas out of your head and jotting them down in the “notes” section of your phone, snapping a picture of something inspiring or carry a notebook to record your thoughts and ideas. As I learned from a great Creative Director, Blane Hogan, this is called scratching. Having this practice is essential to building your brand on a limited time schedule. Scratching allows you to refer back to your thoughts and images as your ideas take shape and this can all be done virtually anywhere, on your lunch hour or while waiting to pick up the kids.

3 |  PROFESSIONAL VISUALS

Most people can tell when you’re faking it {especially if you’re using ClipArt} and want to know that you’re a legitimate business. Using amazing photos can help to create an emotional response and will set the tone of every post you make. Each time you use a photo make sure it has a purpose, if it doesn’t, it can negatively impact your post. Photos can also help your blog with SEO benefits by naming them correctly with using key words as your file names. Your photos should always be crisp, well lit and have the main subject in the foreground.

4 |  GET CREATIVE

This can be both challenging and well, creative. Not having enough hours in the day to get everything done is a challenge, but if you get creative with your schedule and have intention, you can probably squeeze up to 2 hours a day working on your brand. For example, wake up 30 minutes earlier while everyone is still asleep, make a list of tasks related to your business that are doable for the week. Use part of your lunch hour to reply to emails or make phone calls that need to be taken care of during business hours.

You may want to invest in using a scheduling software app, like Hootsuite, to help with your social media postings. Think of it like meal prepping for your family. You know if you don’t plan your meals for the week, you don’t know what to cook. Think of your social media the same way. 

5 |  SET A TIMELINE

Don’t let your business be an afterthought. Establish a timeline and review it regularly. If you feel it is gaining momentum, you may want to incrementally increase your involvement with it. On the other hand, if you’re finding that traction is super slow or you seem to be missing key milestones, it could be time to reevaluate. Either way, you won’t know until you get out there and try.

These five steps are foundational to successfully building your brand so spend some time thoughtfully mapping out your strategy. I can’t wait to hear some of your shortcuts while you’re working full time too.