In today's interconnected world, the premise of brand-building gets increasingly broader and more hazy. You may be familiar with the term "brand," but do you know what it takes to build one?
Building a brand is a journey of self-awareness, conviction, and finding yourself in your business. Whether you're a CEO, a marketing expert, a freelancer, or even a regular joe, if you want to make an impact, you need to get your branding right.
Every business name and logo you see today is a product of labor-intensive branding.
The business card you received at that executive function didn’t just appear out of thin air. Someone put immense thought and heart into its design before deciding to hand it out for the world to see.
As an entrepreneur, building a brand for your business is a never-ending effort. But know this: The companies that invest in establishing great brands have a substantial competitive edge.
While the rewards are sweet, the journey to get there rarely is. But we want to change that.
Branding can be fun, quick, and easy with #BrandInMinutes
With our Brand Plan, it’s simpler than ever to #BrandInMinutes with our collection of professional branding templates and tools to help you launch the brand you’ve dreamt of for so long.
The only way to understand the impact of having a #BrandInMinutes is to take a dive into the stories of entrepreneurs who have had to make it happen on their own.
And Christianna Johnson of the business By Christianna is the perfect example.
We spoke to Christianna about her journey in building her personal brand for By Christianna.
Hopefully, her inspiring story can motivate new entrepreneurs, such as you, to take the leap and get your businesses out there.
1. Tell us about your business.
I made writing my business when I soft-launched By Christianna in 2020.
At first, it started as a blog where I taught other introverted writers how to make extra income and understand self-publishing.
I'm a storyteller at heart, and I needed an outlet as I was growing up for all of the ideas and characters in my head.
After college and going into the corporate world, I went back to storytelling and expanded from fiction only to copywriting, content writing, and mentoring other writers.
So it looks like writing books, blog posts, freelancing, course creation, community creation, and a little virtual assistant work for self-published authors.
I was inspired to pursue writing as my full-time business and quit my corporate job at the end of 2021 by my business mentor, Martha Krejci.
She created a program called the Home-Based Revolution, and it was my roadmap to entering entrepreneurship.
It was scary to turn in my resignation from what was a secure, steady job, but I knew that I couldn't keep building my business while there. I knew there was a cap to what my income could be. And I knew that I was gifted with my talent and love for writing, and it was being wasted.
2. How did you go about building a brand for your business?
My branding has been an ever-evolving process, from the colors to the logo design. It's been DIY all the way after having guidance from my mentor.
Everything has been created using Canva, though I did try my hand at designing something original and custom with Procreate. Digital art is not where my talents lie. Right now, I'm happy with my color palette as it's mostly warm brown tones and earthy colors.
That feels calm to me, and as an introvert and highly sensitive person, I wanted my brand to reflect calmness. It's been a time-consuming process, but I'm glad I went through it and know how to do it. It allows me to change things whenever I want, and I have to admit to being a bit of a control freak.
Besides that, I love learning and picking up new skills. In time, I think I'd like to hand it over to someone else to do, but for now, I'm satisfied with it.
3. In your opinion, how important is it for a business to build a credible brand?
It's absolutely vital to building a credible brand, especially a personal brand. People want to do business with people, not faceless corporations. While you can curate yourself and your brand to look a certain way, what people actually think of will be your behavior.
Consistency and integrity are two key factors that will separate who is in the game today and who's here in ten years. I model so much of what I do after my mentor.
She does live video every day and has done so for nearly two years — I think she took a break once. That consistency has been a part of her brand and building trust with her people, and we know her.
We like her. So we do business with her. This is something that I'm going to start soon so I can better connect with my people.
4. How did you get your first customers?
My first client was a referral from my sister. It was a blog writing gig in the educational niche that required a bit of research. My second client was someone I already knew, an indie author I'd connected with two years ago.
I started as his VA in September 2021, and as long as he needs me, I'll continue to work with him forever. Some of your first customers can be people you know — so tell people you know about your business! It can feel awkward and scary to announce that you're building this brand new business to people.
You might think they'll judge you or think negatively of you, but everyone who knows that I'm a writer has been supportive. Let your social media friends know what you do and that you're open for business. You might not work with any of them, but they might know someone who needs your services. Referrals are gold.
Besides referrals, the rest of my clients have come from Facebook groups that post job opportunities. Having a website that lists my services and what I'm about helped, as well as having optimized social media for my Instagram and Facebook profiles.
Posting relevant content to your target audience is so important. People can check me out, and they can see from what I post that I actually know what I'm talking about.
5. What are your future plans with respect to building your business?
I have so many plans for my business that I sometimes feel overwhelmed by everything I want to do. But I know that it's just one step after the other, and everything that is for me is already mine. I just need to get there. I see my business growing and expanding in a few years.
I have books and courses to create to help other introverted writers so they can make extra income or go full-time as writers. They can do so as indie authors, freelance writers, or both, and by building a brand and community around themselves.
As a part of that, I plan to build my freelance writing to a point where I have a full agency, as well as a virtual assistant agency solely for independent authors. The potential to scale is there.
A little less than a year ago, I was scared to fully commit to it, but now I'm actively building and taking on new clients. I’m learning and leveling up both in business and personally.
Over To You
Branding has no exact formula to it, but we do know there are a few key characteristics impactful brands have in common.
And it might be tempting to look at the successful businesses and say, “I’ll take that brand, please!” But what makes a brand work is how it speaks to you.
What makes your business authentically you? Businesses that manage to be true to who they are, what they do, and why they do it are able to create lasting, evolving connections with their audiences. This authenticity is the core of your branding.
What are you waiting for? Shine bright and #BrandInMinutes today!