“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
– Tom Peters in Fast Company
It doesn’t matter if you’re a corporate professional or you freelance in your pajamas. Everyone needs to build their personal brand so they stand out from the millions of other people just like them. That’s not an easy thing to do on a budget.
Thankfully, there are several tools that help us create a professional brand without breaking the bank.
Wisestamp’s Email Signature
Email is one of the most important aspects of building any professional brand. Obviously, you should avoid email addresses like bacardigirl@ or foxylady@ (two actual emails found on a professional resume!). But your signature can also be used to improve your brand and share important social media links.
Orly Izhaki, co-founder and CEO of Wisestamp, focuses on “simplifying complexity.” For only $6 a month, Wisestamp provides users with templates, social icons, unlimited signatures and more. For example, this template allows a freelance photographer to showcase her latest Instagram pics, which is an obvious visual asset for attracting new business.
RenderFX’s Affordable Videos
In Start Building Your Video Empire Now, I shared that “80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video by 2019”. Video has the power to engage faster than any other medium and can be viewed on any sized screen. Since more people are using their smartphones instead of computers, video allows you to communicate anywhere your community wants to be.
And before you say it’s too expensive to create engaging videos, RenderFX has a subscription service that allows you to create unlimited videos for only $49 a month. You don’t need any special training and there are templates for you to choose from. Creating custom videos raises the professionalism of your brand, while staying within your marketing budget.
Fiverr’s Logo Designs
Fiverr started as a bootstrapper’s dream come true. Business services for only $5! Years later, it still connects customers with professional freelancers starting at $5 but also has premium “gigs” for much more. Whether you have a separate business name or only use your given name, having a professionally designed logo separates you from part-timers.
This particular gig starts at $10 basic price and $25 standard package, which includes 3 design proposals (1 final logo), editable file, and HQ resolution in Jpeg and Png. There’s also a premium package for $55 with unlimited design proposals. Unless you’re a graphic artist, hand this job off to a professional. Your brand’s image will thank you.
Canva’s Social Media Templates
I have tried in vain to find anything comparable to Canva. It’s simply the best graphic choice for any professional. It’s easy to use, has a zillion templates, and the graphics are only $1. One essential aspect of any branding strategy is to have a consistent brand image across all platforms, including social media.
Canva has templates for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and Google+. Plus, it has post templates too, like this one for Facebook:
Your Brand on Every Platform
Branding is much more than your image or logo. It’s the intangible perception of you and your business. But having a professional image across every platform is an essential step towards improving your overall brand.
Once you have your professional logo and email signatures, it’s time to blast your message across your platforms. The key is to be consistent. That means using the same fonts, tones, images, graphics, logos and tagline everywhere.