Build Your Personal Brand into Marketing Materials - dummies

Build Your Personal Brand into Marketing Materials

By Susan Chritton

Your brand identity is carried through all of the items that your target audience touches. It incorporates your logo, fonts, colors, and images into one look and feel. Each item should reinforce the unique promise of value that your brand stands for. You want to apply your brand look in everything that you do to create a set of coordinated materials.

Figuring out how to use a logo, fonts, colors, and images all at once may feel overwhelming, so think about one item at a time as it relates to the core marketing materials: your business card, brochure, and website. Just keep in mind that you want to be consistent in all your applications so that when someone sees your visual identity items, she recognizes the look as yours.

Create business cards

Your business card is a brief business communication that you leave behind to create an impression of who you are and what you stand for. All over the world, business cards are exchanged in meetings and as reminders of conversations. Done well, your card communicates not just its written and visual message but also your unique personality.

A business card should be able to answer these questions for the person receiving it:

  • Who are you?

  • What do you or your business do?

  • Who do you do it for?

  • How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

  • Is it clear how to contact you?

Your business card may be the only visual tool that your target audience sees from you. Your card has one purpose, and that is to get noticed by those receiving it. It helps you stand out and be remembered by someone you just met.

When you design your business card, evaluate it by asking these questions:

  • Is it visually appealing enough to catch someone’s attention?

  • Is it specifically appealing to your target audience?

  • Does it send the message that you want it to send?

  • Do you look like a professional with high-quality standards (and not someone who whipped out cards on his printer right before an event)?

Create stationery

Printed letterhead stationery and envelopes serve as primary branding tools for most businesses. As a savvy personal brander, you, too, want stationery that aligns with your brand. All your correspondence should show your brand colors and logo so that it conveys to the recipient the personal brand message that you have crafted.

It’s important that all your written correspondence be properly branded. If you’ve engaged a designer to design a logo or website for you, have that person also design the stationery to show continuity of your brand.

A less expensive option is to use your logo and selected colors at a website like Vistaprint where you can design your own stationery and still use your consistent theme.

Designing brochures

In recent years, a lot of marketing has moved online. But including a personally branded brochure in your marketing tools is still an effective way to connect with your target audience. Your brochure fulfills two purposes: It gives your target audience a chance to know about you and your business, and it helps that audience trust you. A brochure is another touch point to assist you in connecting with your audience. Your brochure’s primary objective is to be a relationship builder, not a sales closer.

To create a great personal brochure, consider the following tips:

  • Highlight your unique promise of value. Make sure that you convey your personal brand in a way that shares your emotional attributes. Use your biography to help the reader feel like she knows you.

  • Tell your story. Think about the stories that make you interesting. Tell them in the third person so that they don’t sound like bragging.

  • Use excellent design elements. Make sure that your cover is eye-catching and makes the reader want to open it to discover more about you.

  • Experiment with an unusual size. Square brochures feel like invitations and are opened more often than rectangular brochures.

  • Invest in quality. Spend the money and print your brochure on quality paper with full color.

Print postcards

You may want to get postcards that match your brochure. You want to design the cover but leave the back blank. Having a blank back side permits you to print timely notices when you want to send a reminder or announce an event. This strategy lets you take advantage of bulk printing rates.

As with your brochure, use high-quality, heavy-stock paper. Produce a large quantity of postcards to use for different occasions. Keep your messages short and make them calls to action. You can also use your postcard to send personal notes to your clients.

If you’re not in business for yourself but still want to reinforce your brand to your target market, have personal postcards printed using your personal brand identity system: your logo, font(s), color(s), and perhaps image.

Prepare PowerPoint slides

Perhaps you haven’t yet thought about creating a customized design to bring the consistency of your logo, font(s), and color(s) to your presentations. You can customize your PowerPoint slides with your logo and your color palette so that your look appears on each slide regardless of what the presentation is about.

If you’ve worked with a designer to create a logo, for a few extra dollars, that person can create a PowerPoint template for you to use in your presentations. By doing so, you’ll look professional and coordinated. Having templated slides can give the appearance that you’re a professional presenter, which only reinforces your brand.