A beginner’s guide to personal branding
Are you a struggling online artist? Outspoken personality? Passionate vlogger? Maybe your channel isn’t hitting those peak numbers, or your DeviantArt page hasn’t blasted off yet.
The rich and insta-famous all have one thing in common: wicked personal branding techniques. It’s true. If you want to slice through the deafening cries of “me-me-me” Internet noise these days, you need to take bigger risks. No pain, no money rain.
I’m not here to sell you a personal branding kit like the other marketing gurus. No, you need to go old school.
How old school?
Old West old school.
Brand yourself with an actual cattle brand.
Jason Kottke has already written a great post about designing cattle brands. Cattle branding already comes with its own vintage alphabet that’s just perfect for your new logo.
In cattle brands, letters come in all shapes and sizes — regular, tilting, legged, winged, running, dragged, walking, lazy, reversed, and upside down. They’re like sex that way.
Take a look at these samples. You can add symbols to your brand, too. Diamonds, circles, rails, lapped circles, and letters inside circles, crosses, and horseshoes.
The right choice of font can say a lot about your content, and highlight your vibrant persona. Just take a look at what you can do with a boring name like Sue:
Imagine Sue before she branded herself. Unbranded Sue sounds like someone who sits quietly on her couch on Friday nights reading a book about the Dewey decimal system and petting her overfed cat.
Now look at Sue with a backwards S and a rail over her name. Wow, that Sue’s going places. She definitely gets free drinks from whatever bar she goes to, where she live streams her blind dates from Tinder. Sue with a backwards S has a hundred thousand Instagram followers, and threesomes before brunch on Sunday, which she also live streams.
Now, meet Sue with a lazy u hugged inside a star. Are you sitting down? Because this Sue is going to blow your mind. She does naked karaoke on YouTube. Every video gets a million views. The president even liked one of her tweets. She’s besties with PewDiePie.
You don’t know who that is? OMG, kill yourself.
You’re wondering now, do you have to use a real cattle brand? Yes. Duh. Absolutely. No half measures on your social media.
You’re the real deal. You brand yourself FTW.
Don’t design a kickass, Old West-style cattle brand and then chicken out. A legit brand makes the difference between you and that basic girl who released her own debut album as a podcast.
You’ll need to order a branding iron from your local blacksmith. You think you don’t have one, but you do. It’s run by a buff hipster named Bradley — down the block from your raw vegetable bar.
The best organic blacksmiths have started opening self-branding stalls. That’s where you’ll take your iron. Dig a pit about ten inches deep, and purchase a sack of premium, environmentally-friendly branding coals for $75. Stick the iron in and wait until it grows red hot.
Wait, don’t brand yourself yet! Let the iron cool to a light grey temperature. If you brand yourself with a red hot iron, you’ll wind up in the ER.
They say all press is good press. They’re wrong. A personal branding accident isn’t good press.
Now, where you brand yourself matters the most. It’s best to avoid the forehead, because that could scare people. You don’t want your followers associating your brand with Manson — the biggest branding faux pas of the 20th century.
Now, the neck — that’s sexy. Make sure you apply the brand evenly with a rocking motion. Use your selfie cam to help guide final placement. Choose the application area wisely. That brand’s staying for at least 5 years.
You have endless options. Shoulder, hip, thigh, or flank. Everything depends on your life goals. Do you lead a virtual yoga studio on YouTube? Go for the midriff. A sexy little brand over your belly button could triple your traffic and attract all kinds of positive vibes.
Personally, I’ve considered branding my chest. That’s where everybody looks anyway. It’s prime time, high traffic attention real estate. Sure, my eyes are up here. But my brand’s down there.
You’re probably wondering about pain killers. No, not a good idea. That will dull your aim.
Sounds like a lot of work. Right? Just imagine tilting your head and pulling your hair back to expose that kissing spot, with your own initials emblazoned there. So hot. Your Instagram followers will go wild. Don’t be surprised if your phone burns out from the heat.