How To Build Your Brand With Limited Time, Money and Expertise
So you've got this vision of yourself as an expert in your field, making a living doing what you love, with free time to enjoy your life as you please...
Cut to reality: You work full time and pass out pretty much as soon as you get home. You can barely make it to the end of the month without dipping into your 'savings'. You face impostor syndrome on a daily basis and feel you don't know enough about the career you're trying to create.
Sound familiar? Well it's time to stop letting 'life' get in the way and start being proactive.
Up until a few months ago, I felt exactly the same and told myself all the excuses for why I couldn't progress to where I wanted to be. I didn’t feel established enough to be calling myself a lifestyle blogger so I continued to refer to myself as a ‘freelancer’ even though that isn’t who I wanted to be anymore. I told myself I couldn't put my face out there, because I couldn't afford professional brand photos. I would sit and scroll through Instagram for hours after work but claim I had "technology fatigue" and couldn't create content.
Maybe it's those end-of-year feels giving me a sudden spur of motivation, but I'm over the BS! While I haven't drastically changed anything I do on a weekly basis, there are a few simple changes I've implemented that have made all the difference. So if you want to know how to consistently build your brand with limited time, money and knowledge, read on!
1. Passive Learning
So one of the biggest changes I've made to my daily routine is passive learning. I work a full-time job in fashion so it can be hard to find the time to sit down and learn new skills. I often get home and want to be nowhere near my laptop. Since I know I won't be in the mood to learn when I get back home, I've begun to learn while I work. Now, depending on your job, this may not be possible. However, if you work in a relatively relaxed office environment, this is an easy way to maximise the time spent at your desk. Plug in your earphones and swap out listening to music for listening to a business podcast. You can absorb tonnes of new knowledge and the best part is, you'll actually feel excited to work on your business when you get home!
2. D-I-Y Photo Shoots
Recently I've been learning more about the value of visibility and showing up as the face of my business. I spent weeks researching personal branding photographers only to find that pretty much all the photographers I wanted to work with were currently out of my budget. So I got creative. With only a few hours of sunlight to work with (thank you British winter time), I created some decent brand photos of myself, in my flat, with nothing but my iPhone self timer, a tripod and some basic editing apps. You can create something that looks and feels professional for free with apps like VSCO and Airbrush... at least until you have the cash to invest in a pro!
3. Content Days
Similarly to hosting D-I-Y photo shoots for myself, another way I've been working on my brand is by batching my content creation sessions. Every Saturday without fail for the past month, I wake up ready for a full day of making content. I take all my photos early in the day when there's still some natural light, then do all my graphics in the evening. On Sundays I write blog posts if I feel inspired to share something. I feel like one of the biggest hindrances to content creation is feeling like you constantly have to be producing something. I completely stopped writing for a year because I felt pressured to post something new every week. So now, I don't write a blog post if I have nothing valuable to say. I feel much more confident about all the content I put out because I know it wasn't forced. The best part is that on days when I'm totally in flow, I can often write 5 or more blog posts in one sitting because ideas are coming to me with minimal effort.