It has been a while, but I am back with another guest on this series! I have not stopped learning about branding and brand development - there is always something new to learn. From the beginning I knew that I wanted to look at it from as many different angles as possible. So when Primrose from Style Petal agreed to answer these questions I got very excited!
I have followed Primrose for a while now, and she's proof that consistency is key to building a good brand. I see it in her posts - the style and theme of her pictures, the frequency of her upload, and the aesthetics of her website - love it all. She's one of those accounts that make you go 'ooh and ahh' in awe of her pastel grid. Read more about her story below!
What's your story? What made you want to do what you do?
I've always read blogs, ever since I somehow stumbled across them when I was about 13. Fashion, lifestyle, and beauty always influenced me growing up and reading about them in magazines and blogs, hearing people's stories from across the world really inspired me. I'd had a few blogs growing up, none really serving a purpose, until I read an issue of Elle magazine and decided to start up a new blog, this time with a stronger idea of what I wanted to do. I had Instagram before and that became a little hub and month by month and over the years I just kind of started to create my own little space and brand, eventually earning me an income! Tough work and a lot of hustling but it's amazing!
How have you managed to single-handedly create a brand out of your work or yourself, essentially?
It was a strange and unpredicted process, it wasn't something I planned, but rather I began to see it was possible and worked towards it. I had various jobs working alongside my blog and it was only when I moved, I realized I kind of didn't need another job and made the transition into taking my blog full time. It's still very unpredictable, I'm a classic freelance cliche, one minute scraping to afford a sandwich and the next planning a designer splurge (which never materializes, luckily for my bank balance!) I'm not Zoella, I'm not inundated with huge offers everyday, but going out and meeting potential clients, networking, attending events and doing my own outreach have all been hugely beneficial. I'm proactive and try and chase what I can, which means more opportunities may arise.
What made you decide to materialize this idea into an actual brand (when you first decided to go professional, get a logo, etc.) and how has that helped you?
Blogging is amazing and ever changing, new people are discovering the world of blogging and wanting to create their own spaces, so naturally it's becoming ever popular and we need to fight to keep our integrity and originality. I think even before I went professional, I wanted my social channels and blog to have a consistent theme within them - my brand! I've always designed my logos (which naturally change as I do) and I've been building and designing (and re-designing constantly!) my website over the years. I'm always strategizing what my 'brand' is and it's easy to feel overwhelmed, lost and not sure what direction to go in. It's always going to be a work in progress and change and grow with me, but I guess that's the fun of it!
You're essentially a designer of your brand. What have you learned from it? Is there anything you wish you'd done differently?
I don't think I could have done anything different really. For me, blogging doesn't have any shortcuts - you need to figure out what you want to do, enjoy and what your audience enjoys, as well as grow all of that and build it up, which took me a lot of time (and still does!) It's never going to be a finished product for me, so I learn and make little mistakes as I go I guess! Through this I learn what I don't like, what doesn't work and use that to hopefully get better and more refined in myself and brand!
What are some of your tips and tricks on how to develop a brand especially for creatives who are just starting out and small businesses?
I'd say try and really sit down and get some direction - without this, it's difficult to materialize anything, which is why all my blogs before didn't really work. Ask yourself what you want to get out of it, why you want to do it and how you want others to benefit. Then strategize how you can make this work. It's very easy to just go along with the norm in industries and just emulate that, which is totally what most of us do, just with our own spin on it. The thing that would get you noticed is really coming up with something unique, which you'll be renowned for (I haven't figured this one out yet for me!) But if you have a really innovative idea you're passionate about - go with it and get your creativity flowing! I also think setting up social media to support your business is vital these days - the amount of opportunities I've landed through a simple tweet someone has seen or an insta story is amazing! It's not always the size of your audience, but who it reaches! Enjoy the creative process and value those who support you!
And your personality matters too! Primrose is an absolute babe. She was so sweet and helpful with the project - and I'm sure that played a big role in her journey. No matter how big you are, people do usually prefer working with someone with a good personality.
Hope this post is helpful - let me know what you think! Have a fab Sunday!