Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Branding Yourself

I’m taking the plunge and starting to do some freelance on the side. Wow! Who knew there were so many little details you have to do. My plan is to blog about the experience of starting up so others out there can learn and hopefully some of the more experienced freelancers will share their knowledge.

The first step in starting out is to brand yourself. No, this does not involve fire and hot irons (though it might be easier). It is coming up with a name for your company. I had thrown around a couple names: Gibbs Grafix, SG Design, Gibbs Design, Grafix Gibbs. I have decided to go with Gibbs Design. The reason being is that it's simple and it says who I am and what I do.

The next step is to come up with a logo, a mark that represents your company. This is one of the hardest things to do for yourself. At times there are so many things you want to put in but at the same time you want to keep it simple. Here are some of the sketches I went through before landing on my final design.

This is the design I ended up choosing. It's simple and clean. Why the break in the box? As a designer I like to think outside the box, step out of the box for new perspectives but I also have to work within a framework.

In a previous post I talked about how branding is not just about a logo but about the whole company. It is about everything that's put into it and comes out of it. So a big part of branding yourself is how you promote yourself. View yourself as an expert in your field. Do your best in everything whether it is a blog or a forum. Present yourself with your best foot forward because you never know who your next client or co-worker may be. When you are out running errands or getting coffee be polite. You would be amazed how many people remember the rude guy. Remember how you like to be treated when you're a customer and treat others the same way. Your work may be the best but if you are rude, condescending and obnoxious no one is going to want to find out that your work is good.

So as I go through starting up I need to remember that my brand is not my logo but it is myself and how I present myself. People may not remember my logo but the will remember me. If I’m friendly and helpful I will stand a better chance of getting the jobs I want.