So the other afternoon when I was wandering the web, I came across freshbysian.com and signed up to take her 10 day brand challenge – totally free people, and so far, I’ve found it super helpful.
See, I’m trying to find clarity on my brand values, mission, (and in Sian’s words) “the big why”. This isn’t easy. In fact, it’s really difficult! In an online world saturated with so many fantastic ideas and amazing people carving out amazing paths for themselves, it’s so difficult to maintain focus on what’s right for you and your goals, AND to grow a personal brand that stands out from the rest. So, I’m three days in, and I have a notepad full of notes and a brain buzzing full of ideas that still don’t quite connect together 100% yet – and that’s okay.
What is best for you?
And from a different perspective, I also loved this post by Amber over at Ember & March on why wanting tradition is okay. She talks about the “pressure to conform to the less traditional models of employment or business just to fit a certain mold” – even if it’s not in line with your personal career goals. Is freelancing full-time for you? A 9-5 job might actually be more in line with your goals and that’s okay too, even if society condemns them as ‘less creative’ and ‘less ambitious’ than their full-time freelancing, work-from-home/beach/bar counterparts (which is rubbish)!
We’re all different. We’re all still creative and passionate.We're all different. We're all still creative and passionate. Click To Tweet
Creating a manifesto
Anyway, so along with these thoughts I’ve also been in the process of crafting my manifesto, which I think is really important for me to establish so I can more clearly see my brand’s mission. I kinda wasn’t even 100% sure on what a manifesto was, until I reached out to Amber and she was so kind to take the time to share her wisdom with me.
So, a manifesto is like a declaration of what’s important to you – your values and objectives for your brand. Or, in Amber’s words, “It’s a statement that illustrates your beliefs that, hopefully your audience will connect with. It’s a great way to explain the values and foundations of the content you create. I wrote mine by starting with a few phrases that I believe and values I have, and then expanded from there.” See – told you she was wise. You can read her manifesto here.
Ask the hard questions
Some of the questions I’ve been asking myself are:
- What do I ultimately want to help people with?
- How do I want people to feel when they read my blog or work with me?
- What are the things I value in life?
- What do I actually want to achieve with my brand + this blog?
- What are some key words that I would associate with my brand?
- What do I like and not like about my brand and my blog?
Above all, I’m really enjoying this process and I think it’s a really worthwhile endeavour to get right into the nitty-gritty of your brand goals and purpose.
Have you ever done a brand audit? What was your experience? Do you have any advice you can share with me?