Personal branding

Early last year, I went on a bit of an adventure in terms of personal branding. I made the decision to change the focus of my professional Instagram account (@krystalgagen) to include not only my #bookstagram photos, but also my lifting and #gymownerlife content. Whilst some would say that doing so has killed my chance at building an account in either the book or gym community on social media, I felt it was the right decision for me. Part of that adventure included me reaching out to Kristen Willis, Creative Freelancer. Kristen had recently done some amazing work for us in the iCentre, including creating our new logo:

Kristen has also designed our new signage and some posters for the iCentre and I am in love with her work:

When I decided that I wanted to focus on building my personal brand, I reached out to Kristen for some design help. I knew I wanted a logo and an avatar, but beyond that I had no real inspiration. Kristen took my vague ramblings and made something that I am so very pleased with!

You might be wondering: “but why bother? You’re just a teacher librarian and gym owner, and you barely have any followers…” Well, you’re not wrong but this is something that felt right for me, and here’s why…

1. Practising what you preach…

In my position as teacher librarian at Mount Alvernia College, I model good online practices. It’s my job to show students that being online is not a scary thing that they should never do; but rather, it’s a great tool and can have a positive impact on your life if you know how to engage with it safely. I talk constantly to my students about their “brand” and the “image” they are portraying online all the time, and this felt like the next natural step for me.

2. Sending a message…

I’m a strong believer in empowerment. I think I’ve written about how who I am as a lifter, librarian, teacher, gym owner, technology enthusiastic, and many more things often confuses people. I cannot count the number of times I get the look of incredulity when I tell people all the things that I do. By owning who I am and putting it out there in the world, I hope to inspire others to realise that they can be more than just one thing, and if they don’t, then that’s ok too.

3. Living our lives online…

It’s no secret that future employers will most likely run online checks of people’s social media and other online presences. When my future employers (not that I’m leaving Mount A anytime soon) do run a search, I want them to be able to identify who I am. I want my online life to reflect my professional, and sometimes personal, beliefs. For me, it made sense to build my personal brand.

So, there you have it. Some of my reasons for asking a graphic designer to create a logo and avatar for me. I’m not sure where this will lead, but I am excited and I’m in love with the design. I am so grateful to Kristen Willis, Creative Freelancer for helping my vision come to life. I urge all readers to think carefully about who they are online and if their current personal brand is the one they really want the world to see.

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