A question I receive often from readers and new bloggers is: how do you build your brand? It’s a question that comes with a loaded response (…and time, of course), but I feel there are a few key components that are the building blocks to creating a brand that speaks to a sense of style, written voice, and photo aesthetic that is authentic to you.
I often talk about how I pick out a few key words that match my sense of style. Naturally, I continue to gravitate towards items that speak to those words. For example, my three words as of lately are: approachable (this one is always on my list), casual, bohemian. I feel like I often flip flop between my love for classic pieces and free flowing, more 70s-style clothing. I attribute both of these loves to my grandmother, who had such a fabulous, chic and always classy fashion sense, along with my mom, who was a cool surfer/hippie gal in the 60s and 70s. I know those don’t seem too compatible, but when you add them together, you get my wardrobe…which I am a big fan of (haha that sounds so weird to write, but I’d hope I like my wardrobe if I am going to share it everyday, ha!) and feels totally fitting for me and my personality. All that said, keeping these words in mind when I am styling outfits helps me to brand my style. I am often told that when folks see an outfit of mine on Instagram pop up on their feeds, they know it’s a “Livvy” immediately. First off, that’s so cool to hear! Second, it took me a while to nail down my look and really feel confident about my personal style (…no one needs to see what I wore in my first blog posts, ha!).
One last thing: you don’t have to stick with the same words all the time, it’s really just a framework to help you build a wardrobe of items you know you like and that feel right for you. As I get older and trends change, my style will of course evolve, but the core of it will always be approachability – that’s my number one and the constant word that makes the cut every time. My life does not consist of me strutting down a runway or grabbing dinner at fancy restaurants in Austin (…I am the girl who would rather spend $50 on a shirt, not a steak dinner), so remaining approachable in my fashion sense is a biggie for me.
To get you thinking about how you might “brand” your own sense of style, here are a few questions to get your gears working! 😉
1. Do you prefer color or neutrals?
2. Do you like tailored or free flowing clothing?
3. Do you like prints or solids?
4. Would you say you gravitate towards edgy, eccentric, preppy or romantic style?
…You get the gist! Aaaand if you feel like your style is all of the above, more power to ya! 😉
The best advice? Be yourself and write like yourself. I was a long-form journalism major in college, so writing has always been a passion of mine. When it comes to writing for a blog, the best thing to keep in mind is that this is YOUR space (…you make the rules!) and writing is a way to connect with your readers. Outfit photos are fun and all, but writing is where you can give your readers a window into your life, share your personality and of course, explain how clothing fits/what color options a store carries, etc. There are a lot of fashion bloggers who choose not to write and that is totally okay and what works best for them! I just really love this component to blogging, feel like it’s therapeutic and has really helped brand my blog overall.
It has taken me nearly two years to nail down a visual aesthetic that feels most “me” – and that I finally feel good about! To achieve this, I decided it was time to start working with a professional photographer to shoot the majority of my blog content, and then spend countless hours playing around with Instagram editing apps until I figured out my go-to editing method for that particular social platform. Truth be told, trial and error was really how I figured all of this out! When it came to blog photos, my photographer and I sat down and tweaked lighting, contrast, warmth/coolness, etc. in Lightroom until I spotted the “look” of the images that I knew would work for me and my visual “brand.”
There are so many different types of photos out there (more exposed, dark and moody, rich and colorful, light and airy…etc.), but given that running a fashion blog is primarily based on photography, it’s so important to keep up a consistent “look” when it comes to your images. Once I finally figured out the photography recipe that worked for my brand and felt right to me, things started to move a lot quicker and I really feel like my visual content is finally something I am genuinely proud of.
I think the one constant to building your brand is this: time. With all three bullet points above, I didn’t figure any of those out overnight. Each one took a ton of practice, thought and tweaking until things started to fall into place – years after starting my blog! Thus, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to nail it with every blog post at the start, it’s a good learning experience to find out what works and what doesn’t, and that knowledge only makes you better along the way.
Lastly, I apologize for not getting this post up yesterday, as promised. Family always comes first to me, and yesterday a family member needed my support. I always remind myself that life is about our relationships, and it was one of those days where I needed to step away from my computer and really focus on someone else. Hope you’ll understand.
Wishing y’all a wonderful weekend – please leave any questions below! XOXO
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