I was invited to an Oakland party. I knew no one. I slapped on EXTROVERT-SMILE and went. (<—-applause for unflagging bravery in face of small talk).
I overheard a guest ask the host who I was & the response made me ((GRIN)) from my misfit-core. She shared about our move/I was a blogger & described my brand *perfectly*. She nailed the evolution of my MizFit name, how Ive grown from training to healthy living, & it’s a play on MISFIT not MISS. FIT.
Inside I celebrated.
She ‘got’ me. She ‘got’ my brand. I got the info of tip #4 without having to ask. Win, WIN, WIN.
Weve all witnessed the power of creating a personal brand.
Im frequently asked–by bloggers & brands–if I planned MizFit from its inception.
The answer is yes & no.
Yes I spent time selecting a name, creating a caricature/logo, & honing the message I wanted to convey.
I took time to formulate a blog mission statement which meshed with other mission statements in my life.
No I didnt map out my blogbrand (short/long term) in a concise bullet point fashion.
That’s not my style. I launch most things in life with a beginning/end loosely in mind and let the middle unfurl as it may.
Whether my approach mimics yours or not—there exist 6 universal branding tips I wish I’d known from the start:
- Your brand= your readers’ expectation of you based on *past* interactions. This is good news. You may *think* you have no brand-—you do. Examine your blog. Read comments. Reread posts. Now write down what *you* think readers expect when they click to you. This is your brand. As Dr. Phil says: The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. In the world of branding predictability is a great thing.
- Be consistent (It’s just like exercise) Focus on using same language, messages & voice. When I Tweet, Instagram, Facebook etc. my message is always the same (there’s that mission statement. it’s crucial to branding). It may feel repetitive—-it’s not. People are drawn to
consistency. TIP: Struggling with this? Re-examine your message. You may simply need to revise & redefine your brand!
- Play to your strengths. Your brand is a gathering of your gifts. What are your strengths? Best skills? There’s a clue to your brand. Invest time defining *who you are* (TIP: explore core values!) & be that person. This authenticity will draw people to you. An added benefit is you’ll never have to think “how would my brand react to XYZ?” —just stay true to your core value system.
- Check if others “get” your brand. Ive asked friends/readers: What’s my brand? What comes to mind when you hear MizFit? You might also explain your brand to someone & ask they repeat it back to you in their words. If others struggle to explain your brand then you might need to clarify your mission statement.
- You are not all you need. Your brand cannot exist in a vacuum. You need readers, interaction, & people who challenge your opinions in order to grow. My brand has an emphasis on giving back to our community. “Do unto others” in the manner which meshes with your brand—but give. I focus on to the blogworld/twitter you may be one person—but to one blogger/tweeter you may be the world. This phrase is part of my brand’s mission statement.
- Patience. Building a quality brand takes effort over time. We all know bloggers who emerge like the proverbial house-a-fire & seem to burn out as quickly. Every interaction you have is brand extension. That’s both great & challenging. As tempting as it can be to focus 24/7 on creating a social media footprint you *do* need to step back, wait and let your brand organically evolve.
all my secrets what’s worked for me, my personal-brand & in a sense my PERSON.
Now it’s your turn.
- From blogger to business owner to social media maven—whats your best branding tip?
- (Without naming names) Whats the biggest branding OOPS! youve witnessed?
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama saysAugust 19, 2013 at 1:51 am
Great tips! Truthfully, I’ve never really put that much thought into my blog. It started as a way to share my love of fitness but has grown a little more than expected. This post has me thinking – brand, mission statement, etc. Hmmm…
I’ve been disappointed in the past with a few of my favorite blogs who changed their mission statement and went more commercial. Lots of reviews/giveaways instead of getting into the topic that started their blog. I stopped reading because I felt every post was fake.
Maureen saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:21 am
I soooo agree with this. I understand that in order to run a blog, you might need to do some reviews here and there. But when all I read are disclaimers how they were provided compensation for blog post after blog post, I turn away.
Like Angela, I have not put much time into my mission statement, but really need to do that soon!
Jena saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:22 am
I am about to launch my blog and hadn’t ever heard of a mission statement before.
Tom T. saysAugust 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm
I too have missed the boat on the mission statement. I just decided to write rather than just reading all the time. Branding is what we do every day if we know it or not. I also agree with the comments about not going commercial. There is the temptation to generate revenue and that is okay (maybe even good) but not at the cost of losing what your original idea was. Great post and to restate what others have said you do a great job of being yourself in your posts.
Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness saysAugust 19, 2013 at 2:10 am
This was a great post! I really need some mentoring as I develop my blog. Thank you for writing this!
Linz @ Itz Linz saysAugust 19, 2013 at 3:34 am
great tips!! my only tip would be BE YOURSELF! which of course you do so beautifully 🙂 🙂
Barbara saysAugust 19, 2013 at 3:59 am
As I start blogging again next month on a smaller scale, on a smaller stage (.blogspot.com), I am releasing myself from branding. Going more grassroots, less commercial. Happy about that. 🙂
AmyC saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:15 am
This is why I’m more selective about the products I review or event I promote…staying true to myself, my brand is my #1 priority. It is easy to get caught up in the giveaway game, but when you step back, you realize that you do sound FAKE – like Angela said. I don’t want to be thought of that way!
Thanks for the tips!
lindsay saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:15 am
In 2009 i discovered the MIZFIT via HEAB and Mark’s Daily Apple. I’ve learned from you each and every day. Thank you for being the best mentor, even if you didn’t know. Staying TRUE to YOUR brand!
Laura @ Mommy Run Fast saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:24 am
I really like that first tip- thinking back about what you’ve done as a way to define your brand… that was really helpful for me!
Bea saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:43 am
Me as well.
Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:27 am
What great tips! Thanks so much for sharing! I still feel too new/ too evolving to have helpful tips. I guess just enjoy blogging, if you aren’t enjoying it or it’s becoming a chore, re-evaluate if it should be in your life. Blogging should be fun!
misszippy1 saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:34 am
Great example of your giving back right here in this share of wonderful tips! I think that authenticity is what I’ve learned…if I’m not myself in a post, it would not be a good post. Got to stick to your voice, always.
Naa-Dei saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:35 am
This is a great post. I was just having a conversation yesterday with a fellow blogger who has concerns about “her brand”. I am going to forward this post to her.
Danielle saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:40 am
So many amazing tips in this post! You have such a unique and well-defined brand that I think we call all learn something from! Thanks for the advice!
Bea saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:42 am
I can use this for my small business and had an AH HA MOMENT where you say your brand is a gathering of your gifts!
MIZ saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:03 am
me as well. and it reminded me how EASY this all is….just gather your gifts, focus, refine and GO!
Bea saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:42 am
I wonder how others would define my apparel brand, too.
Heathers Looking Glass saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:43 am
lloovvee this, especially the one about patience. Bloggers who have been blogging 3 months will ask me how to get more readers, how to get brands to notice them….PATIENCE young grasshopper!
Fancy Nancy saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:50 am
GREAT tips!!! I haven’t given too too much thought into my blog brand except to try to encourage those around me to be fit and strive to be the best version of themselves. I hope they would feel supported! I would say a big ooops I did at first was try to be like other bigger bloggers instead of me myself and I. That is all that I can be!
MIZ saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:04 am
OH! I so did that too. I remember thinking: IF I CAN JUST BE LIKE CRABBY MCSLACKER ILL BE SOOO HAPPY.
Then I realized I just need to be ME.
crabby mcslacker saysAugust 20, 2013 at 4:19 am
Too funny. And I still think “if I could just be more like MIZFIT I’d be SOOO HAPPY!”
My brand is a great lesson in how to be half-assed and sporadic, not monetize worth crap and ignore all useful additional social media channels that involve any work. Which is, um, all of them.
But, heck, blogging is fun if I only do it when I feel like it, and I get free stuff every now and then, and the few but brave awesome readers who stop by are worth it!
Kat saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:05 am
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is know your PURPOSE. I don’t write to make money or catch the eye of a brand – I try to BE MYSELF in the hopes that I’ll inspire others to do the same. All of the other bonuses are extras 😉
Kierston @candyfit saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:10 am
Staying true to you in all that you do…and write about 🙂
I always appreciate your shared wisdom. xo
Dr. J saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:21 am
It has certainly been my pleasure to watch your growth as a “brand” from almost the very beginning, Carla!!
I have never seen myself as a brand, lol, maybe a “persona.” 🙂
My goal has always been to have a voice, and hopefully a helpful and honest agenda free message of health and fitness.
MIZ saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:31 am
INTERESTING WORD CLARIFICATION (she shouts) Id have said you were a brand—-but for YOU persona is indeed a better fit.
Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:28 am
Yes, yes, yes. What I’ve learned: quite simply, just be myself. Don’t try to fit into a mold that is someone else’s. Sure, I may not be working with a million brands but the ones I do work with are those that I love. I also may not be making millions (if anything…) but in exchange for that I get to stay authentic and “me”…instead of selling out. That’s not to say that everyone making $ on blogging is selling out by any means. However, everyone wants to make it but what they don’t realize is that although it does take a lot of work (no doubt) much of it is about chance.
Wanda saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:30 am
I’m going to try this today with my massage business.
I’ve tried to be unique in an over-filled niche, but don’t yet know if my customers grasp my brand.
Fingers crossed, Miz.
Thanks for this post.
Olive saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:40 am
I used to really be a fan of Twitter until it became all people’s brands shouting links.
Too few people do the last one and try to live in a vacuum of shouting only about their brand.
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:57 am
I feel sorry for people who have a child’s name or the number of children in their blog and then have another and it’s all messed up!
Katie saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:58 am
Healthy mama saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:58 am
One word for you, Mizzy.
(Remember that one?)
MIZ saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:17 am
and I still hold it against them (the ashton thing yes?) and it seems no one else remembers it at all.
Brett saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:12 am
haha! the # of kids. i know 4 bloggers that has impacted. i rebranded- when i first started, i kind of thought i was going to do deals. quickly realized i’m not a deal blogger but took a long time to catch up and really get my brand and name in line. i’m a mix of sponsored and non sponsored but i try to share things that are real, and genuine. so many are not true to themselves.
Lydia saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:17 am
I’ve never even considered a mission statement for my blog.
Maybe that’s why I rarely blog any more? 🙂
Heather (Where's the Beach) saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:24 am
Thank you for this post! Some really great tips.
Jody - Fit at 55 saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:27 am
I never seem to stay the same beyond healthy living & love of weights & wanting to age healthy… but my message changes with time & with me.. I guess I have not really found myself yet – too many years of being what others wanted of me OR what I thought they wanted of me.. now I am just trying to be who I am trying to be for me vs. others…. definitely healthy aging is part of it…
Thx for sharing you!
Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:43 am
I love all of these, but I really think patience is one that is rarely talked about, but SO important. Rarely, will a new blog gain a huge following immediately, it usually just takes time and finding your voice within your blog before lots people start following you.
Jenny @ simply be me saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:53 am
Love these tips. I try to treat my blog as a personal journal of sorts and write the things I want to remember and share, I think when we start writing what we *think* we should write instead of what we *want* to write is when the disconnect happens. I’m still trying to find my place but it’s coming.
Bette saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:58 am
I’m thankful for you and this post. I’ve decided to start blogging and this is a big aid.
Kim saysAugust 19, 2013 at 7:07 am
Such a perfect post for me to read today – I am 4 weeks from finishing my first full year of blogging and I’m trying to decide if I want to keep going, make changes, stay the same…..Thanks for sharing these tips and reminding me that I do have a reason behind why I blog.
Tamara saysAugust 19, 2013 at 7:10 am
Such great information!
I started my blog before I really knew what blogs were. I wasn’t reading very many at the time (not even yours!) and had no goal beyond having a place to send my clients to for info between sessions. In retrospect, I wish I’d taken more time to think about my mission statement and the long game; I feel like I’ve basically flown by the seat of my pants! My advice? Think long and hard about your blog’s name. So hard to change it later once you’re audience has grown…
Debbie saysAugust 19, 2013 at 7:21 am
Thank you so much for this. So much advice just says Be Yourself, you have defined what that means.
I hate seeing bloggers start to accept sponsored posts/advertising that is totally out of sync with their brand. A healthy living blogger selling alcohol, a whole foods type pushing cheese snacks. Once I see that I lose respect and trust for the blogger.
Cammy@TippyToeDiet saysAugust 19, 2013 at 8:32 am
I never really set out to have a “brand”. I just roll along and see what happens. Explains so much. 🙂
Marcia saysAugust 19, 2013 at 8:46 am
OMG how much do I love this? Your brand is a gathering of your gifts. Fantastic!
I feel like my blog is at its best when I just let it flow. No forcing allowed. 🙂
Bonnie saysAugust 19, 2013 at 9:09 am
This is great! I love that someone was able to describe you so well. I have a life mission statement and a fitness philosophy mission statement but haven’t thought of one for my blog specifically. This would be a great exercise for me! Thanks for the reminder and it’s so great that you have been intentional but also just allowed you to be you!
TITLE Boxing Club Brighton saysAugust 19, 2013 at 9:24 am
That must have been a great feeling! Keep up the great work.
mimi saysAugust 19, 2013 at 10:19 am
Brand? What brand? Mercy, i’m just the janitor! 😉
Purelytwins saysAugust 19, 2013 at 11:30 am
awesome tips!! we are slowly working on building our brand. Look us some time to figure things out, but feel we are finally moving where we want to go.
Roz@weightingfor50 saysAugust 19, 2013 at 11:48 am
These are such fantastic tips Carla!! I never thought of myself as being a brand.
Kerri O saysAugust 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Every time I think I’m almost there with this… I’m totally not almost there. LOL.
Darryl saysAugust 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm
I’ve always thought of my blog as an extension of myself. That way it’s guaranteed to be branded to what I feel is right.
As a marketing guys, I totally know the importance of a strong brand and making sure the right message gets out…but to be honest, I’ve never really thought too much about it for my site.
You are a genuine person, Mizfit and that definitely shines through in your blog, your brand, and everything you do.
Becca - My Crazy Good Life saysAugust 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm
You nailed it when you said to be consistent! Sometimes it is hard because it seems like you’re saying the same thing, but I’m sure you’re the only one who thinks that – not your social media friends 🙂
Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana saysAugust 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm
Thanks for sharing your secrets, Carla. I think some of us are naturals at this and some of us struggle. And then there’s just educating ourselves, which we all should be doing 🙂
Melanie @ Nutritious Eats saysAugust 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm
That is so cool that you overheard someone talking about your blog. Fun! I am not a fan of blogs that get taken over by sponsored posts, but at the same time I get we have to make some money at this due to all the time involved. I still always try to be myself and honest when it comes to review, etc. You provided some great tips and inspiration!
Mindy @ Road Runner Girl saysAugust 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm
I love this Carla! Great tips!
Marste saysAugust 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm
THANK YOU! I’ve decided recently (like within the last couple of days) to get off my butt and get going back to blogging in support of a new business venture. One of the things I lovelovelove about you is how you’ve approached all this from a perspective of core values and relationships. This list is a great example of how to apply *values* to *business* in an authentic way – it’s just what I needed to read right now. 🙂
Ok, I’ll stop *fangirling* now. 😉
allie saysAugust 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm
Thank you so much for this!! I’m relatively new to the blogging and this is excellent advice!!! I’m very grateful to have read this early on and patience is something I am continuously working on!!! THANK YOU!!
Martha saysAugust 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm
Thank you so much for all the tips.
The concept of trying to brand myself always made me uncomfortable. Like acting self assured and confident in my abilities would come off as cocky, but being overtly humble would come off fake. It’s definitely something I struggle with!
Still, you do an amazing job with your branding, and your work is so worth reading! I really appreciate this post!
Jessica @FoundtheMarbles saysAugust 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm
I so needed to read this today. Been thinking a lot about branding lately. Thanks so much for the reminder!
Jess saysAugust 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm
This was so helpful! Such a good reminder to be myself and be consistent, keep it simple! It is hard to not over think or try to be like a big name blogger.
Natalie saysAugust 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm
Great tips!! I am still working on my brand.
Tami@NutmegNotebook saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm
“A gathering of your gifts” – I love that. I never thought of myself as a brand. I just wanted to share my love of cooking healthy food! I learned lots of good tips with this blog now I am off to create a mission statement. Who knew?
Shop with Me Mama saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm
Great tips! Thank you for sharing. I can always improve on things!
Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama saysAugust 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm
I guess my main thing would be don’t sell out for the mighty mighty dollar, no matter how tempting it may be. I appreciate THAT more than anything else.
Fantastic Tips MIZ!
cheryl saysAugust 19, 2013 at 7:29 pm
Had a blog. Had followers. (more than 60) and just could NOT post pix and write about myself all the time…that wasn’t me.
I prefer to:
1.) Live my workout/race life anonymously-it’s just for me. Why share it?
It cheapened me.
2.) Help others become fit (more fit) in person-face to face. One to one.
MizFit saysAugust 20, 2013 at 4:56 am
and it is sooo about finding what works for you.
I have blogger friends who lament to me the fact they hate writing (I always tell them to try video, just tweeting, all PINTEREST, nothing in social media).
For me I decided to sell my training studio back in the early 90s because I DIDNT WANT THE ONE ON ONE.
It drained me.
I longed for the arms length of writing (and I see you comment on many blogs so theres something you love about it, too).
To each her own avenue of helping others huh?
We all need to find what works for us.
Jai saysAugust 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm
My biggest branding oops was probably with the first blog I helped start. I started it for one specific purpose, with a specific name and later tried to use it for anything and everything. That may work for some people but it didn’t seem to work for me.
Sarah @ Fit Betty saysAugust 20, 2013 at 4:53 am
Great post! I sorta have a mission statement – it is in my head but not on paper, haha! I should write it down, though, and zero in on some of that so I don’t get sucked into becoming purely commercial.
Matt @ Your Living Body saysAugust 20, 2013 at 7:40 am
Time and consistency. Oh, and passion.
Running a blog takes time and time weeds out that those who don’t have passion. If you’re trying to be a “successful” blogger passion is the only way you’ll be able to put up with the time and effort it takes to run a blog also. Another thing, consistency. Pick an argument and stick with it. People can sniff out wishy washy people like a dog.
MizFit saysAugust 20, 2013 at 7:42 am
Pick an argument and stick with it. People can sniff out wishy washy people like a dog.
She Rocks Fitness saysAugust 20, 2013 at 8:06 am
I try to really focus on practicing patience. I always tell myself that being persistent, believing, working hard, and being passionate about my brand will pay off. I love my brand and the direction that it is going and She Rocks will take off…day by day…dream big. XOXO Thank you for these tips!
Jason saysAugust 20, 2013 at 9:02 am
Oh. Mission statement writing day it is!
kendrrat saysAugust 20, 2013 at 9:26 am
I love this post- I have started other blogs before but couldnt figure what I wanted to say- I just new I wanted to say something. Over a year since I started my first blog with no mission statement, no motivation, I now have a blog that his a topic, has a mission, and has purpose. And its the easiest thing too because its just me being myself. Love it!
Heather @ Better With Veggies saysAugust 20, 2013 at 11:06 am
I absolutely love this post! Everyone has a brand, it just may not be planned or what they want — so it’s crucial to be aware and purposely brand yourself & your business. I think everyone articulates it a little differently and it certainly can involve as you change (such is life).
Becca saysAugust 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm
I love your tip about patience. I work for someone who has written two books but she won’t take the time to put them out there so they never went anywhere. They are both cute and well written – just under promoted. The biggest “mistake” I see is when people’s work is filled with mistakes. I am always so surprised that companies want to work with bloggers who can’t form sentences properly!
Yum Yucky saysAugust 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm
“play to your strengths” …but what if my strength is napping? I am SO SCREWED!!!
Emily saysAugust 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm
I love this! Not only do you have to be consistent with your brand, but you have to be true to it in all areas as well. Recently I heard a blogger complain that she didn’t understand the negative reaction she got when she shared an article she wrote for another publication. The problem was it went directly against the brand she had built up. She didn’t see the conflict. Yay for going out and being brave in a new place! That is never easy!
Deb saysAugust 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm
I like to think that I’m doing okay on the branding front – from the visual (banners, avatars etc) to the way I write.
However, I do struggle a bit with the two blogs and I think I’m wanting to move away from the sole focus on diet and weight loss (of Diet Schmiet, but feel I’m locked into it. My Debbish blog kinda offers that (but has less readers). I often talk about combining the two but haven’t yet worked out how!
Evan B. saysAugust 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm
This is great advice – figure out your brand, your mission, and the vision for your blog, pick a stance and stick with it. Don’t be wishy washy. You don’t have to get super detailed, but have a clear picture of who you are and what you want your blog to say, and your content will be significantly better for it. Thanks for posting this!
Andrea@WellnessNotes saysAugust 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm
I think you did a post on this topic a few years ago, and I thought then, as I do now, that you are your brand so beautifully and seemingly effortlessly. I’m sure it’s because you are true to yourself and have put in lots of work over the years and built real relationships.
I know I’ve said this before, but you are always a fitness (and often life) inspiration to me!!! You are definitely making a difference in my life (even though I don’t comment that often, but I am reading…).
Heather Waxman saysAugust 28, 2013 at 7:12 am
I love this post, Carla. Your advice is practical and soul sister-based, which you know I’m all about. That first tip is awesome…something I never did myself. I just sat back and thought about it for a minute and it really made me smile.
As someone who re-branded herself this year, I can relate to it very much. I base my branding decisions on what feels good and natural to me (do I get excited and does my heart expand?) verses what feels uncomfy and unnatural to me (do I feel disconnected and does my heart constrict?).
I think that, in our society, when it comes to marketing, we’re taught to network and go out and get things. While taking action is super important, I’ve come to find that I need to sit down and download my intentions (via meditation or writing or talking with someone who can relate or set me straight) before I can show up and brand myself.
Love this one. You rock.