Did You Know Personal Branding Helps Drive Business?

"The worst mistake someone can make with their personal branding is to not be authentic. Trying to be something you're not dilutes what you're really good at. Consumers love a brand with personality." - Julie Rustad, Julie Originals

Your-Personal-Brand-Picture-QuoteWould you rate "attracting new clients" as high on your priority list? Then consider this: Building a strong personal brand not only helps with industry recognition, but is a driving force that brings new customers to your door. According to award-winning artist and designer Julie Rustad, personal brands are all encompassing - it’s how we act, speak, our customer service, the messages we put out there. As an independent business our personal brand is often woven tightly with our business' brand. And having a better understanding of how you’re perceived and the customer you want to attract can grow your business.

Personal branding is like a good stew, it takes time to cultivate the perfect spices and flavors, but once you put in the time and effort, everyone's going to be coming to your house for dinner. So if you're scratching your head trying to figure out your personal brand, then you've not done a good job of developing one. Forbes recently put together a list to get you started, we've pulled out our favorites below.

The first step is to start thinking of yourself as a brand. Make a list of things you want people to associate with your name. Ask yourself, "What do I want to be an expert on?" and "When people think about me, what should stand out?"

Next, evaluate what your brand is currently. Do an online audit, check your social media networks. Ask friends and family what comes top of mind when they think of you. You may be surprised to find that what you're seeking in your personal brand is already prevalent.

Third is the development of your personal brand. Find ways of producing more value. Are there other brands, groups, organizations that you can associate with? Is there something you can offer to the world (or your clients!) that these brands can't? You can leverage this advantage and stand out amongst the crowd.

Last, know when to call in a professional, like Julie Rustad of Julie Originals. Julie has cultivated signature brands for major businesses as well as creating a high level of trust, confidence and expert knowledge that is synonymous with her brand, and also is a driving force for attracting new clients.

Refreshed Bird's Nest Baking Company logo and winner of the ADDY award, designed by Julie Rustad

Since 2005, Julie has been bringing the brands of Arizona businesses and organizations to life with her work as owner and designer at Julie Originals. She has given businesses the artistic vision and tools needed for success by designing brand identity and marketing collateral. Linda Friedman, owner of Birds Nest Baking Company looked to Julie for a refreshed logo as well as to illustrate and design the labels for her 3 flavors. Using creativity and the Southwest as her muse, Julie hand painted each feature image. In recognition for her amazing work rebranding their packaging, Julie was given the Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation of Tucson.

Incredible design combined with regional education led to the creation of the award-winning alphabet flash card set, Desert Dwellers. Striking illustrations of Southwestern creatures coupled with fun facts and stories have turned these sets into a hot commodities, selling in over 36 retailers across Arizona, Texas, California and New Mexico!


Get your pencil and paper ready, Local First Members, because you are invited to join Julie for a live webinar on building your personal brand that will ignite your creative side! Learn easy techniques to develop and understand your brand. "You’ll feel my passion for talking about branding - it’ll make you think about it in a whole new way!"

Why is this different than any other webinar? Julie: Because I can relate to everyone attending the webinar. I'm an independent business owner who can feel overwhelmed like everyone else. I know how hard it can be to balance creating, selling, promoting and staying relevant to your customers. I’ll be sharing real examples of how my personal brand has evolved and how you can improve yours too. Plus, a few Local First Arizona members have allowed me to critique their brands LIVE during the webinar. This is a fantastic learning opportunity for all.

Sign Up! Building Your Personal Brand, live webinar When: Tuesday, July 28th, from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Cost: $8 (Open to LFA business members only. Questions? Email: [email protected])