My Inspiration Board
Thinking back a year or two, if you had asked me what I am inspired by, I would probably answer "everything". And, while that may not exactly be a bad thing, it didn't really get me anywhere in terms of curating my personal brand. If "everything" inspires me, what that means is that "I really have no freaking clue". I didn't truly consider this until I began to redesign my website. I had to take a step back and ask myself, am I creating content to simply "fit in" with other bloggers in my industry? Am I putting out certain words and images into the world because I think that it will attract an audience? Most important of all questions, I asked myself, am I staying true to my character and my vision?
I realized through self reflection that, in some ways, I was straying from this because I was trying to please others, or because I was simply confused about what this looked like in the first place. I'll admit that I did not place a heavy importance on branding before. With that being said, now that I am learning more and more about the blogging industry, it is clear to me that if someone sees a photo or content that you created and does not immediately think of you, you have failed (this doesn't mean that you should give up on that goal!) Your reader, client, or partner should be able to pick a photo out of the Instagram explore page (millennials, I know) and confidently mark it as yours before glancing at the name.
Before I even chose a website platform this time, I knew that I had to redefine that "grey area" of inspiration for me in order to think clearly and perfect my brand. Naturally, I started with my personality: am I bubbly and high energy, light and airy, or am I moody and mysterious, dark and straight to the point? Am I feminine, or edgy, or sexy, or conservative? It's okay to be a mix of these things but, at least now that I've thought about it, I'm better able to hone in on what images and inspiration represent ME well.
Once I asked myself these questions (and many, many more), I decided to come up with a list of words that describe what I imagine my brand to be: feminine, polished, marble, blush, grey, city-scape, pale blue, tufted, cozy, delicate, classic.
My second step in this process was to "put pen to paper" or, find actual images that I believe coincide with my vision and deeply inspire me. Now, we all know exactly where I went to do this, no? Pinterest, of course (one of my lifelong loves). I use Pinterest weekly, if not daily, for everything from new recipes to shopping. With this goal in mind, however, I looked at fonts, furniture, paint schemes, food, people, hair styles, fashion, and so much more, over the course of 2 days and came up with approximately 20 images that I feel inspired by; when I look at them together I can feel my brand and my vision come to life.