Start a Podcast: The Newbie’s Guide

Start a Podcast: The Newbie’s Guide

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! 
 
If you’re reading this, that means you want to start a podcast, which also means you aren’t afraid of putting yourself out there and sharing your thoughts with the world.
 
In my opinion, overcoming self-doubt and fear is the hardest part about starting a podcast. It can be paralyzing to most, but not for you. 
 
You’re here, which means, you’re on the path to fulfill your podcasting dreams! And I’m so freakin’ proud of you. 
 
So, let’s keep this momentum going, shall we? You’ve got this!
 
 

Before You Start Your Podcast

Now for some tough love. 
 
Make no mistake, podcasting is a lot of fun, but it’s also a commitment.
 
You owe it to yourself and your listeners to publish consistently, which requires a lot of time, effort, and creative energy. 
 
So the first step: make sure you’re up for the challenge! If you stick with it, all of the hard work is worth it. 
 
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start your podcast:
 
      • Why do I want to get into podcasting?
      • What is the purpose of my podcast — to entertain, educate, inspire? 
      • Why should people listen to my show?
      • Who should listen to my podcast?
      • How often will I publish new episodes?
      • How will I come up with consistent material?

Branding Your Podcast

Once you have a vision for your podcast, you have to brand it so people recognize it. 
 
 

Naming Your Podcast

Branding starts with coming up with a name for your podcast. I recommend making it short, relevant and easy to remember. 
 
Then, think about how you will promote your podcast. You’ll likely want to secure a domain name to reflect your podcast title, as well as social media handles. Do your research with a domain registrar like GoDaddy. You may choose to promote your podcast on your personal website or channels, but it’s still a good idea to lock in these names while you can.
 
If the domain you want is unavailable, consider different iterations. For me, @makingthebrand was taken, so I grabbed @makingthebrandpodcast and makingthebrandpodcast.com. 
 
 

Designing Cover Artwork

Good news — you don’t need graphic design experience to create professional looking podcast cover artwork. There are tons of free tools available! 
 
My personal favorite is a free graphic design website called Canva. Once you create your account, create a new file that is 3000×3000 pixels.
 
From there, you can browse a variety of templates that you can modify. You can change the colors, fonts, and messaging. 
 
Remember, your cover artwork will appear as a small thumbnail at first. Make sure your text is big and bold, and that your photos are relevant to your podcast’s topic. 
 
Also, unless your podcast is about podcasting, do not use graphics of a microphone or headphone as your artwork. This is a rookie mistake! 
 
❗️CAUTION: A lot of podcast dreamers get stuck at this stage because they can’t settle on a perfect logo or design. Do not let this be you! You can always change your artwork later. If you’re really hung up on it, consider hiring a freelance designer. 
 
 
 

What You’ll Need: Equipment and Software

One of the most intimidating parts of starting a podcast is knowing what equipment or software to buy. Plus, you may not be ready to invest in top-of-the-line microphones or other hardware.
 
My all-in cost to get my podcast off the ground was about $300, but you can get by on a lot less (or a lot more, if you’re willing to splurge!).
 
Since this is a guide for beginners, I’m sharing the basics. 
 
 

Microphone

Audio quality is a must when it comes to podcasting. You can’t rely on pretty images or flashy video to uplevel your podcast content. You’ve got nothing but sound, so you need a fantastic microphone! 
 
I purchased the Audio-Technica ATR-2100xUSBfor $63 on Amazon in 2019. The price has since gone up to $99, but it looks like it comes with a better stand, and the overall mic quality may be even better. It’s still a great price! Audio-Technica is a reputable brand.
 
 

 
 
Be sure to purchase a windscreen to protect your mic — they’re under $5! If you want to add more personality, get a multi-pack which includes a variety of colors. You can switch them out depending on your brand, mood, or theme. 
 
Another popular starter microphone is the Blue Yeti, which currently retails for $129.99. 
 

If you really can’t splurge right now, you can get by recording your microphone using Apple headphones, or recording with your computer in a quiet room. There are editing programs that can help improve your sound quality in post-production. 
 
The lesson here is to use your judgement. Test to your sound and ask yourself if you would be able to tolerate it for 30 minutes to over an hour. If it’s unpleasant for you, it will be unpleasant for your listeners. Don’t risk it.  
 
 
 

Podcast Distribution: Anchor

With just a podcast name, cover art, and a microphone, you can technically push your podcast live (yay!), so I’m skipping ahead to tell you about Anchor.
 
Anchor.fm is a free online podcast host that not only distributes your podcast to major streaming platforms, but it also has recording and editing capabilities built-in. 
 
Personally, I like to edit my podcast in a different program, and then upload to Anchor.  But recording and editing natively within Anchor is an option if you don’t want to invest in more software, or if you are not too savvy with audio editing. 
 
anchor podcast
 
When you sign up for Anchor, they will push your podcast live to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play and more with just a few simple steps. They also create a dashboard where you can review your podcast analytics. You can also easily set up episode scheduling, monetization, and sponsorships directly through Anchor. 
 
As a beginner, Anchor is a great option. It’s free and has everything you need! But there are some paid podcast hosts, like SimpleCast or Libsyn, that you may want to consider as your podcast grows.
 
 
 

Recording and Editing

When it comes to editing, it’s all about working with your skill level. Yes, you can use Anchor and get acquainted with their editing platform, especially if you are on Windows. But if you have a Mac, you may have some experience using iMovie or Garage Band. Many podcasters can record and edit audio tracks pretty seamlessly in these programs, and they’re free!
 
More advanced podcasters may edit in Adobe Premiere. I’ve also heard good things about a program called Audacity, but I use ScreenFlow.
 
My ScreenFlow plan is $129/year and covers the basics of both video and audio editing. I purchased it so I can create my own video tutorials and record my screen (such a plus!), but it works just fine for audio-only files.
 
 
Beginners can easily navigate ScreenFlow. It has simple commands that let you split and cut clips, and options for overlaying a voice recording over music. 
 
My favorite part of ScreenFlow is the “remove background noise” and “smooth volume levels” functions. Simply checking these two boxes drastically improves my audio quality. 
 
If you cringe at the sound of your own voice, know that you aren’t alone! Nailing your delivery takes practice. Just be sure to bring some energy! And if you mess up or stutter over a word, you can just re-record! 
 
Here’s a quick tip to help speed up your editing process: anytime you mess up, clap loudly into the microphone. This will make your audio waveform spike, so you have a visual cue as to what clips to cut. 
 
When you’re done editing, export your file as a .AAC and upload directly to Anchor! 
 
 
 

Music

The right music sets the mood for your podcast and is a huge part of its branding. You’ll use music to record your podcast intro and outro, which leave a lasting impression. 
 
You can find a ton of royalty-free tracks online, but I chose to purchase the exact track I wanted from PremiumBeats for under $50.

 
When you record your intro, make sure you tell people who you are and what your podcast is about. Add this to every new episode, but you should also do an in-depth introductory episode of your podcast to kick things off.
 
Most importantly, don’t forget to pack in a ton of personality! If you hook your audience early, your audience will keep on listening. 
 
Your outro is a great opportunity to plug other content, such as additional episodes, how to follow you on social media, where to subscribe to your email list, or how to join your Facebook group.
 
 
 

How to Promote Your Podcast

Now for the fun part — finding podcast listeners! 
 
There are countless ways to promote your podcast. Of course, you can share it with your followers on social media, but there’s a catch.
 
When people are on Instagram, they want to be on Instagram. 
When people are on YouTube, they want to be on YouTube.
When people are on Twitter, they want to be on Twitter.
 
Do you see where I’m going with this? You can’t just dump your podcast episode on social media and expect your audience to drop everything to go listen. This is too disruptive.
 
Instead, you need to design teasers that are right for the platform. 
 
So don’t just post a graphic saying “new episode!” on Instagram. Maybe you do an IGTV episode that teases one of the topics. Then, once you’ve captured someone’s interest, you direct them to the full episode. 
 
You can also go on Instagram Live with your podcast guests, or share video snippets on LinkedIn, or long-form video on YouTube.
 
But all of this is so much easier with the help of a platform called Headliner
 
Headliner is a free online tool that helps you create audiograms. An audiogram is a customized graphic that is attached to sound. Here’s an example of one of mine that I shared on Twitter: 
 

Once you log in to Headliner,  you can search your podcast and choose from any of your episodes. Then, upload a graphic, choose a waveform style, color, and add captions if you’d like!
 
You can also customize the size of your audiogram to format it for Instagram Stories or other orientations. It’s one of my favorite tools! 

 

Pitching Guests and Interviews

The secret to growing your podcast is simple: collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!
 
When you interview and feature other people on your show, you now have another person helping to promote it. Most interviewees will share their episode with their own audiences, or at least re-share your promotional announcements.
 
As you build your podcast, you should also be out there engaging with a community on social media. Keep an eye out for people with interesting perspectives or experiences that would be a great fit for your show.
 
Then, shoot your shot!
 
Send them a genuine DM expressing what you admire about their work or expertise, and politely invite them on your show. 
 
You’d be surprised how honored people are to be featured on a podcast. It’s a win-win! You get a new person to help add value and grow your podcast, and the interviewee gains exposure too. 
 
Aim high! You’ve got nothing to lose.
 
After the interview, make sure you profusely thank your interviewee. I recommend sending a handwritten card. It’s a great personal touch to strengthen your relationship! 
 
 
 

Monetizing 

I know what you’re thinking… SHOW ME THE MONEY!
 
If you’re in podcasting for the money, you need to change your mindset. You first need to focus on adding value and building your audience. 
 
If you want to try your hand at monetizing sooner rather than later, Anchor has built in sponsorship functionality. You can record ads within the platform and get paid based on the number of listens.
 
Once your podcast is growing and you have some clear data about your listener demographics, you can put together a podcast media kit and start pitching potential sponsors.
 
But for now, enjoy the process of being a beginner. Experiment until you get clear on your style and find your voice, and you’ll be making money soon! 
 
 
 
This Storytelling Tip Explains Why “All Too Well” is Taylor Swift’s Best Song

This Storytelling Tip Explains Why “All Too Well” is Taylor Swift’s Best Song

During a performance for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series last year, Taylor Swift addressed something I’ve known for quite some time: her best song isAll Too Well.” 
 
Several media outlets have ranked Taylor’s songs over the years, and “All Too Well” is almost always at #1. Here’s a quote from a write-up in Rolling Stone by Rob Sheffield:
 

“You can schaeden your freude all over the celebrity she reputedly sings about, but on the best day of your life you will never inspire a song as great as ‘All Too Well.’ Or write one.”

And this is not an unpopular opinion. Every Swiftie knows that “All Too Well” is an absolute masterpiece. It’s on her fourth album, RED, and it happens to be one of her longest songs at 5 minutes and twenty-seven seconds. 
 
From the first line, you cling to her every tragic word. Taylor said she loves screaming the lyrics together with her fans at her shows.
 
 
As someone who has always been in awe of Taylor’s writing, I wanted to analyze what makes “All Too Well” her best work. She has over 150 songs in her catalogue, so what’s different about this one?
 

Storytelling Through Lyrics in “All Too Well” 

I recently read a book called How to Write Short by Roy Peter Clark, which has an entire chapter about storytelling through song lyrics. It’s fascinating to see how songwriters are able to paint storylines, evoke emotion, and illustrate such vivid details through a single line or verse. 
 
But it was another book that really helped me understand what “All Too Well” gets right. 
 
In Stories That Stick by Kindra Hall, she explains the components that make a great story. One of them is this: great stories ZOOM IN on the details.
 
A common storytelling mistake is speaking in generalities, which makes our writing too vague. When you zoom in, you drill down to the specifics. This is where the magic happens.
 
It’s one thing to write a song about love or heartache, but the story escalates when the listener can envision the details — faces, places, objects, and everything in between.
 
This is the entire premise of “All Too Well”. The title itself speaks to how Taylor remembers specific moments of her relationship “all too well.” 
 
Rumor has it, the song is about Jake Gyllenhaal.
 
 
Right from the first verse, Taylor sets the scene and tells us about a scarf she left at Jake’s sister’s house. 
 
I walked through the door with you, the air was cold
But something’bout it felt like home somehow and I
Left my scarf there at your sister’s house
And you still got it in your drawer even now
 
She could have simply mentioned that she left some of her stuff there, but she zooms in on the scarf. It inspires us to think about what the scarf represents. Why would he keep the scarf? He must miss her, and the memories they made. This simple item now has meaning.
 
Taylor continues to illustrate objects and moments in the lyrics:
 
We’re singing in the car, getting lost upstate
Autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place
And I can picture it after all these days
 
‘Cause there we are again on that little town street
You almost ran the red’cause you were looking over me
Wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well
 
Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red
You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-size bed
And your mother’s telling stories’bout you on a tee ball team
You tell me’bout your past, thinking your future was me
 
‘Cause there we are again in the middle of the night
We dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light
Down the stairs, I was there, I remember it all too well, yeah
 
And then, in a heart-wrenching turn of events, Taylor zooms back in on the scarf:
 
But you keep my old scarf from that very first week
‘Cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me
You can’t get rid of it,’cause you remember it all too well, yeah
 
Although it may seem like a small detail, the scarf adds so much color and context to this love story. It helps us gain a deeper understanding of the characters and their feelings.
 
This same logic needs to be applied to your own writing. 
 
You may think no one cares about a scarf, or the minute details of your experiences, but they transform a story from ordinary to extraordinary. Don’t leave them out.
 
How significant can a small detail be? The Rolling Stone article said Taylor’s scarf should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 
 

A Swift Tip: How to Zoom in on Your Own Storytelling

Whether you’re writing a novel, a song, or the copy for your “About” page, details are powerful.
 
So how do you pack more of the them into your writing? 
 
It starts with remembering them… all too well.  
 
This is why Taylor Swift has been journaling since she was a teenager. She writes entries about her daily life, which makes every moment and emotion crystal clear. 
 
All of her songs start off as rough drafts in her journal, including “All Too Well.” With the purchase of her latest album, Lover, Taylor included scans of her original entries. As a fan, it was fascinating to see her process, chicken scratch and all. 
 
010.jpg Click image to close this window
 
Take it from one of the best songwriters of our generation: journaling is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your writing and your life.
 

The Secret to Effective Journaling

Does anyone else have a bunch of empty notebooks lying around? 
 
I admit, I’ve picked up journaling many times in my life, but it never stuck. I’d get super excited, and write every day for a week, then stop. 
 
That all changed when I received a journal as a gift for my 30th birthday. I hadn’t recorded my twenties the way I wanted to (or maybe that’s a good thing!), but my thirties would be different. 
 
Here’s how to make your journaling habit stick: 
 

Get a journal you like. 

This is another small detail that makes a big difference. I felt so uninspired to journal in ratty spiral notebooks and composition books. 
 
There are so many beautiful journals that suit your personality and get you in the mood to write. Choose a color, style, and format that you love.
 

Do it your way. 

Most people perceive journaling all wrong. It’s not meant to be stressful — it should actually reduce your stress. But it starts with giving yourself permission to do it your way.
 
No, you don’t have to write every day. 
No, you don’t need long entries. 
Yes, you can draw and add stickers and have bulleted lists and do all the things that make it yours
 

Set a trigger.

If you really want journaling to be a habit, you need to keep your journal in sight and incorporate it into your routine. Maybe you keep it next to the coffee maker, so you write after you make your morning coffee. Or after you make your bed, you place it on your pillow so you write at the end of the day. 
 
Attach your journal to something else you do every day, so it remains top of mind. 
 
 

Still not sold on journaling? 

Here are some of my favorite quotes that may inspire you: 
 
“Journal what you love, what you hate, what’s in your head, what’s important. Journaling organizes your thoughts; allows you to see things in a concrete way that otherwise you might not see. Focus on what you think you need to find in your art.” -Kay Walkingstick
 
“A personal journal is an ideal environment in which to become. It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream.” -Brad Wilcox
 
“Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life expanding.” -Jen Williamson
 
“People who keep journals have life twice.” -Jessamyn West
 

READ MORE: The Storytelling Lesson From NBC’s This Is Us

LISTEN: Songwriting & Brand Storytelling: What Marketers Can Learn from NBC’s Songland

Don’t Laugh. Memes are Your Brand’s Social Media Secret Weapon

Don’t Laugh. Memes are Your Brand’s Social Media Secret Weapon

Grumpy cat. Success kid. Condescending Willy Wonka. Memes in our social media feeds have been making us laugh for years, but only recently have brands shifted their strategy to get in on the fun. Memes can take on many forms, but are generally described as humorous images, videos, or pieces of text that communicate something about a cultural trend or social idea.

If you’re not doing mematic marketing (yes, there’s actually a term for this), you’re probably spending time and money arranging photo shoots, hiring influencers, editing video, and creating content that will look flawless in your Instagram feed. And while this is all fine and well, your audience gets bored of polish and perfection all the time. They want to consume authentic content they can relate to — content that sounds like them. This is why memes have become a digital phenomenon, and brands are leveraging this opportunity to connect with consumers.

The same way we gravitate toward people who have a sense of humor, memes help brands build relationships with their followers. Do you have an annoying colleague who never stops talking about themselves? Think of them as a brand who only posts salesy, self-promotional content on social media. How about the co-worker who makes you laugh so hard you spit out your coffee? You can’t get enough of that person! Memes have a special way of bringing you closer to your customers.

Here are seven more reasons why you need to incorporate memes into your social media strategy:

 

Memes are budget-friendly.

Production is typically a huge part of content creation, but crafting an effective meme doesn’t call for a costly photo or video shoot. An engaging meme simply requires an understanding of your audience, a little sense of humor, and a design that clearly communicates. It can be as easy as popping text onto a plain background, or placing a witty caption above an image.

Here’s an example from popular blow dry salon, DryBar.

 

 

You can leverage user-generated content (and it’s free!).

I’m not sure if the customer is always right, but they’re always funny. Tap into the witty things your customers say about your brand to create memes that will resonate with others. This is a simple way to spotlight your followers while also building a community.

SoulCycle takes advantage of post-workout tweets to delight their followers.

 

 

Memes demonstrate an understanding of your audience.

The best way to connect with your audience is to show that your brand understands their thoughts and behaviors. Demonstrate this with humor and you’re your customers’ new BFF. Brainstorming, discovering, and writing meme-worthy content is its own form of social listening that will help you keep a pulse on your followers.

No one does this better than Chipotle, who listens to their fanatical, burrito-obsessed customers to inspire new content.

 

View this post on Instagram

Is that too much to ask?

A post shared by Chipotle Delivers (@chipotle) on

 

They personify your brand.

When brands open a social media profile, they have a responsibility to engage with their followers and be, well, social. This can’t be done effectively by posting rigid, self-serving content. Memes are the perfect way for brands to express and fine-tune their voice, personality, and authenticity by switching up the conversation.

Purple, a popular sleep products company, shows their brand personality by admitting that they hit the snooze button, too.

View this post on Instagram

If there aren't 14 alarms, I'm not getting up.

A post shared by Purple (@purple) on

 

They sell without selling.

How many times have you stopped scrolling through Instagram to pause at a hilarious meme? Getting a potential customer’s attention is the first part of making a sale, and memes tend to have more thumb-stopping power than your average social media post.

Take it from author, podcaster, and marketing guru, Scott Stratten. He reformatted one of his videos into a meme which generated 13 million more views on Facebook.

 

 

We ignore ads, but connect with content that will bring a smile to our face or make us cackle at our desk. This is because the content sounds like us. And if it sounds like us, it most likely sounds like our friends, so we’re happy to share it. That’s how you build a following.

Urban Decay brilliantly uses memes to highlight and sell their products without having to post an ad.

 

 

But perhaps the best part about memes is, you’ll have fun making them.

Rather than banging your head against the wall trying to dream up your next big social campaign, let loose a little. Get your teams together for a laid-back brainstorm session where you check out the latest trending topics or headlines. How can your brand get in on the conversation in a fun way? Browse your customers’ hilarious tweets or reviews. Find inspiration from your co-workers and their daily interactions. There are countless creative opportunities right under your nose.

So take off your marketing hat and simply be human. Laugh along the way. Your job will seem easier, and your followers will love you.

READ MORE: A good meme capitalizes on trending topics! Here are 6 reasons to use pop culture in your marketing strategy.

Need help writing your own memes? This starts with an understanding of your audience! Click here to grab a free copy of my empathy map template. 

 

Celebrity Fashion Statements that are Part of Their Brand Identity

Celebrity Fashion Statements that are Part of Their Brand Identity

What is the mark of effective branding?

It’s simple: branding is a success when you become memorable. 

You may be overwhelmed wondering how to differentiate your personal brand. But the good news is, you don’t need to be the best in your field or have the biggest following to make an unforgettable impression. 

One of the simplest and fastest ways to stand out is to define a signature look or style that becomes uniquely yours.  This can be expressed in many ways, including how you dress or wear your hair. After all, there’s a reason they call it a fashion statement. 

 
 

Unmistakable Personal Branding Examples from Your Favorite Celebrities

To drive this point home, here are some celebrities and famous leaders who have made consistent style choices that have become synonymous with their brand identity: 

 

Ariana Grande’s High Ponytail

Without a doubt, Ariana’s incredible voice is what makes her a superstar, but she gets an extra PR boost any time she switches up her look. Her high pony is such a part of who she is, that any deviation from it becomes a major media story

 
ariana grande brand ponytail

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

 
 

Steven Tyler’s Scarves 

After one of his scarves tore off during a performance, Steven Tyler chose to tie it to his microphone stand for good luck. He now adorns all of his mic stands with ornate scarves as one of his trademarks. 

 
Steven Tyler Brand Scarves

Photo Source: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BsBQeQICcAANrKt.jpg

 

 

Michael Jackson’s Bedazzled Gloves 

According to an article by John Kehe, Michael Jackson was on a tour of a Hollywood production facility when he saw a film editor wearing a single white glove. (It was a common practice for film editors in the 1980s to keep of box of gloves on-hand.) The King of Pop asked the editor if he could spare one.

The glove made its television debut in 1983 during a performance of “Billy Jean”. MJ later bedazzled it in sequins, and it immediately became an iconic piece of pop culture history. You can find one of his gloves on display at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles.

 
Michael Jackson Brand Gloves

Photo: Beth A. Keiser / AFP/Getty Images

 
 

Steve Jobs’ Black Turtleneck

Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once said he owned over 100 of black mock turtlenecks. Designed by Issey Miyake, they reportedly cost $275 each. He’d typically pair them with jeans and sneakers. Fellow billionaire and tech mogul, Mark Zuckerberg, is also known for his casual looks.

Steve Jobs turtlenecks

Photo by Aaron Sorkin

 

 

Billie Eilish’s Green Roots

Her incredible voice isn’t the only thing that makes Billie Eilish stand out from other artists. She has her own style, from her green roots, to her baggy designer jumpsuits, all the way to her fingertips. Billie marches to the beat of her own drum, and we love her for it! 

 

billie eilish brand hair

Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

 

 

Chris Sacca’s Cowboy Shirts

I never thought that embroidered cowboy shirts were a good look, but Shark Tank guest star and billionaire venture capitalist, Chris Sacca, makes them work for his personal brand! He says the consistency in his wardrobe has given him the time to focus on more meaningful projects rather than wasting time deciding what to wear.  

chris sacca cowboy shirts brand

Photo by Megan Mack

 

 

Chance the Rapper’s 3 Hats

It’s safe to say that Chance the Rapper has one of his 3 hats in every color! According to an article in Entertainment Weekly, the number initially represented Chance’s third mixtape, Coloring Book. Now, he says the 3 has taken on other meanings pertaining to his family life. 

Chance the rapper brand

Photo: Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images

 

 

KISS’s Painted Face Masks 

You can’t think of KISS without envisioning their unmistakable face makeup. For nearly 10 years, there were no photos of them without makeup. This strategic decision gave them the opportunity to create intrigue amongst the media and their fans. 

kiss band

Photo by Getty

 

 

Camila Cabello’s Bows

Camila Cabello began her career competing on X Factor as a member of girl group, Fifth Harmony. With four other singers beside her at all times, it’s no wonder she wanted to stand out. In every performance, Camila wore a bow that quickly made her recognizable.

Since reaching superstar status as a solo artist, Camila has abandoned this accessory, but I can’t help but think it played a role in her fame. 

 
fifth harmony

Photo by PictureGroup / Rex Features

 
 
 

How to Apply a Signature Look to Your Brand Aesthetic

Ultimately, your brand will be known for something much bigger than its appearance. Your mission, products, services, and overall brand personality matter more. But in a sea of competitors and crowded industries, there’s no harm in finding a creative way to stand out.

  • If you’re a realtor, maybe you are known for wearing red heels.

  • If you’re a photographer, maybe you use a bedazzled camera (inspired by MJ!). 

  • If you are hair stylist, maybe you always cut hair with bright pink scissors. 

  • If you are a baker, maybe you only wear a denim apron covered in personalized patches. 

  • If you are a food blogger, maybe you always photograph your food on a gold plate. 

There are countless ways to make your personal brand more distinctive, but one thing is for certain: you can to make it true to your own style. Once you simply define it, you will be able to express it in a way that makes you unmistakable to your audience. Have fun with it! 

 

Oh. My. God! Why Janice from Friends is a Personal Branding Muse

Oh. My. God! Why Janice from Friends is a Personal Branding Muse

Over ten seasons and 236 episodes, audiences around the world got to know and love every character of Friends, inside and out. They each were known for specific traits:

Monica was the competitive neat freak. 
Ross was the academic. 
Joey was the ladies man. 
Phoebe was the free spirit.
Rachel was the beautiful fashionista. 

And Chandler… Oh, Chandler. He was the funny one, yet always the butt of the joke. 

But the writers were so good, that even the characters we saw for only a few episodes had depth.

From Ross and Monica’s parents, to Phoebe’s twin sister Ursula, and Gunther of Central Perk, it felt like they were in our own social circles. 

However, there is one supporting character who outshined them all. In fact, she appeared in at least one episode of every season. Do you hear her name calling out to you, like a foghorn?

 
janice and chandler like a foghorn
 

Yes, Janice Litman-Goralnik was cast in season one to play Chandler’s love interest, and we haven’t been able to look away ever since. 

 

Janice as Personal Branding Inspiration

Although Janice wasn’t everyone’s favorite person to be around, one thing is for certain: she made her presence known.

I couldn’t help but notice that that is one of the main goals of personal branding. We all want to make our (online) presence known, and leave a lasting impression on our audience, just like Janice managed to do. 

Here are some Janice-inspired tips to help you elevate your personal brand:

 

Have a catchphrase.

Okay, perhaps not a literal catchphrase like Janice’s iconic “Oh. My. GOD!” But, people expected to hear this every time she walked in a room. 

janice omg


When you write your own content, focus on a specific niche so people know what to expect from you. Over time, you will become known as a subject-matter expert, and people will recognize your writing almost instantly. 

 

Define a consistent voice.

Here’s a test: can you hear this picture?

janice laughing

Janice’s unpleasant cackle and nasally voice could make our our ears bleed, but they became a recognizable part of her character. 

Hopefully your brand voice is a lot less annoying, but when you define it, stick to it. You have the opportunity to make your content stand out simply by how you deliver it. Establish a voice that is true to your personality.

 

Think about presentation.

I know Rachel and Monica get all the credit for their fashion sense, but Janice’s looks are incredibly underrated. She most notably wears bold colors and a ton of animal print. 

 
janice friends leopard print
 

This may not be your style, but you should develop your own brand aesthetic like Janice did. From the formatting of your tweets, to the treatment of your photos, and the colors on your website, consider how your content is presented. 

 

Show up. 

Throughout the series, it becomes a running joke that Janice always seems to show up unexpectedly. 

P.S. this is one of my favorite Chandler lines in the entire show: 

 

The lesson here is that if you want to people to discover you online and build your brand, you have to show up consistently. Post often, engage with others, and you’ll be heard. 

 

 

Be persistent.

Remember when Chandler is desperate to get rid of Janice, so he pretends that his job is relocating him to Yemen?

Nevertheless, she persisted. 

 
15 yemen road
 

 

Let me set the record straight: being persistent is not the same as being annoying (except maybe in Janice’s case). 

If you really want something, go after it. Build your brand and chase opportunities that interest you. 

So why not send a DM to someone you admire?

Why not pitch your writing to a publication?

Why not follow up on your job application until you can’t be ignored?

 

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

 

What Would Janice Do?

Even though she wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, Janice was always unapologetically herself. 

Follow her lead by leaning into your personality, rather conforming to what you think the Internet might want you to be. 

Build your brand that is true to you, with all of your quirks, and you’ll undoubtedly leave your mark.

 

READ MORE: Every Social Media Platform Explained as a Friends Character