CREATING YOUR OWN BRAND STORY | Natalie in the City - A Chicago Plus Size Fashion Blog, by Natalie Craig
Natalie in the City - A Chicago Plus Size Fashion Blog, by Natalie Craig

A PLUS SIZE LIFE + STYLE BLOG

September 10, 2018

CREATING YOUR OWN BRAND STORY

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Whether you are creating your own brand, you already have one, or you are a young professional looking to make a name for yourself in your industry, it's critical to have a compelling brand story. What's a brand story? Well, essentially, it's a fancy word for your brand. But storytelling is really resonating with people throughout different industries lately, which is why I go beyond the term "brand," because to stand out today, you need to have a story around your brand that draws people in. You've probably heard of an elevator pitch—a 13 second story about who you are, what you do, and why you should be hired. The idea behind an elevator pitch is to try and convince someone that you are right for the job. The elevator pitch could also be a critical part of your brand story, but it doesn't seal the deal entirely.

There are other elements and touches you can add into your brand story that will set you apart from the crowd. Here is how I go above and beyond when it comes to my branding.

Create an experience with your business cards
I am surprised by how many professionals don't have business cards. They are so critical to making lasting connections with valuable people. Your first impression may start with your handshake, but to leave a lingering impression, your business card must stand out from all the rest. You're probably wondering, "A business card is a piece of paper, how can I make it stand out?" Thanks to Basic Invite, you can create a brand story through your business cards and impress those you connect with. Through the development of unique technology, Basic Invite provides you with limitless options that allow you to instantly create a business card that is truly unique. Because my brand is also my face, I made sure to put a stunning photograph on the front of my business card so that when my new connections are looking through the all of the business cards the acquired, they see mine, and remember my face. I also chose a very minimalistic design for the back because I believe that less is more, but I made sure that all of the important information was included! Put a differentiating touch on your business cards by adding foil details, using a unique paper texture or material, such as clear vinyl. Basic Invite allows you to design your own business cards and upload your own logo, but they also offer beautifully-designed business card templates. Because Basic Invite is one of the only websites that provides almost unlimited color options and instant online previews, you can ensure that your business cards stand apart from the crowd before you order them! Start your brand story at Basic Invite and get 15% off with the code: 15ff51

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Build an online portfolio 
While an elevator pitch and business cards may make a great first impression, you don't necessarily carry around a portfolio of your work or examples of what you can achieve. This is why you should create a digital portfolio tied to a simple domain. For example, you can find all of my work and accomplishments at www.nataliedcraig.com. I set the portfolio up using Wix, which was super easy, and the design process was very intuitive. Having a digital portfolio also comes in handy when designing the information on your business cards. An elevator pitch + business cards + a digital portfolio = a triple threat!

Send a thank you card 
We've covered the bases for how you need to convey your brand story in the early stages of connecting with someone. So let's focus on what to do after you have established a presence or entered into an agreement or partnership with a strategic connection. In the digital world, we are all used to communicating via email and phone, which can be very impersonal. Once you complete a project, land a job, or you get to finally meet with a mentor you've been looking to learn from, send them a thank you card. Hand written letters speak volumes about your character and your work ethic. Once people get what they want from a partnership, they disappear. But if you send a thank you card to show your gratitude, you may keep the door open for future opportunities, which reinforces that you are a brand that people want to keep in their corner! You can also take this opportunity to create custom thank you cards that convey your branding and brand story. Basic Invite also offers some beautiful templates for thank you cards. You can add images or logos, and of course, customize what the card says.

Make sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone you meet with a compelling brand story that showcases your narrative, mission, and work ethic. You never know how many opportunities and doors you can open with three simple steps. Start creating your story now!

Thank you to Basic Invite  for sponsoring this post. I am a huge proponent of brands that offer services to help entrepreneurs create a strong business and brand story. All opinions expressed in this post are 110% my own! Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make Natalie in the City a possibility!

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