Since I shared my One-Pager (aka my personal brandboard) last September via my blog, I’ve received a number of questions regarding the content of my board and even some requests asking for assistance in the creation of a brandboard for someone as they were pursuing a specific role or attending a particular event and needed to share a quick one-page bio. I’m definitely flattered by the favourable comments, and even more so by the overall reaction I received for creating something on such a short time line.
So as I go through the exercise of updating my One-Pager, I thought I’d quickly answer a few questions about the process I followed, mention a few reference sites where information could be gathered as well as answer the £1,000 question – What software did you use to create your brandboard?
So let’s get the biggie out of the way – Which software did I use? Believe it or not, Microsoft PowerPoint. Stick to what you know and the tools you are comfortable using – at least that’s my approach. Especially when the outcome is really the end goal you are working for, not so much the process you use to get there. For me, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m extremely comfortable with PowerPoint. I find it easy to use, versatile and with all the new bells and whistles provided in 2013, there was really no need for me to use any other publishing or designing type software to get the clean, clear, crisp look I was going for. Of course, if you want to get more graphically creative, more visually dynamic with your brandboard, then I’d say using something like Adobe’s InDesign or Illustrator would make better sense. But for me, PowerPoint was the best and easiest fit for the job.
Second most asked question – How did you come up with the design? The layout, colour combination, theme, etc.? As mentioned on my original blog post, I came across the TMWK BrandBoard service and I thought it was absolutely brilliant and made so much sense. Being able to capture who you are, how you work, what you can deliver and the way you would deliver, in one easy to read page – SOLD! Unfortunately at the time, I didn’t have the time to go through the proper exercise to get one of the slick TMWK BrandBoards, so I had to improvise. Via a Bing search, I gathered ideas from all over and took the best bits, or at least the ones I thought would highlight what I wanted to showcase and included them in my One-Pager. The layout was just a result of how I wanted the page to flow and the colour combination was based on some of the outputs I received when I went hunting for my archetype – the colours represented had a vibrancy to them, so I stuck with those colours on my board.
And the third most asked questions, would be about the personality traits, working style, etc., mentioned on my board. Why did you chose to mention these instead of others, such as colour or brain mapping as shown on the TMWK website? I guess the first thing is, I didn’t want to under mind or take anything away from what TMWK were offering as a service. Yes I used their brandboard as an inspiration for mine, but I didn’t want to go so far as create a cheap imitation. Second, I wanted to chose specific aspects of my personality to showcase and that I thought really explained and supported the areas of my work I was passionate about. I wanted someone to be able to say, “Ah yes, I can see why she has an interest in that area or I can understand why she would be successful in that discipline.” Its important when you are creating your brandboard that you highlight those aspects about you that make you-you and that re-enforce, support and create a link between who you are and what you do.
- Your brandboard should be a peek into who you are, use words that positively capture your personality and reflect who you are in real life.
- Be honest when creating your board, the whole point is for people to be able to get a sense of who you REALLY are – not someone you are trying to be for a particular position or opportunity.
- Don’t cram your board, try to keep it clean, crisp and to the point. Use space as an object and make sure any graphics you use aren’t overly busy or overly detailed. Think graphical sound bite.
- If you use a picture, make sure it’s a current one (hence my update! :)).
- Create your board with a focus or theme in mind – what are you trying to convey? Are you trying to highlight your expertise in a particular area? Your overall experience? Your interests? Or perhaps just you and who you are as a person. Either way, make sure you have a particular direction in mind.
- Get feedback. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, even boss to provide feedback on your board. Get their impressions and adjust. The whole point of the board is to help you message yourself out – make sure that message is clear and on track with what you are trying to say. What better way than having someone repeat it back to you.
- Find Your Archetype – https://www.archetypes.com/
- Create your word cloud – http://www.wordle.net/
- Find Your Predictive Index – http://www.piworldwide.com/solutions/predictive-index-system/
- Find Your Personality Type with Myers & Briggs – http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/
- Global Footprint – I basically used an image from the net and added quick reference dots to show where I’ve worked or have done business. It doesn’t represent holiday destinations, the point I wanted to make was to show that I have global experience as far as my professional career is concerned.
- Focus Areas/Expertise/Competencies – When I originally created my board I had both expertise and competencies areas. At the time I wanted to show my experience in a particular solution area as well as highlight my knowledge of particular products within those solutions areas. However, after thinking about it a bit more I wanted to just highlight the areas where I was currently focused – where I was doing the majority of my work. So looking at the last 6 months I put things in categories and then I labelled those categories. At that’s what you see represented in my Focus area. So when you are thinking about your board, keep in mind what I said before about focus and direction, you don’t need to include everything – just include what you want to showcase and highlight.
- Social media – Now I know this isn’t popular with everyone and it really shouldn’t be – it really just depends on what you are trying to convey with your board. Because a lot of my work sits within the Enterprise Social space, I wanted to show an element of social on my board, along with the networks I belonged to and the connections I maintained. Remember, if it’s not relevant to you or not something you’d particularly want to promote about yourself, don’t include it in your board.
- Contact information – Depending on what you are going to use your board for, you may or may not include contact information. Because I want to use my board as a generic introduction to who I am, I’ve included a QR Code so that whomever is interested in contacting me can. Why a QR Code you ask? Because it looks a lot cleaner and neat, in comparison to typing out a business card at the end.
Hopefully all the above helps and you’ll find creating your brandboard is just as interesting and enlightening as I did when I created mine.
The New One-Pager