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First Steps to starting a Personal Brand

Hi, I'm Ryan - an athlete, advocate, entrepreneur and self-proclaimed King of the World. I started this blog 10 years ago and have always had a hard time showing up as myself. I would always think, "what do I have to offer people and why would anyone care?". I always dreamed of, whether I had the words for it or not, having/being a personal brand. The art of being yourself.

I always thought my souls journey (lol, stick with me) in this lifetime was to learn compassion. The last 29 years have certainly put me through many experiences and I have come out the other side a compassionate person. I now think my next lesson in this lifetime is to show up as myself - enough, authentically, boldly. I have always known the end goal, the vision, and most of the time how to get there, but the act of starting and showing up consistently is where I have always gotten caught up.

Over the past 10 years, I feel like I have consumed, studied and loved every piece that has to do with Personal Brands. I love telling stories, and I love hearing other exceptional storytellers - the basis of a Personal Brand. Since launching my design business, my favorite part has been stepping into other peoples brands and businesses and helping them tell their story. When I started, I figured Web Design was simply building a website and handing it over. Over half of the business I do now is online strategy, scaling online businesses and consulting how to effectively tell stories to monetize - it's what I always wanted to do for myself, and now I get to do for others.


So, you want to start a Personal Brand? Let's start with the basics - what is a Personal Brand?

To me, a Personal Brand is an intentional brand built around a particular person and their story. It doesn't have to be online, it doesn't have to be on Social Media, but it does have to be intentional (meaning the person behind the brand has to be on board with building).

Do I need to have a business?

Ya sure don't! A Personal Brand does not have to be the business, it can be the person behind a business to lend credibility, it can be a total passion project or hobby, or it can be your dream to build and scale and make 8 figures - it's your brand, your story, your authenticity. What resonates with you?


Of course the first step is deciding to build your Personal Brand. Have you committed to that or are you in the planning stages? Either way, I want to share a couple questions and a resource to get you thinking and clarify your brand.

  1. What does your ideal life look like?

Why is this relevant? Your Personal Brand is based around you and your story. What you want in life and out of life is a crucial piece of building a true-to-self Personal Brand. When doing this exercise, you need to include as much detail as you can and cultivate the most honest answer possible.

I always come back to this question, and my answer has changed over the years. Here are few things I have included in mine -

My ideal life includes something to look forward to every day - dessert after a long day, a concert, dinner with friends, a bike ride, whatever. Every single day, I need to do something outside of work that fills me up. For me, this is authentic. A few years ago, I would have never included that because I was so set on working myself to death to accomplish my goals. It has taken a lot of honesty to land where I have. What is authentic to you?

The parameters of your Personal Brand should be built around your ideal life - why would we build something so personal and important to ourselves and land in a life we don't want? This is a crucial step in the process.

2. Who are you drawn to and why?

I find this to be such a fun exercise, and helps you know where you are in your journey. The people I am most drawn to in life (outside of my immediate group) are people who have something that I want - freedom, contentment, a beautiful aesthetic on TikTok, whatever it may be. "Who are you drawn to and why?" helps us figure out what we want out of life and our brand, and also helps connect to others. More often than not, what draws us to others is our secret superpower that we want to share with the world too.

An example - one of my favorite content creators is Mark Rupp. I've followed him forever and only recently I connected with why I love his content so much - he consistently shows the freedom that comes with being true to yourself in life. Why do I resonate with that? Well, I want that freedom, and that is also the freedom that deliver to my audience too.

3. What do you have capacity for right now?

We have touched on our ideal life and how that will impact our decisions in our brand, but the next question requires the same level of honesty - what do you capacity for right now? I am the most guilty of taking on too much too fast, and not being able to keep up.

Do you have 3 hours a week to dedicate to your brand? Do you have the creative capacity to create content, or is your current job sucking all of that up? Are you single and have infinite free time to put towards your brand, or is your Personal Brand your ticket to financial freedom outside of your relationship?

We all have different things going on. We always need to keep referring to our ideal life answer as a north star, but we also need to take into account exactly, honestly where we are in this moment. Maybe we have capacity to write one blog a week or film two videos. Maybe we have capacity to launch the online store we have always dreamed of in the next month. The only wrong answer is the one where you are not being honest with yourself.


This is the first in a series of posts where we will touch on and build our Personal Brand. Thanks for reading, and as always, what would you like to hear about?

Until next time.



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