Having been single for a looong time (let’s not go there right now), I can tell you that I’ve seen my fair share of profile photos on plenty of online dating sites. I even get emails on the regular from sites like Christian Mingle, Ashley Madison (that site for cheaters), and all sorts of other ethnic/religious sites that I have zero desire to join. Plus that weird one for farmers. Anyways- across all of the sites I’ve joined, and in the three major cities I’ve lived in — Berkeley/Bay Area, Boston, and LA– I’ve noticed one very interesting thing. In this day and age of “everything is public online,” a lot of people haven’t quite figured out where to draw the line on their dating profile pictures.
How the hell does this relate to personal branding? Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. When you create a dating profile for yourself, you’re essentially creating a personal brand– the same way you would for your business. You want to be perceived in a certain way: fun, sexy, cool, easy going, adventurous, whatever. But there are also some perceptions you might want to avoid. I’ve rounded up some interesting pictures that I’ve come across lately to help you create your personal brand while still being authentic and letting your true voice shine through…online dating style.
1. BE GENUINE
Ok, I had to start with this one, because it was too funny an experience not to share. Being genuine and yourself is my number one rule on social media and in life but this one really took the cake for being a total faker. At first glance, it just looks like a cute, shirtless dude at a swim meet, right? Guy’s name is Jon, he’s 26, and 10 miles away from me. The thing is, I know the guy in this picture from college. His name isn’t Jon, and he doesn’t even live in the United States right now. So it turned out that this guy on Tinder was using my former Cal classmate’s picture (I can’t totally blame him, Guy is a total hottie and an Olympic swimmer) for his Tinder profile picture. But what’s even WEIRDER is that Tinder pulls photos from your facebook…so he’s also using that as his Facebook profile picture. Moral of the story? Use photos that are you, look like you, and when people meet you in person, they can tell that you’re the same person as in your avatar. And don’t steal other people’s photos. It’s just creepy.
2. HOBBIES ARE GOOD… IN MODERATION.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m becoming a little bit too known for my cat lady-tendencies on my personal social media pages. But on dating sites? I’m trying to keep it to a minimum. I want guys to know that I like animals, not think of me as a crazy cat lady. My friends know that I’m a crazy animal lady but in a good way, not in a hoarder way– and that’s the very very fine line that can be very easily crossed here. You love to play a musical instrument? AWESOME. Do you need to go running in the ocean for a glamour shot with it? Maybe not. (Though it’s kind of funny.) Same goes for poker- do you love it sooo much you want to show everyone your tattoo that requires you to be half naked in order to do so? Think about what that tells your audience when you’re creating your brand.
3. BE UNIQUE, NOT TERRIFYING.
I’m all for attracting your target demographic– whether that’s people you want to work with or people you want to date– and with that comes an awareness of the fact that you’ll inevitably probably alienate some of the people who aren’t in your target demographic. That’s a good thing! People who want to work with me generally will appreciate my sassiness, my salty language, my honesty and my quirkiness, because my online brand has already shown them that that’s what they’re getting (and shown people who aren’t looking for that that it wouldn’t be a good fit.) But in trying to attract the right people, it’s generally a good idea not to terrify the rest. You want people thinking you’d like to date (or work with) them…not murder them when they’ve turned their backs.
4. SOMETIMES, LESS IS JUST LESS.
Sometimes, the temptation to put it all out there is SO DAMN STRONG. I get it. You want to shout it from the mountain tops- “Here I am, love it or leave it!” And hell, I do it once in a while, and to be honest, I’ve gotta give these dudes kudos for their full monty performances online- you never know who’s going to be looking at your profiles! But in all honestly, I’d recommend leaving a bit to the imagination once in a while as well. Got a problem with a client? Think twice before vaguebooking it (or post privately to a group instead.) You’re potty training your kiddo? Mayyybe leave out some of the details. Mystery can be sexy too.
Personal branding is a loaded topic. You want to be yourself and have people know you quickly, but you don’t want to reveal too much too quickly. You want to show your hobbies and interests, but not come off as crazy or obsessed. You want to stand out, and be attractive, and unique… which, strangely enough, applies both to online dating and your “professional” personal branding as well. It’s a fine balance, but it gets easier with time. And yes, there will always be the outliers like Tom Green, who made his entire personal brand off humping dead animals (at least that’s how I remember him, ack.), or the Jackass guys. But I think for the vast majority of people, these tips apply! Oh, and be nice to people. No one likes a douchebag.
Ps. The above pictures? Say a lot about why I’m still single. If you want to set me up, let’s talk.
Welcome to the Spice Up Your Biz Life series! Did you get your “How Spicy Is Your Biz Life” worksheet? How’d your business make out? Did you find out where you need to show it a little bit more love? I definitely realized where I’ve been neglecting mine lately. For the first post in the series, I wanted to talk about one of my absolute favorite (and super nerdy) design topics: fabulous fabulous fonts.
Oh fonts, how I love you. You can take something boring and bland and make it automatically exciting and interesting. For example, take a look at this before and after from F. Menard, as featured on Under Consideration last year.
This stunning rebrand took a less-than-exciting logo with a clunky, poorly-spaced sans serif and kicked it way up with an exciting flared serif font (the letters now have feet). Do you have to rebrand to harness the power of fonts? Absolutely not!
You can fire it up with fonts in a few different ways:
1. You can create custom graphics like my “fire it up with fonts” image using a free program like GIMP (or Photoshop) to carry your fonts through your blog and social media posts. You can do relevant quotes in your brand fonts and colors– a great way to be consistent with your branding!
2. You can use Google Web Fonts, or Fontsquirrel for free webfonts, or sites like Fonts.com for paid versions, to show your brand’s fonts in post titles and menus. A lot of premade WordPress themes have a built-in option to choose Google fonts to put on your site, while implementing other web fonts may be a little more difficult. Just ask your developer!
3. If you only use a single font in your branding? Consider adding a contrasting font in your images to add a little more visual interest– check out this tutorial on font pairing to help you pick one. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to no more than 2 fonts of contrasting styles, or three at the VERY most, though. Don’t go too crazy with the fonts (it’s easy to do!)
4. Make sure that everything — and I do mean everything — that you send to your lists/clients has your fonts on there somehow. This includes newsletters (you can make a pretty custom header with your logo!), contracts (get those fonts going!), invoices, contracts, you name it. For example, this is my standard newsletter header- totally in line with my branding and fonts.
So there you have it. Some quick ways to fire it up with fonts. Do you think you’ll be applying any of these tips to your own brand? Or are you already using them for your business? Stay tuned, because I’ve got a bunch more spicy biz tips coming your way this week!
Oh and in case you missed it- here’s the signup form for the “How Spicy Is Your Biz Life” PDF- you’ll get the exclusive download plus other content that you’ll only be able to get as a subscriber. Don’t miss out!
Somehow, we’ve already sped past New Year’s and through January, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse (or reminder) to spice things up in your love life, or for my fellow singles, to treat yourself to something a little extra special. Why not show your business a little lovin’ tenderness too?
Sounds tempting and a little bit sexy, right? Good- it’s supposed to! There’s no excuse for neglecting to love up on your brand and your business life once in a while too…otherwise it’ll get stale and boring, just like a neglected love life.
So…how the hell can you spice up your biz life? Just follow along. Seriously, it’s easy.
First off, fill out the form at the bottom of this post to subscribe to the Lindsay Goldner Creative email list. Not only will you get a sexed-up PDF checklist to help you figure out how spicy your biz life is, you’ll also receive my kickass exclusive freebies and business updates that I don’t post anywhere else and be the first to hear about new products + offerings. The PDF a great place to start if you haven’t taken a close look at your brand as a whole and it’s also super handy for making sure you’ve got the essentials covered. When I was making the list, I noticed some things that I needed where I needed to up my own game!
Once you’ve got your checklist all filled out, stay tuned here over the next couple of weeks– I’ll be writing about different ways to spice up your business. Fonts? Check. Colors? Doing it. Copy? Hell yes. I’m covering it all.
Last, leave a comment if you’re so inclined– do you feel like your brand is lukewarm or RED HOT right now? Are you feeling like things have fizzled and you need to kick it up a few notches? Or, where do you struggle most with keeping your brand hot and bothered? I want to know!
This month, I decided to make a minimal desktop background with a big old reminder. I don’t know about you, but sometimes (especially in the mornings when I’ve got bedhead and haven’t had my caffeine yet), I could use an extra pat on the ass to remind me just how awesome and rockin I am.
Also, this fun — and as always, free– wallpaper leads perfectly into a mini campaign I’m going to be doing the rest of the month. Keep your eyes peeled on Monday to find out more. Ooh yeah, it’s gonna be a juicy one.
Yesterday at the gym, I posted this picture on instagram:
Now, if you follow me on insta at all, you know that that’s a new gym view for me. Usually, I stick to the recumbent bikes- they’re familiar, I don’t fall off of them, they’re not intimidating or filled with the crazy intense athletes. But my friend Michele had challenged the quality of my bike workout earlier in the week, and since it was my fourth day in a row going to the gym, I was feeing a little gutsier than usual.
I walked into the gym, gave the nasty front desk girl a stinkeye to rival hers (god that felt good) and then marched my spandexed booty up the stairs with the appearance of far more confidence than I actually felt. Luckily for me, all of the Precor machines were empty, so I gingerly stepped on one– trying not to move backwards instead of forwards– and hit quickstart, the golden ticket for learning how to use a machine. Got my headphones on, and then started huffing and puffing and OMG THE PAIN. And then some creepy dude decided to use the machine right.next.to.me. But that aside, HOLY WORKOUT, BATMAN! I get why Michele challenged my bike workout- I only went about 2 miles on the Precor, varying the resistance and the incline a bit as I went, but I burned 2x as many calories in 20 minutes and felt totally beastmode by the time I was done.
Moral of the story though? The fear wasn’t quite so bad once I actually got on the damn machine. Sure, I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I’m still not totally sure if I was going forwards or backwards the whole time. I might have accidentally tossed my phone with 2 minutes to go (yeah, any good armband recommendations?) and felt like I was dying during the workout, and my knees feel nothing short of geriatric today. But it’s pretty awesome knowing that that particular fear of the machine was unfounded. It’s all about baby steps, right?
Today is day 5 in working to burn off the carby/holiday weight gain and to try to kick this latest depressive swing to the curb. Apparently you can get seasonal depression even when it’s sunny, damn short days. I’m back around 118/119lbs now that I’ve started working out again, but I’m off the diet coke again, drinking 2+ liters of water a day, and doing the low carb thing. So overall, it’s change for the better. Yeah, these baby steps feel gigantic…and all I want is a diet coke and a big hunk of fresh bread…but that too shall pass, right?
And most importantly, thanks for following along with me and being so damn supportive! Almost as good as a great sports bra ;)