Secrets Exposed: Failure at Using Graphic Templates For Branding

February 07, 2017

Branding is the process of creating cohesive elements with the aim to set one seller's products or services apart from others, making them distinguishable for customers

Postscript: I wrote this post in the middle of the night on Friday, Feb. 3  - 1:35 a.m. - while I was trying to fall asleep actively from 11:35 p.m.  No matter what I did, I couldn't nod off to sleep.

During this time I gave myself and accepted two challenges.
  1. Edit and publish the blog posts lounging in One Note and wherever else I have them. I have upwards of 15 draft posts and has vowed to post them all regardless. So if you see me use #TheseAreThey or #TheseRThey in a post, on Instagram or Twitter, you'll know it's one of the drafts.
  2. Use templates for my post graphics and stop winging it.

I won't give these a time frame because then I might not do them.

Weird, I know.

I've been agonizing if I should publish this when I came across this quote on Pinterest.

Trust your intuition. You don't need to explain or justify your feelings to anyone, just trust your own inner guidance, it knows best.

I'm not a ranter and sharing this with you makes me feel, well ... vulnerable...raw...exposed.

Then I think: "You wrote it and edited it, why not share it? It's who you are sometimes.

If it doesn't get many views so what? It's not the first or last post that won't be viewed by more than a handful". So here it is:

Why I Can't Use a Graphic Template for My Blog and Social Media Posts 

Have you ever seen Bleach? It's an anime I watched on YouTube.

The thing I like most and noticed fairly quickly about Bleach is that for every single episode they use a different graphic. This happens throughout all the episodes and seasons. Even though each graphic is different they are consistent in their branding by having a unique graphic for each episode.



I guess this is what I want to talk about today. Brand consistency. Brand attributes.



The thing is, I'm weird-ish. Ok - let me own it -I'm weird and have a contrasting personality.

I'm quiet and shy. An introvert. 

As a child, I'd play by myself and preferred to read my Raggedy Anne book (mine was green and made from cloth), admire animals and plants than play with my dolls.  

I'm sentimental and a border line horder. 

I still have a teddy bear from I was eight and a penguin given to me by my 18-year-old brother when he was 4.

Though I'm an introvert, I'm a teacher. 

When I'm teaching, training, coaching or tutoring I'm outgoing and very loquacious. 

Yes, this too is a part of my weirdness. My penchant for "big words". During my entire school life, I always had a dictionary in my book bag. It got so bad that in college I was called the walking lexicon. Even by my econ lecturer Mrs.B.

My mom says I'm sulky and that I got it from my dad because she's always a ray of bright sunshine. This is true, but I wouldn't say I was sulky, but have a serious demeanor.

It hurts and makes me look and feel stupid to be walking around with a smile all the time. 

I felt horrible when I saw what Google had to say about "sulky".  Gee, thanks, dad.

I'm pleasant, not selfish, definitely not sulky,  and love to help others. 

As a matter of fact, all my past jobs were in a field where I was helping someone. 

  • Tourism Sector
  • Teacher
  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Customer Service Rep
  • Quality Assessor
  • Supervisor
  • Tier 1 Tech

Further, walking down the street or in a store I'm always approached for help by strangers.

See mom, I'm approachable.

I'm also polite, mannerly and observant. I'm not one to rush into making friends:

 Because I like to see how you treat others. 

That's why I'm always crushed when a friend does a 360.

For someone who's shy and organized I'm also spontaneous. 

Solve this spontaneous equation, will you? 



But only in some areas like I'd wake up one morning and spring clean my tiny house or burst out in song singing Christmas carols. The worst part is, I can't sing and any other time you ask me to sing that carol I have no idea what the words are.

I'm moody yet tolerant and patient. I've been told - by my significant other - that I nit pick and is a neat freak. Pssh... men. What do they know?

Quietly muttering ... I'm a bit of a perfectionist and a tad OCD.

Anyway,  I digress.

Let's get back to consistency and spontaneity.



What is a Template?

Based on my understanding, a template is a pre-designed and pre-formatted guide that is the starting point of a new document.  

I know I should create templates and I've made a few attempts, but I'm not moved by them.

I would and have also encouraged you and others to create these templates because:
  1. they lend themselves to brand consistency making your content readily identified over the interweb.
  2. They save time and reduce frustration when creating content making you more efficient and productive.
  3. They also provide a consistent customer experience that builds trust, loyalty and brand growth.

Instead, I collect images from stock photo sites, Creative Market, and IvoryMix with a certain "look" and use a set of hex codes I have for my brand.

So you see, I'm not against branding.

Only looking at my blog's home page, recent posts and popular posts and seeing the same thing over and over.

Yes, I do use a different background each time, but it drives me crazy! And this now makes me waste time pondering how to fix it. I've settled for using templates for some aspects of my blog like on my sidebar  - coming soon.

Anyway, let's get back on point.

What's Branding?

Branding is the process of creating cohesive elements with the aim to set one seller's products or services apart from others, making them distinguishable for customers. 


Steps Taken to Create a Cohesive Brand

So:

  1. I collect images and store them on my laptop for future use. Pantone says the color for 2017 is greenery and for that, I'm grateful because I love green and it's numerous shades!
  2. I have a repository of hex codes that I keep in the same image folder. These hex codes are used for background, text, and overlays. I use 2 chrome extensions to grab colors from the web. Color Picker and Palette Creator.
  3. Also, I collect fonts to use on my posts and other documents.
  4. I have a favicon that I love.
  5. I use the same image on my internet properties - well most of them. The one on Instagram is different. Need to fix that ASAP!
Speaking of Instagram: it's the one place that inspires me to use a theme. It's so beautiful and calming to see a well-designed feed.

There are some bloggers whom I admire who uses templates very well.


Take a look.

The links will take you through to their Pinterest boards.

And while you're there don't forget to follow.

Go ahead. I'll wait for you.


Tools I Use to Create Graphics for My Blog and Social Media Posts

Good. You're back. Let's continue.

I like the rush I get when I create a graphic and it looks smashing. Mind you, I'm still growing here and as a result, many of my images needs updating. The ones I like the best are the one from my:

  • Instagram;
  • Tools for Shopify;
  • Gaining 40% More followers on Twitter; and 
  • How to sell on Amazon using Shopify posts. 

1. Adobe Spark

I think Adobe Spark is the one behind my lackluster attitude towards image themes for posts:

Because I plug in my text and presto it pops out a beautiful, balanced graphic.

With a few tweaks and adjustments to font, opacity, color and overlay I might not have to insert an image.

Or I can search their library and find my perfect fit. And when I'm done I can resize to use on another platform.

I can not only create post graphics in Adobe Spark but also beautiful and engaging:


2. Canva ...

... allows me to add a link to my image, create image templates and presentations, e-Books and so much more. They also have tons of resources - tutorials - to improve your graphic designing skills.

3. TinyPNG

TinyPNG is used to compress images. That way my blog speed won't be compromised.

4. Pinterest ...

... for inspiration and housing my mood board.

5. Styled Images and Stock Photos

I use styled images from Kayla over at Ivorymix, and free photo sites.

Creative Market is an enormous marketplace of textures, patterns, website themes, and graphics.

I grab 6 freebies every week!

And you should too. Just click on the link in the sidebar that says, "Free Goods of the Week".

Identifying and Crafting My Brand Signature

I get stuck in my head a lot where I form limiting beliefs and get in my own way.

I see personality traits that others don't see or feel and tell me it's all in my head.

Shoving me further to get certified as a crazy person. Thanks, guys. I feel your love!

I'm yet to have my attributes shine through, connect and resoundingly affect you.

With a bit more reflection and self-discovery, I'm sure I'll be on the right path to identifying and crafting my brand signature, especially as I have some fantastic tools!


I'd Love Your Help

Guys, any suggestions on what I can do to come over to the themed graphics side of the universe? I'd really appreciate it.

Branding is the process of creating cohesive elements with the aim to set one seller's products or services apart from others, making them distinguishable for customers

Just for the Heck of It

That's where the post should end, but just for the heck of it, I've been rambling all day so might as well continue with it.

I still love reading and have outgrown my Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew's - come to think of it, I've never read a Nancy Drew, but my Aunt who was a librarian in one of her past lives told me about them. She's also the one who got me into reading as she read to me every night as a baby all the way up. Thanks, Aunty N.

I'm into big people stuff now authored by:

  • Agatha Christie - Poirot.
  • Sir Authur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes.
  • Clive Cussler - I love me some Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino.
  • Tom Clancy
  • W.E.B. Griffin.
  • Robert Ludlum.
  • Patricia Cornwell - Lady Scarpetta and Marino.
  • James Patterson - legendary! Alex Cross. Women Murder Club. Michael Bennet. Private(s).
  • Robin Cook - the good doctor. Jack Stapleton. Outbreak.
  • Michael Crichton - Congo. Jurassic Park.
  • Dan Brown - Da Vinci Code.
  • Stephen King - Rose Madder. Christine.
  • Larry Bond - Day of Wrath 
  • Ken Follet - on Horse racing.
  • Michael Connelly - Harry Boch..
  • Sue Grafton - Kinsey Millhone.
  • Robert B. Parker - Spenser and Hawk. Loved the TV series too.
  • Dean Koontz..
  • John Grisham - The Client. 
  • John Sandford - The Prey Series.

And I could go on and on for pages.

I've read so many books, my mom always asks how do I not get the same one from the library. (Yes, the library! I have a card and everything.) Once I read the jacket and sometimes a snippet it all floods back to me.

Don't know if you've noticed, but there are no girly books like Mills & Boon, Romance and such. (Sorry Ing - my neighbor who gave me a bag of girly books, and surprisingly, I've read most of them and enjoyed them too.)

That's because I love Thrillers, Espionage, Detective, Adventure - Indiana Jones and Mommy Series, and a bit of Suspense and Horror. (I'm concerned about who's going to be the next Indiana Jones. Any viable candidates?)

I've got a Goodreads account, I'm going to pepper it with as many as I can remember.

I've tried reading Harry Potter and the Twilight series and can't get to 1/3 of the book. And I'm the same way with either TV series.

For Movies

Gimme action, action comedies and some martial arts thrown in.Don't get me started on Walking Dead Series, please!!! Daryl. Lord have mercy...


  • Bruce Willis - Die Hard Series.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger - Terminator. Do you think he had a rough go off it when learning to spell his last name as a boy?
  • Sylvester Stallone -Rambo. Tango and Cash.
  • Clint Eastwood - Josey Wales. Dirty Harry.
  • Jackie Chan - Rush Hour, Rumble in The Bronx.
  • Jet Li.
  • Tony Jaa - Gimme back my elephant.
  • Danny Yen - IP Man.
  • Chuck Norris - Walker, Texas Ranger. What???
  • Mel Gibson - Brave Heart, Lethal Weapon, Mad Max.
  • Denzil Washington - Man on Fire - Greasy. Deja Vu.
  • Michael J. White - Undisputed
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme - Mr. Miyagi in Kick Boxer.


For Animes, Gimme


  • Naruto - Ichiraku ramen. I make these all the time. Mine has carrots, a peg of garlic, a tiny piece of Jamaica Chocolate pepper,  4-6 medium shrimps, ham, 2 boiled eggs and of course ramen. This plus my ninja skills are what Naruto and I have in common. Oh yeah, we always hit out about pervs too.
  • Bleach.
  • FairyTail.
  • Assassination Classroom - teaching the skills to help you kill it in your endeavors.
  • Hunter x Hunter.
  • Hellsing. I'm a badass homesteader growing a small patch of fruits and vegetables and plan to expand into chickens soon.
  • Full Metal Alchemist - the big brother is the little brother.
  • Black Butler - Sebastian. The movie is good too. That maid!
  • One Piece.
  • One Punch Man and 
  • what's the one with Vegeta, Chunks, the really strong and pervy old man and Goku... Dragon Ball z.
  • I also like Justice League and Batman.
  • And Boondocks is hilarious!

Raw and Uncensored

Well, there you have it. Raw and uncensored I hope you come back soon.

If you made it this far, you just might be crazier than I!

Do something to grow today!










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