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The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Aug 7, 2019

 Today, MiloTree Community Manager and my friend, Paula Rollo, is back on the show and we are talking about how to think about branding yourself and your business

We're looking at the question of where best to focus your energy. 

In this episode, we share how we have both gone through our own branding process and how you can easily do it, too. 

Branding Beginnings 

Branding is so much more than just hopping onto sites like LogoJoy or TailorMade and creating your logo. There is also a tool on Shopify that will generate business names for you. 

These are all fun tools to play around with but there are steps you need to take before you start making logos. 

When Paula started her business around 15 years ago, she did not even know about branding. She simply made content without a vision and hoped people would find it. 

Tip: When coming up with your blog name or logo, you don’t want your viewers to have to guess what you are about. You have to state upfront what your brand is about. 

When I created Catch My Party, I was very specific about what the business was, but that made me feel pigeonholed into that space without a lot of room for growth or change. 

The inspiration for MiloTree comes from a beautiful tree found in Hawaii. 

The name is very open-ended, which allows me to expand somewhat within the boundary of the name. And I’m glad we chose it as we have definitely expanded the things we offer through the app. It's no longer just the "Pinterest Pop-Up Company."

When branding first became important, you didn’t have to be as specific, but as Google has evolved and the industry has grown, you need to be much more specific about what you’re offering to your audience so that you become an authority in your field. 

Personal Branding vs. Company Branding 

Before I started my own personal Instagram account recently, I thought through what I wanted my account to look like. 

I keep Catch My Party, MiloTree, and my own personal account, Jillian Tohber Leslie, separate to brand them as the individual things that they are.

I decided to focus on three things with my personal account:

  • How I run two businesses and a podcast
  • Moving to Austin and discovering the area
  • How I focus on my wellness and health

My husband and daughter occasionally show up on there, but they are not the main focus. 

When I am posting about myself, I am showing the human side of my business and people can get to know me. That builds trust with my audience. 

You have to decide early on if you want your brand to have a personality, or if you want to be your brand. A lot of blogs and brands get stuck trying to do both. 

Some brands don’t want a face behind their brand, but then they lose all personality whatsoever. People want something to connect to, even if it’s just a common theme. 

Sharing Yourself To Build Trust 

When building your brand, you need to know where your business is going, know what you’re trying to accomplish in the world. 

For instance, if you have a health and wellness blog, you are trying to convince me to change something about my lifestyle. To do that you need to share your personal story and credentials in order to gain my trust. 

Anyone can start a business success blog, but I need to know your backstory. I need to know that you have a successful business and that you know more than me about building a successful business. 

Focus your personal brand on how you can serve others, and you will be able to remain authentic and true to yourself. 

Being A Personal Brand 

We all need to be mindful of the brand we’re putting forward. 

Today it is easy for people to find us online, including prospective employers. The brand you put forth is what they’re going to see and how they’re going to think about you. 

If you do not brand yourself, and you focus on your company’s branding, you are still discoverable. You still need to have a personal aspect of your brand. 

I always suggest that people Google themselves and see what shows up. 

Do you like what pops up under your name? If not, you may need to think about some personal rebranding. 

Comparing Yourself To Others 

Another way to get clear on your branding is to look at your competitors to see what they are doing right, and mimic that. But you should also be looking at your competition in order to see the ways that you are different.

If someone was unhappy with another company, how would coming to your business offer them a different experience? 

Find ways to differentiate your blog from others who are in the same niche. 

Brands tend to solve one problem and move on. Focus on being cohesive and offering solutions to problems that might not even be known yet. 

You can fill in the blanks that the big companies are missing because what may not be lucrative enough for big brands could be lucrative enough for you. 

Honesty vs. Oversharing

At one point, a couple of years ago, our culture decided that we wanted to know everything about everybody. We shared pictures of our food, our friends, our evening routines. 

But people quickly discovered that they didn’t care what their neighbor had for dinner; they weren’t following them because their neighbors were food bloggers. 

Today, people want you to be honest, but people also understand that there are boundaries to sharing your life. 

Boundaries look different to everyone, and you are free to decide what your boundaries are. 

I do not post any pictures of my daughter on Instagram, whereas Paula has pictures of her children all over her account, but without their names posted. We both set the boundaries that we are comfortable with. 

I came to the personal branding game late, but if I am making someone feel happier, feel less alone, or more inspired, then I am branding myself the right way. 

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  •   Intro 
  •   1:14 Branding Beginnings
  •   14: 41 Personal Branding vs. Company Branding 
  •   24:47 Share Yourself To Build Trust 
  •   28:08 Being A Personal Brand 
  •   29:34 Comparing Yourself To Others 
  •   32:56 Honesty vs. Oversharing

Read the podcast transcript for “How to Think About Branding Yourself and Your Business”


  1. Don’t make people guess what your blog is about. State upfront, through your name, logo, description, bio, etc, exactly what you are about and what the reader can expect.
  2. Decide if you want your business to have a personality or if you want to be your own brand.
  3. Share your own story so that your audience can develop a sense of trust in what you tell them to do.
  4. Find ways to differentiate your blog from others in the same niche. Ask yourself, “If someone was unhappy with another business in my niche, what could I offer them for a better experience?