Building Your Brand

Posted on Apr 22, 2013 by Adobe Education Latest activity: Jun 14, 2016

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The prolific and accessible creation and sharing of digital information allows for building your brand online. How have you, as an educator, built your brand? Why and what difference has it made?

Comments (34)

Keith Hill

Posted on Jun 14, 2016 5:17 PM - Permalink

This is the next step in my life. Thirty Five years as a Artist, Blacksmith, Rancher, now an Educator the last two. I've always promoted my name as an Artist/Blacksmith thru word of mouth and a hand held pictorial portfolio now at 59 I'm moving into the age of technology and want to keep up. Growing up with Black and White TV and rotary phones on a party line, embracing technology is a process .

My brand needs to go digital and not back into the fire. My desire is to be able to pass this knowledge on to my students as well as a trade. I'm starting a graphic arts class blind. The kids here on the reservation need as many avenues to get a start on life as they can so here I go! Keep your fingers crossed !

Phyllis Adams

Posted on May 5, 2016 6:46 PM - Permalink

Speaking from the heart: can one build a brand only if they have self-confidence in who they are? Does one need to figure out that part first? What happens when you are a jack-of-all-trade kind of person but have yet to master anything? My idea branding would be to be the instructional technology coach my certification says I am, but getting recognized for this is not going very far. As I type this, the thought came to my mind to redesign our school website and update the instructional technology page and put my signature on it. Yeah. I think I may have figure out a start. : )

Kimberly Bausley

Posted on Apr 19, 2016 3:49 PM - Permalink

This has been a difficult task for me to consistently nurture. However, I am working to build my brand now as an author, which also makes me reflect on my brand as an Instructional Designer. My goal in branding it to convey a message that says my work shapes lives, whether it through creation of course material or creative stories. I am still working on getting the brand out there, but I am proud of the brand.

John Herringer

Posted on Feb 24, 2016 3:03 AM - Permalink

I have just started building my brand in social media. I have been reluctant because like most people I don't like criticism. I also am frightened of sounding arrogant by posting things about myself and what I'm doing. I don't want to come off sounding like I am something more special than anyone else.

Suzanna Christian

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 8:33 PM - Permalink

I am so excited about the idea of building my brand, but I just don't know where to begin. It seems so simple--get a Twitter, be active on it! Blog! Share what you're doing! But, at what point do people notice? I have Twitter, but I have no clue what to post on there. I have a blog, but don't post enough often enough, but even when I do, who sees it? It feels exhausting to post stuff that no one sees, kind of like talking to yourself. So... Where do we begin? What should I share?

Mark DuBois

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 8:48 PM - Permalink

I had the same issue when I started. Here is my approach. It works for me; your mileage may vary.

I try to post things that my students may find of interest. For example, I have a weblog and just post information as I learn about various concepts, tools and so forth. If you are curious - I also include some errors in the actual design of the site. I do this on purpose since I teach web design and development. This way, I have ready examples to show students why certain things cause problems. On Twitter, I got started by posting new things that I learned. I just grew from there and is now totally out of control *grin* -

I hope my approach helps you get started. I think the "getting started" is the hardest part.

Best always

Suzanna Christian

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 1:49 AM - Permalink

Thanks for your reply Mark! So, do your students follow you on Twitter? Do you have a school account and a personal account, or do you just post everything in one place? I really like your goal of posting things your students would find interesting!

Mark DuBois

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 3:29 PM - Permalink

Hi again. I use one account for Twitter and have a personal weblog that I host myself. I try to keep students informed. Many follow me on Twitter, many do not. I also include my Twitter streams in my classes (I use Moodle and teach only online classes). Hope that helps a bit more.

Best always,


Posted on Jan 8, 2016 1:03 AM - Permalink

I had not heard the use of "Brand" in this context before hearing a news caster say" Hillary Clinton is afraid of damaging her brand
by responding to claims about Bills infidelity escapades! Now I know I have a brand! I ran a photographers background painting business for 2 decades. I guess I had a cool brand! Brand seems to suggest what people once called your reputation.

Dan Donovan

Posted on Dec 28, 2015 6:25 AM - Permalink

A brand is simply what people know you for. Easy enough, right? As a teacher I've worked, often with little thought about what I am known for. Most of the time I find myself chasing my interests. For instance, I began a second career teaching math because I needed a job, but had an opportunity to develop an elective because I had worked as a professional video editor in a previous career. What started as a part-time elective, turned into a full-time digital media arts course known for: creating high quality graphic designs, creating a weekly video show, a school yearbook, and creating computer savvy students. What help me establish myself when I started teaching the course was a decision to go back to school to study graphic design and filmmaking, it helped me earn my credentials to teach the DMA course. But I didn't build my brand and course intentionally, I simply went after an interest and took the natural steps to solidify my job, which i came to realize, I enjoyed immensely and did not want to lose.

Going through this branding course has helped me to come up with an explanation of why I have been successful as a DMA teacher, but more importantly, it has made more aware of ways that I could be more focused and organized to further establish my brand. I could start by sharing what I have learned and created through the DMA course with other educators. And this last part is the part that I've struggled with, I've always been a bit insecure because I didn't start out teaching in DMA, and so the extra scrutiny of sharing what I've learned, besides the work required to prepare professional development for others has caused me to shy away from putting myself out to my peers. Sorry, but it does feel like a bit of a pain. But I've recently come to a realization that I could letting down my school and students with that attitude. What if I did put myself out there and it created opportunities for my students and school to enjoy further success by raising their profile? Isn't that what I should want?

Gale Bigbee

Posted on Dec 14, 2015 7:55 PM - Permalink

I also struggle to promote myself even though I know in this day and age it's essential. This first workshop really got me thinking about those attributes I want to project especially in the wikiHow reading of "How to Build Your Personal Brand." One of the first steps was changing your image. I don't want to change my image because that's who I am. I want the steps and tools to confidently promote who I am. Fortunately the article gave me questions to ponder to answer what my core values are and steps to promote myself.

I look forward to continuing the other workshops to begin the process of personal branding.

Michael Jon Axl

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 6:12 PM - Permalink

I always find it a struggle to reach some kind of ethical standard when promoting myself as a brand and as a person who just likes to create art. I equally struggle with money and its importance in life but lack of importance when creating the art. Often times I charge far less than most people because I feel its the right thing to do. Sometimes I am easily taken advantage of, but other times it creates a lasting relationship. With education I feel the same way. How do I find an ethical ground in accepting money for passing on knowledge.

Shouldn't knowledge be free?

How do we create a world where we sacrifice for the greater good?

How do any of you educators deal with these problems?

Claude Filimenti

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 8:46 PM - Permalink

Nice try for free education Michael. While I agree with you, unfortunately, the world does not.

They killed Socrates who was advocating that knowledge was freely available to all willing to dig deeper than beliefs. For his society, his heresy was double: no fees involved for imparting knowledge (operating a sort of free school), as well as questioning the validity of dogmas.

Claude Filimenti

Directeur général

Association pour la création littéraire chez les jeunes (

BZB Designs

Posted on Nov 10, 2015 5:50 AM - Permalink

I really enjoyed the workshop. It gave me more insight on Branding and how I can go about teaching the kids to understand more about themselves and how to look at themselves in a creative way.

Denise Dejonghe

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 1:50 AM - Permalink

I enjoyed the Connected Educators video and the amped up Facebook profile tutorial. Although I already have social media sites, I'm looking for professional development ideas for faculty who are interested in learning how to use social media. The workshop was informative and shows many ways that educators are using social media for their own learning. Does anyone know of professional development ideas that are focused on student learning?

Andrew Joyner

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 6:28 PM - Permalink

It was interesting to make a profile picture in Photoshop.

Aaron Askew

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 6:25 PM - Permalink

I liked this workshop. I like to create things in Adobe Photoshop so I found this very cool.

Jemarus Smith

Posted on Oct 6, 2015 12:28 PM - Permalink

This is pretty good

Sherri Rickman

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 2:18 AM - Permalink

I am on the edge of building my brand but my problem is that I can't seem to get a focus for what I want to offer. I really love technology and I have a lot of fun learning new applications and trying to figure out how to apply them in the classroom and around my school. I have a website that I have tried to build several times but have not felt comfortable in really releasing it. It is also an overwhelming feeling of trying to keep up with all that is required when you do brand yourself.

Mary Puglia

Posted on Aug 30, 2015 9:15 PM - Permalink

This was an excellent workshop for me. I have a lot of reading to do since there are great links and information given. I really liked the amping up your Facebook profile. Never thought of doing it that way- really like it!

Mary Puglia

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 11:05 PM - Permalink

This was a good introductory class and it helped me with a brand. At first, I was thinking of a brand like "Coke" or "Nike" Those brands are simple but they are clear about the product. This class made me realize that I have 2 areas that I want to brand but they are completely different from each other. My first thought was to try and find a way to combine them both into a single logo. But as I worked through everything, it became clear that my initial idea would not work. I have to work on 2 separate logo's in order to do it correctly. It was helpful to be able to have a short exposure to Illustrator, but it's a steep learning curve. Just will take some time.

Miguel Martínez

Posted on Aug 24, 2015 6:47 PM - Permalink

Well I been these through create a new brand and i felt like the place market has enough of such things like design textil end stuff like others are working with. i am now searching the way of create my own and unique brand that can satisfyed the market with obvius the unique services i will go trough, i have many ideas of what do and do not so i would like to get so more knowledge about what will certain the services and stuffs i will sell, i am looking for more bussines world and brand so here there i left my own way of experience hope have a great day :)

Rebecca Sanders

Posted on Aug 22, 2015 2:52 PM - Permalink

I've made a few attempts to brand myself, none of which I felt comfortable putting out in the open and several attempts left unfinished. I'm hoping to gain more ideas and feel more comfortable by taking the Branding courses. I have enjoyed around 35 years in education, but declining enrollments have slowly made me semi-retired. The problem is, I am not ready for retirement or to be pushed out of a field where there is still so much need for my talents. Now, I just have to prove that to the world!

Frank Vandenburg

Posted on Aug 3, 2014 7:53 AM - Permalink

I've done branding for my consulting business that I operate in addition to my education work, but personal branding has always taken a bit of a back seat. I'm realizing with the people I'm meeting in the Education Exchange that individual branding should really be the priority now as people are much more interested in who they would be collaborating with, or who might be a good project partner or grant co-applicant than they may be in selecting an organization.

It's helped me to realize that many of my opportunities were due to people following up on presentations I've given that were posted by conferences or organizations. If that sort of serendipitous promotion is beneficial, imagine the benefits of a more organized and diected approach.

Shawn Drake

Posted on Mar 18, 2014 11:26 PM - Permalink

The concept of branding to me is somewhat strange on one level in that to me it requires a level of self-confidence that was foreign to me. When I stop to think about, however, it makes absolute sense in a world that is shrinking daily due technology that enables us to expose or share our true selves instantaneously. Having been an educator for a short period of time after leaving the corporate world in search of a vocation that is more meaningful to myself and finding that this is what I enjoy, and more specifically, what I wish to continue to do for some time in the future I find myself in a position where I need to take risks and quit playing it safe. To make a long story short, it's time to get into the show.

Ginny Holm

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 1:07 PM - Permalink

While I haven't branded myself professionally (outside of the school), within the campus I have been slowly but surely building a sort of "brand" with my graphic design class. I have created a classroom logo that easily identifies my class and have used websites that I put together that offer examples of previous student work, give details on assignments, and provide music and descriptions that help students easily identify topics. I am going into my third year of using a Learning Management System (LMS) that enables me to continue instruction outside of the classroom by offering discussion posts that students can comment on from their home or dorms as well as the ability to contact me at any time without having to make an appointment. The easy format of the LMS allows me to post assignments, homework, upload documents, create hyperlinks and allow for students who may be traveling with an athletic team and miss class to keep up and ask for help. Students can also collaborate with each more easily.

As for branding overall, like Carolyn, our marketing and branding is already in place. It is crucial however, for teachers to follow the guidelines provided by the school such as current logos, taglines, and using images that belong to our school and are more recent. In the past teachers have used clip art, pulled pictures off of the Internet and made up their own version of our logos to create flyers, eblasts, etc. Our marketing department works hard at branding our school, and are updating staff and faculty regularly on current logo usage, and other branding such as specific colors to use, the proper mascot graphic, etc. They are encouraged to contact the marketing department for any print and digital media that they need so that everything is uniform and easily recognizable as being our school brand.

carolyn brown

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 6:08 PM - Permalink

Having an online presence that connects learners to more resources and opportunities than the instructional materials you use in your class is crucial. Many students believe that learning only happens in the classroom (online or off). My online presence is often their first connection to the larger world of online learning that is not class-based. That said it is relatively difficult for me to brand this effort, since I teach in a State college and almost everything I do is branded by the college. Any ideas as to how to disconnect or extend the brand away from college would be appreciated.

Adobe Education

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 2:42 AM - Permalink

@ Mike - Nicole is right! We love your work and are so lucky to have you sharing it with us here on the AEE.

@ Kelley - We ABSOLUTELY agree with Mike (thanks for the link) - such amazing stuff you're doing. Please do share your resources, experiences, and so on here on the AEE. We're sure many in our community would love to see your work.

@ Marc and Nicole (and another example) - you've built a pretty great brand yourselves!

@Dan - like Mike - you're starting a great presence here on the AEE. For all of you - does that help with your brand?


~Adobe Education

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 2:03 AM - Permalink

Nicole: you're too nice. :)

Kelley: Epic response. You're inspiring! And you have to post this story on the Exchange for others to benefit from. What a learning adventure for the kids! (Can't wait to meet you in person this summer at Adobe.)

Kelly Kermode

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 1:35 AM - Permalink

I can say from experience that having an online presence, and fostering its growth, is extremely important and beneficial. As far as a "brand" goes, I am still figuring that part out. My career and passions are so varied that I don't want to pigeonhole myself and miss making connections. I try to simply present myself as a creative, a teacher, and a learner. Specifically, the actions I try and take on a regular basis include: post pictures of my classroom, my school, my life; write online; publish articles; tweet regularly; update online resumes/portfolio sites (work-in-progress); and create and publish something creative on a frequent basis.

My biggest motivation for doing all of this is to model for my students. Model online presence. Model lifelong learning. Model how to brand oneself. They RARELY get to see this, and well, they need to be able to ask questions, give feedback, and evaluate what works and what doesn't. Their feedback has been invaluable. They are ruthless and honest, and I love it. If I publish something, I often ask them for feedback immediately. They detect tone, they detect an uncommon cultural reference, they detect the lifelong lesson. They see someone growing professionally, taking risks, and reaching out. Sometimes I ask them to define me off of my online presence. It's a funny discussion - and it creates a dialogue to help us all understand what actions online mean.

While I was busy having kids, I stopped posting stuff online. It definitely hurt me professionally. I did all of these cool, innovative, creative activities with my students and staff, but I didn't share it online. No one knew. And that's just what I was giving to the community. I didn't realize how much I missed out until I became active again online. With that said, when I was ready to come back, the support was overwhelming. I have not looked back.

When you have a voice online, when you represent yourself, everyone can know you without being in the same room. People can recognize your vision, your passion, your commitment. I have had teachers a mile down the road talk to me about something I updated on my profile. They could recognize that I was a resource to them, and it drew a deeper connection. It allowed for better sharing. Having an online presence has also increased my relationships with students. That's what they do... they want to "preview" a person before investing time in someone. If they can google me, and find out what makes me tick, then it allows for better conversations in class.

I am not sure how to encapsulate in a small comment how important community is in our profession. I would be nothing without my peers. They inspire me everyday. They push me to be better. My online presence also serves as a reflection of the people with whom I surround myself. I don't know how that fits in the branding discussion, but it is a small truth about online identity. A big portion of that online presence is what you give back to those who help you grow.

Piper, I hope this helps with the questions you posed. Let me know if you want any more information, specific case examples, or specific websites.

Nicole Dalesio

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 1:24 AM - Permalink

Mike, You are so humble. It's not by sheer dumb luck! I am sure it had to do with the quality of the content! I love your "share everything" attitude. In education, if you are not willing to share everything, I think you are in the wrong business!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 12:49 AM - Permalink

Hi Piper,

It's through sheer dumb luck that The Mac Lab has become a recognizable brand of sorts. (Google it to see for yourself.) When I began teaching (as a second career) in 2002, I also began recording and uploading video tutorials to enable my kids to work at their own pace. A couple of years later, the email began arriving. (I don't add metadata or play search engine games. I just uploaded my resources.)

At first, I recorded silent movies like these (we had no funding for headphones) then expanded to richer, more developed videos like these. Today, I maintain a blog that's a little more than four years old. In that time, people from over 9,000 cities in 184 countries and territories (and all 50 states) have accounted for more than 2 million pageviews (and that doesn't count any hits on the older video tutorials).

I don't particularly like Facebook or Linkedin but I do tweet from time to time. Outside of my blog, my main outreach mechanism is right here on Adobe's Education Exchange. I firmly believe in radical openness—sharing everything, but I'm not really driven to building a brand.

If you are, my best advice, to paraphrase a favorite movie of mine, is to just build it, and they'll come.

As for the difference, well, the kids are always amazed that so many others are paying attention to what we're doing in our little classroom. It raises the bar and as you well know, when expectations rise, student achievement usually follows.

Mark DuBois

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 12:34 AM - Permalink

A personal brand is very important these days. There is no guarantee that a given job will last as long as you think. Therefore, it is important to have a brand and be consistent. Obviously, one should convey a high level of professionalism. It is also important that we, as educators, set a model for others. Definitely, this is something we should develop and improve daily. Every interaction and message we convey helps or detracts.

Dan Armstrong

Posted on Apr 22, 2013 11:58 PM - Permalink

Well I know somethings I use to understand how my personal brand ranks. First I don't have a web page but I have no excuse for that. The tools are easy to use and in most cases I understand them anyway I just don't make time to do it. That being said and having admitted that it's my own fault some things I have done include: checking in on to keep up to speed with how my online presence is. I'm trying to keep twitter updated along with Facebook. There is a lot to do but I think a great way to take care of a person brand would be to set aside 10-15 each day that you could post something to the web to dedicate to the effort of a personal brand. I know it's critical and can give you some big bargaining chips when it comes to getting a new job.