How To Build A Personal Brand

Be bold. Be real. Be you.

I may not be an expert, but I’ve definitely learned a lot about building a personal brand over the years. I started my digital journey using an anonymous pseudonym “MorganFreeman7” in May 2011. But as I quickly gained followers in those first few months, it wasn’t long before I realized how important it is to create a strong, authentic personal brand. Rebranding & revealing my true self as “Denise Joyce” was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. So whether you’re just starting out or hoping to improve with hopes of growing & retaining your audience, here are my tips on how to build your personal brand.

Be you.

The first thing that I learned creating content as “MorganFreeman7” was that I didn’t want to gain followers as someone else. Every time I gained a new YouTube subscriber, I felt ashamed that I was hiding behind an anonymous screen name & referring to myself as “Moe”. Don’t build your personal brand around a facade. Authenticity allows your audience to get to know the real you. Your brand should be a reflection of who you are, what you believe, & what you stand for.

If you don’t come across as authentic to your audience, it’s much harder for them to relate & believe in what you have to say. Though I gained a good amount of followers as “MorganFreeman7”, I constantly felt disingenuous. Building a personal brand requires developing an understanding of your true self & choosing to share that person with the world. Don’t be afraid to take off your mask & be vulnerable! Believe me, your audience will appreciate it. 

Build your online presence.

The way you project yourself online becomes your public persona, so you need to be aware of how you’re appearing and coming across to your audience. Be sure to build your online presence in a way that represents your true self & improve upon it on an ongoing basis.
Every so often, take some time out to evaluate your social media profiles. Your online presence should accurately reflect your persona as you continue grow & change. You will always be your best PR, so be sure to interact with your audience as well as other creators in your industry. Even if you get anxious & shy interacting with new people like I do, just go for it! You never know what opportunities await you if you just take a risk & put yourself out there. 

Keep learning.

Industries are constantly changing, so depending on your niche/area(s) of interest, it’s important to stay relevant and up-to-date with new trends. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle if you can’t keep up with any new changes within your market. 
Even if you’re not actively creating content, I encourage you to keep learning. Read books, read blogs, listen to podcasts, or watch videos. Your next exciting burst of inspiration can come from a variety of outlets. I’ve always been an advocate of learning, developing new skills, & expanding your knowledge. I refuse to be complacent.

Be kind to yourself.

Especially if you’re just starting out, understand that it takes a lot of time to build your personal brand. Don’t beat yourself up & compare yourself to someone else who much further along on their journey. As long as you keep moving forward at your own pace, you’ll eventually find what works best for you. 

It’s also good to recognize when you need to take a step back & relax. (Don’t worry – even I have trouble doing this!) In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been told that I’m “overly ambitious” & “addicted to the hustle”. Despite the sincere concern from my peers over my well-being, I usually brush off these types of comments, because I like being driven and ambitious. 

I prefer to wake up each day with purpose & determination, but like they say too much anything is bad for you. Be sure to pay attention to your mind & your body. You’re not going to accomplish much if you end up exhausted mentally & physically. Taking a break doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your dreams, it just means you’re human. Feel free to also check out my recent blog post about my secret to staying productive, if you need help finding the time for self-care!

XO Denise

pastry and boiled egg on plate

My Unemployment Routine

After many contract extensions, my consulting contract with Adobe officially ended on June 25, 2021. I am still so blessed & grateful to Adobe for keeping me employed through the COVID-19 pandemic. But with vaccinations & the world slowly reopening again, it was time for me to finally say goodbye. I’ve never been one to be lazy. From a very young age, I began to establish routines to stay productive, & that is why I’m going to share my unemployment routine today. I hope it helps inspire any of you who are lacking in motivation & productivity to create your own.

The Importance of a Routine

At only three years old, I established my very 1st-morning routine. I still remember waking up, brushing my teeth, getting dressed, pretending to put on makeup in my Dad’s car, getting dropped off at pre-school, saying hello to my teachers, & heading straight to the snack bar for my morning Fruit Roll-Up. lol it’s ok if you don’t believe that I have a clear memory from when I was three, but if I close my eyes, I can still see myself going through it. As an introvert, my mind is always deep in thought, & I personally love a routine to keep me productive as well as ensure that I’m taking care of myself.

My Unemployment Routine

So let’s get into my unemployment routine! Please keep in mind that I adjust as needed for Zoom readings, Job Interviews, etc.

7:25 am | Wake-Up
  • Walk Pogi
  • Feed Pogi
  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Shower
  • Breakfast
8:45 am | XO Denise Joyce Daily Card Pulls
9:00 am | XO Denise Joyce
  • Post to Instagram & TikTok
  • Engagement with my Followers on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, & YouTube
  • Analyze & update XO Denise Joyce Engagement & Growth Analytics
  • Check Emails
    • Reply to reading requests
    • Send reading reminders for that day’s scheduled Zoom readings
  • Do my Hair & Makeup
  • Cleanse my workspace with my Camaya Healing Sprays
  • Fulfill paid Instagram & Twitter DM intuitive card reading requests
  • Fulfill paid digital intuitive card reading requests
  • Set up & cleanse my filming space with my Camaya Healing Sprays
  • Film 2 – 4 General Energy Intuitive Card Readings for YouTube
12:00 pm | Lunch
  • Walk Pogi
  • Prepare a salad or sandwich
  • Cuddle & play with Pogi
  • YouTube Sound Bath Meditation
  • Cup of Tea (Green or Peppermint)
1:00 pm | XO Denise Joyce
  • Edit YouTube videos
  • Create YouTube thumbnails
  • Upload & schedule YouTube videos
  • Schedule YouTube Tweets for when the videos are live
2:00 pm | Zoom
  • Job Interviews
  • Zoom card readings
  • Fulfill any additional paid Instagram & Twitter DM intuitive card reading requests
  • Fulfill any additional paid digital intuitive card reading requests
4:00 pm | Job Search
  • Apply to new job opportunities
  • Interview prep
  • Follow up with Recruiters
6:00 pm | Dinner
  • Walk Pogi
  • Feed Pogi
  • Cook Dinner
  • Eat Dinner
8:00 pm | Workout
  • Abs
  • Arms
  • Squats
  • Just Dance or Peloton Ride
  • Shower
9:00 pm | Relax
  • Video Games
  • Watch TV
10:00 pm | No more screens!
11:00 pm | Get ready for bed

How My Unemployment Routine Has Helped Me

If COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have taught me anything, it’s that without a routine in place, it would be easy for me to stop taking care of myself. Last month, I could have been neglecting Pogi, sleeping in until noon, ordering DoorDash every day instead of cooking, & not working out. But instead, I’m busier & more productive than ever because I’m working to create a beautiful & successful life for myself.

Do you have a daily routine? How do you ensure that you stay productive? Let me know in a comment below.

XO Denise

beige and black hat near swimming pool

How To Stay Healthy This Summer

If I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that the real “hot girls” are actually “healthy” girls. Getting lots of attention from guys, having a ton of options, & partying all Summer long is not on my personal Summer bucket list. But being happy & healthy is always my top priority. Here’s how I plan to stay healthy this Summer!

How To Stay Healthy This Summer

Watch the Sunrise

It’s a well-known fact that it’s a good idea to start your day early. While I don’t necessarily mean that you need to wake up every day before the sun, taking the time to get up earlier than usual to watch the sky change colors as the sun peeks over the horizon is good for your mental health.

Drink Water

With the warmer temperatures, you’re going to be sweating a lot more. Drinking water will help replenish your body as well as give you glowing skin. It’ll also curb your appetite so that you can stay on the go without getting hungry before your usual mealtimes.

Eat Fresh Fruit & Veggies

When you do get hungry, I highly encourage you to eat more fresh fruit & veggies. They’re packed with healthy nutrients as well as water to help you refuel throughout the day, without being calorie-dense or high in salt or processed sugar.

Cook

Summer is a great time to try new recipes! With lots of popular cooking methods, such as baking, grilling on a BBQ, using an air fryer, or the classic stove, there are so many delicious, healthy recipes on Pinterest! I try to cook at least one new recipe a week, so I can continue to flex my cooking skills.

Go to the Beach

Nothing says Summertime like the beach. I love feeling the sand between my toes, & saltwater does wonders for my hair & skin. I always feel like a beautiful, ethereal mermaid at the beach.

Swim

If you can’t make it to the beach to swim or spend some time splashing around in the water, I recommend going to a public pool or finding a friend with access to a pool. I’m lucky enough to have a rooftop pool at my apartment building in Oakland, CA. On the warmest days, I find myself always taking the time to go swimming whenever I can. Not only is it a great way to cool down, but it’s also a fun way to work out. I love swimming laps for cardio as well as other pool-friendly exercises for strength!

Hike

Hiking is one of my favorite ways to work out as well as spend time out in nature. I have a few hiking vlogs on my YouTube channel with a couple of local, East Bay hikes. One of the best things about the Bay Area is the mild climate & different terrains. There are so many different hikes available on All Trails, & you can filter them by difficulty & length.

Volunteer

I love giving back to my local community. In the past, I’ve volunteered with the San Francisco Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity East Bay, as well as local homeless shelters & senior care homes. During COVID-19, I also signed up for Letters to Seniors to help combat social isolation by writing letters to senior citizens.

Watch the Sunset

Just as important as waking up early to watch the sunrise, it’s equally important to slow down at the end of your day to watch the sunset. I’m always in awe at how the colors of any sunset are never the same. That’s why with these long Summer days, I always take a quiet moment to myself to watch the sunset & the sky change colors over downtown Oakland, or wherever I happen to be that day.

Stargaze

It’s hard to see the stars when you live in Downtown Oakland. But when I’m visiting family or camping, I always have to look up at the stars & think about how we are also just a tiny sparkling speck in the universe.

It’s time for us to forget about “Hot Girl Summer”. Summer isn’t about dieting so you can take pictures in a bikini to get likes on Instagram. Summer is about enjoying the sunlight & longer days while they’re here. Summer should be a celebration of who you are & what you love.

What are you doing to stay healthy this Summer?

XO Denise

tray of fruits and coffee near powered on laptop on brown table

Things to Stop Doing on Social Media

The past 7 months of 2021 are the happiest months that I’ve had since Social Media came on the scene in the early 2000s. At 10 years old, my dad allowed me to create my first AOL screen name, dkjoyce. Then, at 11 years old, I taught myself HTML & JavaScript coding & created my first website “Neecie’s Mystic Universe” hosted by Angelfire. Since 1999, I’ve been maintaining a public online presence, which ultimately became the demise of my happiness. Beginning with MySpace, followed by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., I got caught up in the world of who has the most friends/followers, likes, & retweets/shares. While I thought getting validation from others made me happy, instead, I realize now that it’s everything I’ve stopped doing that’s made me the happiest. That said, if you’ve been looking for solutions to help your mental health, here’s a list of things to STOP doing on Social Media.

Things to STOP Doing on Social Media:

  1. Believing that your Social Media channels determine your self-worth
  2. Checking who has viewed your Instagram Stories
  3. Comparing yourself to others
  4. Deleting posts or tweets that don’t have enough engagement
  5. Feeling embarrassed about the things that give you joy
  6. Following celebrities or influencers who make you feel bad about yourself or your life
  7. Reading old comments, DMs, & threads
  8. Refreshing your notifications
  9. Scrolling back in time & dwelling about the past
  10. Trying to impress others

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Remember, Social Media is everyone’s life through rose-colored glasses. Do not let having amazing content to post, a huge following, or more likes than the average person determine how you perceive yourself. Personally, I hate the Memories tab on Facebook. Now, when I see something that I posted for attention from 10+ years ago, I delete it immediately. I now use my Social Media as a visual journal & a platform to share who I truly am & what I love with the world.

XO Denise