I vividly remember sitting in my Intro to Strategic Communications course as a sophomore at Butler in 2012. Definitions of PR and advertising were being drilled into my brain and I thought, “this might be the most difficult class I take this semester.”
Turns out, it was the most challenging, but it’s also the first time I actually understood the concept of branding and fell completely in love with it.
You’re seeing influencers and new businesses pop up daily. All of these people are building a personal brand with a unique message and story that is intimate to them.
For those of you who may not quite understand the concept of branding, let me break it down. The idea of branding has been around for a while, but it’s evolved from logos and colors. It’s the root of who you are, what your message is, what problem you solve, and what makes you unique. It separates you from the rest and if done correctly, branding is the ability to become a household name that leaves people feeling a certain way. It’s the way your product, service, or even you are viewed within the marketplace.
It’s critical to have a brand because it can evolve as you evolve. Your audience needs to know why they should trust you, why you are necessary in their life, and why they should be indulging in your content when they grab their phone in the morning. Today, I’m sharing a few ways you can grow your personal brand now.
Even if you have already developed your brand, these personal branding tips are going to be helpful reminders to check in with yourself.
5 Personal Branding Tips to Take your Brand to the Next Level
Identify your area of expertise, your niche.
You can’t be good at everything. This is a harsh reality I’m still working through, but it’s true. When we niche down, we develop a more loyal, authentic tribe that can’t get enough of our content. Be an expert and utilize your strengths to share your knowledge with your community.
But Steph, how do I figure out what I am good at? Well, my friend, I’d refer you to Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. If reading isn’t your thing, then take some time to reflect. Why do you want to be a personal brand? What are you passionate about? Who are you? What do people come to you for? For me, this platform started with fashion because friends were always asking me what to wear, how to style X, and so forth. Since then, I’ve discovered I’m really good at telling stories in an authentic way that allows people to connect to what I share. I work with my brand clients to uncover their messages and I work with my influencer partners to share their products, but I always tie a story to it.
Own your platform
Guys, I love Instagram too, but what if it disappeared tomorrow? What if your account got hacked? Where would your tribe hear about your new blog post, a product you just created, a podcast you launched?
The answer is YOUR WEBSITE. And more importantly, your email list. When you create a website, you own the domain. With an email list, people have opted-in to subscribe to your amazing content. OWN IT. If you spent half the time on your website as you do on Instagram, I promise you’d grow quicker and you don’t have any algorithms to stress about on your personal site.
Identify your audience
You have to know who your tribe is to communicate your message effectively. For example, I’m not talking to people who are looking for advice on how to invest their money. In fact, I’m the last person anyone should come to for financial advice. But if you’re a 25-34 year old female looking for style inspiration, I’ve got you. You can discover your current audience by taking a look at your Google Analytics or your social insights for the platforms your on.
Consistency is key
If you’re tired of hearing this, suck it up, because you’ll hear it over and over. People want to feel like they know you even though they’ve never met you. If you say you’re going to publish 3 blogs a week, do it. Consistency helps your audience know they can trust you and rely on you. It’s important to be consistent with all aspects of your brand from your social presence to your website to product launches. I could easily write an entire blog post on how to be consistent. Hummm….
For goodness sake, show the heck up. No makeup today? Your audience does not care unless you’ve trained them differently. My tribe gets to see me on my worst days because part of my brand is being genuine even in the not so shiny moments. YOU are the unique factor of your brand so be present, show your face, people want to know about you. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that showing up in a live video can create more buzz than a perfectly styled photo because it’s raw, it’s real, and people get that.
These tactics are just the tip of the iceberg for growing a personal brand. Think you need help creating your message to share with your tribe? Check out Trendy Branding. Your story matters and together, we can craft the message you want your audience to hear that will turn them into loyal customers, helping you build the career of your dreams.