Alright, friends. This one is going to be a good one. I packed a ton of information into this post for you because I know that many people are currently transitioning into self-employment or at least want to soon. In case you’re new here, I’ve made it my mission to help those who are new to all this figure it out! I’ve been building my business since 2014 (more on that story here) and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.
As a personal brand myself, I’ve tried and tested; experimented and failed until I got things just right. Now I think I’m pretty good at all this and my brand strategy clients agree. I actually recently realized that one of my strengths is helping people organize their thoughts, find clarity where they feel confused, and overall create space to follow their dreams. That’s what brand strategy is to me.
Anyways… let’s get to what you came here for!
First, we need to start with the definition of a “brand.” At it’s core, a brand is just the perception your audience has of you or your business. It’s what they think of when they hear your name. Which leads to a question I have for you…
Have you ever thought about this? What do you want to be known for long-term? As a personal brand, only a fraction of that should actually be about your products or service. In order to connect with potential clients and customers in a genuine way, you need to share a little more. You need to be human because at the end of the day business is just humans connecting with humans.
This one is no secret in the world of business… If people feel like they know you, like you, and trust you, they will follow and likely buy from you. This one is huge! Let them into your circle and they will do the same.
People understand and connect to stories, especially if they see something of themselves in you. Stories are a huge part of our culture in general. When we’re with friends, we tell stories of what we did while we were apart. We tell our spouses what we did at the end of each day. Stories build relationships, and growing your personal brand online is all about caring for those relationships.
Start to think about how you can weave personal anecdotes and stories into your social media content. Instead of taking a photo of your smoothie with the flavour as the caption, tell a story about your morning. Did anything notable happen? Can you share some valuable insight? What about your favourite smoothie recipe?
With storytelling, you also need to ensure that you stay consistent. People remember those who were there for them on the regular, not just when it’s time to pitch. Consistency helps build authority, which grows your influence.
This ties back into consistent storytelling. If you want to grow your personal brand online, content creation should be your number one priority. However, lots of people who want to grow their brands on social media forget the key here: VALUE.
As a personal brand or business, it’s no longer about you. It’s about your audience. What do they want to see? You don’t post on social media for yourself, but for them. Every time you’re about to post something new, ask yourself: Is this valuable?
You already know that you need to cater to your audience if you want to grow your personal brand online, but you also need to strategically engage with them. That means using the appropriate hashtags, commenting on posts, and overall promoting a sense of community. The goal is to create a community around your brand so others feel connected to you.
There are plenty of engagement methods floating around online, but it all comes down to choosing a plan and maintaining consistency.
A consistent theme across all your social media channels will help you grow your personal brand because people will know what to expect from you. Think of how Jenna Kutcher became the mac and cheese girl! A theme includes: Visual aesthetics and content categories.
Of course, you want your visuals to match across your feed. To achieve a consistent look, try to use the same filter on all photos and videos, or at least a similar editing style. Planning your photos ahead of time in an app like Later will help you achieve your desired look.
As for topics, try to stick to categories that act as umbrellas for all your individual topics to fall under. For example, I talk about entrepreneurship, work-life balance, copy and marketing tips, active living, and some home/lifestyle.
I could talk about branding for hours… really! Ask my husband.
If you take anything from this, it’s that I want you to take action. Get started TODAY! My only regret in business is not starting to create content sooner. If you need a bit of extra guidance, I have plenty of resources available for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners in the shop. Check it out HERE.
I’m here to help if you have any of questions.
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