Are you an influencer, creator, or small business owner looking to level up your online presence? In this blog post, we’ll talk about how to polish your personal brand to help you stand out from the crowd.
What Is Personal Branding?
A personal brand consists of values, a story, imagery, qualities, etc. that represent you as a creator. It is a specifically tailored image that you’re in control of—you choose how people see you.
Why Is Personal Branding Important?
A personal brand can endear you to your audience, help you build trust, and establish your credibility. When done effectively, it can help differentiate your brand from the competition and even help you simplify your content creation process.
How Can I Improve My Personal Branding?
Check out these ten tips to enhance your brand and help you grow your business.
Clear Things Up
Can you define your brand clearly and concisely with just a few words? If not, it’s time to think about simplifying things. Take a look at some popular creators and brands you like and try to think of three words that define them. If they’ve done their branding well, this should be an easy task. For example, YouTuber lilsimsie’s words would most likely be “The Sims 4,” “family-friendly,” and “vegetarian.” Fiber artist Knot Bad can be described with “crochet,” “metal,” and “Yarn Punk.”
What words do you want to be known for? Brainstorm a few and try to incorporate them in your branding, along with all of the content you create to improve your brand clarity.
Keep Your Brand Image Consistent
Great branding means keeping your image consistent across social media and beyond. After all, if McDonald’s let their “golden arches” sometimes appear bronze or silver, the brand wouldn’t have the powerful recognition that it does today. Make sure you’re using the same typography, color palette, logo, and imagery on all of your sites. Start by making your Link Space bio page fit with your brand’s image. From there, ensure every link you add to it follows the same style.
Clean Up Your Act
Take some time to google your name and clear out any social media images or posts that don’t align with your brand. If you used your Instagram as a personal photo album but switched to using it for your business somewhere along the way, think about deleting or at least privating any photos that distract from your branding. If there are any old logos or other branding elements of yours lurking around the internet, make sure you update them or wipe them out.
Steal Like an Artist
Learning how to 'steal like an artist' can help make your website, storefront, or social media look more professional. While copying the work of others is wrong, taking inspiration from others is a common practice among artists. They follow a strict code of ethics and only take one idea from an artist or body of work to use in their own designs. For example, an artist may be inspired by one trait from two artists they admire, such as flowing lines from one and color palettes from the other. To improve your personal branding, make a list of people you're inspired by and think about one thing each of them do really well. As far as your website, you can create a similar layout, color palette, or typography style from a website you admire, but remember to take use only one thing as inspiration. If you copy someone else's work, it's not ethical or original.
Level Up Your Photography Skills
Continuing with improving the appearance of your online presence, let’s talk about photography. The quality of images used on your website and social media profiles can make or break your business. Depending on your skills and budget, it may be worth hiring a professional photographer to get the look you’re after. If you’re more of a DIY type of person, there are loads of great photography tutorials available, including ours on how to improve your flat lay photos.
Use Social Media Strategically
Social media is an essential tool for building your personal brand, but simply posting whatever you feel like won't get you very far. To make the most of your social media presence, you need to have a strong strategy in place. First, consider which platforms are most relevant to your brand and audience. For example, Instagram and TikTok are popular among influencers and creatives, while LinkedIn is ideal for professionals and business owners. Next, think about the type of content you want to share, how often you'll post, and the best times to post on your preferred platform. A content calendar will be your best friend (we talk about content calendars and more in our post on how to stay organized as a content creator). Finally, make sure you learn how to use the analytics tools offered for your platform and pay attention to how your content is performing.
Network Like a Pro
Networking is crucial for building relationships and growing your personal brand. But how do you do it effectively? Start by identifying the people in your niche that you admire and want to connect with. Next, you need to establish a relationship by interacting with their content in an authentic way. Leave thoughtful comments, share their posts (if permissible), and tag them when appropriate. Over time, you may become mutuals. If not, you can still reach out in a low-pressure, friendly way to ask how they feel about collaborations.
Another way to expand your network is to join online communities related to your niche. This could be a Facebook group or a subreddit where you can connect with like-minded individuals, share and receive tips, and find good matches for collaborations. Remember, networking is all about building and nurturing relationships, so make sure to approach it with a genuine interest in connecting with others and how you can mutually benefit from collaborating. To learn more about how to network, check out our article on collaborating with other influencers.
Be You, but Better
These days, savvy internet users have a sixth sense for inauthenticity. If you’re being fake on camera, odds are, people are going to notice. It’s difficult to watch people in videos who are stiff, stuffy, and obviously reading from a script. That said, being too relaxed or rambling on camera can make you seem unpolished. The trick is to find a happy medium.
How friendly you should choose to appear on camera will differ from brand to brand. For example, a life coach may choose to act how they would in a job interview while a fashion influencer may opt to speak like they’re chatting with an old friend. Either way, it’s important to put your best foot forward while still being your genuine, authentic self.
Pro Tip: A teleprompter tool, like the one created by Talk Studio, can help you record videos at a natural pace. As always, practice makes progress. The more videos you record, the better you’ll get at speaking on camera.
Make it Memorable
In today's crowded online space, it's more important than ever to make your personal brand stand out. Furthermore, research has shown that the attention spans in this digital age are dwindling. You’ll need to find a way to grab your audience’s attention and hold it. Start by identifying the unique qualities and characteristics that make your brand special. You don’t need to resort to gimmicks (though they can sometimes work, depending on how they’re executed). You just need to find that certain “something” that will give your brand an extra edge—whatever that “something” is is up to you.
Play the Long Game
Most of us spend a lot of time thinking about the here and now without giving thought to the future. While no one can predict what will happen down the road, it’s important to think about your brand in terms of years, not months. As you create content, think about how it will age. Are you creating valuable content that can be used long-term or just hopping on trends? Thinking about the kind of legacy you want to leave can positively impact your content creation. There are tons of YouTubers who have stopped uploading but still make a profit from their solid, useful videos. Thinking about the kind of legacy you want to leave can positively impact your content creation.
Hopefully these tips have given you an idea on how you can enhance your personal brand, improve your brand clarity, and stand out as a content creator or small business owner. Though it might not happen overnight, good branding will improve your online presence and establish you as a trusted authority in your niche.