You, the Main Event: Using a Personal Brand to Reach Your Audience
Chances are, if you visit an art museum, you will be able to differentiate paintings by Claude Monet from those belonging to Pablo Picasso. Artists have their own styles, aesthetics and subject matter—they have personal brands that set them apart from other creatives.
In the same way, your personal brand gives you a unique edge, helps you cater to your target audience and boosts your overall recognition.
How does one build a personal brand?
Is it possible to develop a brand even if one isn’t media savvy?
Before we explore the benefits and process of personal branding, let me preface by saying not everyone is designed to be media superstars. In fact, personal branding is less about exposure and more about recognition, loyal following and longevity.
For five years, I worked to pinpoint my personal brand. I tried different color schemes on my social media, struggled to find my own media voice and failed to create a lasting brand over-and-over again. After many bouts of frustration, I concluded: Personal branding is all about knowing myself and knowing my niche—it’s not an acting gig where I get to try on different personas.
Before you can solidify your personal brand, you must first:
- Know yourself
- And know your niche.
Who are you? What are your goals? What do you want to achieve? Who would be interested in your content? What do they want and need? How can you reach them?
Getting to know yourself takes years of trial-and-error. However, once you answer the questions above, you’re ready to begin the personal branding journey.
Social media is a labyrinth of algorithms, influencers and excessive content. Attempting to develop a personal brand and audience through platforms like Instagram and Facebook may seem daunting.
Things to remember:
- It is better to have a small, loyal audience that engages with your content than a large following that steers clear of your posts.
- Social media fame doesn’t happen overnight. To gain followers, you must be consistent.
- There is room for you in the social media world.
Things to keep in mind while constructing your social media:
- Unity needs to be your number one priority. Unless your content is unified by your message, voice and color scheme, your personal brand will be indistinct.
- Know your voice, then include it in your posts. Pinpoint the “most you” way of writing and use that style in your captions.
- Choose a color scheme and stick with it. Your social media pages should have similar aesthetic.
- Content is king. Be sure to offer your followers valuable information, pictures, etc. that encourage them to return to your pages. If the content aligns with your message and style, it will strengthen your personal brand,
Lastly, give yourself grace to grow. No one was born a social media guru. Those who seem to have a knack for personal branding perfected their skills over time. When you fail, try again. Always look for ways to better understand yourself and your audience.
If your brand succeeds, so will your personal business.