Someone once asked the comedian Bill Murray during an interview ‘How does it feel to be you?’ He answered the question by talking about the awesome feeling of being yourself. He explained that ‘the only way you’ll ever know what it is to be you, is if you work your best at being you.’ In a way, it’s a great statement to remember while we discuss personal branding. As much as it’s about being consistent and staying busy on social media it’s also about finding your own niche where you can be successful and stay genuine to yourself. Once you’ve figured out who you are, it’s possible to grow as this person, become an expert in your field and have an audience that follows you for your expertise.
Your Personal Brand and Your Professional Brand
There are two parts to becoming a great brand: you need to be good at what you do and look good while you do it. As an influencer, you are a leader in your field, so whether this is fashion, fitness or travelling, think of yourself as someone who knows a lot and has a lot of advice to give. You can think of your audience as made of people who want to learn from you and be inspired by your lifestyle. Here are some tips about managing your image, while growing as the expert you are.
When business people talk about branding it’s about their professional brand, but as influencers your personal and professional brand are combined in your profiles. As you know, it’s important for you to get personal and share more than professional aspects of your life. For this reason all the different aspects of your life that’s online from your work day to your Friday night must be consistent with your brand.
2. Continually Shift Your Brand:
Intuitively we know that we can improve our content by continually learning from our audience and adjusting. Once you’ve found the perfect content-fit for your audience, you’ll be able to more easily grow a following from that type of audience. Now consider shifting your personal brand as well. If certain people are interested in learning about dieting from a fitness influencer, you could attract more of this audience in your following by branding yourself as an expert in both dieting and fitness.
3. Be Everywhere:
Your personal brand should be present in more than one digital channel. Create your personal blog on a website with a contact page and an about page. Get your name on online publications in your industry. You can apply to become a contributor and send content for them to repost. Once your brand message and image is crafted it becomes easier to make design and content decisions as well. Creating a website can lead to many new decisions, but keep your brand in mind and these decisions won’t be nearly as hard to make.
4. Hone Your Uniqueness:
Work on yourself, your IG, your website, your offline activities, hone your skills and hone the uniqueness of your message. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know your area of expertise and those areas you need to learn more about? Do you know what values you really live by in your day-to-day life? Being able to answer these questions will help you communicate a clearer and more consistent message to your audience.
Instagram Personal Branding Tips
5. Work on your hashtag game:
Find hashtags specific to your industry, hashtags that represent what you are and some that are new and creative. For one, being smart with your use of hashtags will allow you to win over followers from small online communities. It will also help your current followers know what community you consider yourself part of.
6. Get the bio right:
Be fresh, be unique, but most importantly be you. The bio needs to quickly summarize your brand and explain to followers what they should expect from you.
7. Interact on and off Instagram with leaders in your niche:
Don’t hesitate to leave comments on posts of bigger influencers and to send them an email if you want to collaborate or learn from them. It’s always a good idea to connect and surround yourself with people that are also experts in their niche.
8. Stick to your brand and to your theme:
You can look at a social media post as a means of refining the reason behind your personal brand. With every post you publish, you solidify your image in the minds of your audience. It’s for this reason that you shouldn’t complexify your brand by posting about too many different topics. Your posts should always complement your brand image and never break from it.
9. Cross-promote on different channels.
All platforms are best suited for a specific type of content, so promote different faces of your brand through your different media channels. For instance, save your best visual content for Instagram, Facebook for short-form posts and your blog for longer stories where you have the space to go in depth on a particular subject.
Offline Personal Branding Tips
10. Join professional associations:
Although it may be more difficult if your niche is very specific, you should always look for a professional associations to join. There are also exists a wide range of associations and societies for all of your hobbies and interests. Joining them will help you get recognition as well as allow you to meet others in the same field as yourself.
11. Continue to build your brand locally:
Try to achieve local coverage for your project from the press, from local influencers and from other publications that have significant audiences. If you’re particularly interested, this was the topic of our last article.
12. Book a speaking engagement:
This will be a challenge when starting off, but being able to confidently speak about your topic in front of an audience is a great skill to practice. The skill transfers to video content and to speaking on your topic on other mediums such as TV or radio.
13. Join industry events:
If you want to grow your personal brand, there is no better way than to participate in local events where fellow influencers and potential followers will be in attendance. Grow your network, learn about the industry and have a great time doing it.
Personal branding can be similar to branding a company, but as Bill Murray mentions there is also the personal aspect of finding yourself to never forget. It’s up to you to look at all the challenges of personal branding and to create something that feels awesome to you. Through the process of becoming a better social media influencer, try to remember that everything you do is also helping you find your true authentic self.