Creating a personal brand is not an easy task but it is something that is becoming more and more essential to so many professions. It can be easy to get lost amongst the competition without a strong brand message but knowing how to create this is an expertise all on its own. We understand that not everyone is an avid campaign manager and we are here to help. At Vanity Studios we often create personal branding profiles for our clients that are bespoke to industry and their personal message. In this article, we boil down our 7 simple steps to get you started in creating and developing a personal brand you can be proud to share.
Let’s get straight in there with the reason why we know what to do with personal branding. It is all about images. You can say so much in a photo and let’s face it, no one will read on unless you grab their attention from the off. So how do you guarantee impact with your images?
First of all, your shots must be professional. Yes, there are some great camera phones and while you might take a great selfie, images that are not professional imply that YOU are not professional. Of course you can throw in some camera phone / lifestyle images on social media but your main photos, banners and site images must be professional. Book a personal branding photoshoot with a photographer that has experience and seems as though they understand the image you want to portray.
The other thing that can be obvious in your images is what you do and what your branding message is. There are many ways you can illustrate this. How you dress is a huge factor and this doesn’t necessarily mean arriving in uniform, although for some professions this is a great choice! Choosing colour and style that suits your profession is ideal but avoid pattern and over accessorising. Use of props in your images can also add to your message provided that these are not heavily associated with other brands.
The good news is, a professional company will offer a detailed consultation and advice on what you need in your images, as well as how to shoot them. Getting the right images is paramount to your personal branding success so do seek advice from those who have experience creating branded imagery.
A clear concise bio which is consistent on all platforms is a must when it comes to personal branding. Being clear about who you are in just a few words can be really difficult, which is why so many people make fundamental mistakes. There are two simple principles to remember with bio writing. Firstly, the shorter the better and secondly simplicity is key. The easiest way to structure your bio is to describe what you do within the first line and what your goal or personal motto is in the second. Any further detail should be kept brief and to the point but be written with a personal touch. The goal of any strong bio is to give the relevant information but with a touch of your brand message. Many people make the mistake of only putting their profession and not adding a unique touch such as a niche area, slogan or tagline. A brand is essentially a personality and if this is communicated in your bio alongside strong imagery, your first impression will count.
With social media being one of the leading marketing tools, it is important to have a presence but when many people start out developing their personal brand, they find themselves bogged down trying to manage multiple social platforms at once. It takes a village to create and share content for so many different channels, which is why companies have entire departments dedicated to it. The key thing when it comes to becoming more visible online as a brand is to be most active on the platform most relevant to your field. It goes without saying that LinkedIn is the choice for more corporate professions whereas Instagram works well for Actors and Models, Twitter for Activists and TikTok is great for Dancers and Musicians.
Studies show that most social media users focus on one platform and just check in with others. Really think about which platform will attract the majority of your audience. This is not to say that you should neglect other platforms but do gear your content towards the one that has the most relevance for you and your target audience will grow. This will build momentum for all your profiles, as you’ll find that followers who really enjoy your content will follow you on other platforms.
To create a recognisable brand, you need to create associations. Aside from photography, additional visual representation can massively strengthen you and your professional message. It’s all about linking your images and information with recognisable features. If you think of any major brand, I bet you can remember what colour their logo and branding is. The same can be applied to personal branding. Choosing colours that link to you and your message is a clever way to be even more recognisable.
Always look into colour psychology before choosing your shade as people naturally link colours to certain feelings and ideas. For example, you very often find that green is associated with health services, yellow for children and young people and pink for beauty services. Selecting a colour that suits you and what you do is all about creating an image that is both clear and recognisable. Just a few touches of a signature colour throughout your site and social media will add to the clarity and impression of your brand.
Another visual association that many personal brands find useful is a logo. As an individual the use of a logo will vary from person to person. A performer for example may not need a logo but people who create a product or piece of artwork can benefit from a logo. Just like colour psychology a strong logo is an immediately recognised feature that people will associate with you. Keep it simple and in your signature colour and your audience will remember and recognise your content.
Having covered the power of visual representation with online content, the other tool we can use to strengthen a brand is sound. It is again, creating another association to increase how recognisable you are. Music naturally triggers the memory centre. Any sound used in your footage, podcasts or slides should be the same track or at least have the same feeling, so that each time someone views your content their memory centre will trigger the association of that sound with you.
When using sound or music, you must consider how this music makes people feel and whether that is the feeling you wish to instil in your viewer. Is your message energetic and upbeat? Are you looking to inspire or motivate? Music is powerful, especially when used as a brand association. Sound provokes a feeling so whatever your message, keep this in mind when choosing yours.
Once you have established your brand image, it is important to be consistent with the content you produce. If every time you post on a public platform, your content has the same overall message, this will persistently strengthen your brand image.
You should always feature your colour scheme and logo within images and graphics. Also, the tone and style of the copy should be similar so using the same writer is advisable with any written content and of course, the music and sound should have the same feel.
If you dip out of your chosen aesthetic and tone, this will instantly weaken your brand so be sure to keep the consistency with anything that can be seen online.
Another key association to make when developing a brand is relative to the leaders in your field. Whose career inspires you? Who has a similar brand message to you? Share their content, follow who they follow and comment on relevant posts. All of this activity will not only link you to your audience via the algorithms this activity generates but also, making an informed comment on a post gets you seen by their followers and flags you up to them. It’s all about increasing visibility in the right areas and becoming known as a similar authority to the leaders in your industry. Connecting with them is one of the best ways to generate this association.
As we’ve established, personal branding is all about associations. Whatever your audience associates you with is what your brand image will be. This message can be delivered through great images and a concise bio but strengthened via colour, graphics, sound and the right affiliations. If you need help in getting started with your personal branding, Vanity Studios have a range of services and photoshoots that will get you on the right track.