Over the years, we have seen plenty of brands come and go. It's not easy to create a personal brand that stands out in a sea of other online businesses vying for attention. Your personal brand identity is all about connecting with people on a deep level by letting them know what makes you different from other people and businesses in the same industry. These are the images, videos, designs, words, and experiences that represent who you are and what you stand for. They can be subtle or they can be bold — they just have to be authentic to who you are as a person or business.
The key to your brand being successful is making sure that it has its own unique voice. You are going to want to build a platform that's all your own and make it clear that you are the one in control. Before you do anything else, you need to really understand who you are and what you're trying to accomplish both in your business life and on social media. This is different for everyone, but there are a few things that can help you get started.
- Make your audience feel like they can relate to you by sharing your journey.
You may not realize it, but as a business owner or content creator, you are constantly building trust with your audience. Whether you realize it or not, your audience has faith in you because they can see the results of your hard work. The more transparent you are with your audience, the more they will trust you. One of the most effective ways to do this is to share the behind-the-scenes process that goes into your work, and why you take the steps that you do. Let's say you own a clothing company and want to tell your audience about how you design new pieces. Instead of simply posting a picture of the final product, share a little bit of information on how this piece came together, including any obstacles that stood in your way during production. By sharing more of your process, you are demonstrating more transparency and ultimately more authenticity. This makes you and your work more relatable.
2. Owning your own story gives you the power to share that story with others.
Your audience wants to know you. They want to feel like they can connect with you. They want to be inspired by your story. After all, if you can't connect with them on a personal level, why should they trust you? So when telling the story of your business, don't just tell them about the product or service you are selling. Tell them how you came up with the idea. Tell them about the small steps it took to get where you are now. And tell them why it's important to you that they enjoy what you have created for them. And as an added bonus (because who doesn't love an extra bonus?), studies have shown that stories are more memorable than statistics and data points so if your customers are walking away from a conversation with you knowing a little bit more about you as a person—and not just a company—you are more likely to stand out in their minds.
- Let your own special qualities become your signature.
At a basic level, your brand is what makes you who you are. It's a collection of all the unique traits, characteristics, and details that make up your personality. A strong brand is not just about what we say or how we look; it is about who we really are. Think about it this way: your brand is like a signature—and as such, it should be unique to you and should encompass everything that makes you the person you are. Branding yourself provides authenticity in your words and actions because it allows people to see the real you and how you truly feel about certain things. For example, if you are a writer, your brand would serve as a representation of your professionalism and expertise in the area of copywriting. It can also be used to establish a reputation for honesty or transparency. It's important to remember, however, your brand simply means making yourself known in an authentic way so that people can relate to who you are and what you have to offer.
- Embrace the highs and lows of your creative journey.
There is a reason why the "real" or "authentic" social media posts are the most popular. Truly authentic social media is often more transparent in nature. It shares the full range of experiences: the ups and the downs and everything in between. People like to see that other people — even strangers on the other side of the world — have problems too. It helps them feel more connected, and it can be an important reminder that you're not alone in your journey as a business owner or content creator. We are all human, so we can relate to other people's experiences. The key is to own up to your mistakes and be willing to show vulnerability with your audience when you fail. They will appreciate your honesty, and it will help them trust you more as an authority. And you will become more authentic in the process.