In part one of our introduction into personal branding for South African creatives, we introduced the concept of personal branding and spoke about why it’s so important. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you can find it right here.
As promised, in part two, we will be giving you five guidelines that you can follow in order to strategically build your own personal brand.
1. Find Your Brand Story
Storytelling has become more important than ever, with many branding professionals citing that the story behind your business (or your brand story) is just as important as the business itself.
When trying to find your brand story, you need to ask yourself a set of identifying questions. Consider the following examples:
Why do you do what you do?
What are your core values?
What is your vision for the future?
What do you want to be known for? Think beyond your art.
What are some of your personal characteristics and traits that you can weave into your brand?
Once you’ve managed to answer these questions, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions moving forward. You’ll now be able to understand what to post, what not to post, what to say, what not to say and what types of organisations or projects you should and shouldn’t align yourself with.
2. Find Your WOW Factor
Your WOW factor is something that not only makes you stand out from your competition, but it makes you stand out - period! It is important to understand that what makes you unique and different is already there, it’s part of who you are - you just need to uncover it, clearly define it, and then share it.
The aim is to create a “wow” that stands out over and above your product, skill or service offering.
3. Identify Your Niche Market
The sooner we come to accept that not EVERYONE is our ideal client, the sooner we can hone in on the people that really matter. Keeping your message focused on your niche market/target audience will make it that much easier to create content around your personal brand, and have others define you.
A good place to start when thinking about your target audience is to develop what we call “your perfect client profile”. Think about things like:
Their desires and aspirations:
Their pain points and challenges:
Once you know the type of client you want to engage with, think about where you’ll find them. Join Facebook groups that focus on your topic, follow hashtags on Instagram, look for Twitter lists and attend relevant events.
4. Authenticity is everything!
Your personal brand should not be a persona that you’re putting on. Branding is not about
positioning yourself as something that you are not. It’s about purposefully and strategically
showcasing your authentic self to your audience and your customers. Your personal brand should be a true reflection of your skills, passions, values, and beliefs.
While you’re trying to find your brand-story, carve your niche and identify your WOW factor, it can be easy to put forward the versions of yourself that live in your head, but it’s important to be realistic. Take the time to self-reflect when crafting your brand and make sure that you’ll be able to live up to what you’re putting forward.
5. Consistency is key!
This is probably THE most important tip of all. You will build a better and more impactful personal brand once you’re consistent in your brands’ image, tone and message. You want to market yourself in a way that people can easily remember, and the only way to do that is to reinforce your messages consistently.
That rounds up our summary of guidelines that you can follow to build an impactful personal brand. Remember, personal branding is a lifelong project that constantly evolves and changes. Even the experts who build or work on the biggest brands in the world, know that there are no hard-set rules for creating the perfect personal brand, just like there are no hard-set rules to being the perfect person.
If you’d like to gain more insight into this topic, and explore them in depth, check out our YouTube channel.
The Creators Guide – South Africa’s guide to doing business in the creative industries.