Brand Yourself Before You Get Branded
In a world where Instagram is vital to life itself and a “handle” has become a second identity, it’s easy to see why “personal branding” has become so important. Social media has surpassed its initial design as “just as networking tool” and rather become much more. From a resume, to an international platform-social media has become its own public sphere. In fact, it’s where we get all of our information, our favorite coffee shops, and even find our next date.
Although you might not be a commercial ad or article in a magazine, you are still communicating with an online audience and thus, branding yourself. Branding is about personifying a set of beliefs, likes, interests. It represents something and in this case, it represents you.
Everything you like, tweet, repost, or share now defines how you are perceived by others. So, while a picture is worth a thousand words, what exactly do you want those words to be saying?
Branding is easy to do but is much harder to undo. So, here’s a few tips on how to brand yourself before getting branded.
First and foremost, do your research. Get inspired. Take a look around and get a feel for what you like, what speaks to you and what stands out. Not only will this help you get to know yourself, it will also help set you apart from the crowd through your own individuality.
KNOW YO’ SELF:
The second tip and probably the most important to personal branding is: KNOWING. YOUR. PERSON. Who are you? What are you trying to say? How are you saying it? Give yourself three adjective that describe who you are and the words you want to be associated with. These words will now be the basis on which your brand is built.
KNOW YOUR VOICE
Who is it that is looking at your content or looking to you? What do they like? What are they drawn to? Knowing your audience will help you appeal to your audience but DON’T get this confused with people pleasing. Being unique is just as important as appealing to a group of people. Knowing who is looking at your page will help you gage what you are showing and how you are presenting it- rather than determine it.
What is it that sets you apart from the crowd? Is it your voice, your style, your content? Find what it is that makes you unique and play to that. Inspiration is vital to creative expression, but make sure to always give it a personal touch. Take what you like and make it your OWN. Social media is all about connection and authenticity is important in building a relationship with your audience. People will always be drawn to what’s real rather than what is imitated.
Being consistent with your message and style is what is going to make you identifiable. Patterns aren’t always beneficial but when it comes to brand identity, it is important. If you want people to associate a specific image or voice with your brand, you have constantly show it to them.
Your brand is who YOU are. So when in doubt, follow its guide.