Are you trying to grow your follower base on social media? Do you want to develop a strong personal brand and persona for yourself or your business?
It’s time to learn how to establish and boost your personal brand.
Discovering your personal brand is fun. You get to create a persona and build a social media profile around it. But personal branding isn’t as easy as it seems.
We’re here to offer you some advice so you can get your personal brand off the ground and start gathering followers. Keep reading to learn more.
Table of Contents
Do Your Research
Before you start brand building, make sure that you’ve already done your research. Planning ahead is everything if you don’t want to tread water.
Start by researching social media platforms and how they apply to you. When it comes to building a personal brand, it’s best to stick with platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and potentially YouTube depending on your ability to create content.
Many people also start blogs to establish a personal brand. Food and fashion bloggers, for example, display great branding and consistency that helps them build and maintain an audience.
You don’t want to start building a brand with social media marketing without knowing what you’re trying to build.
Learn From The Pros
While you’re doing your research, start investigating other successful brand builders. While many people think that influencers are vapid and that they don’t do any work, in reality, they’re using digital marketing to advance their personal brands.
Most influencers, by the time they make it big, hire management services. That said, unless they’re very lucky at the beginning of their influencing journey, they’re also leveraging their own marketing know-how and creativity to start building an audience.
You can look at influencers that are within your niche. Look at the hashtags they use, the content that they post, and how they interact with their followers.
For variety, also look into influencers that aren’t in your niche.
When you’ve already built your brand it may benefit you to network with these people. This may feel like social climbing, but as long as you develop real relationships with these people it’s just a business relationship.
Take a few tips from Instagram influencers. They already know what they’re doing.
Know Your Own Brand
How can you start displaying your personal brand without knowing what your brand is? Too many people strive to get famous on social media without knowing their own brand identities. This will lead to you spinning your wheels and your audience won’t feel as though you’re being authentic.
Why are you trying to develop a personal brand? Are you growing a business or marketing yourself? Are you a home cook, a fashionista, a makeup guru, a fitness lover, or a lifestyle blogger?
What are you trying to convey to your audience? What do you want from them and how do you want them to benefit from your content?
If you don’t have a clear idea of what your own personal branding should convey, your results will confuse your audience. Have a strong brand identity first.
Determine Your Target Audience
Once you know all about what your brand should be, it should be easy to determine your target audience. This is the easy part.
Too many people try to make their audience “everyone.” They cast a wide net and expect huge results. In reality, this will water down your content and make your brand more confusing.
As an analogy, consider restaurants that offer a wide variety of food and huge menus. Do they ever have high-quality food? Your brand identity is just like that.
Make your “menu” more compact and focus it in one direction. You may focus on one age group, gender, or even personal style. For example, a makeup or beauty influencer may focus on people with a feminine aesthetic and a certain skin type (like mature skin).
When you determine your audience it will be easier to target them with your posts.
Determine Brand Qualities
Your target audience is one element of your brand, but for a successful brand, you want to create cohesive brand qualities. But what qualities should you look for?
Start with your brand voice. Your brand voice is the overall tone and personality that you want your personal brand to convey.
Are you trying to be perky and bright? What about mature and responsible? Maybe you want to seem cool, calm, and collected.
Regardless, this voice should be obvious throughout all of your content. From replies to followers to blog posts, your voice needs to stay the same if you want to build follower trust.
If you’re using an image or video-based platform, develop your brand aesthetic. Instagram grids, for example, look great when you stick with a specific filter, grid pattern, or color scheme.
When you’re trying to grow and nurture your brand identity it’s important that you reach out and engage your followers. This will help you gather more followers and keep the ones that you have.
Always reply to comments. This will make your followers feel seen and it will help with your overall engagement (which makes you more popular and visible on social media platforms).
Before you have a large follower base, consider following other people within your niche and commenting on their content. This may help you build relationships and it will attract followers who are already within your niche because they’ll see that you have similar content.
When you already have established followers, consider making interactive posts. Ask followers to post their favorite emojis, have live videos where you can interact with followers in real-time, or do some kind of challenge and ask your followers to do it too while tagging you. You can even re-post or share their attempts and make them feel more seen.
If you’re lucky, you may even create a challenge that goes viral. Platforms like TikTok are wonderful for this. Have fun with it and be creative.
Follower engagement is huge when it comes to building a brand. Don’t underestimate it.
Consistency is key. When you stay consistent, your followers will know what to expect from you. When you break that consistency, your followers may decide that you’re no longer applying to their interests and leave you behind.
Part of this consistency is just maintaining your brand voice and aesthetic. This is often enough to keep followers around and liking your posts.
Maintain the quality of your posts as well. If you’ve always taken high-quality photos with a good phone or DSLR, don’t switch to your grainy selfie camera for anything that’s going to go on your grid.
Many influencers make the mistake of surprising followers with problematic or political gestures. Even these small and outspoken moments can cost you a large chunk of your audience if they aren’t already a part of your brand. Be cautious.
One of the benefits of using social media to build a personal brand is that your results are measurable even if you aren’t using tools for analytics. As you build a brand, you can see your follower count and levels of engagement rise and fall without having to do any serious calculations.
Track your followers every week. While it’s tempting to obsess over your follower count every time you gain or lose a follower, keep in mind that sometimes sites track incorrectly and that some followers are bots. Those bots may disappear when Instagram cracks down on them.
As long as you’re experiencing steady (albeit slow) growth over time, you’re succeeding.
Be Ready to Make Adjustments
But what if you’re not experiencing steady growth?
If you’ve put a lot of time and patience into your personal branding and you still aren’t gaining new followers, it might be time to make a few adjustments. While consistency is key, a brand that is consistently unsuccessful needs to change.
Make small adjustments to your aesthetic and voice while still staying authentic to yourself. Keep adjusting until you start seeing slow and steady growth.
Start Building Your Personal Brand Today
Building a growing a personal brand on social media can be a lot of fun, but it takes more work than it seems. While influencers may make it look like going viral is a breeze, this isn’t true. They’ve put time and effort into establishing and maintaining their brands to keep their followers interested and engaged.
Remember, personal branding is a type of social media marketing. You’ll need to put your marketing know-how to work if you want to grow.
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