In today’s super-connected digital world everything you do, say, and create online leaves a footprint of who you are. And this makes part of your personal brand.
As a creator or influencer, you should aim to create a strong personal brand from the very first moment you start with your business since it will make you stand out from the crowd.
But first thing’s first. What is a personal brand?
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is the public’s perception of you. It is how you present yourself as an individual and it involves several aspects like:
The way you communicate who you are and what you want to be known for
How you share your skills and how you add value to your audience
The way you stand out from your competition
Effective personal branding also involves the way in which you control the narrative around who you are and what you can offer.
Why is a personal brand so important?
As the entrepreneur and public figure, Gary Vaynerchuk states, “Your personal brand is your reputation. And your reputation in perpetuity is the foundation of your career.”
Except for the people who know you personally, what people who don’t know you think, feel, and say about you is based on what they find online.
When developing your personal brand, it's essential to be you. The fact that you are so active on social media platforms like Instagram means that creating a “persona” is not an option anymore.
Continuing with what Gary V says, "You can't have 'multiple personalities' anymore for business, family, and everything else. You are who you are now, in this world."
Why do creators and influencers need a strong personal brand?
As a content creator or influencer (or an aspiring one), having a strong personal brand should be the top of your priorities (before thinking about followers, likes, or reels views).
Personal branding is the process of building a substantial reputation among your audience.
This means to make sure you interact constantly with your audience and create a meaningful impact through your content.
A strong personal brand will not only help you stand out from other creators but will help you build trust among your audience and have an impact on people’s choices and opinions.
What are the benefits of having a strong personal brand?
1. Making connections & networking
Personal branding will help you build a trustworthy connection in your niche or industry.
A personal brand can go beyond the digital world too. Making connections with other creators in your niche is fundamental for your business growth.
2. Helps you build credibility
Personal branding helps you to establish your name as an expert and thought leader in your niche.
Besides this, personal branding will help you to create a long-lasting impression.
Remember 92% of people believe in recommendations from individuals over companies, so building credibility as a creator or influencer can get you a lot of benefits.
3. It will help you achieve your goals easily
Whether you want to work with brands, offer your services, or sell something to your audience. A strong personal brand will allow you to do so.
When you connect with your audience on an emotional level, you better transfer your messages, values and they are more likely to do what you tell them to.
How can creators and influencers develop a strong and long-lasting personal brand?
1. Your values are the foundation
As a content creator or influencer with an engaged audience, you will be able to communicate any message and have the power of influence over many people.
This is why it’s so important to start by identifying your core values.
These values should represent your personal brand from A to Z and everything you do, post, and say should align with them.
If you’re having trouble finding those values, you can use this list to find the ones that resonate the most with your personality. Choose the top 5 and organize them in order of importance.
Communicating your core values with your audience will help you build trust and it will definitely help you stand out from the noise in this social media world.
2. Create a vision, mission, and values statement for your personal brand
I know, I know… Many of you are not selling anything, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a clear vision, mission, and values statement like any other brand.
Remember that in the end you are selling yourself as a creator or influencer and building a mission and vision statement based on your core values will help you stay true to your purpose.
In case you didn’t know, your mission will help you identify what you hope to achieve as a creator and your vision shows how it will look like.
Think about the following:
How do you want your followers to see you?
What message do you want to deliver?
What do you want to be the search results when people search for your name?
What practical skills do you have to offer?
What do you want to accomplish as a creator?
How can you incorporate your values into your personal brand?
3. Define your niche (or niche down even more)
It’s no mystery that the influencer space is becoming ultra-competitive for people’s attention and you need to find ways of standing out.
When you have a clear niche or niche down you will find why users should be listening to you instead of others.
Finding your niche and target audience is crucial to build your business as a creator, make sure you are creating the right type of content for the right people and it will help you succeed in the long run.
4. Identify your audience
Now that you have your mission, vision, and niche, it’s time to figure who are you going to be creating content for.
One HUGE mistake I see many creators doing is that they create content for themselves. This is alright if this is a hobby.
But if you want to take this seriously, you need to take yourself out of the equation and start creating content for them.
Just like identifying your niche, you must be very specific about your target audience to avoid being too broad and unfocused. Remember that when you try to speak to everyone, you end up speaking to no one!
Things to keep in mind when you’re identifying your audience:
Interest and hobbies
Stage of life
Problems they need solving and how can you help them solve it
What platforms are they active on
What influencers and brands do they follow
Hashtags and search terms they lookup
5. Create a strategy
Once you have identified your core values, mission, vision, niche, and audience, you have to put it all together to create your content strategy.
Check out my blog post on how to create a content strategy for your personal brand on Instagram to help you achieve your goals as a creator.
Creating a strategy as a creator shouldn’t just limit to what you do on Instagram, but outside of Instagram too.
Think about the following things:
Creating a website using a personal brand theme
Creating a blog
Posts across multiple social media platforms (I use TikTok, Pinterest, Linkedin, and of course Instagram)
Sponsorships with different brands
Contests or giveaways for your followers
Collaborating with other influencers
If you’re keen on growing your personal brand and your business as a creator, you should really think beyond Instagram and beyond the online world.
Your personal brand should be present online and offline. I know it’s been hard after the pandemic to attend any kind of event, but you should definitely search if there are any local events for influencers and consider attending.
Networking will not only help create additional exposure for your personal brand, but it will also give you access to new ideas, tips, and tricks from others who are trying to accomplish the same thing.
Also, you shouldn’t only network with other creators but with brands and PR agencies. Reach out to PR agencies in your area to make sure they keep you updated on future events and opportunities.
7. Find a coach
Getting started in such a saturated and competitive space can be scary and overwhelming. Finding a coach o a mentor can help you navigate this online world easily, especially if you’re a new creator.
You can start by reaching out to other creators in your field and building a relationship with them. Once you have established a bond with them you can start asking for advice.
If you want to take it to the next level you can start working with a coach so that they can provide you with valuable tips for building your personal brand on a constant basis.
Your personal brand is your digital footprint on Instagram and all the online space. Build a personal brand that is authentic, that is relatable, and that is true to your values.
Build a personal brand you are proud of and one that will be remembered.
If your goal is to build your personal brand on Instagram and beyond, you can join my Side-Hustler to Full-Time creator program, where I’ll help you achieve your goals with the power of content and social media.