3 things that will propel your brand forward (and 3 things that WON'T) | Tips for successful personal branding
It's 2018 and personal branding is more important now than ever. Once upon a time the term "branding" was only applicable to companies, but with social media being such a large part of our lives these days the way we present ourselves, not only offline but online as well, is super important.
So what is personal branding? Basically, it's how others would describe you when you're not in the room. An effective personal brand is what makes you stand out from others in the that are in the same field as you. Personable branding is what makes you memorable.
Personal branding can either go really right or really wrong. Whichever way it goes, however, is majorly up to you. You are in charge of the image of yourself that you present to others and your first impression weighs heavily on this image.
There are definitely ways that you can help propel your brand forward, and there are also ways you can hold your own brand back. Let's highlight three ways to move your brand in the right direction and three pitfalls to avoid along the way.
what will work: Providing value
In my opinion, the most important part of establishing a brand is providing value of some sort. A brand operating without some type of established value it plans to provide is just a brand taking up space. It's a brand that's easily forgettable. And if you remember when we discussed personal branding earlier, the overall goal is to be memorable.
There are many different ways in which you can provide value to your audience. You can uplift your audience by providing them with a laugh through humor or inspiration of some sort or you can educate your audience on a specific topic.
Whichever route you decide to take, the most important factor is that you're intentional and operate with a purpose. When you climb in your car to head to a destination, do you simply turn on the GPS and allow it to take you wherever it fancies? Or do you input the address beforehand to ensure you end up where you need to go? Hopefully, you do the latter.
You have to think of your brand in the same way. You have to sit in the driver's seat and steer your brand in the way you need it to go. You can't just rely on your brand to build itself in a positive manner. It takes intention and effort.
What won't work: simply having a curated feed
Now, hear me out. Yes, having a curated feed is nice. Yes, it might attract followers. Yes, people might remember you. But what will they remember? "She has a pretty feed" .....and then what?
Having a curated feed with no value behind it is like having a meal made up entirely of sweets. Yes, it tastes good and it might even be memorable. But there's no nutrition behind it. It helps you in no way. And eventually, you'll need to find something more fulfilling that sustains you. Don't be the sweets, y'all. Be the salmon with a side of kale seasoned with garlic. Tasty AND super nutritional. That's the way to build an effective brand.
What will work: Consistency with intention
Gone are the days where consistency alone could help you build a brand. This point ties in to point #1: you must not only be consistent, but you must be consistent with your value.
The saying "out of sight, out of mind isn't a catch phrase for no reason. It's very true that if you give people an opportunity to forget you, they will. You want your brand to be memorable, and what's more memorable than someone who shows up consistently? And by show up I don't just mean being present. I mean being present AND intentional in the way you operate.
Being consistent can backfire if you're consistently offering up trash. It's not just about posting a picture on a regular basis. It's about putting forward ONLY YOUR BEST on a regular basis. Trust me, there's a difference. Make sure you're being consistent, and most important intentional with your consistency.
What won't work: posting a bunch of motivational quotes
Again, don't read into this one more than what I'm stating. There's nothing wrong with motivational quotes. We all need a good one in our lives every once in a while.
But motivational quotes with no action steps behind them are just like eating those meals made of sweets. What good are they truly doing you in the long run? Yes, they feel warm and fuzzy when you read them. They probably even lift your spirits. But that's a temporary feel good situation if you're not taking ACTUAL steps to better your situation.
So then you have to ask yourself: what good are you doing your audience by posting motivation quotes with no action steps Mon - Sun? I'll answer for you in case you can't: none. Yes, your brand may make people feel good but no one talks about a brand that simply makes you feel good. That's not memorable.
Memorable means lasting impressions, and results are what create lasting impressions. Help your audience get results, and they'll not only remember your brand but want to encourage others to believe in your brand as well.
What will work: investing in yourself
This is another big one. BIG ONE. Everything is not a DIY situation, guys. Sometimes in order to get others to believe in you, you have to demonstrate that you believe in yourself first.
Before you can ask others to put their trust (via their COINS) in you, you must show that you're willing to put your own coins into the situation.
So what does this mean? How do you invest in yourself? You invest in yourself buy BUYING your domain instead of having www.yourwebsite.blogspot.com. You invest in yourself by hiring a professional photographer instead of uploading that selfie. You invest in yourself by booking a professional makeup artist instead of trying to follow that youtube tutorial that probably won't turn out right.
Put your coins where your belief is. If your belief is in your brand, that's where your coins should be going as well.
Walk it like you talk it, please.
What won't work: taking everyone's advice
I don't ask for everyone's advice because I don't value everyone's advice. That may sound harsh, but I truly believe that's how everyone should operate.
You may think the more opinions you can gather the better off you'll be, but trying to take everyone's advice can oftentimes hold you back. There are many reasons why I don't think you should follow everyone's advice, but the main one is this:
People who can't dream big for themselves can't dream big for you. Not everyone will be able to envision the life you see for yourself, and they won't be able to encourage you/advise you effectively.
Don't let limitations people place on themselves limit you and your abilities. Find people who can see past your "now" and can help you towards your future in whatever way you need.
3 things that WILL propel your brand forward:
1. Be valuable
2. Be consistent and be intentional
3. Be-lieve in yourself
3 Things that won't propel your brand forward
1. A "pretty" feed
2. Endless motivational quotes
3. Valuing everyone's input