You know those people you follow on social media because they, for lack of better words, seem to really “have their shit together”? There’s a good chance you enjoy content from certain people because they’ve really mastered their personal brand.
Personal branding has become an increasingly thrown around concept with the exponential growth of social media over the past few years. While there are probably a million definitions out there that are similar to one another, the idea goes like this--everything you enjoy in the world, whether it be your favorite clothing brand, your favorite actor, or even your favorite brand of coffee, they all have a brand. Brands align with values, which draw in followers. Naturally, people, to some extent, have their own brand offline and online as well.
Maybe you’ve already started building your personal brand, or you’re completely new to this. These tips are great to follow as a rule of thumb as you start cultivating your own brand!
- Find inspiration. Obviously you probably already follow your favorite influencers and bloggers. Find what it is that you really like about them. Is it their creative Instagram stories, the colors they incorporate in their photos, or what subjects their content usually covers? Once you figure out which elements you like the most, you can start including them into your own brand. It is important, however, to make sure you’re pulling from a variety of sources of inspiration. Don’t just make your brand a mirror image of somebody else’s brand! You should only take inspiration, not imitation from others.
- Use aesthetics that speak to you. Are there certain colors that really speak to you? Or, maybe you really like a certain pattern. Find different ways that you can incorporate this into your lifestyle. Form cohesion within the things that you own to really assume that aesthetic as a part of your brand. You can then transform this into the content you create--find the tones that really evoke emotion. For example, do you like the way that the sun looks when it’s shining? How can you capture that in your content creation or bring it out in photos through presets?
- Accept that your brand is constantly evolving. No person’s brand is the same throughout their life, just like how your personality and interests change slowly over time. You should always be encouraging shifts in your brand as they occur naturally as you grow, but make sure that you avoid drastic changes and hold onto some key characteristics to ease in transitional phases.
Personal branding is more than what you present online through social media, it’s also incorporated into your lifestyle. This can be from choices you make in what you consume to things you prioritize and devote your time to. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different options in these areas while you’re deciding what fits your branding more. If you decide that something isn’t working out for you (a certain workout, maybe wardrobe choices, i.e. dressing more casual everyday) don’t be afraid to switch it up! Again, taking inspiration is important but at the end of the day, it’s about what makes you groove and feel best.
Hopefully these tips gave you something to think about as you start to (or continue to!) build your personal brand. If you ever have any questions, feel free to message me on Instagram, I’d love to chat!
Geneve Lau (@genevelau) is a Public Relations major at Boston University. She has had 4+ years of running her own social media account with brand partnerships ranging from Homesick Candles to SiriusXM, Rent the Runway to Primark USA. She has specialized in influencer marketing in a previous role as an integrated marketing intern at Her Campus Media. She has also managed social media pages for various businesses and groups.