Building a personal brand is one of the most important aspects when trying to make yourself with the millions of Instagrammers already in the industry. If your goal on Instagram is to be a professional content creator, blogger or to monetize, then this article is for you. Your personal brand is what sets you apart from the others, the thing that makes you uniquely you. It lets your followers know what to expect from you, what brands and PR firms can expect from you, and ultimately is a huge contributing factor to a successful Instagram.
If you’re confused about what building a personal brand is, think about a clothing brand, or any other brand for that matter. A clothing brand needs to set the tone for its market to they can understand who or what the brand is. It needs branding guidelines like a logo, branding materials like color palettes and intangible things like corporate culture. For influencers, that translates over into having an aesthetic for your feed, a style or type of content that you’re dedicated to creating, a consistent way of presenting yourself and a tone of voice you write with. In this article, we’re sharing helpful tips to building a personal brand successfully to help you get started on the right track.
Building A Personal Brand 101
Tip #1: Choose An Aesthetic
If you missed our previous article, Picking an Instagram Theme, be sure to check it out, because when building a personal brand on Instagram this is the first step. In short, choosing an overall theme or vibe for your feed will help achieve consistency and a pleasing aesthetic. A consistent aesthetic and editing style also play a big role in securing paid jobs on Instagram. So when choosing your theme, go with a vibe that truly fits your personal style and tastes, are you bright and bubbly? Then go with something bright. If your style is on the edgier side go for a them that’s dark toned. It’s much less risky for a company to invest in an influencer who has a set style and has confidence in what they could expect, over an influencer who was inconsistent in their look.
Tip #2: Connect with Your Audience
Image from @SivanAlya
Connecting with your audience is a really important factor in building a personal brand, and more importantly, getting people on board with it. One of our favorite content creators + bloggers, Sivan Ayla, has mastered this art. Sivan, of @sivanayla, has 253k loyal followers and not one of them has a single question about who she is and what her brand is. This blogger has been able to achieve such amazing success in building a personal brand for a number of reasons, one of which being personal jokes that are carried through IG stories, personal DMs, and photo captions. This consistency has essentially given her inside jokes with thousands of people and gives people real changes to know her personality and who she is as a person. It’s incredibly important factors that have contributed to both the loyalty of her follower base and the strength of her personal brand.
Tip #3: Make a Brand Guideline for Yourself
This might seem like a strange concept, but when building a personal brand, creating a branding guideline for yourself and how you want to position yourself in the industry is super important. Writing it all down and having the guide to refer back to will help keep you focused and on-brand at all times. What you include in your brand guideline will vary based on the type of creator you’re aiming to be, but some elements might include:
- Color concepts
- Editing themes/preferred filters
- Logo concepts for a blog/business cards/marketing materials/branding in general
- Areas of focus (fashion, photography, beauty, etc.)
- Mood boards
Tip #4: Be Consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to building a personal brand for yourself. Be both consistent and persistent in how you present yourself to brands, industry contacts, fellow bloggers, and especially to your followers. Consistency is what solidifies your value from a monetary standpoint, but also from a follower-to-creator perspective. For example, if you’re a beauty blogger, or cover beauty on your Instagram, it’s important to consistently post beauty content in order to brand yourself as a “beauty blogger” in the industry. The same concept is true across all sectors and categories.
We once heard someone that in the first 12 “blocks” of content on Instagram, you should be able to determine who someone is, what they cover and what their focus is. If you reflect on your own Instagram and can’t determine who/what your focus is in the first 12 photos/videos, then it’s time to switch up your strategy.
Tip #5: Be Smart with Your Collaborations
One of the most important tips we can give you for building a personal brand is to be smart with your collaborations. By “smart,” we mean that your collaborations should make sense for your personal brand (and for theirs). Going back to the example of a beauty blogger/influencer, if you’re trying to focus on makeup, collaborations with cosmetic brands, other beauty bloggers and skincare companies make a ton of sense. On the opposite end of that, it would not be beneficial, and could potentially be harmful to your personal brand, to partner with people/companies that were off-brand to a makeup blogger, like Energy Drinks, for example.
Despite payment, or potential growth opportunities, it’s important not to confuse your personal brand, or the perception of it, by taking collaborations that don’t fit what you’re ultimately about. It’s super important to remember that when building a personal brand.