Branding 101: 5 Ways to Define Your Personal Brand

Defining a personal brand can be challenging; you’re likely a multi-passionate, multi-talented person, trying to nail down just a few sides of yourself for your website or a product you’re producing. That’s something that a lot of creative people (myself included) struggle with. While it really comes down to just putting out the best version of the product that you possibly can, there are a few branding tools you can use that don’t require a lot of extra time or money. I am a Marketing gal by trade, and I recognize certain aspects of that profession that very easily translate into blogging or branding on a person to person scale (as opposed to large business to consumer); they’re kind of like personality traits that you are transferring outside of yourself and into your product. I would like to offer 5 to get you started:

Keep it simple

When defining your personal brand, it’s best to keep it as simple as possible for your audience to understand, while still conveying as much information as they need to know to make a decision about whether to read your site, or use your product. It can be tough to whittle down the complexities of your personality, passion or business into a few key points—it is sometimes hard work for me as well--but it’s a necessary evil when defining your brand. You only have a few moments to make an impression and hold someone’s attention. Start out by detailing your entire vision; then pull out the most important points, and use them to form your elevator pitch; then finally limit that pitch to the single most important keyword phrase. There’s always time to share details when you’re having a more engaged, two-way conversation.

To use this site by way of example:

(Site description) Pish Posh Perfect is a Baltimore-area based life and style blog, whose moniker was actually inspired by my son's mocking me about wanting everything to be "pish posh perfect", as he puts it, with my style and in our home! I know that life will never be perfect, but it can be a healthy, stylish and well-organized life! Pish Posh Perfect is dedicated to achieving just that. You’ll find tips on beauty, lifestyle, home décor, organization and style—all targeted at inspiring you to live your own version of a style savvy life. 

(Elevator pitch) Pish Posh Perfect is a life and style blog focused on living a healthy, stylish and organized life. I share anecdotes about my own life, as well as tips, links, information and visual inspiration that I think can help any woman to live a style savvy life—whatever that looks like for her. 

(Tagline) Pish Posh Perfect | A Style Savvy Life 

Maintain consistency across platforms

It’s important for a brand to maintain the same look, feel and image—especially across multiple platforms. A reader or user should be able to instantly recognize if the page that they are looking at is yours. Maintaining the same--or very similar—information in your bios, keeping a consistent photo/avatar and leveraging your site design for all of your social media outlets are all ways that can help your brand to be recognized. Using similar visuals for most of your posts is another way to do so, as executing with the same font, graphics, photo editing style, etc helps people to know without much interaction with what they are viewing, that it came from or is aligned with your brand. 

Use your authentic voice

When establishing and defining your brand: boldly be who you are. It’s your authentic and unique voice that’s going to draw people to you, and that will make them want to stay. In modern media, being relatable helps to make your brand viable. People want to feel like they have a peek behind the curtain, or that they are a part of a community. Consumerism is much less about consumption when it comes to social media platforms, and more about interaction and loyalty building {tweet this}.

Share the love

Lending itself to the sense of community is the linking of like minds and similar platforms in order to mutually benefit both brands via partnership. Being selfish, and expecting other people to like, share and interact with your content, without giving that in turn, will be quickly recognized and you’ll ultimately see your efforts fall flat. If, instead, you are interacting with people in a similar space, it feels like a win/win for both parties. Share others’ content, whether it’s via your social outlets, or on your blog through linking. That’s when part of your brand reputation becomes that of a team player and someone with whom others will enjoy working.

Don’t be afraid to change

You may find that you need to tweak the definition of your brand over time, and as long as the nuts and bolts stay the same, that’s okay. You will likely identify with your brand and content in varying ways as it grows, and you’ll want to express that. Like anything, your brand will evolve and you’ll know when you’ve gotten it just right. And so will your audience. You’ll likely begin to see gains in your readership and in the opportunities that are presented to you. This is another instance where authenticity comes into play. In the beginning you may have emulated the style of someone whom you admire; but as you find your footing your own intuition becomes much louder and your voice, much clearer.

There are certainly other factors that play into marketing your brand, but it’s easy to get a head start on those efforts by outlining a clear definition of who you are. It helps people to relate to you and it helps them to become brand ambassadors for you as well. When they’re describing this site or that product that they love so much to their friends, they know exactly the words to use to convey the sentiment and send that referral your way.