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Branding strategies: 6 actionable tactics to build a personal brand

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This guide outlines key branding strategies aimed at developing a strong personal brand.

Branding is essential if you want to be successful long-term. It includes not only a logo and unique lettering but also your tag line, brand colors, and manner of communicating with your target audience. In essence, your brand defines who you are and what you do.

Branding sets you apart from the competition. There are literally tens of millions of companies and entrepreneurs the world over. Potential customers remember images faster and better than text, so a visual brand name will help you stand out from the competition and enable your audience to easily recognize your platforms, products, and/or services.

You’ll need to pay close attention to your branding strategies, as they can be costly or even impossible to change it at a later date. It takes potential buyers only 50 milliseconds to form a first impression after looking at your website, so you’ll need winning branding strategies to draw people in and encourage them to accept what you have to offer.

Personal branding strategies

A corporate brand defines a company and its products/services. This brand remains in place even as employees come and go. The brand will continue to define the company even if the original owner sells the business to a third party.

A personal brand, on the other hand, defines you. It is used by entrepreneurs who want to sell themselves and their services rather than physical products. Tutors, authors, influencers, celebrities, and others use personal branding to cultivate a fan base.

The personal brand, like a company brand, will naturally include a logo, font, defined manner of communicating, and other assets; however, it should be far more personable than a company brand name as you’ll need to forge a strong emotional connection with your target audience in order to retain your position of influence. How do you cultivate an impressive personal brand? These branding strategies will help you get off to a good start.

Branding strategies 1. Define What you Want to Represent

What sets you apart from the competition? Are you an expert in your field with decades of experience in your chosen industry? Do you have unique experiences that would stand out to your target audience? You need to define what you represent before you can use the winning branding strategies that will accurately represent you.

Once you’ve identified your defining qualities, decide on the best format for communicating with your target audience. You could use:

  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Short blog posts
  • Long, detailed blog posts
  • Books
  • White papers and studies
  • Photos

You’ll also need to choose a tone for yourself. Do you want to be known as funny, authoritative, or casual and friendly? Your tone of voice should be consistent across all platforms, so people will know what to expect when they hear from you.

Even more importantly, your tone should align with your core values, authenticity is a key factor consumers consider when deciding which brands to support, so don’t try to be something you’re not. Being true to yourself is a must if you want to succeed long-term.

Branding strategies 2. Understand Everything about Your Audience

Once you’ve defined who you are, it’s time to get to know the people in your target audience. The internet offers a wealth of information on any given demographic; you simply need to do careful research to find out what your target audience needs, wants, and expects.

Another of the branding strategies to get to know your target audience is through social media. Find Facebook groups catering to people in your target audience and see what people have to say about others in your industry or similar industries. If you have a social media channel, set up a survey to ask your followers for their opinion on any given topic. At the same time, look for ways to meet people in your target audience in person. Visit expos, book fairs, and other venues to connect with people, ask them for their honest opinions, and listen carefully to their responses.

Branding strategies 3. Design Your Brand Assets

Your brand assets will include a website design, logo, brand colors, business lettering, and social media profiles. Your brand should be authentic, memorable, and in line with your core values. It should accurately represent what you have to offer so even those who don’t know you can get a glimpse into your personality by looking at your brand name. It should also appeal to your target demographic.

Common logo options:

  • Monogram
  • Lettermark
  • Combined logo (business name with image)
  • Icon
  • Abstract Image
  • Mascot
  • Emblem

If you aren’t sure which type of logo is right for your personal brand, you can use a create a logo a free online logo designer to check out a range of logos and business lettering options in various colors and styles in order to find ones that would be a good fit.

Colors and styles both play a huge role in creating a successful logo. A casual style helps you come across as friendly yet professional, modern fonts stand out as authoritative, while cursive script is friendly and personable. Colors can help define you as approachable, reliable, trustworthy, soothing, energetic, forward-thinking, or eco-friendly.

Your branding strategies must be consistent across all platforms. Branding should be easily recognizable on business cards, letterheads, your website, and social media profiles.

Branding strategies 4. Build Your Marketing Plan

In most cases, you’ll want to start reaching out to your audience online before investing in offline advertising. A good place to start is by identifying the social media platform that will help you reach your target audience and set up accounts on these platforms. LinkedIn is great for professionals targeting business owners and entrepreneurs. Snapchat and TikTok are the platforms of choice for those who want to reach young people. YouTube is great for those specializing in producing audiovisual content.

A good blog can help you rank well in Google, bring in a steady stream of traffic, and provide you with a platform to share your expertise. It cultivates brand loyalty and makes it easy for people to share your content with their friends and acquaintances. As an added benefit, blogging is a good first step to obtaining emails so you can start a successful email marketing campaign.

Paid advertising options also play an important role in helping you generate brand awareness. Consider Google Ads, social media advertising, and even offline advertising to see which options would best meet your needs and budget.

Branding strategies 5. Embrace Networking

An important part of building a personal brand is networking with people who can help you build your audience as you, in turn, help them build theirs.

Networking can help you create partnerships that benefit you, those you work with, and your target audience. If, for instance, you interview an expert in a related field and post the interview for your audience, they will benefit from the insight offered in the interview while the person you interviewed will gain followers from your audience. You will also benefit as the person you interviewed will likely advertise the interview to his/her audience, which will help you gain new customers and followers.

This same point can be applied to other partnerships as well. You can partner with a charity, local companies that offer products/services, you can also use tools to find influencers in your field. You can network with people or entities at conferences, expos, via social media, or on a virtual platform such as Zoom or Skype.

Branding strategies

6. Constantly Refine and Tweak Your Brand

Your brand colors, logo, and branding should remain consistent, but that doesn’t mean you should never make adaptations to your brand. It’s wise to try new things from time to time to see if there are new ways in which you can effectively reach your target audience.

Perhaps, for instance, you use Podcasting as your main means of communication with your target audience. Why not try writing a few articles or transcribing your podcasts to bring in people who prefer text to audio content? If you focus primarily on text, perhaps a live video event would be in order. Maybe your target audience is young women, but you have ideas that could appeal to women in their golden years.

Refining and tweaking your brand is a must if you want to remain relevant long-term. Not all your tweaks will be successful, but if you do careful research before making changes, you will likely find your tweaks help keep your audience engaged while bringing in new fans and followers.

Conclusion

Building an impressive personal brand isn’t an overnight endeavor. It will take time to create a successful brand, grow your audience, and build your reputation. Even so, the effort is sure to be more than worth all the research and hard work you put into making your new brand successful, relatable, and appealing to those who can benefit from all you have to offer.

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