I love a good cohesive brand, one that’s the same across the board. When I see a small business or entrepreneur whose brand looks good on their website, in print and on social networks, it tells me several things: that they’ve invested time developing their image; they’re passionate about it; they put a lot of thought into it and didn’t just throw things together.
Well thought-out brands make me want to invest / utilize their services more so than others. Not only does your business brand matter but your personal brand matters as well. Why? Because people want to know who they’re doing business with and who they’re giving their money to.
By definition, Personal Branding is the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd, by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leveraging it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field; establish reputation and credibility, and advance their careers.
In short, image is everything and your brand should be a total package including you, since you are the boss. When branding yourself, keep in mind of three key elements: 1) what do you stand for? 2) what makes you stand out? 3) what makes you so fascinating?
Once those three components are taken care of it should be easy to style your brand for success.
1. Create a Style Guide
Once you figure out your brands style (whether its fun, chic, pretty, modern, eclectic, or a mix) create a style guide / branding board. Figure out your colors, typography, and symbols that you’ll use continuously within your print material and online. Credibility and recognition are achieved much quicker if your look is consistent.
2. Dress the Part
As I said before, you are apart of your brands image. When you’re out and about, you never know who you may run into. Dress for success and dress like you’re the boss of your company. Figure out what works for you and your personalty. Be yourself and look good doing it.
Make sure images used aren’t blurry but clear on line and in print. Your consumers are not able to feel and view your items up close and personal, so photos are important. They need to be as appealing and vibrant as possible. Show your brand utilizing your signature fonts, colors, and icons if any.
4. Social Network It
Don’t just post and leave. Be nice, respond to people when they post comments. This makes you likable.
5. Speak Up
Don’t be shy. Come up with a short description of who you are and what you do. This is sometimes called a 30 second elevator pitch. I call it “business flirting”. You want to be able to tell them who you are and also about your business, but leaving them wanting more. They should want to go home and look you up online as soon as you’re done talking to them.
If your brand isn’t up to par. Take some time out of your day and visit some of the websites and networks of your favorite brands. See how they stay consistent with their branding ; You’ll feel inspired to style your own.