How To Figure Out “Your Personal Brand”
Welcome back to That’s Money, Honey! Dani from Blonde In The District and my series on all things blogging and social media.
Dani and I decided to start our blogger series with the topic of personal branding because it’s absolutely crucial to know what you want your business to look like before you take the plunge. Branding roughly translates to your personality and the vibes you give off when people visit your website. While it includes the colors and fonts you use to convey your message, it is much more of a MOOD that you exude.
Think of your personal brand as a direct reflection of your personality. You can’t create a brand that you don’t completely embody – it just wouldn’t work. I think Dani and I both have pretty obvious brands, but here’s my take. Dani is glamorous, body-positive, fun-loving, Kanye-obsessed, and wouldn’t be caught dead camping. I’m feminine, city-girl, jet-setting, champagne-obsessed, a little weird, with a hint of retro vibes. Oh and cats, we both love cats.
I included side by side photos throughout the post so you can see how we portray our personal brands differently! I think it will help bring context to each topic.
So in today’s post I’ll go into 3 broader topics you can use to consider your personal brand. I’ll give you some initial questions you should ask yourself in the initial stages of your branding. Then I’ll dive into what your personal brand looks like, in a more tangible way. And finally, we’ll discuss your ideal audience.
1. So What Exactly Is Your Personality?
I know, it is hard to look internally. I don’t mean what you want your personality to be – be honest with yourself. The only way this works is to be yourself, or you simply won’t last. Here are some initial questions that will help you figure out your vibe. Writing the answers down really helps.
What are good at?
What do you want to teach your friends and family?
How are you unique? With all the bloggers out there, you have to bring something new to the table. It doesn’t have to be as niche as “I only wear purple” because that’s not realistic, and I doubt you’d find enough of those people to follow you, haha. Even just being “you” is enough of a unique spin. Are you a Korean skincare guru? Are you fabulous at cooking gluten-free dishes? Do you have a unique personal style?
How would your best friends describe you? Sometimes our friends would describe us differently than we see ourselves. I suggest actually asking them to give you 3-4 words.
What is your writing style? Do you even like to write? Formal, brief, sarcastic, lengthy?
How will you portray an emotion? With photographs, words? colors?
Thinking about the answers to these questions will help you focus and get you excited to begin your personal branding.
2. What Does Your Personal Brand Look Like?
Take A Look Around You.
If you’re not sure about your personal brand, take a look around you. What does your clothing collection look like? Is it all brights, or mostly neutrals? Practical or whimsical? How about your home, job, travels, and hobbies? Camping or glamping?
I had a friend who used a grayish filter on all her photographs for years until she took a look at her closet and home and realized that she is naturally a vibrant, colorful person. Although the gray filter was “cool and trendy” at the time, she ditched it for her own unique and colorful self, and it has helped her grow miles and miles.
Write down the words that come to you during your observations, and that will help you pick a vibe, color scheme, and tone to your blog.
On what topics do your friends and family ask you for advice?
Do they constantly ask you where you scored that deal? Do they want help styling certain pieces? On what topics are you truly an expert?
What things do you love reading about, writing about, and/or watching?
When I was a kid I used to subscribe to every fashion magazine. I styled my dolls’ hair, sewed elaborate doll outfits, and would watch the real housewives to drool over their outfits, hair, and make up. The highlight of my life was when mom and I would go shopping for new school clothes, and now, my husband has to indulge me while I walk through department stores for the sole purpose of soaking up inspiration. Dig deep and find that “thing” that makes your heart flutter.
3. Who Is Your Ideal Reader?
It is super important to know to whom you are giving advice. It sounds a like a vague exercise, but try to imagine your ideal reader. Think specifically, like age, gender, where they live, education, personal tastes, hobbies, personality, and daily struggles. Once you have an ideal reader profile, you can begin to create your content to help solve their problems.
When I’m a little stuck, I always go back to my ideal reader. What does she need right now? Focusing on her makes me feel like I’m talking and writing specifically to a person who needs my advice, which automatically makes me more focused and on brand.
Once you start to see the bigger picture, you can start to formulate color schemes, photography style, captions, and letting your personality shine through. You’ll know which brands to align yourself with, and which to turn down. This is a huge topic, and we’re only skimming the surface, but following these guidelines will lead you in the right direction.
And remember: finding your personal brand doesn’t have to happen overnight, it is a process. It’s okay for your brand to be an evolving entity that changes with YOU!
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