Personal branding is the best decision as a creative entrepreneur that you can make. It allows you to connect with your audience on several levels. It creates distinction from any other brand in your industry because those people aren’t you and no one has your exact story. Developing a personal brand can be hard for some because they see industry veterans make it look so easy. Sometimes we tend to look at the success of others and we follow suit in their actions. We can’t start out like this! We must focus on what we do best and how we can help our customers all while staying true to ourselves.
The best advice ever given to me when developing my personal brand was to always give value and be myself. I’ve noticed a trend of things that emerging business owners are doing that creates a perception they don’t want across their digital platforms. These trends are in the comments of other business pages, comments on my own page, and conversations in facebook forums that I participate in. When you are in the beginning stages of your business, there are a few things that you should avoid. I am going to share 5 mistakes that emerging entrepreneurs are do when developing their brand plus provide solutions to fix it:
Mistake #1 – Not Sharing Your Story
The number one mistake that I see new business owners make is not sharing your story and connecting with your audience. You ask for a sale without establishing a connection with your audience first. Although there are many ways to connect with your audience, telling your personal story is one of the most effective ways! When we attract customers and visitors on our digital platforms, there is a curiosity that most people have of wanting to know the face behind the brand. Many people miss this step because they have an urgency to make a sale or grow a following. All these things are fine. However, making a sale and growing a following that truly cares about you and your brand will come after you’ve established trust.
Solution: Tell your story through your captions or photos on social media. Or, you can post your story on your website on your bio/about page or through your blog. Telling your story is extremely important in connecting with your audience.
People love to know your background and experiences. They want to know how you’ve overcome fear or how you learned your niche. They want to know what you are doing now to keep a consistent business or make sales. They also want to know what’s next for your brand. Be transparent. Don’t hold back. Your story could help someone, encourage someone, uplift someone or bless someone in ways you won’t know. The best thing you can do for your audience is to allow them to understand, sympathize or empathize your journey to help them along with their journey!
Mistake #2 – Following the Leader
It’s so easy to look at the vets in your industry. While I am an advocate of modeling what works, I believe there is a balance between doing what works and making it your own. Just because a certain system or theme works for someone else, doesn’t mean you have to do it. If your brand personality is a minimalist brand and you love simplicity, your brand visuals should reflect that. If your brand personality is bold, vibrant, and youthful, your brand visuals should reflect that.
Brand visuals are extremely important because they attract your ideal clients and targeted audience. The tone your brand plays a big part in the type followers you gain. All these things must align, but it will be hard to develop a brand that represents your true self when you develop a style that looks like everyone else. For example, most bloggers have clean white photos that look pure and fresh. This is perfect for the person who truly loves pure-white and clean elements. This style is not perfect for the person who has the most bubbly, vibrant, youthful brand personality. Don’t get me wrong. The industry standard is white space on your website for maximum readability, but the brand style (colors, fonts, textures and patterns) don’t have to look like everyone else’s.
Solution: Research the adjectives associated with your personality. Are you outspoken, bold, or girly? Do you like soft colors or loud neon colors? Why? Find those colors that people associate with the adjectives of your personality. Example: If you are passionate, bold, and loving, you’d probably choose feminine colors of pink or a stronger color of red. Create a brand style that is true to YOU to create distinction for your brand. Avoid creating a style that looks like everyone else’s style. If you need any assistance with understanding brand color, style, and personality, keep reading, I have something for you!
Mistake #3 – Inconsistent Style
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any design skills or you can’t afford to pay a graphic designer to create graphics that compliment your brand style. Many business owners are very inconsistent with the content they post and the visuals of their brand. It makes it harder for people to remember your brand when you don’t have a consistent brand identity that’s memorable. Using inconsistent color schemes and fonts in your visuals will take your audience longer to remember your brand. This is important especially if someone else decides to share your content. Not creating a consistent style will immediately affect the amount of time people will remember and connect with your brand.
Solution: Create a brand style and stick to it. Choose a color pattern that aligns with your brand tone and personality and stick with it. Choose brand fonts for your entire digital platform and stick with it. Create a style for your graphics. Create a specific tone for your brand and stay consistent. Consistency is key. Staying consistent in all of these areas will help your audience remember you and connect with you because of these things alone. I teach all of these things in my ecourse Build a Stellar Brand Identity. To learn more about creating your stellar brand, .
Mistake #4 – Mixing business with pleasure
Failing to create a clear focal point for new social media and website visitors is another mistake business owners make. It’s totally fine to humanize your brand by showing your family or pets, but it’s not fine to post them more than you share valuable content or business related content on your business pages. Mixing business with personal photos should be done in moderation. If you have a business page, be sure that people can tell you what do immediately when they visit. This doesn’t mean only updating your bio to show what you do and who you serve. This means that the photos you post should reflect what your bio states as well.
Solution: Create a separate business page and stay consistent with posting business related photos and graphics to build your brand and increase brand awareness. You can always use the 80/20 rule. Post 80% of business related content and photos and use the other 20% for personal photos just to keep your brand humanized. Make sure your bio reflects exactly what you do and who you serve. Post valuable content that reflects your title, brand, and business. Remember to post personal photos in moderation, or create a personal page to post all the family and pet photos you’d like!
Mistake #5 – Failing to establish authority
This one is BIG you guys! Many times may we have our story together, we may have our own style, we are consistent with our brand style, and we are consistently posting business related content that aligns with our bios but we fail to prove why we are an expert in our fields. This mistake is kind of related to telling our story, but this focuses on what makes us money. Whatever we are in our fields, a specialist, guru, expert or whatever your title is, we must use our knowledge to show our audience that we can provide proven methods, systems, techniques to help them accomplish their goals. In other words, we answer these simple questions easily by establishing our authority:
Who are you? What makes you different? How will this help me?
Solution: Provide valuable content by sharing video or blog content of how you make your products, you working behind the scenes, of you providing a service (especially if you are in the beauty industry), or informing your audience of different uses of products. If you need help with consistently providing content, you can download my free ebook, 30 Ways to Create Content for Social Media and Web, by.