Your Personal Brand and How to Find It
By Ilissa Davis - September 30th, 2019
Figuring out who you are as a brand and finding your own unique voice among a sea of hot-shots can be incredibly overwhelming. This can be especially true if you are just starting out and have a frightening amount of competition lurking in the depths of the media; competition that is established and trusted among your target audience. Your target audience that has yet to give your material the eyes and ears it deserves.
However intimidating this task may be, it is going to be the most rewarding in the long run. Your personal brand is the heart of your work and will always be a safe place to keep you grounded when business becomes stressful—and trust me—it will.
The good news is, you are way more equipped at pinpointing your personal brand than you think. You are searching for this article because you’re a talented individual with skills unlike your peers, and you’ve already ignited the most important tool: hunger. Grab your favorite pen, a piece of paper, and answer the following questions:
Who Are Your Audience?
Your audience, your fans—the people who will fuel your business and drive you to the top of the chain. Who are they? If you are a local Café near a university, maybe your audience are college students between the ages of 18 – 23 looking for a place to study and are also on a tight budget. If you are a fitness blogger, your audience might be health-conscious Instagrammers that need workout motivation and diet tips in their feed. It’s important to be specific and not too broad, because if you can find your appropriate niche, then you can study them more specifically.
The goal is to know your audience and know them freakishly well.
What is Your Brand’s Voice?
Every established business has a voice that is usually communicated through its mission statement, core values, and vision. Amazon’s voice is spoken through their mission statement, which is: “to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” Simple, clearly stated, attainable and most importantly—true.
Your voice will create trust between you and your audience and will underline how they will expect to be treated. Do not claim to be “customer-centric” and then turn around and point fingers at the consumer when a situation gets sticky. Your public reviews will back up whether your brand’s voice matches the actual reality of your tone and steer future business to you, or to your competition. Be wary of the differences between how you say your business operates and how it does operate.
What is Your Talent?
Have faith in yourself; you are talented. It’s so easy to get discouraged in a reality where negativity, judgement and harsh criticism is effortlessly thrown out into the universe and public for you and your fans to see. We see this on every social media platform’s comment section, on blog posts, and hear it from the mouths of dissatisfied individuals during coffee breaks. While it is the reality and it’s not a matter of ‘if’ it will happen, but ‘when’, do not let it destroy your passion. I can’t stress enough how important it is to remember that you are an asset to your brand, and you can create amazing work that is undeniably better than your competition’s.
Whether you are a blogger, product engineer, store owner, or a marketing guru, keep your earliest works and the ones you are most proud of nearby. Turn to the work you have curated that has made you most proud in the past and remember that you are the genius that made that piece of art. You have a specific talent and do not forget that it’s still there, even if it’s buried under stress, frustration, and road blocks.