Did you know that you already have a personal brand?
When the average person hears the word “brand”, they might think it refers to a company’s logo. But a brand goes far beyond just a visual aesthetic. And it isn’t exclusive to a company or an organization.
A brand experience is present in every direct or indirect interaction, whether that interaction is with a person or a company.
As human beings, we are all known by someone for something we do. For better or worse, this impacts the perception other people have of us. Why? Because the people we interact with put us into mental boxes. And likewise, we put them into boxes too.
This happens subconsciously.
Think of someone you know, perhaps a Facebook friend. What do they do? What do they say? What do you think of them? These are all aspects of someone that shape your perception of their personal brand.
The attitude and vibes they give off, the way they treat people, the content they put out, and the value they offer, are all going to be taken into account by you and the other people around them. And the same goes for you vice-versa.
Unfortunately, we can’t control the fact that people are going to lump us into subconscious boxes. But we do have some control over what boxes they put us in.
Don’t Tarnish Your Personal Brand
When I scroll through my social feeds, here’s the majority of what I see:
- Someone took a picture of their salad last night to show off their new diet. Unless they made that meal for a homeless person, I can assure you no one cares.
- Someone went on a run and posted their progress from RunKeeper. I did pushups today, but do you really care how many?
- Someone took another selfie. Or is that the same one from yesterday?
- Someone checked into the gym. We get it — you work out.
In a world where we are surrounded by social media, we feel obligated to share everything. But what value does this provide to other people?
It’s okay to share fun articles or pictures of you with your friends, but think before you post, and most importantly, where you post it.
Do you want to be another random person in someone’s feed or do you want to be known for lettering?
Question the provided value of what you’re sharing. Is it going to benefit someone else or is it self-serving? There’s nothing wrong with taking pictures of your food, but unless you’re a food blogger or a chef, it’s probably best kept to yourself.
Making Your Personal Brand Shine
When you consider the artists that do stand out above the crowd, you’ll notice that they are constantly sharing relevant information about lettering. Their audience is generally comprised of 2 kinds of people.
- People that followed them for their craft.
- People that know them personally. Whether or not this type of follower is particularly interested in their craft, the follower sees the content they post and subconsciously puts them in the mental box pertaining to their craft. This is a good thing.
Regardless of who your followers are, you want them to know you for your craft.
Curate what you share
Becoming known for lettering is actually quite easy, you just need to be consistent.
Think of the various channels you share content on and what your audience is. If you want them to notice and care about you, how can you make them put you in the right box?
Over the past 2 years, I have been building my Instagram following. It’s been a great way to find clients. And I attribute all of my follower success to the consistency of my content.
When you visit my Instagram page, what do you see? Lettering. Lots of lettering. When someone decides to follow me, they know exactly what they are going to see from me in their feed.
As much as I’d love to share pictures of my cat, that’s not what people follow me for. They follow me because they enjoy my lettering work. They’ve put me into a box. They know me as a hand lettering artist because that’s how I’ve positioned myself.
If you want to be known for lettering, you need to share it consistently.
If the things you share are all over the place, you won’t be able to prove to people that you’re serious about the craft you want to be known for.
Even if everything you share is relevant, it still won’t garner much attention if it is irregular. You should be sharing content like clock-work. Anything less than once a week is going to get lost in people’s feeds.
It can be hard to curate regular content, so start small by sharing once a week. Once you turn it into a steady routine, increase your regular output.
Mix it up
When you curate lettering content on your website and social channels, you’re not tied to exclusively posting finished work.
You can mix up your output by sharing content about the tools you use, your creative process, helpful techniques, other lettering artists, and even progress shots of your current work. Anything pertinent to lettering is fair game.
Giving your content variety shows your audience that you’re transparent about the work you do. It will inspire them, teach them, and prompt them to engage with you.
Listen to your audience
One of the best ways to grow your audience is by engaging with them. Listen closely to your audience.
When they ask you a question, answer it. They look up to you and by helping them out, they will hold you in high regard. If you notice a lot of people asking the same questions, that’s a perfect opportunity to publish something valuable and in-depth.
The more you do to position yourself as an authority, the more people will look to you for answers and inspiration.
In this day in age where technology is driving our lives, it’s important to curate a personal-brand that is going to set you above everyone mindlessly sharing the meaningless moments in their lives.
Publish valuable content or don’t publish at all. Think before you share and question the value of what you’re providing.
Review. Go back through what you’ve shared and learn from your mistakes. No one is perfect. We’ve all been there. Use this reflection as a reinforcement of the good choices you are going to make in the future.
Curating your personal brand is an iterative process, but the sooner you’re aware of your personal brand, the easier it will become. Take a moment to reflect on the value you offer people and take the steps necessary to raise the bar.
This is your chance to become the person you want other people to know you as.