#AwesomeBranding – Your Personal Brand is Just as Important as Your Corporate Brand

The Social Media Advisor specializes in training and supporting small businesses in their branding, storytelling and social media strategy. A decade ago the concept of corporate branding was still getting traction. However, today, branding is a must for companies of every size. The advances and innovation that new technologies have brought us are extinguishing traditional advertising methods. This is why branding and permission-based marketing methods are the most effective right now. People are tired of being pushy sales methods. That means that every company needs a solid, clear branding strategy so that their target audience truly understands what they are buying.
“Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. Building brands builds incredible value for companies and corporations.” Scott Goodson, ForbesContributor
The workforce no longer needs to be convinced that branding is essential. The concept is mainstream enough today that large corporations and entrepreneurs – all of them invest in a branding strategy. A corporate brand focuses on the feeling or impression that their audienceexperiences when they think of your business. A lot of thought is put into a corporate brand and ensuring all the touchpoints that a person interacts with are infused with strategic branding.
What is a personal brand and why is it important?
Your personal brand is a separate entity from your corporate one. However, the idea is the same. When branding your own persona, the concept is to develop or hone the areas of your personality best suited to what you want your audience to think when they walk away from interacting with you. 
Today, people do business with other people… not corporations. They want to build a relationship with their customers, contractors and vendors. Building like, know and trust is more than just a social media construct. This is a cornerstone of relationship marketing. This is why personal branding is necessary. What is your audience seeking? Who will they trust and want to do business with? This is not an invitation to build a fake persona because that is not authentic or genuine and it will turn others off right away. However, it is an opportunity to examine your own personality and interweave it with your corporate brandingto come up with a personal brand that benefits you and, in turn, your business.
Here are five suggestions for developing a strong personal brand:
Keep Your Inner Circle Small
1.     Be mindful of what you say. We all have bad days. On days when you are feeling off your game, limit your negative communication to those in your inner circle that you trust. Do not just vent to any random person. You never really know who is connected to whom…and who would love to repeat what you say. Plus, a negative judgment could be attached to you and your business that will last long beyond your temporary moment of weakness.

Personal Branding Follows You
Your personal brand will move, and grow, with you. If you have a career change, parts of that personal brand will go with you. People will associate your personal branding with who you are…not just who you work with.
Consistency
Don’t want to confuse people? You have to keep your branding top of mind and consistent. If you are worried this will be difficult to accomplish, be certain that the foundations of your personal branding incorporate your true personality so that just being you – at your best – is enough.
Blending Your Branding
Be sure that your corporate and personal brands blend well together. If they are contrary in any way, this will work against you.
Accept the Way Branding Works
As with any branding, what others think about you (your personal brand) is ultimately not up to you. You cannot control another individual’s impressionsand thoughts. All you can do is build a branding strategy, follow it consistently, and hope for the best.

 

If you’ve already spent time building your corporate and personal branding, then it is time to roll out that strategy into your social media marketing and other marketing content. Need assistance creating a great story around your brand? This is where we excel. We can build out your online assets to reflect your branding in the best possible light and get you on the right track to creating quality content that is consistent with your messaging.
 
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

#AwesomeBranding – Personal Branding & Why Like, Know, Trust is Essential

Personal Branding is the core of your business. It’s what separates you from the crowd, and makes potential customers and clients pay attention. One of the key aspects of personal branding is building the “Like, Know, and Trust” factors. Here are seven ways you can develop these areas:

Create Valuable and Relevant Content:
This creates the expertise portion of branding. It’s a key part of the trust factor. Don’t think content is limited to blog posts or social media posts. Be creative in how you distribute your content. There are videos, downloadable guides, ebooks, webinars, podcasts, printables, and more.
It’s very important that you know your ideal customer or client. You can’t appeal to everyone, so don’t try. Instead, focus on your ideal client and give them the content they need. Ask them questions via a survey or other form of interaction. Find out what challenges they are facing and provide content that can help them overcome those hardships. Send personal messages to those who complete your surveys or answer your questions. It will put you to the top of their mind (know) and build a relationship (like).
Guest Posts:
Building your brand involves connecting across your network. Make a list of 30 blog sites and publications you want to be tied to your brand. In that list, write down how you can contribute to THEIR audience. You must provide content relevant to them, their audience, and you, in order to build trust. Once you make that list, check each publication’s website for submission requirements (ProTip: follow the requirements, or your request may be sent automatically to the trash bin). Create a personalized email to each publication pitching the article you’d like to write, video you’d like to contribute, etc. and how it aligns with their goals (or on a particular topic they discuss often).
Keep in mind that you will be rejected. That simply means their audience didn’t meet the needs of your brand.
Put a Face to the Brand:
People need to know who you are. People are more likely to trust an image of a person than a logo. Personalize their experience, and let them get to know you.
Be Authentic:
This is very important. You’re not the next Seth Godin. You’re the next YOU. Your experiences and observations are unique. The strengths and talents you possess can only be used by you. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? If you love hiking through Colorado, horseback riding, or playing tabletop games, make it part of your brand. It is easier, and far less exhausting, to be yourself than to shutter the light of your personality.
Share ONLY Your Best Stuff:
Freebies, webinars, etc. are the first impression. You need to wow them with your work. If you provide high value, people will be thankful. Every free incentive needs to provide an answer to a main problem (they can take a more in depth approach through your sales funnel, of course). Most of all they need to feel as though they haven’t wasted their time getting to know you and your ability to help them.
Be Consistent:
Consistency is the key to all three areas. Whether it’s a video subscription, blog, podcast, live stream, or more, be consistent in content, time, and delivery. If you create a schedule, stick to it.
Be Grateful:
While branding is the core of who you are, marketing isn’t about you. It’s about your customers and clients. Your audience deserves to feel important. Be genuine and honest. Without them, you wouldn’t have a business.

Take time to build your personal brand. Don’t try to be someone you’re not or you’ll get burned out and lose interest in interacting with your audience. Which aspect do you struggle with? Let us know in comments.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#BrandConsistency – Themes in Your Marketing Can Help With Consistency

One highly-useful tool for Brand Consistency is the use of themes. Marketing themes help solidify your branding in the mind of your audience. There are two areas you should consider when it comes to themes: visual recurring themes and thematic messages.

Visual Brand Consistency


Visual Brand Consistency is something we’ve mentioned before. You want your images and messages to follow guidelines you’ve built for your company. Think of brands you know. Pepsi and Coca Cola are two that really stand out. Across the board, they use the same branding style: Colors, fonts, etc. to push their brand into the mind of the consumer.So how do you create visual brand consistency? 

  • Create a brand use document where you list how your logo icon can be used. Make sure you provide a color and black and white logo. Place your logos in a group folder so your employees can use the logos as needed for official correspondence.
  • Use uniform colors across your social media platforms and website. 
  • Standard graphic layouts. It’s best to create a graphics template for your preferred social media interaction. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more all have ideal size requirements. Create templates that meet those needs. Don’t forget to include a PowerPoint and video template that has your logo already inserted. Creating these templates will save you time and money since no one will have to guess which layouts work.
  • Uniform images with logo placement. To further expand on your logo style guide, you need to determine where your logo and text should be placed. Consistency is key. 
  • Keep the same cover image for all aspects of your social media platform so your customers aren’t jarred by inconsistency. Modify it, of course, to adapt to the platform’s requirements, but keeping consistent is necessary for making you stand out in a crowd.

Thematic Consistency 

  • Create a one-line summary of your company, a tagline if you will. Expand it, by adding a two-sentence paragraph that further explains the mission of your company. After this, create several in-depth paragraphs with detailed descriptions. Provide your blogs, social media, and website links in that final detailed description package. Use these as needed depending on your social interaction. If you have room for a one-line summary, then use that. If you have an opportunity to further explain, use the more in-depth options. These files, like the logos mentioned above, should be available for your company’s use.
  • Create themed content based on your company’s values. If you believe in speedy delivery, create content that emphasizes that part of your brand. If your company puts the customer first, emphasize that instead. While you can have more than one value, choose the one you want to emphasize over the others.
  • Release themed content on a consistent basis. Whether you’re doing a Q&A, highlighting new trends, or providing motivational content on Mondays, keep your content consistent with both releases and styles.

These are just some ways to get you started. If you’re ready to tackle #BrandConsistency, start with your brand and logo use document. Decide which fonts, colors, and logo can be used. Once you have that established, move into building thematic content. Templates are key to speed and quality, so make sure you set them up as soon as possible.Do you have any tips on Brand Consistency? Let us know in comments. 

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#BrandConsistency – Put YOU in Your Brand

We’ve talked a bit out #BrandConsistency this month. We know that people prefer to put a face to the brand and that it’s about who knows you, not who you know. But what are ways to put YOU into your brand? This is really the cornerstone of what personal branding is all about.
Your brand should encompass your values. You are the face, the voice, and the truth for your brand.
Remember that potential customers and clients need to feel connected to your brand and, therefore, connected to you. You are more than a logo and a tagline. You are the heart of your message.
If you’re struggling to find your way, don’t worry, we have some fantastic tips to help pave your path to solid brand consistency.
  • Your voice needs to reflect your brand. How do you want your brand to come across? Whether you’re the friendly neighbor who always helps out, the subject matter expert they go to for advice, a troubleshooter who can always get the job done, or the mentor who helps others overcome obstacles, your brand’s voice is important. Is it professional but understanding? Is it fun or quirky? Is it supposed to be conversational and approachable? What do YOU sound like when you talk business?
  • Here is a key element to brand consistency. If you prefer a formal tone, keep it that way through your personal messages, interactions, and emails. If you prefer a more conversational tone, do the same. Be consistent or else you will confuse your audience. Many of your followers are already sold on your brand and you don’t want to frighten them away.
  • Determine your purpose, and your vision. What do you want to provide to others? You are more than a title. You ARE your brand. How will you help people find what they need? Instead of thinking in terms of what your business does – think in terms of what pain points do you help solve for others?
  • Be authentic. The world doesn’t need copies of successful brands. They need someone who stands out from the pack.
  • Find what you really enjoy doing about your job and integrate it into your brand. Do you enjoy talking on the phone? How can you integrate phone consultations into your business? Your enthusiasm will translate to your customers and clients.
  • Put your story into the brand. Be vulnerable to your clients and customers. Let them see what you went through to get where you are today.
  • Give them a peek into your personal life and the things that you love – but just a peek. There is not need to flood them with personal information. You want them thinking about what you do in relation to who you are.
Your personal brand is a blend of who you are and what you do. They aren’t separated. Don’t be shy. It’s time to step out and let your brand shine.
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.


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