Powerful Personal Branding Strategies in 2021
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There’s no denying: personal branding is powerful. Even if you think you’re just a mere social media lurker, you’re still judged based on what you post, like, and share. In short, depending on what you do online, people will associate that with your personal brand. Building a brand isn’t an overnight process. The best identity agency spends a lot of time researching colors, designing logos, and optimizing content in order to show the full power of your brand.
When was the last time you got hooked on someone’s online presence? Was it because of their content, voice, or tone? Is it their ideals? Or the beauty of their stories and videos? Is it their well-designed brand name with appealing text logos? That only means you got enveloped into someone’s personal brand. Branding is not just for business. It also applies to a person and how they present themselves.
Most people think you can do anything you want online and still get many followers. But that’s far from the truth because to establish a loyal audience, you need to keep them in mind. You need to post and share things the audience will find interesting. Otherwise, if you keep on sharing things you alone find worthy of attention, watch your audience slip away.
The truth is there are so many factors that can dictate the track of a personal brand. In this article, we laid out the best strategies this 2021:
Decide whether you’re a curator or a creator
Online, it’s either you love to create, or you love to share. So decide whether you are going to call yourself a curator or a creator.
A creator loves to create content: stories, blog posts, videos, travel photos, and more. A curator, on the other hand, has an eye for other people’s good content. And they love to share their best finds. They’re best with captions, commentaries, critiques, etc. (Because content curation is more than just sharing, it involves analyzing the content and sharing your fresh perspective.)
So which one are you? Creators tend to get the best limelight, but it’s also the more difficult one. It takes time, money, and digital tools to create videos, capture good-looking photos, write stories, etc. On the other hand, curators should have a passion and knowledge of their chosen field because it’s not easy to comment on things you don’t understand.
Consistent and knowledgeable curator
Curators, aka sharers, should be consistent. They must know what content fits their audience’s taste and which ones they dislike and stick to it. The success of curating relies on the audience, and if the curator stays in tune with their audience’s interests, then their personal brand will surely grow.
Curators should also be knowledgeable in their chosen field. For example, suppose you wish to focus on content about pink luxury bags. In that case, you should have answers to questions such as what are the luxury houses that sell pink items, what is the history behind the house and their products, how these items are made or remade, where to buy, and more.
You can engage with your readers better when you’re knowledgeable, which is another personal branding strategy — to leave better comments and have better engagements (we’ll talk about this later on).
Knowing many facts surrounding your personal interest and niche is when hateful comments and criticisms do not easily sway you because you know your ground. That applies to almost anything, even to fashion influencers and journalists.
Better pictures and videos quality for creators
For the audience, there’s nothing more off-putting than low-grade content. If you come across a very pixelated piece of video, would you mind taking a look? Most people won’t. There are better videos worth their time, of course.
And that’s one lesson for a better personal branding strategy: upgrade your content by upgrading your picture and video qualities. If that means leveling up your gears, then so be it. All the things you will compensate for a better personal brand.
Why do people nowadays prefer better quality videos and pictures? Because as more high-quality cameras flood the market, we see lesser quality videos and pictures. So if people see downgraded quality content, they will quickly swipe you off the grid in favor of better-looking content that abounds on the Internet.
This pandemic prompted more people to gravitate towards more humanized content. What is humanized content? That means fewer filters, less perfectionism, and more human angle, more emotions, and more personal stories.
This type of personal branding strategy became all the more relevant during this pandemic. At this time, we realize the limitations of humanity’s advancements. Lockdowns, job loss, and death resulted in more people becoming more empathetic and shying away from perfect, staged, and extravagant content.
For example, it’s time to tell more personal stories on how you deal with pandemic anxiety. Or take and share pictures of your mundane daily routine. Also, share videos of gardening, cooking, singing, etc. In your stories, become more human by presenting a more human angle.
Across platforms, stay true to your voice and tone
Staying true to your tone and voice is a vital strategy this 2021. The brand tone is the way you talk to your customers. Is it formal, quirky, lengthy? It depends on your niche. Then your voice will be the content of your message. Is it rigid? Is it full of human angles? Is it academic? Is it full of bureaucratic messaging? Again, no voice is perfect. It depends on the niche.
But the key is to stay consistent with your voice and tone. It’s even better if you make your voice and tone not only consistent but also unique. That way, people will easily associate that type of messaging with your brand.
For example, you manage a sustainability blog. One way of being unique is by always adding a fact-checking post every Friday. In there, you point to some viral sustainability issues and fact-check some information. Through that, people will easily associate that format with your brand.
For the tone, one way of being a standout is to make your introduction unique and consistent. For example, write some customized intro such as “Hi lovelies!”, “Hi fellow coffee aficionados,” etc. — you get the point. Some people skim posts fast, and through this, they will quickly know from the start that it was you and not other brands.
Another good strategy of today’s personal branding is good old networking. Fret not because this does not mean you have to join a pyramiding scheme. It only means you need to develop your network. Good personal branding involves connecting to niche influencers, established customers, co-creators, and any people you admire in the field.
That means you would have to leave better comments on people’s work in hopes of getting noticed and collaborating with bigger personal and business brands. That also means people reach out to you because they admire your work and would like to share their thoughts on the matter. Therefore, networking should be part of anyone’s personal branding strategy.
Social media is social for a reason. It needs connection to thrive. The same goes for websites. Reference links and article mentions are the main factors to improving website authority. In short, connection is vital. And the nature of networking in building quality connections will help anyone thrive online.
Here are some of the best networking strategies online: cold emails, Linked in connect, social media posts admiration, commenting on others’ content, re-posting or sharing of content, attending leading figures’ training and conferences (online), crowdsourcing projects and tasks, and a lot more.
Be consistent with everything
If you still haven’t noticed, I mentioned consistency many times. The truth is, in personal branding, consistency is key to an established brand following. People don’t want a brand that changes tone and voice every year. That may sound like they don’t listen to their customers.
Here’s some aspect to look at when minding consistency: brand colors, font, sentence and paragraph length, logo, video content introduction, emails, social media pictures, videos and captions, merchandises, PowerPoint slides, dominant emotions, posting schedules, etc.
Although consistency is the key to successful branding, it’s not to say you’re not allowed to reinvent. In fact, if you believe that your brand is not projecting growth as you expect and it’s not delivering the results you wish, brand reinvention might be a daunting move, but it is still necessary.
Reinventing does not mean you would have to scrape off everything you’ve built to pave the way for your new identity. It can mean changing one aspect of your brand that doesn’t serve you well.
For instance, you find that your target young audience between the ages of 20 and 30 is not what registers as your website visitors. Instead, people between 40 and 50 are more likely to read your content and purchase your products. That can be an excellent way to reinvent your brand tone and voice and replace it with something that suits a middle-aged customer.
Here’s where to keep reinventing in check: brand loyalty, customer engagement, retention, customer service, brand visuals (color, font, logo, and slogan), target customers, readers, audience, shared content reference, overall content presentation, and a lot more.
Ready to level up your personal brand? So many things to review, right? So take one step at a time. Why not focus first on visual assets. Does your logo still resonate with your target audience? If not, try this company logo maker tool. Even without design experience, you can tweak your logo design until they feel a bit modern. Or you could hire your preferred designer, instead.
Then move over to your content creation process, then consistency, and so on. Although you’re managing your own, it’s best to think of your personal brand as a business brand too. If you think of your audience as potential paying customers or clients, then you would make and share the highest quality content every time.
Nikola Roza is an affiliate marketer and blogger behind Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined. He writes for bloggers who don't have huge marketing budgets and who still want to carve out a niche online and a better life for themselves. Learn about Nikola here, or read his blog posts and guides here.
Consistent networking. Nice tip, Nikola!
I’ve been doing this since the beginning of my blogging career, and the results were tons of awesome relationships with good people!
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Erik.
Glad you like my post; yeah, relationship building is nearly everything in building an online business.