Hello! Welcome to Part 5 of my series on becoming an Influencer! In this series I’m going to give you all the behind the scenes info on how I’ve been able to start receiving products and services for free and how I’ve grown my social media presence on my chosen platform: Instagram!
If you’re new to this series, I encourage you to start at the beginning with my introduction, So You Wanna Be An Influencer. There I’ve asked readers to answer 5 important questions before moving forward and I’ve given a little of my backstory and why I’ve decided to start this series!
Now, onto today’s topic: branding!
That word and the power of its meaning escaped me for a long time. “Brand.” I thought, “How can I describe my brand when I don’t even know WHAT it is??”
According to Entrepreneur.com, your “personal brand is how you appear to the world.” Meaning it is the entirety of all your indentifying factors and characteristics all rolled into one. These neat little packages give companies and potential followers an overall idea of what you’re about. They don’t want to go digging too far to see what you are: they need a concise, clear view of what you stand for and what you offer.
My brand (or the brand I’m trying to convey) is all about body positivity, self love, and general good vibes, but with a twist. I mix it up a little bit by dropping hints that I may be a little involved in some pagan practices AND I wear all black. This sets me slightly apart and puts me into a different arena. I can now appeal to brands that go for more alternative lifestyles and fashions, while still sitting comfortably in the safe zone for most other companies.
All of this is 100% intentional. I want to feel familiar and safe, but also a bit interesting and mysterious. That’s my goal. And if that’s the vibe you get off of me, now you know: it’s on purpose.
This leads us back to you: what do you want companies and potential subscribers or followers to see upon first glance? What are some things that you have personally looked at or been interested in and have considered emulating? Sit down and figure those key elements out and allow those things to lead you into your general aesthetic.
Here’s a screenshot of my Instagram feed in app:
What are some things you notice immediately? I’ll point a few things out.
First of all, the color green. I use the color green in almost every shot. Green is a very peaceful color. Green is at the center of the color spectrum and it has an almost immediate calming effect on most living beings. This makes sense, considering our natural world is very green and full of life. I want people who visit my feed to feel a sense of release and relaxation. I like muted colors, gentle tones, and low contrast photos. Easy on the eyes and spirit. Safe. Comforting.
The other thing I do intentionally is alternate which content I release and in which order. For me that means a close up on one of my features, then full face, then full body, then a flatlay, then a close up, then a swatch, then a full face, then a full body, and so on. I don’t stick to this pattern 100% of the time, but I stay as close to it as possible. This gives visitors to my feed an instant pop of variety and visual interest. Without scrolling they can take every facet of my personality in, just in their first glance. For me, this works in my favor.
But branding isn’t just about how your feed or blog or whatever looks: it’s also, and most importantly, about what makes your personality and skill set unique. And once you decide what it is you want to project to others, you must try to stick with it. Absolutely tweak it along the way and definitely grow and mature, but bear in mind that any online activity you are involved in that is publicly accessible needs to stay “on brand” as well.
Example: you have a beauty blog. You start a Twitter account. But on your Twitter account you only talk about your love of video games, RT video game news, and so on. If your brand is video game cosplaying, then you are totally “on brand”. But if those two worlds have absolutely nothing in common to each other and are simply different interests, it will be harder to help potential subscribers and companies understand what it is you’re really about: is it makeup? Video games? Politics? That’s not to say you can’t ever mention your other passions (god knows I do), but make sure the majority of the content you release across platforms has the same unifying theme most of the time. Stay on brand.
So, what’s your brand? What do you want followers and companies to see in you? Focus in on that, mull it over, and let it guide you. And know it’s okay if that changes and evolves as you grow.
If you’re enjoying this series and you’d like to see more, please feel free to follow this blog and share with your friends! Till next time!