As soloentrepreneurs there’s always the question about branding. Do I need it if it’s just me?
The answer, I suppose, is subjective.
People buy from or work with people, so it makes sense that you would be the face of your brand.
But people also enjoy consistency and getting to know someone. If you have a personal brand that continues to reinforce your audience’s perception of you, you’re more likely to build that know, like, and trust factor.
Perhaps you’re not looking for visual consistency, but messaging consistency will always be important.
We like our friends because we’re comfortable with them and understand their aspirations and what makes them unique. Think of your personal brand in the same way.
Your audience wants to connect and build a relationship with you. But they can’t do that if you’re constantly up and down all over the place.
I wanted to highlight a few considerations to keep in mind when building your own personal brand.
I’m breaking it up into 2 sections:
Part 1: Visual Appeal
Visual appeal is all your classic branding elements: logo, colour, image style, fonts – the works.
As a personal brand I believe this can be a little looser than if you’re building up an empire. Although keep in mind that personal brands can turn into business-shaped brands and it’s never really too late to switch up your brand look and feel.
Just in case you’re worried about making “the right” decision now. As someone who constantly changes their mind, I’m on my third logo in just 2 years of business. The reason for that is that as my business grows, I start to understand myself more – which in turn changes how my brand feels to me.
My current branding is a lot more aligned with what I’m going for. (I hope I remember this sentence in a few years time.)
What I found really helpful was creating a Pinterest board of all the different elements that I liked to narrow down my branding.
As a personal brand I didn’t feel too pressured to have a professionally made logo and I found experimenting in Canva quite useful in terms of deciding what I did and didn’t like.
I made a secret board on Pinterest called “Branding” and categorised it into different sections for different elements I wanted to explore:
My final result is super different to what I explored, but I feel like this exercise was really helpful in finding out what I like (and don’t like).
This is a summary of my core branding, however I do have some extra colours and alternative logos in my main brand board.
I use these colours and fonts in all my social posts. Now and then I’ll throw in a fancy font when it feels appropriate. Some days you just need a little bit of cursive.
I was inspired by my bunny Binky, who sadly passed away this year. She was my inspiration in everything I did – as cheesy as that may sound. Without her cheering me on in her own bunny way, I don’t think I could have got this far.
That’s why I believe that your branding should mean something to you. I know that most people recommend creating a logo around what your target audience would resonate most with (and I’m sure that’s likely true), but I wanted to have branding that I could feel comfortable showing up with.
Again, that’s where subjectivity may come in.
A personal brand may not even need a logo. Perhaps your logo is your name or simply a photo of you. That’s perfect too!
It’s also a great place to start when you’re just starting out. I know that I spent a long time fussing over branding rather than just doing, so it can be a little bit of a trap.
You can make a copy of my brand board layout here if you’d like to experiment with creating your own.
I enjoyed exploring colour palettes on sites like Clour Palettes where you can sort by colours and tones. Another option is to explore Pinterest and use the ColorZilla Chrome plugin to sample colours. Sometimes it’s a little buggy, but it does help in a pinch.
Even editing premade Canva logo templates can be a good exercise. I don’t recommend using your edited version as a final logo, but it can help you visualise a bit better the kind of look you’re going for.
Part 2: Magnetic Messaging
Your messaging should come back to your why. You can read a bit more about how to determine your why in this blog post.
I feel that sticking with your messaging and connecting on a deeper level with your audience will be easier and more natural if it relates to something you truly believe in: Your Why.
There are a few other considerations though. The classic one being using your dream client’s own language in your messaging.
Perhaps they speak about being “overwhelmed” or “not having enough time.” Those are then thoughts and feelings you can start including in your messaging.
If you can relate to your audience’s frustrations, they’re more likely to identify with you and how you can help them.
To me, messaging can be broken down into an easy to remember formula.
Your Why + Your Dream Client’s Frustrations = Your Core Message
- Who will identify with your why? If you can pinpoint who they are and what they do, you can speak to them directly.
- How can your product or service make your dream client’s life better? Speak about the transformation that you can offer them.
- How can you take their frustrations away? Quick wins and tangible results can help here. Instant gratification is definitely a real thing.
- How will they feel after you’ve helped them? Our lives are a confusing mix of emotions and feelings – if you can help them understand where they are now and where they could be, feelings of relief can start to feel in reach for them.
My One Page Content Strategy can help you to identify your vision, mission, ideal client, and key messages if you need some extra help.