In today’s digital world, branding is more important than ever—it’s the Instagram you post, the Tweet you launch, the blog post you write. Branding is the way your website looks, the tone of voice in your newsletter; it’s even the filter you use on your photos. That's why having a brand strategy is essential. Over the last nine years, I have balanced owning a celebrity + lifestyle PR firm with running a luxury travel + lifestyle blog. The skills that I have learned through managing brands on social media and blogging are most often the things that I end up teaching my celebrity and small business owner clients. If you can master these five steps, you will be well on your way to creating a strong brand identity that resonates with the audience you are trying to reach.
FIGURE OUT YOUR WHY: Whether you are building your personal brand or launching a new business, you need to know why you do what you do, and what makes you unique. Why should people buy from you, follow you, pay attention to you?
BE CONSISTENT: You know those people on Instagram, who have photos that you just know are theirs before you even read the name? That’s due to consistent branding. Those photos usually have the same filter and mood and even stay within a certain sets of topics you have come to expect. There should be a cohesiveness to your website, your newsletter, your tone of voice. The first thing I ask a new client to do when we start working together is to give me 3-5 websites or IG handles that they most resonate with. The funny thing is that they usually give me 3-5 websites or handles that look completely different from one another, so immediately we have some decisions to make. It’s important when you are trying to find your look and your voice within your brand that you decide what you’re going to be and stick with it. Everything you touch should look and feel like YOU. Does it?
INSPIRATION OVER IMITATION: It’s also important to not let other people deter you from your vision. Use other people/brands as inspiration for yours, but don’t flat out copy them. Give it your own unique spin. The reason Instagram images have become so cliché is that everyone is copying everyone. Those that have found a way to do something different are the ones that are rising above the noise. If taking photographs is not your strong suit, use the talents you have such as writing or humor. For example, Scary Mommy has grown an enormous following because of her humor and hard core honesty.
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: Right now, photos are arguably the number one way you can level-up your branding. Whether it’s the photos you are posting on social media, or the way you are presenting the products you sell on a website, if you are posting bad photos with reckless abandon, you are missing out on a chance to captivate your audience. I wrote a post that will give you some quick tips for upping your photo game here.
DO YOU: Authenticity is ruling the social sphere right now. Those that have made a true connection with their audience by being themselves are the ones that are veritably building their brands faster. There is so much advice out there from blogs to pricey webinars to mastermind groups. You could literally spend months and months sifting through it all, which can lead to confusion and overwhelm. Believe me, I have done it and felt that way. The most important thing you can do is DO YOU. For those of you who feel you need more one-on-one help, I am offering a limited number of phone consultations, where I will give you tailor-made advice on how to level-up your brand, which is what I have done for countless celebrity clients. I’ll guide you through putting the proper elements in place before getting media exposure too soon. Strategizing social media channels, creating successful photo shoots and building a website are all in my wheelhouse of expertise. I’ll even introduce you to the right contacts and give you the tools that will give you more time to work on your business instead of in your business. I am offering a 50% discount (use code TNH50 at checkout) to all active TNH members and a 10% discount (use code TNH10) to the TNH online community. CLICK HERE TO LEVEL UP>
Molly Schoneveld is the President of SW PR SHOP, a boutique personal public relations firm in Los Angeles. http://www.sw-prshop.com/about-2/ *Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of “The New Hollywood.