11 things to Consider when Building Your Personal Brand
Hey Pixapals! Welcome back to another Pixajoy blog post. In today’s blog, we’re going to be talking about how to create and cultivate your personal brand. Now just a heads up, the things mentioned in this blog post can be applied to literally anybody from any field – so freelancers, entrepreneurs, teachers, college grads, and the likes would definitely benefit from giving this a read because whether you like it or not, in this digital age, everybody has a personal brand.
What is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is how people perceive you. If you have online social media accounts – like Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, anything – then that is your personal brand. Basically, it can also be said that your personal brand is your online persona. Whether you like it or not, people will judge you based on what they see you post online. If you’re applying for jobs, your employers will probably be using Google to find out more about you and at times, they will judge you based on what they find.
How do I build a Personal Brand?
The first step to building a great personal brand is to start by asking yourself deceptively simple questions, such as;
Why do you want to create a personal brand?
What is your purpose for building that brand?
For example, if you’re a travel writer, you will want to build a personal brand so that other people will know who you are, what you do and what kind of written work (including style, genre, etc) you specialise in so that they will be able to hire you for your services. The end goal for building your personal brand in this context is to get people to see you, to see your work and to want to hire you.
Depending on the purpose for your brand, you’re going to want to have a good online profile or some sort of landing page that potential clients or other people related to your field can visit to learn more about who you are, what you do, and all of that other stuff.
Where do I build my Online Persona?
As mentioned before, depending on your brand’s purpose, you can start building up your online persona on a website (you can use Wix if you want a quick setup or WordPress) or a blog (some popular blogging platforms include Blogger, Tumblr and Medium).
Besides that, you can also opt to build your professional profile on social media platforms like LinkedIn or create an official page on Facebook. But if you are a professional and you want to be taken seriously by potential clients, then it is highly recommended that you get yourself a personalised domain name to be your landing page.
More importantly is: Get a personalised email that matches your domain name as it will further support your personal brand. Additionally, you’ll just seem that much more professional when you’re emailing people with that personalised domain and handing it out on your business card.
For example, when we decided to start ‘Pixajoy’ as a brand, one of the first things we did was buy a domain and create personalised emails with “Pixajoy” in it. When we went on to create our staffs business cards, we included those personalised email addresses and our staff were able to market themselves as “Pixajoy”.
Choosing your Brand Name.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but choosing your brand name can be inordinately tough! We know plenty of people who get stuck at this point and unfortunately, a good majority of them feel that they can’t start to build up their brand without it.
We’re here to tell you that’s actually wrong.
When it comes to building your brand, you can literally start with anything. What’s really important is that you create content for your brand, practice and build it up because guess what? You can always change your brand name later. We’ve seen so many people rebrand themselves throughout the years (Burberry, Apple, McDonalds even Malaysia’s own 11Street – now known as Presto Mall), and it’s totally okay.
To help illustrate our next tips on how to choose a brand name, we’ll be sharing the story on how and why we chose the name “Pixajoy”.
Back then when we decided to branch off from Excard (Malaysia’s first online printing solutions for print-on-paper products), our founder was brainstorming ideas for a name when he had an epiphany;
“Nowadays, people tend to use their mobile phones to take photos of the things that make them happy. Selfies with friends, good food, holiday pictures, pictures of their pets and so on. For our business model, we wanted to provide users with a simple way to ‘pick a joy’ and preserve that moment forever. Hence the name, Pixajoy.” – Pixajoy CEO, Mr. Ch’ng.
Things to consider when naming your brand.
1) Your brand name should embody what your brand stands for in some sort of way.
We wanted a name that was inspirational, empowering, relatable, fun and meaningful. Something that would match what we (as a brand) wanted to achieve for both ourselves and for our customers. We listed out some words that had similar meaning to love, happiness and good times and finally we picked joy.
We picked joy. Pick-a-joy. Pixajoy.
That was it. That was how we came up with our brand name.
2) If possible, create a new word that isn’t already on Google (a near herculean task but so worth it).
Surprisingly we ended up creating a fresh and (in our humble opinion) catchy brand name. What made the name even better was that it was right on the nose in terms of what we wanted to do as a brand. By creating this new word, we were able to become the first search result when people Googled the name “Pixajoy”.
This is important because we’ve seen so many people make the mistake of choosing a great name; only to find out a million other people already have it. So when it comes to choosing your brand name, you should definitely consider choosing one that is a little different. We understand that in this day and age, it’s become really hard to think of something original, but it’s totally possible. We know you can do it. All you have to do is keep trying and to make sure that the name you’ve picked out is not heavily used by other people already. Especially not people who are also in the industry that you want to be in.
3) You want to have a name that’s relatively easy to remember.
While we did say to be bold and choose and create a unique name for your personal brand, you’ve also got to make sure that the name is easy to remember, easy to spell, and can be consistent on all your social platforms.
If you watch ‘Kim’s Convenience’ (a super amazing show about Asian immigrants living in Canada that is currently airing on Netflix), there’s an episode where Janet Kim (budding photographer) had to create a website but due to the commonality of her name; it gets lost under the millions of other ‘Janet Kim’s’ search result.
To combat this, she opts to go for a Korean name (she made up her own Korean name), which was more unique. Unfortunately, the name she chose (while unique) was lengthy, hard to remember and even harder to spell; making people lose interest completely.
So remember, choose something unique and memorable for your brand name because you want to make it easy for people to find you online.
Your Brand Story
Next, let’s talk about shaping your brand’s story, tone, style, and the feeling that you want your brand exudes. Naturally, if it’s a personal brand where you are the face/spokesperson of it, the brand should be an extension of your personality, and extension of who you are. You can go as far to say that it should be your ideal self; the kind of ‘you’ that you want to appear to others (because everybody is multi-faceted).
We believe that when it comes to personal branding, it’s a matter of putting forth the very best of you and presenting it to other people. And this is a really fun part because you get to shape your own story and decide what story matters to your brand, what does your brand stand for, essentially.
What are the values?
What are the personality traits?
Things like that.
So it goes back to your brand’s story.
Why are you a brand?
What is your purpose as a brand?
What is the message that you want to share with others?
Your story and your ‘Why’s’ are at the core center of what drives you to do what you do. And the outside of it is the aesthetics, the tone and the feeling are the decorative parts.
For example, with Pixajoy it’s the whole ‘approachable’, ‘fun’ and somewhat eclectic vibes. The clean colour schemes and the ever-evolving styles to keep up with current trends. All of that is decorative and that is the very thing that will make your brand seem more unique and different to your competitor.
To put it simply, just look at yourself. You, at your core, you have a purpose. You have something that you stand for. You have values; that’s your core, the core of your brand as well. And then everything that you do on the outside, the makeup you put on, the clothes you wear, how you style your hair, how you speak, that is the embellishments of your brand, but it’s super important because it makes you who you are.
To sum it up, a brand’s style is your style. It’s just an extension of your personality. Try to infuse as much personality as you can into your brand and let it shine through in everything that you do. From the captions that you write, in the photos that you take, the way you filter them, the way you angle your shots.
All of that comes from you and your expression. And we would say, don’t overthink it. Just start with your favourite colour palette. You can even try to emulate your favourite styles from other people that you see on social media. Rest assured that your brand will grow stronger as you continue to post content, nurture and develop it.
Similar to life, you’ll find your own brand voice along the way as you go, and that’s totally and completely normal.
Next, let’s talk about content because content is king. Content is the way that you communicate your brand to the people who are willing to listen. Content is your way of expressing yourself again and again; expressing all of the different sides of your brand so that the people around you as well as your target audience will understand more about who you are as a brand and what you do.
Choosing your Platform
In this context, the platform we’re referring to is your main medium for sharing your content and sharing who you are. With so many platforms available out there, it’s hard to do all of them at once. If you’re starting a personal brand, I recommend you focus and be an expert at one platform first before diversifying to others.
When choosing a platform to focus on, you might want to consider a few things, like:
1) Your brand’s purpose
2) What you’re good at creating, what you enjoy creating
3) The best way to present your brand to others
4) Where your audience lives.
For example, if you’re a graphics designer and your work is very visual, then you probably want to stick to platforms that are more visual-heavy; like Instagram or Pinterest in order to be able to share your designs.
If, for example, the graphics designer feels like they’re better at creating video content and loves being in front of the camera, then maybe they can create a YouTube channel and combine their art and storytelling skills to fully portray themselves as a brand.
Another example is if you’re a digital marketer. You don’t feel comfortable being in front of the camera but adore listening to podcasts. Instead of creating a YouTube Video channel, you could create a podcast instead; giving marketing advice for people who are trying to better market themselves or their products.
Remember, you get to choose the platform that works for you, depending on what you like, what works for your brand, and where your audience lives.
As we mentioned earlier, content is your way of communicating who you are and your expertise to all the people who are willing to listen to you. So the more content you create and the more consistent you are with posting your content, the more opportunities you give to others to see you, see your stuff, to know and understand who you are. So it’s all about just creating consistently.
But how do you create content that people want to see?
First, you gotta make sure that your content delivers value to others. It has to educate them, entertain them, inspire them, and basically give them something in exchange for their time. The reality is, people aren’t just going to be watching your channel or reading your blog post just because you’re being ‘you’.
They’re gonna watch it or read it because they believe that your content can help them benefits themselves. Do some research and find out more about what people are searching for and create content related to those areas.
Know your audience
The last tip that we want to slip in before we conclude this blog post is: Know who you want to serve.
Know your ideal audience, ideal customer, and create content for that person. So have this persona in your mind. Really go in-depth of who this person is, their fears, their deepest desires, their hobbies, everything. Really envision that person and create content for that one person. That is the last tip that we’ll leave you with when it comes to creating content.
So if you have any more questions or if you want us to make more blog post on this topic, leave a comment down below or send us a message on any one of our social media sites so that we know.
See you all in the next blog!