As business owners, we need to communicate clearly what we do, why we do it and who we want to connect with.
I loved this blog by Nick Cole. Nick is a photographer but has a clear understanding of the importance of a consistent visual style across all touchpoints. There is no point in developing a great visual identity if the photography lets it down or does not reflect the core values of a person or company. And vice versa if the photography looks great and the other parts of the identity miss the mark. The potential to speak clearly to your customers has been lost.
If we’re not clear and consistent with our marketing messages, our target audience won’t connect with us. They’ll miss what we’re saying, the service we offer and the problems we can solve for them.
To get started, I’d suggest a quick personal brand health check to see how consistent you are!
Make a quick list of your personal brand and digital footprint and list out where you’ve featured content in the last 12 months.
This might include your
- Facebook business page
- Email marketing system
- Marketing campaigns
- CRM system
- Brochures and journals
As you work through the list, consider your audience, tone of voice and visual brand identity.
If you have multiple touchpoints, but your brand looks and feels different, you risk confusing your audience. They may start to question what you offer and whether you’re a good fit. However, they probably won’t do this consciously. Instead, they’ll drift away because you haven’t connected with them.
So what can you do to create a more consistent personal brand identity?
Here are ten quick steps to get you started.
- Keep your language clear and concise. Try to avoid technical jargon and speak in a warm conversational style that feels appropriate for your audience.
- In your headline messages, communicate your expertise and the value you offer.
- Prepare your ‘elevator pitch’ for networking events or when you meet someone new and again share the value you offer.
- Be intentional and create a 12-month content marketing plan. You’ll be more likely to stay on brand if you plan it out.
- Picture your ideal client when you’re creating content. This will help to keep you on track with content that informs, educates or entertains.
- Check your social media bios and about pages and align them if necessary. Do they all feel like the same person?
- Create a brand tool kit with your headshots, personal branding photos, logos, fonts and colours and develop a recognisable visual style.
- Take a look at your cornerstone content, such as blogs, articles and website landing pages. Do they have a consistent written and visual style? Start with your most popular content and refresh the copy and images if you need to.
- Review your Instagram feed and archive content that doesn’t fit with your brand. For example, if you’re posting too much personal content to your business page, maybe it’s time to create a new personal account.
- What about your headshots and personal branding images? When you launched your business, perhaps you used a few cropped holiday photos to create your profile pictures or maybe a headshot from a previous job? Is now the time to present a more consistent visual brand? In a recent article, I also look at five reasons why you should align your personal branding photos with your brand identity and why it’s important to have a clearly defined personal brand.
We’ll all have different priorities. If you’re starting, it makes sense to get the basics in place. If you’re more established and you’ve already nailed it, good job! Or maybe you have a few actions to bring it all together so it feels more harmonised.
Wherever you are on the journey, I’d recommend taking control of your personal brand, so your clients are crystal clear on the value you offer.