So I’ll be the first to say it – “build your brand” is one of the most eye-roll-worthy terms ever. It’s one thing to say “just build your brand.” But it’s a whole ‘nother thing to actually do it, and that process sounds more confusing than it actually is — once you break it down.
Building your brand is kinda like online dating. Your product is like your profile picture, and what makes that product specific to you is what keeps people swipin’ left all the live long day.
Yeah…I like that analogy. Let’s go with it:
Here’s how to Build Your Brand as if you’re Tinder-dating
What do you like?
5 points to Gryffincreep for that sounding super weird in the Tinder context.
The swipe right, swipe left logic need not apply just to Tinder. Getting out there and figuring out what brands you like – and don’t like – will help you figure out how to construct and present your own.
Look at your favorite blogs, brands, websites, etc. and write down all of the things you like about them. And also write down brands/sites you hate, why you hate them, etc.
For example: my two favorite blogs are “Hipstercrite” and “Foxtail + Moss” – Hipstercrite for its unique voice, Foxtail + Moss for their minimalistic aesthetic. Knowing that helped me figure out what look/feel I wanted for my own blog. Because the way they’re presented and the tone they use are part of what makes them recognizable, how they represent themselves through a blog. It’s part of what makes up their brand.
“Remember who you are, Simba!”
You gotta know who you are as a brand. Be YOUnique (that was awful, but you get it).
Try asking yourself these questions:
- What are you best at?
- What makes your art unique?
- What are you specifically offering?
For example, you sell tees, hoodies, prints. Great. So narrow it down from there.
What kind of art goes on those items? Cute cartoons.
What kind of cute cartoons? Cute cartoons that are all puns.
SHOOP, there it is. That’s your thing.
Knowing what you’ve got to offer and who you are as a brand will guide how you present yourself in everything from logos to pictures to tweets. It’s like hearing a quote from Friends and knowing exactly who would have said it.
At the same rate, when you make a Tinder profile, you don’t give away all the details. You list the important snippets. The public view of you, if you will.
Career Realism says, “be who you are at all times,” but also said that your brand should be in between who you are, who you aspire to be, and how others perceive you.
Why do you do art? Why do you draw what you draw? When did you first hold a pencil? Know what part of your story you want to share. Your art isn’t going to be the only thing that sets you apart – your story can do that too.
Consistency is KEY
Ever dated someone who’s super hot and cold? One day they can’t stop texting you, the next day, they’re sending “k.” all over the place.
Being consistent in how you present yourself and your product through your brand actually conditions (like Pavlov’s Dogs) audiences the know what to expect when they look at your stuff and makes you stand out more.
Here’s a few tips:
- Pick the name you’re gonna go by and stick with it. Your name, email, username, and Twitter handle shouldn’t be four different things – they should at least be related.
- Choose a color scheme you like and stick to it on your site, social media platforms, etc.
- Consistent image style – Many successful Instagrams rock because they’re consistent in the aesthetic each of their photos have, you know what to expect.
- Consistent voice – super funny and sarcastic, a regular Hemingway, a gruff old man, make that your thing.
- Tagline – Consider coming up with a tagline that you use across all your social media profiles (ex. a punchy one-liner that goes in your Twitter bio that sums up who you are in a way that’s more fun than just “name/age/profession”.)
- Post consistently and post consistent stuff. If you’re a geeky brand, post some geeky news on your twitter. But if you’re a geeky brand, don’t go posting an article about the best cars of 2015. Do it right and your fans will look to you for sharable geekiness, which will make you a trusted source to them for geeky news and cool merch.
Know Your Audience
On Tinder, people aren’t always going to swipe right on you. As hard as that is to believe. But, that’s ok. Because you don’t want everyone to be your audience.
Your audience is not everyone. It’s impossible to please everyone. And focusing on a niche group doesn’t limit you – it actually helps you find the people who will be most likely to buy your stuff.
You’re not alone – branding yourself can be a little bit of an evolution, just like becoming who we are as people is. We’ve all been through it – never hesitate to reach out to people you admire for advice on branding yourself. They’ve been in the same boat, and chances are? They’d be willing to lend sagely advice.