I had been recently asked about a popular topic today -branding, personal branding and how visuals may work towards its development. I have gained some experience through working both on my personal brand and the brands of my customers.
To make it more clear, every point I will illustrate with an example of my Instagram page content.
5 RULES FOR SUCCESSFUL (PERSONAL) BRANDING
*IDENTIFY YOUR PRODUCT It can be a an object, a service or even yourself (your talent, knowledge or appearance)
Through my Instagram page my travel and lifestyle adventures are identified as my product. Im travelling allot and I naturally have lots of content to share with my audience.
*KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER Think who might be interested in your content.
What is their gender, age, social niche and location (that may impose some cultural and religious preferences)
I believe that my audience is made of both male and female, age 21-40, worldwide. However, growing up in Egypt, i feel i have to be respectful to traditional cultures and thus I avoid pictures in revealing clothes. I also avoid strong religious, racial or political opinions as I don't consider myself being an expert in this field.
*CHOOSE THE CHANNEL OF COMMUNICATION Decide on your communication channel: website, social media, mass media, mixture of both, etc
My main communication channel is my Instagram. Im planning to launch Youtube video channels soon.
*VISUAL STYLE Visual style is essential for immediate product recognition and it is what would subconsciously be perceived as your identity by your audience.
It includes overall mood, color scheme of the images/video, brand’s front man or brand’s ambassadors wardrobe, backdrop, language stylistics of the posts and much more.
Visual style have to be selected and to be kept homogenous throughout all the channels of distribution/platforms
I have always been admiring an elegant and timeless style of wardrobe. I love wearing beige, red, white and navy. I believe bold colors and simple well cut clothes suit me best.
As a backdrop I always try to choose a scenes or/and an exotic location, would it be an elegant London, dunes of Sahara or a villa in Bali’s rain forest. Location choice is a part of the storytelling about my
*PREP IS THE KEY Prep is the key to every production. After you have decided on your overall visual style, communicate it to your web designer, photographer and wardrobe stylist so all your team understands the desired result. Scout the locations where you will shoot your images and videos, select your wardrobe and make sure you have started your communication with the team well in advance.
Visualisation technique : think of the message you would like to communicate to your audience. Find words that represent this message (ie freedom can be represented by the sea, palms,swings,motorbike etc)
To communicate the desired visual results to collaborators, I recommend to use mood boards from Pinterest (also available as an app). Wether you plan a photoshoot or design a website, build your visuals around the message you are trying to convey.
I came across few individuals that are ‘worried to be used’ and some others that ‘are not interested in unpaid work’. This fear stopped them from lucrative collaborations, exposure, knowledge exchange and new experiences.
Yes, you may put more effort through a collaboration, an effort that would not be directly monetised, but I assure you that every collaboration is yet another investment in your skills and knowledge. An opportunity that unexpectedly may pay off way more than you've expected.
ENGLISH IS AN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LANGUAGE:
Guess this statement does not need additional comments. However some of my European and East European friends underestimate the importance of fluent English as an international business language. Yes, English is essential for international exposure. And no, an online translator and/or a dictionary translation would not suffice.
MANNERS GO A LONG WAY:
Looks like one more obvious statement. Anyhow I receive many DM in Instagram that contain just ‘hello’ or ‘how are you’. Would the reason for a contact be personal or business interest, when approaching a stranger, please make sure that you respect one’s time by proper self introduction and stating the reason for your message straight away.