Spilling the Tea: Branding in a Saturated Market
As a blogger and influencer in a saturated market it can, at times, be challenging to separate myself from the formalities of "blogger life." In my personal opinion and experience, people can get so sucked into trying to be the next this and that, instead of trying to be the first them. So I'm here to give you a few tips on how to brand yourself in a saturated market so you stand out while still keeping up with the technical to dos of the business.
When I first started out, I knew next to nothing about how to brand myself. My academic background is in Mass Communcation with a focus in Public Relations, so in my classes we touched on the subject in the corporate world but not so much individually. I learned the majority of my tactics from experience, inspiration and advice from other bloggers. The key with using inspiration and taking advice is just that, use it a reference not as something to copy, make it your own and incorporate authenticity into your content.
1. Figure out what your brand is
The first step when branding yourself is to figure out the what and the how. What kind of brand are you creating? and how do you plan to execute your brand?
You have got to do your homework. Go find brands similar to yours or people who have been successful in your industry and get some tips from them and their process, but remember that this is YOUR brand use your research as a reference, don't be a copycat.
Once you've gathered your plans and ideas. it's time to come up with strategies to get your brand out there. If your main platform is facebook look into investing in ads, if instagram is your main focus find new and creative ways to get content out to gain followers and get reposted on pages that will help you gain a following. If a blog is your main platform, utilize your resources to promote your blog and drive traffic to the site.
4. Be Intentional
In this line of work, passion and intention are incredibly important because blogging and influencing isn't all about getting free stuff and taking cute pictures. It's so much more and to the outsiders looking in at whatever you are doing, all they see is the glitz and glamour but content creation and being the face of a brand is work and takes effort to reach out to different brands or companies. It is also about standing out and separating yourself from what everyone else is doing to show why you would be an asset to their brand.
5. Consistentancy is key
I''l be honest with you, this is something I have struggled with and still am struggling with on my road to being a full-time blogger. Like I previously said, content creation is hard work and sometimes creatives go through dry spells but staying engaging on social media outlets and being open with your audience is how you win their hearts. Stay present and be authentic about your journey. Consistent growth will happen if you keep at it.
6. Be Patient
Building a brand doesn't happen overnight, when it's done right it takes months and years even to get it right but be patient and trust the process. I never, in a millions years, thought blogging would have me working with big name brands, doing photoshoots and being invited to fashion week but I'm here and all those things have happened It took time, I've been doing this for a little over a year now and although my growth has been tremendous I still have a long way to go. Time has been good to me and if you put in the work just watch what time will do for your brand.
7. Change is Good
You have got to be open minded to change when growing a successful brand. Constantly coming up with new and creative ways to promote yourself or your brand are keys to maintaining a fan/follower base. "Re-branding" is the commonly used term in this industry because in this digital age new, fresh and exciting are pivotal in brand growth. There have been times where I have questioned myself and wondered what the heck I'm doing but there is always room for evolution and as a brand you need to grow and evolve that's how you keep your audience interested.
8. Trial and Error
Trying new things can be risky but, just like anything else, try something out and if it doesn't work then you learned a valuable lesson and now you know what not to do. Whether it's taking a new route marketing wise or testing out a new product it is important to know that taking risks is good and can have great results.
9. Believe in yourself and your brand
If you half ass your brand and marketing tactics how do you expect anyone to take you seriously? Believe whole-heartedly in what you are doing and what your brand represents. Believe that no matter who told you what you have going on is wack or made fun of you will be sorry when you are climbing the ladder to success and doing it on your terms. Believe that the goals you set will be achieved and speak things into existence. The power of affirmations is so real.
10. DO IT
I am the queen of letting external factors hold me back from just going out on a limb and doing something but I'm learning and urging all of you to drop that habbit right now because the only person standing in your way is you. Start that business, create that brand, become an influencer do whatever the hell makes you happy because you can do it! START NOW.
If no one told you today, I love you and believe in you. You can do this. The grind starts here and now
All Love - A Sunflower