Hi! My name is Claire, and I’m the founder and CEO of Moodelier. The irony is that even as I’m writing a blog on how to create a personal brand on a budget, I’m still introducing myself from the perspective of my business brand, instead. Do as I say, and not as I do - right? In all seriousness, one of my biggest goals for the year ahead is to continue to build out my personal brand. For a few years now, I’ve craved the ability to build out a brand and identity that still intersects with a business that I am very much proud of, while still standing on its own two feet. So, I’ve dedicated weeks and months to researching proven ways to build out a personal brand, without spending any money. And I’d like to share my findings with you. May I?
First, let’s discuss the importance of having a personal brand.
At first glance, having a personal brand might seem inconsequential to us business owners and creators. But the truth is that you as an individual should stand apart from your business brand, or the art you create, too.
Personal branding allows you to remain recognizable and memorable, while also building a connection between your audience, and yourself. It’s one thing to have an engaged audience for your business brand, but it’s another to have an audience that feels as connected to you, personally, as they are to your business. Your personal brand will also give you the chance to be a bit more authentic and “real” behind the screen. And we love that, don’t we?
You might love your business to the point of obsession (guilty), but you might feel you aren’t able to bring your full personality and perspective to your business’ brand. Your personal brand is the perfect place to discuss those more sensitive, personal subjects. It also helps bring fulfillment that isn’t just centered around your business, craft or job.
As an example, I have a passion for mental health, but haven’t felt that the Moodelier platform is the best place to discuss mental health. Mostly because made-to-order props and pieces don’t necessarily go hand in hand with the topic of mental health. But by developing a personal brand, I’m opening up the opportunity for myself to discuss the things I’m passionate about outside of Moodelier, including mental health.
Whatever your intentions, building a personal brand offers so many benefits. And with all of that said, here are 7 tips to creating your personal brand on a budget!
7 tips to creating your personal brand on a budget
1. Believe it or not, creating a personal brand on a budget actually starts with you.
Apologies, that was a bit tongue in cheek. But really, your personal brand starts and stops with your own personal identity, voice and personality. So, before you even think about investing in a brand designer, make sure to sit down with yourself, and do some soul searching.
- What makes me unique?
- What do I believe in and want to stand up for?
- In my perfect world, how would my audience feel when consuming my content?
- What is my desired outcome for building a personal brand?
Many times, you’ll find that you have answers to those questions that surprise you. Take a few minutes, grab your favorite aesthetically-pleasing notebook and funky pen, and get to brainstorming!
2. When creating a personal brand, it’s incredibly important to show up consistently.
Do I think you should feel the need to post on Instagram and chat with your audience in Stories every single day? No. But, there is something to be said about consistency!
Now, consistency for you and your brand might look like posting once per day, or once per month. The important thing is to start out with a pattern and schedule you can maintain - because your audience will recognize that pattern, and begin to expect to see you at certain times or intervals.
It’s like when you go to the dog park and befriend a dog owner, but never ask for their name, and yet you still expect to see that person every week on Mondays and Wednesdays. So then, when they don’t show up one Monday, you say to yourself, “I hope Tootsie’s parent is okay?”
Obviously, your audience will know your name. But still - show up, and show up consistently.
3. Use your voice.
And by that, I mean: use your voice to discuss things you care about, but also use your voice.
Your brand voice and personality are two things that your audience will be able to build a connection with. If you’re ever stumped on how to build out your own brand voice, just refer back to those questions you brainstormed over earlier in this blog, and look for keywords from what you wrote down. Additionally, do a quick brainstorm on your ideal audience, and determine who your audience is, what types of content they enjoy consuming, and from there, how you can appeal to their interests and tastes through your voice and personality.
Since this is your personal brand, 90% of your voice should feel natural and inherent to you. Think of the remaining 10% as a chance to zhush up your existing voice in an effort to reach your ideal audience.
4. Create content that attracts like-minded people.
And how do you create content that attracts like-minded people, you ask? By creating content that you’re passionate about!
It’s as easy as that. If you want to build your audience, focus on also attracting like-minded people. To do so, you’ll need to consistently create content that speaks to people who are passionate about the same things you are. This all goes back to point no. 2, as well.
5. Don’t be afraid to get personal.
It is your personal brand, after all.
I’m a Chinese immigrant in the U.S., and I’m passionate about helping other creative entrepreneurs. I want to bring value to them through social media, while bridging the gap between beautiful art, and accessibility.
But how will people know that, if I don’t share my thoughts and experiences?
You have a story to share in your content that will resonate with your audience, and allow them to feel safe in getting to know the real you. That’s the beauty of a personal brand - you have the autonomy and ability to let yourself shine through all content you create!
6. Hone in on the causes and topics you’re passionate about, and talk about them.
Choose 3-5 causes or topics that you are passionate about, and use those as content pillars for your social media and blogging strategy.
Not only will those content pillars help you remain on brand and on topic, but they’ll give you the ability to create more content that lights you up. It’s okay if you do stray a bit away from those content pillars every now and then, but the most important part of developing a personal brand is to ensure that you’re sharing your point of view, and that it’s reflected, time after time.
It can be easy to want to share your point of view on everything, but try to pare things down to focus on those 3-5 topics or causes you’re passionate about, so you don’t cause brand confusion.
Once you’ve developed those 3-5 content pillars, you can create a content plan to discuss and educate on those topics through free education, resources and tips.
7. Choose your personal brand adjectives.
Do a bit of research to decide which 5 adjectives you’d use to describe your personal brand. Keep those adjectives saved somewhere - in your notes, portfolio or brand book.
This exercise will help further develop your personal brand voice. By writing those adjectives down, you’ll be able to refer back to them whenever you’re in need of inspiration.
As promised, not a single one of those tips will cost you a penny - but they will reap huge results. Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to follow my very own personal brand over on Instagram: @clairexue ⭐