Below I have listed 6 cynical (and free) tips to help you with your branding
Brand differentiation is very difficult in our flooded marketplace. You can spend a fortune on photos, branded stationery or even spend hours scrolling through Canva trying to find the perfect font.
If you google how to do brand differentiation, you will find many articles, listing out the variety of online tools to use to make your social media presence stand out. But in the end, all you need is a unique voice; and that’s free.
But, you say, I am not unique or interesting! Now the interesting thing to remember here, is you don’t need to have an interesting personality. You can be very boring. Most successful social media creators do not have a personality at all, and that has never stopped them.
1. Assess your audience’s interests.
Lurk around in the culture of your audience online on the platform you choose. Find the popular hashtags, look through their content, see how much you can create yourself. See how you are the same, and how you are different. Do this for at least a good month before approaching. Do some reading up about the culture you are planning on being involved in, look up the big memes associated with the culture, check up its history. This will save you from embarrassment in the long run. Don’t be like the Tramp Stamps, and get chased off your platform by mockery in under 9 hours of launching.
2. Create a persona to understand your audience.
Due to us all being complex and multifaceted beings, it will be difficult to maintain a consistent voice throughout your social media use without extensive practice. So instead of trying to be yourself online, create a customer service persona. Think to catfish, but more professional. For example, you may be a 50-year-old shoemaker from North Yorkshire, but you can always pretend to be a bubbly 20 something-year-old girl called Tracey when you write all your captions and think of content ideas. This persona will help you stay on brand, as you will be forced to think about what you post, thus making you more on brand. Think what would Tracey do?
3. Develop an identity for your brand.
Identities are built by association. When you have found out what your audience cares about, weigh in your opinion on it. Put out opinions that you would like your business to be associated with, and take care not to associate with people or opinions that are not popular. This can be a little tricky and delicate, if you use the wrong wording you can very easily land yourself in hot water.
But here to help you out is a vast community of people who create synthesised, simplistic image-based content with which you can easily convey the message of your brand… Memes. These convenient things will help you create an identity, without you having to say anything.
4. Be Relatable, but not too relatable.
People are interested in people, well, the idea of people… The struggles that people face. Rather like reality television, we like to see other humans living their lives so we can compare ourselves. But they do not want to see reality, that’s too boring. Remember this. If you are going to try to grow your brand you need to seem relatable to your audience, without actually being relatable. Social media, no matter how fake it is, thrives on a veneer of relatability. As well as the well-edited and aesthetic photos, you normally post, post a selfie with minimal makeup, and tell your audience about your struggles. (Remember to edit your photo a little bit though… no one wants to see your ACTUAL worst).
Do you work as an accountant? Post a video of you crying over someone’s books. Do you make cakes? Then post your most messed-up cake as well. Post your worrying thoughts (curated, of course, no one wants to hear what you are worried about) as well as your successes. People will become attached to you, forming a parasocial relationship
If you are having a slow content day start drama. This can be alone with some hot and spicy takes on push-button issues. Or you can start drama with another, by attacking another creator or business in your area. This latter form is called co-branding and can be quite productive if done right.
For a more serious approach to personal branding check out our branding tips article!
Good luck little influencers! And remember, you have to have a little fun with your marketing.