We’ve all been guilty of it…
It starts by clicking on one person’s profile and scrolling through to see something that piques our interest. We then click on that profile and the cycle of wash, rinse, and repeat continues.
We journey down a rabbit hole of profiles out of curiosity and intrigue. At some point, we may actually find a profile we want to follow and do so.
So how do people decide if they want to follow or add your page or profile or subscribe to your newsletter?
What separates average profiles and websites that get a mere glance, versus the super popular brands and influencers who have users lined up to buy their products, follow them and subscribe to their lists?
One simple verb, BRANDING.
While branding may have many different aspects, you don’t need to be a marketing guru to build a successful brand or company.
Below are 5 crucial tools needed to create a beautiful brand that will help you capture the right audience.
5 Ways To Create A Beautiful Brand That Captivates
1. Aesthetics, Aesthetics, Aesthetics!
We live in a society where first impressions mean everything. Think of your blog, profile or page as your personal magazine. This magazine is a collage of your work, life, and maybe even interests. Overall it represents you.
The minute someone finds you by a hashtag, tagged pic or clicked link, the first thing that happens is they skim over your overall profile. Within 30 seconds they will make a decision as to whether or not your profile is interesting enough to follow or subscribe to.
The key takeaway for creating captivating aesthetics is quality photography.
QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY. Think of Vogue Magazine. Never does the magazine have fuzzy camera pics or low-res images. Vogue is known for its clean, clear and concise (no distracting or busy backgrounds) photos. I can’t stress to you how important good consistent image quality is throughout your profile. It’s what separates a basic profile from a professional brand. Now does this mean you have to buy a $1500 Nikon DSLR? It depends.
- Beginners: Cameras in smartphones have come a long way. If a DSLR is not an option for you, you will need to master quality smartphone photography. Check out this cool and inexpensive course for iPhone users. iPhone Photography School teaches users how to utilize iPhones to create professional photos.
- Intermediate: Invest in a digital camera. Image quality is superior to most smartphones and the best part? You can get a digital camera in the price range of $50 – $150. #superaffordable
- Advanced: I would recommend a DSLR for anyone who travels, has a blog, product or really wants to take their brand to the next level. DSLRs offer a level of photo quality unmatched by many smartphones and additionally offer options digital cameras just do not have. If you’ve never owned a DSLR, don’t be nervous. Here are some intro courses to help familiarize you with a DSLR: NIKON, BRIT + CO.
2. Consistency Is Key
Many creatives and entrepreneurs have a great vision but lack the know-how on creating an effective business plan.
The key takeaways for consistency are posting and color palette.
As part of marketing and growing your brand, consistency in posting is key to connecting with your audience across all social media platforms. Posts should be scheduled months in advance. It’s important to work smarter not harder. Utilize your time in the most efficient way possible by utilizing a system that posts for you.
- Scheduled Posting: Some great tools for posting across multiple platforms are SmarterQueue and Planoly (for Instagram). For Bloggers, the Content Planner allows you to write out blog posts months in advance. The beautifully designed planner comes with stickers for reminders and is one of the only blogging planners on the market.
- Color Palette: Pick a consistent color scheme and stick to it. Again think of your profile as your personal representative. It should look cohesive and professionally designed. The trick to having the look of a professionally designed portfolio (without the fees of a graphic designer) is to maintain a cohesive color scheme throughout your social posts website. Here is a good website example and Instagram profile example that are well branded – both follow the trend of sticking to the same color family.
3. Create A Human Connection
The key to really connecting with your audience is sharing your true self. You must connect with people on a deeper level than just the mechanical consumer to retailer experience.
The key takeaway here is empathy.
Put yourself in your customer or audiences shoes. Share an experience that has to do with both your brand and something he/she can relate to. For example, at The Beautiful Wanderluster, I share travel tips. Instead of posting the typical hey look-at-me-on-the-beach pic, I recently posted a pic with reasons women should travel, how it benefits them and how travel can be therapeutic. Instantly, women started to comment because they related to what I said.
People generally relate most to things that cause pleasure or pain.
A great example of the pain concept is when world-renowned makeup artist Dress Your Face took the time to share some of the changes her body has endured post pregnancy. Many women can relate to stretch marks, weight gain and other physical changes they may be too embarrassed to talk about. Yet sharing such thoughts and images creates a powerful connection with others.
The key takeaway here is to just BE HUMAN.
4. Find Your Audience
How do you find your audience?
The easiest way to find your audience is to look through profiles and pages of those who talk about a similar topic as you and engage with them.
For instance, let’s say your brand is a page or profile dedicated to sharing and creating vegan recipes. Search vegan hashtags or other pages of vegan food, recipes, products and check out who follows them and who has left positive comments on their page.
Pick a few of their followers who have public profiles. Scroll through their profiles, like 2-4 pics and leave one positive and authentic comment about something you liked. The idea is that this person is already interested in your brand because he/she is already a follower/ member of a vegan brand’s page and are really likely to check out your profile. When they do, this is where your aesthetics come into play to see if they will follow you or not.
The idea is that you are sending organic people who have a genuine interest in your brand’s topic to your page. The formula is to like at least 2 of their pics throughout their profile (not just the top pics) + leave 1 awesome and authentic comment.
It is also best to shoot for normal profiles. Please do not attempt this with larger accounts who already get tons of likes and comments.
If you have a website, the fastest way to build your audience is by providing free and valuable information.
In point #1, I mentioned the iPhone Photography School. When you checked out the site, one of the first things you may have noticed at the top is the “click here” button. It is an e-mail sign-up for a free video tutorial on iPhone techniques.
This is the fastest way to grow your e-mail list. A link to free pdfs or downloads with your freebies should also be included across all your social media platforms as well. Social media links will drive traffic to your site.
5. What’s Your Message or your Why?
It’s super important to have clarity on the vision and goals for your brand. Share this with your audience. People love to connect with brands on a human level.
Let’s say you are launching a fashion blog. Cover the relevant topics, but tell people why you became a fashion blogger. Are you a single mom who loves fashion and wants other moms to know they can be fashion forward despite their busy lives as mothers? Maybe you’re someone who’s always been told you dress well and you want to share that knowledge for the benefit of other millennial working women like yourself. Share your why and a little of who you are.
Another valued concept is elaborating on how and if your brand gives back to the community. Let’s say you’ve created a makeup line and you decide that $1 from every lipstick purchased will go to a particular women’s organization that helps survivors of domestic violence. Share that with your audience and share why the cause is important to you. Tell them why you chose to work with that particular organization. People respect and love the community.
Strategic branding is important in growing your audience. Overcome any sense of overwhelm by utilizing the tools I mentioned above.
Stay true to who you are and to your vision. Be empathetic toward others and most importantly remember that creating a brand is about being authentic, solving a problem and serving others. These come before profitability. Create the right foundation for the right reason and the rewards will come.
Juanita D. is a serial entrepreneur who has created brands that help women become a better version of themselves. She resides in NJ and works for Wall St. based firm. Juanita is CEO of Glamorous by Juanita and is a passionate advocate for women. Her #1 passion is traveling.