So here’s the deal. Nobody wants to see an ugly, weak brand. Not your social media followers, not your blog readers, not Kim Kardashian…. I’m just being honest. Look, your brand made Kim cry!
I’ve been building brands and helping students grow their businesses long enough to know that first impressions matter. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. Well that doesn’t apply in Internetland, where how you package your message is just as important as the message itself.
I’ve studied the secrets behind what makes the most popular personal brands online successful and it’s led me to uncover some very simple yet powerful ways to boost your brand.
To get ahead online, guess what?
You have to have something cool and/or beautiful to connect with. (Why do you think Instagram and Pinterest are on Fiyah!!) People should be attracted to every piece of branding you put out. From your website, to your Instagram images and YouTube videos, don’t underestimate the power of showing up with a strong brand.
Think about it…
Your blog, your social media feed, your fonts and colors; all these things play a big part in communicating who you are and what you’re all about with whoever finds you.
A lot of entrepreneurs don’t recognize the magic behind putting together a cohesive brand image. These small details can actually enhance everything about how you present yourself to the world and help decide whether or not people would want to work with you.
You want to make sure people are excited to learn more when they see you and your brand. Most importantly, whenever your followers see something associated with your brand, you want them to immediately think of you.
Imagine if your personal brand had that kind of power?
So if you’re brand is U.G.L.Y. here are 17 ways to make your personal brand more attractive:
STEP 01: HAVE A STRONG BRAND VISION
I discovered early on that creating a brand vision for my clients helped uncover things about who they were and what they wanted, which provided a strong foundation on which to build the other pillars of the brand process.
Your Brand Vision is a melting pot of your personal passions and professional goals, your superhero strengths and your story, and how you use them to position yourself in the marketplace as a person of impact, influence and as someone who can deliver on your promises.
Ultimately your Brand Vision represents everything you stand for:
- What you believe in.
- Your opinions.
- Why you started your business.
- Who you’re passionate about serving.
- The motivations that drive you into action every morning.
- The experiences that have led you to this point in your life.
- The value you bring to the world.
The goal of defining your Brand Vision is to tap into your WHY and it’s a way to connect your audience to your business on a visceral level. Your brand vision is where you’ve been and where you want to go and it is what brings authenticity and truth to your brand.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the money making phase of growing our business, that we forget to define the things that contribute most to our happiness like our mission, beliefs, and values. By getting clear on those pieces, we can ensure we are operating from a place of authenticity and realness.
STEP 02: HAVE A STRONG BRAND STYLE
Your brand identity, which I like to define as your brand style, refers to the visual components that makes your brand identifiable. These are the tangible elements that collectively allow someone to recognize your brand.
Your brand style includes things like:
- Your logo
- Typography (fonts)
- Color palette
- Graphical elements like filters, textures, icons, illustrations and graphic treatments.
- Photography and photography styles.
People should be able to see you on Instagram and recognize you on Facebook. The same should happen when they’re on Pinterest, YouTube or your blog.
STEP 03: DESIGN A GREAT LOGO
Your personal brand is not about giving your business a cute logo or a catchy name, it is the sum of all the experiences someone has with you and your products or services. But with that said, even as a personal brand you do want to have a logo…and you do want to make sure it is great. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or high ticket. Even if you have a type only type logo, remember that your logo can be used in a multitude of places especially when it comes to marketing our business.
STEP 04: USE CREATIVE COLOR COMBINATIONS
What makes a beautiful brand? Consistent colors, fonts and lingo. Just as words give your brand life, so does color. Certain colors can make you feel happy or sad, convey a sense of femininity or masculinity, and make you want to hit the buy button. Color is a powerful influencer and if you know how to use it, can help your brand be more attractive and profitable. For example, if you know you want your brand to feel like a spa day but right now, your website looks more like the boys locker, you can change the entire vibe by simply brightening up the colors to draw in more of your target audience. How you use color can also bring consistency to your content, helping your students to group certain topics and concepts together. I suggest you choose two to four colors to use consistently throughout your brand designs.
STEP 05: USE COOL (NOT FANCY) FONTS
When it comes to creating your content (i.e. course slides, your sales pages and promotional graphics) having a typography palette will give your course character and help it stand out. Typography can also give depth to your content putting emphasis on keywords, headlines, etc.
I suggest choosing three basic fonts for your brand and use them consistently. You can choose one font for your titles/heading, a font for your subtitles, and a font for your body text. I use Raleway for my brand. It’s the same font style I use on my blog, in my marketing materials and in my courses. What I do is use variations of Raleway to create different levels of interest or emphasis.
There are a lot of beautiful fonts out there but whichever one you choose you want to make sure your fonts are clean and easy to read. It’s fun to use fancy fonts for small titles or little sayings, but you want to be careful about using it to type anything that has more than 10 words.
Here’s a short list of fail-proof fonts:
- Century Schoolbook
- Century Gothic
- Courier New
STEP 06: USE CONTRASTING FONTS
Does your font have enough contrast with it’s background? Sometimes you may have the dopest font type but it just doesn’t pop. If you have a black background, you typically can’t go wrong with using white text, but there are some fonts that just don’t look great against color backgrounds, so make sure your font is super easy to read on any color background.
STEP 07: MAKE SURE YOUR LINE HEIGHT + SPACING IS RIGHT
When you read a book, a blog, a branded image on Instagram, you wouldn’t want to read it if the lines were all scrunched up, right? You wouldn’t want to read someone’s course slides if the letters were so spaced out you couldn’t even recognize the words. Formatting is just as important as the font itself.
STEP 08: USE MOBILE COMPATIBLE FONTS
Some fonts are fickle. When choosing the perfect font for your brand you want to make sure it is easy to ready on every device. People want to access and learn things in the palms of their hands. Try to find website themes that keep your font formatting and text pretty. It would be a shame if that pretty blog of yours looked a hot mess on your mobile device.
STEP 09: USE ON-BRAND FONTS
Some boots are made for walking, some fonts are made for talking. Depending on how dramatic your font is, it can speak to the personality of your brand. For example, when was the last time you went to a Lau or Tiki Bar and didn’t see a Hawaiian inspired font? You can do the same with your personal brand. Break down your brand vision into 3 words (ex. sassy, elegant, glamorous) and then figure out if your font compliments those identifiers.
STEP 10: USE BRANDED IMAGES + VISUALS
I freakin’ love images. I love the fact that I can illicit an emotion through the photos, colors and pretty words I share online. Pick 4-5 visuals that will help people recognize your brand (hair color, sayings, wardrobe choices, lipstick color, icons, etc.)
STEP 11: CREATE A PRETTY + PROFITABLE BLOG
If you want your website to be successful, stunning design is not enough. The design also needs to reflect your brand vision and personality. When you create a website you need to make sure the colors, fonts, imagery are matched with functionality and ease of use. If you’re not a professional web designer, creating a website from the ground up can feel like an incredible feat. There are 5 pillars behind a profitable and beautifully constructed website and I want to walk you through each pillar so you get a full understanding of what works, why it works and how to use it yourself to attract your clients.
- FUNCTIONALITY FIRST: Yes you want your site to look nice and create a visual impact, but good looks alone don’t bring in sales. A great tour guide does, though – and that’s your website’s job. As “tour guide”, your website has the task of providing visitors with the right guidance to direct them to where they want to go – and to where you want them to go as well.
- OPTIMIZED CONTENT: If you want your brand to stand out, while providing impactful information, then you need high-quality content to show it. Eye-catching photos, compelling copy, actionable advice and an original point of view will fit the bill. Your website must engage its visitors, giving them something of value, something that will get them coming back for more. Before you publish a piece of content, ask yourself, “Is this something my audience can use to solve their problem or satisfy their need.” Remember, your content must speak directly to your market.
- IMPRESS WITH LESS: Always ask yourself, “What is my audience looking for and how can I deliver it to them in an easy, straightforward way?” It is scientifically proven that visually complex websites convert less than simpler designs. Why? Your brain can only process so much stuff. Simple websites are easier to navigate, generally having fewer pages and sections; and the design is usually less cluttered, making it easier to consume the content. When there aren’t a bunch of complicated design elements in your site’s design, your content takes center stage, making it easier for visitors to quickly scan what’s there. You may only get a few seconds to make a good impression, so err on the side of simplicity.
- STAY TRUE TO YOU: Your website is the most important component of your online presence, so it needs to be in sync with your brand identity, staying true to your vision, message, your design style. Consistency is key. You may be tempted to mix up your fonts, change your colors or play with additional filters on your images. Don’t do it! Keep your brand free and clear of outside influences that taint the brand voice and vision you worked so hard to create.
- STRONG CALLS TO ACTION: When you create a website, think about how you can integrate your “call to action” into your design elements. Creative design can draw attention to your call to action.
STEP 12: KEEP YOUR ONLINE IMAGE FRESH
Literally! Your professional image starts with an image. Put a little money aside to get some professional grade, high definition images that make you pop online. Get your hair and nails done, make sure your outfit is cute and your face is on fleek. Remember, first impressions matter. To attract the part, you have to look the part.
STEP 13: BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR PHOTOS
All of your branded images should be well…on-brand. Use your fonts, colors, brand URL and lingo consistently throughout all of your marketing collateral. Here are 8 branded images you need to build an attractive personal brand online:
- Avatar (Profile Pic)
- Facebook Cover
- Twitter Cover
- Pinnable Blog Images
- Instagram Images
- Newsletter Header
- Web Ads
- Image Templates
STEP 14: MAKE YOUR DESIGNS SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDLY
Each social media network has it’s own set of guidelines for making sure your images show up perfectly in their feeds. Optimize all of your social media images by staying up to date on the dimension specification and guidelines.
STEP 15: CREATE EYE-CATCHING CONTENT UPGRADES + COURSES
There are just as many freebies, lead magnet offers, and online courses as there are blogs. Everyone is giving away FREE stuff online in order to get you on their email list. In my post Why Giving Away Free Content Helps You Sell More Products, I share all the reasons why you should be creating content upgrades, blog posts, and other free goodies to boost your brand and sales. But here’s the deal…you don’t just want to give great content, you also want your content upgrades, workbooks, lead magnets and online courses to be pretty. Sometimes, it’s the color, the stunning imagery, or the cute stock photo that grabs someone’s attention. If you want to learn how to create pretty graphics, check out my Gold Medal Masterclass: Winning Worksheets here.
STEP 16: SHARE YOUR STORY
Something prompted you to start your business. An idea you developed. An experience you had. A desire you nurtured. It began with YOU. And because it is YOU that’s at the center of your business, it’s safe to assume that the process of developing a strong personal begins with your story. The most powerful kind of branding is the kind that creates an emotional attachment with your ideal audience. But, in order to create a personal connection, you have to give them something to connect to. One way to do this is to find a way to blend your personal story into your brand story.
Your brand story is what separates you from everyone else. It’s the reason why anyone should care you exist and it is the unique narrative that embodies the heart and soul of your business. Everything you do is part of it. Everything you believe in. Everything you will become. Your brand story is EVERYTHING.
STEP 17 : BE YOU
The foundation of personal branding rests on authenticity: Your ability to pull from your source – the place from which your identity, personality and character stem. Your job as a champion entrepreneur is to hold onto and for lack of a better word, exploit what makes you different, relevant and unique in the marketplace. Your job is to stand out. Some people will love you. Some people will hate you. Some people won’t even care. Regardless of how people feel about you, stay true to being YOU.
Think about it. AndreaBolder.com is simply a business that sells information products.
Think about how many THOUSANDS of online businesses do the exact same thing. But what separates me from every other business s how I create those products, the vision behind what I create, how I teach and share information, and the stories behind who I am, why I do what I do and what’s led me to the place I am now.
The way I am able to communicate my expertise is unique and exclusive to me. No one else can deliver my ideas in the way I can deliver my ideas and branding highlights those differentiating factors which ultimately helps me attract and connect with the right people.
A YOU-centric brand is a brand built on passion, purpose and personality. YOU-centric branding, is branding that’s aligned with your core values and beliefs and drives your personal mission forward.
When you are relevant and you are different you stand out, you are visible and being visible is what puts you in the position to get found by your perfect fit client.
When you Brand YOU, you not only attract more of your dream customers, it makes selling more of your products & services a whole lot easier. It doesn’t just attract more leads, it attracts the right leads for you and your business.
Personal brands are not optional, because if you’re not building your brand you’re letting other people define your brand for you. Those who really make the effort to manage and grow their personal brand in addition to growing their business are the ones that ultimately become the most successful.
Which one of these steps do you need to work on to give your personal brand a boost? Share your thoughts in the comments below.