How To Bring Your Personal Brand Voice To Life?

In previous blog post, I talked about how to define your personal brand voice and frame recognizable standards to create your brand story. In whatever field, your distinct voice, signature image and style determine your relationship within your circle or group, overall in society at large. Let’s expand our topic to the critical element of bridging your brand identity/voice to real life and social media.

Let’s start with your engagements through myriads of social media platforms. Generally, the nature of these mediums are spontaneous and fluid. Cultivating your personal brand voice on social media calls for identifying your tone, your language and your purpose.  Creating contents that are authentic and endorse your brand voice; requires clarity, discipline and consistency. Blissfully once established, it takes away the distracting flotsam in your busy lives.

Sweeping through your list of what I am and what I am not, can be used to create contents that give a hint or a splash of your identity. It really pays off if you have done your homework.  For instance:

You prefer the visual appeal of Instagram to adapt your screenplay and engage with your friends or the public. You are an empathizer but not a sympathizer; you prefer soft rock & relaxing music but not techno; you love to read fiction concerning social issues not science fiction; you are an advocate for a specific cause, you love to eat french pastry, the list goes on.

Certainly, the efforts to define your personal brand voice gives you a clear idea to share images and micro stories that exhibit your opinion and position. Creating snaps, videos, tweets or images to showcase what matters to you; putting into words effective captions that firmly support your perspective; sharing your odyssey, together breath life to your brand.

Each medium evokes different experience and connection. Tapping in to the most compelling one to convey your intentions, you need to tailor your brand story to fit. No matter what form your are using, there are few techniques that you can apply to stamp your brand story, whether through snaps, images, conversations or attire:

Show don’t tell: your choice of clothing, manner, your posture, your eye contact, your images, a piece of art, snaps or pins,… should be in harmony with your brand voice.

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 6.44.46 PM

 

 

Serena Williams sleek feed on Instagram attest to her qualities and values.

 

 

 

Foreshadowing by giving hints and clues: your choice of accessories, food or wine; a quote or a proverb; building anticipation by composing contents that your circle looks forward to,…. are few tips to consider.

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 6.13.52 PM

 

For instance, one accessory that reflects your character in an understated elegance is a watch. Let’s say, you are a sportsman, a thrill-seeker,  drive a Porsche 911 and choose to spend a weekend in Circuit  des 24 heures de Mans. Certainly you wear an Omega wristwatch that communicates the style with power in a subtle way.

 

 

Appeal to senses: your choice of music to include in your storytelling; a description of a taste;  narrating the mood,…. invoking a sentiment that one hopes for and allows your audience to relate.

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 6.51.58 PM

 

Jess Hoffman snapchat account (@ChoosingChia) focus on wholesome plant-based ingredients. She shares the fresh produce that goes into her juice of the day, step-by-step videos of her favourite recipes.

 

 

Ability to find solutions: Be a thought leader by sharing your knowledge; talk about your experiences;  be the expert in your topic of choice; tell what motivates you; your world views,….

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 7.05.14 PM

 

Lewis Howes, an American author, entrepreneur, and former professional Arena League football player. He hosts The School of Greatness, a talk show distributed podcast. He makes use of his knowledge of marketing, product design and human behaviour through his online media company.

 

Set up a unified visual branding: this technique surely applies both to your social media engagements and physical attributes. Use of colour that matches your emotions and fonts that appeal to you personally. Be expressive and include a signature style to indicate your distinct voice.

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 10.52.22 PM

 

Christoph Niemann Instagram account @abstractsunday is innovative and witty. His whimsical signature is apparent in all his visual storytelling.

 

 

We might not have the unique experience of cheering people up, influence, entertain, tell and hear stories around a campfire at all times, still adapting the same approach and emotions to our social and career networking brings our personal brand voice to life.

 

4 Elements To Define your Brand Voice

Everyone has a brand! The impressions, we leave behind, are combinations of how we have reflected our traits and presented ourselves. Done properly, it serves as a compass for personal development, establishes credibility and is instrumental to our success. Personal branding starts with the ability to outline your skills, intellect, strengths and style. It gives you a clear focus using your best elements and what sets you apart. Once defined, you will be able to shape your brand voice.

The very first step is to pen down:

  • Who you are! You can use simple terms to define your attributes, such as:

    cheerful, confident, culturally curious, witty,….  

  • What is your mission another word your brand promise? An example would be:

    “I have a positive outlook, I bring passion and creativity to my work and I am in my element when I help others,…

  • Define guidelines by thinking of what is your brand and what is not:

    Bohemian not conventional; lighthearted not poker-faced; compassionate not indifferent,..

  • Write 5 words that best describes your core values & guiding principles. The important qualities that you live by and they create value and connection. Such as:

    Aspirational, spirited, caring, loyal, honest,…

The exercise gives you a solid foundation to create a coherent brand voice that holds together all your efforts and communication through any medium, to establish your brand.

Now, bringing the brand voice to life has a clear path. Your social media engagements, your style, your interactions are all guided by a set of references that articulates your personality.

 

 

Featured image: artwork by Metis Atash – Crystal Buddas Sculptures

How to foster advocates and loyalists?

Generally, people are more inclined to engage with brands that are truly invested to improve social issues. They establish a meaningful connection when the brand’s voice provokes a conversation, signals ethical standards or involves their audience into cause activism. According to the 2017 Edelman Earned Brand Study: ” fifty-seven percent of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue”. This means that a brand can prompt haters or possibly  harness advocates by manifesting a point of view, taking a political stand or starting a dialogue.

For that reason, tapping into the subconscious of belief-driven audience, fosters loyalists.  On that account, how to connect in a meaningful way?  By creating:

  • Personal and relatable contents
  • Provoking a conversation
  • Activating sustainable solutions
  • Engaging your audience to shape the social movement

Remarkably, each and every referenced approach that offers “empathy”, will be rewarded by consumers.

“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Be mindful and remember that Homo Sapiens appreciate being understood. For that matter, recognize the hurt, the desire, the need or the joy. Get to know your audience, send the message that “you get them” and initiate a memorable bonding. Your platform as an individual, profit or non-profit entity is not solely about growing your brand but how to make a difference.

Consider the shaping elements of a good storytelling as a starting point:

  • What: is the topic, what has happened or will happen: be clear, focused and unveil the matter. Be attentive, the spotlight should be on the issue not on your brand but your shared values.
  • Who: has been affected
  • Why: are you taking a stand: acknowledge the importance of the topic and the impact. Avoid mixed messages. Ask open ended questions.
  • How: can you as a brand and belief-driven audience feed the beast, get involved and have an impact. How to convey your message: contextually or visually based?
  • When: the development speed of a news, an issue or a talking point is critical in your communication
  • Where: does your audience absorb information?

The underlying emotion of empathy rooted in your brand’s voice and taking a position in life, strengthens your authority.  Individuals with great personal branding such as Tony Robbins interact with their audience with stirring personal stories and the ability to understand their feelings. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, UNICEF tackling social issues or J. Crew blog post “How to get (and dress for) the job you want” are all about making life better for others.

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 3.04.41 PM

Procter & Gamble’s thought provoking ad called “The Talk”, acknowledges biases and the challenges that black community experience as parents.

Or “thank you Mom, Winter Olympics 2018” video:

Unicef’s campaign, “It’s on all of us to stand up and speak out to #ENDviolence against children. Recognize it. Report it”, deeply disturbs and propels you to act upon.

Personal Brand Storytelling With Videos

How to connect with your online audience in 7 seconds? How do you bring about an emotive response in the cyber space? How the online surfers, viewers or fans will get to experience your feelings, your attributes by reading your “About” page? The moving pictures are the answer.  Whether you are an executive, a consultant, an artist,…  creating video bios will significantly prompt deep and meaningful bonding. Visuals with well structured script are memorable. You have control over the flow of information to illuminate professionalism, inspiration, empathy, creativity or any personal attributes that will assure a favourable connection.

“Your brand is a unique promise of value”. William Arruda

The essential elements in producing compelling video bios for your personal branding:

Script: Create a storyline that is relevant to your profession. Start with your brand attribute, the authentic quality that reveals your character and supports your intention & unique promise.  An example might be that your brand is about helping others succeed as a consultant. Hence, that particular trait in your personal and work behaviour such as enthusiasm should be revealed in your script. Next employ your brand statement and weave a story that embodies your sensibilities, strengths and vulnerabilities. Account your experiences and challenges to toss in an intimate flavour to your content. Suppose you want to be regarded as an influencer, in that case you should give your perspective on a topic. For the most part, remember your written bio will list all your accomplishments however your visual motion should convincingly render abstract feelings apparent.

Visual Appeal:  Check the Basic rules of design, provided by Canva to help you with the shot compositions of places, people and yourself.

The audio: Choosing the right music and narrating your story should be in harmony with your images and your intent. Websites such as: AudioJungle or Freeplay Music allow you to choose the appropriate background music for your video. As for the voice-over, make sure that is clear. Your tone and pace should reinforce the emotions that correspond with important moments or ideas.

Last but not least, emerging technologies such as virtual reality, 360-degree video and augmented reality allow viewers to experience the adventure and visualize your work.  These immersive ways enable you to create notable and emotionally vibrant stories.

 

 

Jen Mann – Relationships & Emotions

Jen Mann is a Canadian artist who explores how relationships form and develop. She delves into “self “concept, the realization of being a separate entity and how our shared experiences whether in the form of harmony or conflict, condition our ways of life.

Fireworks by Jen Mann
Fireworks by Jen Mann

Her compositions manifest the prevalent social trends in digital narratives with incredible hues. The unnatural colours that embody her work relate to her storylines and formulate into strong emotions.

PLZ
PLZ ❤ Me – Jen MannJen Mann

She tackles the existential questions by taking a satirical, intellectual and honest approach to our conventional values.

Emoji - Jen Mann
Emoji – Jen Mann
Venus - Men are from Mars Women are from Venus
Venus – Men are from Mars Women are from Venus
Wet Dreams - Jen Mann
Wet Dreams – Jen Mann

The concept of real or constructed self identity is portrayed in her creations to make us aware of our cultural attitude towards individualism. She is her own muse and captures her identity in different conditions by being conscious of her interrelationships with self, others and her environment.

I don't feel blue, I feel delft blue - Jen Mann
I don’t feel blue, I feel delft blue – Jen Mann

 

Single Tear - Jen Mann
Single Tear – Jen Mann
The Facade - Jen Mann
The Facade – Jen Mann
The side I don't see - Jen Mann
The side I don’t see – Jen Mann

 

Jen Mann’s contact: http://www.jenmann.com/info

 

How To Create Your Personal Brand Statement

Your commitment to your natural talents, your learnt skills and your intentions creates your personal branding statement. Specifically, you are responsible to align your intentions and your strengths to communicate your brand. Your approach to craft a statement should not be to classify, state a job description or a goal, but what makes you memorable, solid and competent.

“In my opinion, a good personal brand shouldn’t be the goal; it should be a side-effect of having good goals and acting consistently.” Tim Ferriss

Your personal brand statement shouldn’t be more than two sentences. Start with your personal & professional attributes, make a list and then choose the ones that people recognize you for and more importantly you are able to consistently deliver to the standard of expectations.

Once you narrowed down your list, choose the ones that make you different, bring value to others and solve problems.  Ask yourself questions like:

  • In what way I am different from others?
  • How my perspective in life brings about improvement?
  • How do I perform differently compared to others?
  • Why am I interesting to others?
  • What experience people feel when they meet me or work with me?
  • How can I help others?
  • What kind of activity engages me for a long time?
  • Why people come to me for help?
  • What makes me stay focused on a task?
  • How do people introduce me?

Recognizing your unique value proposition, allows you to echo your promise. This commitment is your “unique selling proposition”. By leveraging your experiences, your values, your trainings and skills, you give a different colour to your brand. For the most part, your point of difference is your unique selling proposition. Therefore, developing a a concise and clear narrative about your distinct reputation helps your stand out.

To help you get started, here are few examples of personal brand statements of influencers , retrieved from  twitter bios or other sources:

Richard Branson : “Tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at !”

Michelle Obama: “Girl from the South Side and former First Lady. Wife, mother, dog lover. Always hugger-in-chief.”

Oprah Winfrey: “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”

Chiara Ferragni: “Love fiercely (and don’t forget to stop along the way to take photos).”

 

 

 

 

 

Raw Series by Cristian Girotto

Digital art is about imaging the reality as you want. It is perpetual, interpretive and  reflects the outlook of different cultures. It allows the artist to connect the dots between creativity, perceptions, desires, popular and high cultures. An art that communicates the unsaid and allows you to experience visually other senses.

Once more,  talented digital artist, Cristian Girotto has patiently rendered culinary art in a liberal & eye-catching series dubbed “Raw”. Cristian Girotto is a digital artist based in Paris, you can view his portfolio on Behance or his website.

Raw by Critian Girotto
Raw by Critian Girotto
Raw by Cristian Girotto
Raw by Cristian Girotto
Raw by Cristian Girotto
Raw by Cristian Girotto