If you know me, you know I’ve struggled with inconsistency. Part of that inconsistency was caused by my false beliefs about what it takes to build a successful brand.
Building a successful brand isn’t complicated, yet we make it so.
It can be so easy to believe the lies multiple social media coaches perpetuate.
However, understanding what is truly necessary is crucial in ensuring the success of your brand.
Here are 5 things I thought I needed to build a successful brand.
1. I Thought I Needed To Be Young
For some weird reason, I thought that in order to build a successful brand, I needed to be young. I felt foolish wanting to build a brand at 25 and beyond.
Now that I know better, I know that age is not a barrier to building a successful brand.
It’s funny because I would see 21-year-olds in my niche making 6 figures and I would immediately think I’m a failure. Even when I have amazing long-term clients.
The Rise Of Older Influencers
The rise of older influencers has shown that age is not a limiting factor when it comes to building a brand. Initially, Tiktok was for kids, but now the audience is more mature. And there’s less judgement.
Many older influencers are leveraging their experiences on TikTok and building powerful brands.
Examples of successful older personal brands include;
Grandma Droniak has 7.2 million followers.
-Gina, a 58-year-old fashion influencer who is building a powerful fashion brand on Instagram.
2. I Thought I Needed To Look Like an Influencer
For some crazy reason, I thought I needed to look like an influencer. I thought I needed to get my nails and hair done and have a full face of makeup before showing up on video. You know, like an influencer aka baddie.
However, that was just my way of procrastinating.
While a beautiful appearance can help you build a successful personal brand, it’s not necessary for success.
An alternative way to build a brand without looking like an influencer
One way that has helped me show up is by focusing on authenticity. Sharing my stories in a genuine way has helped build genuine connections with my audience.
I’ve done that by being honest and transparent about my experiences. Another way that’s helping me is by sharing my unique perspective and providing valuable information.
There are many successful personal brands that started out in a humble way.
For example, Vanessa Lau, a successful 7-figure coach. She started by sharing her journey after quitting to then talking about Instagram.
On her vlogs, she shared her experiences and that resonated with a lot of people. I, for instance, bought her $1200 course because I connected with her story. I also loved her no bs approach to Instagram.
3. I Thought I Needed To Know A lot of Things Before Starting
I believed that to build a successful brand, you must have every aspect of your brand figured out.
However, this is not necessary.
While it’s important to have a clear vision and direction when you start, it’s not a must. As a matter of fact, you can start without a direction and find it along the way. A lot of people did it that way, including me.
Here’s the guide I used to find clarity
- I created my brand persona: Instead of focusing on a super specific niche, I created a brand persona. That was the best thing I did for my brand. (FYI, if you’re unclear, please email me “Brand Persona” and I’ll send you the template that helped me.)
- My values: I clearly defined what I stand for and what I hope to achieve. My values are excellence, integrity, work ethic and innovation. Unsurprisingly, my client Amabelle inspired this list.
- Test and iterate: I’m constantly trying out different strategies and continuously adjusting. This is based on the feedback I get from social media.
- Seek advice: I have invested in coaches and mentors that have made it easier for me to start my brand journey with confidence.
- I stay true to myself: My brand reflects my authentic self and values and I don’t try to be someone I’m not.
- Keep it simple: I avoid overcomplicating my branding efforts. I also ignore 99% of the coaches because a lot of them contradict each other. I only listen to the coaches whose programs I’ve bought.
- Consistency: Consistency is key to building a strong brand. But I’ve been struggling with this a lot. Especially since my scheduled content got wiped out on Meta.
Successful brands that did not start out with everything figured out.
Facebook began as a platform for college students to connect and share information. But, it has since evolved into one of the largest social networking platforms in the world.
Another example is Instagram.
It started as a photo-sharing app. But it has since expanded into a platform for businesses.
These brands were able to succeed by being responsive to customer needs and feedback. They’ve also refined their brand over time.
4. I Thought I Needed To Have a Very Specific Niche
I assumed that to start a successful brand, I needed to have a very specific niche. For 2 years, I couldn’t and I didn’t think my brand would grow. So, I procrastinated.
While having a well-defined niche can help you reach a specific audience, it is not necessary for success.
The Rise Of Brand Personas
When I created my first brand persona avatar, I felt liberated. It gave me so much clarity. With a brand persona, your focus is on the needs and wants of your target audience.
Successful brands that did not start out with a specific niche.
Amazon started as an online bookstore. But, it has since expanded to become one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world.
Another example is Apple. It started as a computer company but has since expanded into a range of consumer electronics.
These brands were able to succeed because they focused on:
-Their customers, their unique brand voice, and a commitment to continuous improvement.
5. I Thought I Needed To be an Expert To Build a Successful Brand
Before starting my brand, I believed that to build a successful brand, I needed to be an expert.
However, that’s not necessary. While expertise is beneficial, it’s not a requirement to start a brand.
An Alternative Way
An alternative way to build a successful brand is to focus on your unique brand voice and your journey.
This can be done through:
-Consistent and authentic messaging, customer engagement, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement.
Successful brands that didn’t start as experts in their field.
Airbnb was founded by two designers who saw an opportunity in the market for short-term rentals. However, they were not experts in the hospitality industry.
Dollar Shave Club was started by a marketer who saw an opportunity to disrupt the razor industry. Despite not having any prior expertise in the field.
These brands were able to succeed by focusing on:
Their unique brand voice, customer experience, and commitment to continuous improvement.
6. I Thought I Needed To Be Almost Perfect
Before starting my brand, I assumed I needed to be “well-presented” as a brand to be taken seriously.
I now know that striving for perfection will often hold back progress and lead to missed opportunities.
One of my favourite ways to build my brand is by embracing creativity and taking calculated risks with my content. This helps me test out what strategies work.
I’ve also come to realize that embracing and owning my imperfections can help create a relatable and authentic brand.
By embracing myself as I am, I’m able to build a brand that truly resonates with my audience.
7. I thought I needed X number of followers to gain authority.
Indeed it’s the people that determine the value of your brand, not you. The assumption we make is that you need 10K+ followers to be an authority.
You can be an authority to 500 people. It doesn’t matter the number.
Unfortunately, a lot of people despise their few followers, and as a result, they don’t grow. If you desire to grow, you have to treat your followers like gold.
Appreciate your 10 followers, create great content for them and serve them.
Building a successful brand online isn’t as complicated as we think. Unfortunately, there are so many people online that try to make it look like it is.
Start creating content even if you feel stuck. Honestly, taking action is the surest way to find clarity.
And if you’re a solopreneur that needs help with clarity and social media, reach out to me. I genuinely want to see you win in 2023.
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