Don’t Make These Mistakes When Developing a Personal Brand
by Shannon Hinderberger
In the middle of 2022, I developed a TikTok account devoted solely to my weight loss journey. I thought it would be fun to document this process and build a community on a platform I was just mindlessly scrolling.
TikTok has been one of those platforms I haven’t taken advantage of or taken seriously until 2022 and while I could make content all day long about social media marketing, sharing my weight loss journey was just the kick out of my comfort zone I needed. I soon discovered that while documenting the weight loss was awesome, it brought out my passion for getting dressed and capsule wardrobing. Now I’m taking some time to really think about my community’s wants, needs, and desires.
Here are some of the mistakes I made that you can avoid when developing your own personal brand.
Talking to Everyone
Define your audience. Yeap, I didn’t take my own advice that we tell clients. I just started posting my weekly update, mid-week update and just random videos here and there. It wasn’t until I did an unboxing video of some sweaters in a smaller size that my audience went crazy. That made me stop in my tracks and really think about monetization and content ideas about my capsule wardrobing journey.
Developing a Community on One Platform
Similar to defining your audience, you need to develop a community where your dream client hangs out online. When we made the decision to rebrand Shannon Lee Strategy to DASH Content Collective, I knew I had to make a second Instagram handle so I developed @heyshannonlee and started posting the videos from TikTok to Instagram. Once I turned on “post Reels to Facebook” I began to get a bigger audience through Facebook Reels. It got me thinking about YouTube and YouTube Shorts and I made a plan to repurpose the videos there as well. Think about all the platforms your audience likes to hang out on and repurpose the content to those platforms.
Developing Content on Rented Land
Yes, I’m admitting that I’ve broken my biggest rule by not having a website for my personal brand and relying on a free social media platform that could go away at a moment’s notice. Don’t rent on borrowed land, folks.
It wasn’t until a friend asked for the links to purchase a body suit I had tried on that I facepalmed myself. I needed a blog or website for people to buy these items so I could make some passive affiliate income.
Make a Plan and Match the Media Format
With YouTube being the second searchable platform, YouTube channel development became a priority which means I need to be recording videos in a 16:9 format – something that I wasn’t doing.
It quickly became apparent that I needed a holistic content plan along with a website that captured emails and wasn’t beholden to social media algorithms.
Enough bagging on the things I did wrong! To be fair, I only had set out to document my journey and the goal wasn’t to develop a personal brand. Sometimes we just fall into things.
Here are some of the items I got right when it came to developing my personal brand that should be on your radar.
Branding, Messaging and Consistency
Right out the gate, I decided I would use the same fonts and text colors for every video. Since I make my videos using CapCut, I have to input the text over video using the native apps of TikTok and Instagram.
As for messaging, I played around with several different styles and decided to go all in on serial content around unboxings, 5 ways to wear XYZ and confessional videos where I’d tell a story about a struggle I had with getting dressed, body confidence, etc.
This takes testing and playing around with but being consistent with posting the videos is how I discovered the direction. If you aren’t sure what post, keep at it, it will get easier.
Authentic and Transparent
Authenticity and transparency are the cornerstones of a personal brand that truly stand out. People can sniff out a fake and can tell right away if you’re not being authentic. It’s the combination of these elements that creates pull or attracts people towards your brand and trust, connection, and long-lasting relationships. Through being open, honest and showing what you stand for, and it’s this level of vulnerability that allows your audience to connect with you on a deeper level.
Engage with Your Audience
Don’t post and ghost because we know social media platforms really like it when we’re social on the apps. They reward your personal brand with views and algorithm goodness. Answer all comments, questions and DMs in a timely manner. This doesn’t mean you have to live on the app, it does mean schedule time to give your audience some love. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram, allow you to also answer questions back via video so incorporate content creation about what your audience is asking.
Add Value with Thought Leadership Content
Have at the forefront of your mind what you want to be known for – that’s the key to creating a content strategy for your personal brand. By creating informative, and engaging content that addresses the needs and concerns of your dream clients, you can establish yourself as a credible and trustworthy source of information. Your audience will keep coming back, asking questions and telling sharing with their friends.
Continuously Ask Your Audience for Feedback
Your audience is your best source of content ideas. They will come to you with questions, feedback and comments. Take this as an opportunity to be constantly adding to your content plan. Look for themes and group them to create serial content with a website first, social media second approach.
If you’re looking to level up your content strategy for your website, social media, Contact DASH!
DASH Content Co.
Marketing, Strategy, Design, UGC and Content
115 NW Oregon Ave, #7, Bend OR 97703
Monday - Thursday 9am - 4pm
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