“Build your brand” may sound like buzzwords -- but it’s great business advice. These days, having a recognizable, active online presence with engaged followers is all but a must for success.
But how do you get there?
That’s where I come in. As an actress, producer, and entrepreneur, I’ve never worked in an industry where a great, positive brand wasn’t absolutely necessary. When the pandemic hit, I launched my own boutique marketing agency to help others transform and transition their brands online. I coach experts in their fields on becoming influencers.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
Don’t copy other people. Be authentic. People will be attracted to your genuineness, and those people who share your interests will become a loyal audience. Don’t worry about losing followers because someone doesn’t “like” you. What’s the old saying? If you try to be everything to everyone, you’re nothing to nobody. In other words, if you’re copying what someone else is doing because you think it will make you successful, don’t. Find your niche and own it. Don’t regurgitate other people’s work. Having a unique, focused position means people who share it will devour what you say, and likely stay loyal to you.
Do partner or work with others in related niches. You should, however, team up with people who are similar to you or do match your niche. Collaborating on content and sharing it on each other’s platforms can open you both up to a whole new audience. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone whose audience or platform is similar to yours and see what you can work on together.
Don’t be afraid to try new platforms. Sure, choose platforms that best fit your brand, but don’t be afraid to branch out. When I started Creative Endeavors Artists, my boutique marketing firm for influencers, one of my early clients was a ventriloquist. During COVID, she took her shows to a live streaming platform so she could continue performing. It worked really well for her and her audience. But she was hesitant when I first advised her to get on TikTok. Wasn’t that just an app for Gen Z kids to post their dance moves on? You can’t be afraid to think outside the box. She could have one of her puppets do a creative version of the buss it or another dance challenge. Don’t think of it as a platform not being “for you.” Think of it as a whole new audience, just waiting to discover you.
Don’t think of it as a platform not being “for you.” Think of it as a whole new audience, just waiting to discover you.
Don’t be afraid to share. You never know what people are going to relate to. It’s as simple as that. A few years back, I had an idea to start a YouTube channel dedicated to talking about mental health. I wanted to normalize the conversation surrounding mental illness, and as an actress, I figured I’d be well suited to talk about it in front of a camera. I thought about it, I planned it, I was about to go for it...and then my nerves got the better of me. I held back. I was too scared to expose too much of myself to the Internet world. But so much has changed in two years, and now mental health content is everywhere -- even more so recently due to the pandemic. We have Red Table Talks, numerous mental health YouTube channels, and Taraji. P Henson even hosts a Facebook show centered around mental health issues in the Black community. Imagine if I hadn’t been afraid? Who knows what kind of content I could have created -- or who I would have inspired.
So what are you waiting for?