How to Brand Yourself Without Being a Copycat
Let me start off by saying I’m no expert in personal branding. Absolutely not. But I do know that your personal brand shouldn’t be a clone of anyone else. This is a problem I think a lot of new virtual assistants face. When you’re first starting out in this industry, you hear all the long-term pros talking about branding yourself, giving yourself an identity. It sounds intimidating at first. I’ll admit I was mentally running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I read articles. I bought books. I even took a course on Coursera not too long ago. I have no shame. In all honesty, personal branding isn’t that difficult. It’s pretty much common sense with some oomph.
The number one rule when your branding yourself is to actually be yourself. You’re trying to convince clients to work with you. You want other professionals to connect with you and see you as their equal. How can that happen if what you’re showing them is actually someone else? Take me for example (since it’s my blog and I can make you do that). I make it very clear that I’m 100% okay with who I am. My personal belief in life is that people should just embrace who they are. There’s a 110% chance that you’ll meet someone who doesn’t like you. Oh well. For each one of those, there are probably 20 others that are happy tolerating you.
``Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!``
~ Dr. Seuss
A personal brand is all about showcasing who you are in a way that attracts people to your business. These can be subtle things like fonts and website colors. Choose a font that expresses who you are for your website or blog. Trust me, people notice and it can tell them a lot about you. For example, I love Papyrus (no shame) and American Typewriter. I still use American Typewriter on some of the graphics I create. Colors are a big thing. Every color has its meaning and, whether people notice or not, it gives them some idea of what they think they’re dealing with.
Here’s a task: Think of the last few movies you’ve seen. Look at their promo colors. Now think of the movie itself. Do you think those colors line up with what went on?
These are really the best (and most obvious) ways to keep from copying someone else’s brand entirely. No one likes a copycat. Stay true to yourself and you’ll attract those who actually want to work with you, not who you’d be impersonating.