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Personal Branding: How to Promote Authenticity on Social Media

Defining and understanding your personal brand is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner or content creator. If you're still in the process of figuring out what yours is, it's a lot simpler than you might think. 

The magic of a personal brand is that you don't have to force it. It's all about representing who you are, what you believe in, and what you know. Then, package it into a unique presentation that resonates with your ideal audience. 

 According to data via SocialMediaToday, “90% of customers mentioned authenticity as an important factor in deciding which brands they like and support.” 

Let's dive into the impact of personal branding and a few ways you can start creating authentic content that puts your vibrant, true-to-you personal brand center stage.

The Impact of a Strong Personal Brand 

The impact of a strong personal brand is undeniable -- especially for small businesses.

It's the reason why beauty YouTuber, Jackie Aina, was able to turn her love for all things home & lifestyle into a successful high-end candle company.

It's also how registered nurse turned beauty mogul, Monique Rodriguez, went from sharing her struggle to find organic hair products online to launching one of the best-selling natural hair care lines in the U.S., Mielle Organics.

Your personal brand is powerful because it allows you to build genuine human connections so that your customers and followers know, like, and trust you as a leading source in your area of interest or expertise; this is why the most essential ingredient to a strong personal brand is authenticity.

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How to Create a Personal Brand By Leading With Authenticity 

Not only does being authentic on social media help you build stronger connections with your audience, but it makes it so much easier to create content by simply being yourself. There’s no one else like you and that’s your superpower - in real life AND on social media! Here are 4 tips for creating your personal brand. 

#1 Own Your Story 

We all have a unique story that inspires who we are and what we do. 

If you're a content creator, what inspired you to start sharing parts of your world on social media? Were you looking for a way to connect with like-minded people, or did you have a hobby you were eager to share?

If you're a business owner, what is the story behind your product and how is it different than anything else that is out there? Was there a void in your industry that you wanted to fill? Or do you have a signature approach that makes your work stand out?

Your story should be the foundation of your personal brand, so figure out what your story is and share it often.

#2 Amplify What Makes You Unique

We all possess unique traits and characteristics that make us one-of-a-kind. From the way you like to dress to your go-to coffee order to your favorite film genre, everything about you contributes to your personal brand.  And sharing all of this can help you build a deeper connection with your audience because it allows them to see more of themselves in you.

Don't limit yourself to only discussing topics related to your industry or niche on social media. Just because you own a line of beauty products doesn't mean you should only talk about beauty on social media. Or, just because you're a social media manager doesn't mean people don't care about what you like to do during your free time. Think beyond the surface and start incorporating topics into your social media content that showcases what makes you a well-rounded person. 

#3 Let Your Audience in on Your Journey 

As a business owner or content creator, your audience often only gets to see the results of all of your work. Pull back the curtains and start showing more of the behind-the-scenes process that goes into what you do. This can take the form of behind-the-scenes compilation videos, sharing before and after images, or even asking your audience to share their input throughout your process. Bringing your audience along for your journey is one of the purest forms of authenticity, and as a result, makes them more invested in your work overall.

Think beyond perfectly curated images and start letting your audience in to see what it takes to bring your work to life!

#4 Embrace the Highs &  Lows 

It can often feel like we're only seeing a highlight reel of other people's lives online. But there's a growing desire for more authenticity on social media. -- A huge part of authenticity is being willing to be transparent in sharing the highs and lows of your journey as a business owner or content creator. 

This doesn't mean that you have to share beyond your comfort level. But if you've experienced a professional challenge or setback that you've overcome, it can be incredibly helpful for others to hear about your experiences and how you’ve overcome them. Or, if you recently hit a major milestone, sharing it with your audience gives them hope while allowing them to celebrate with you. 

Let go of the idea that you have to appear perfect at all times to be viewed as a professional in your industry. It's part of being human to experience highs and lows; and the more willing you are to share them, the more authentic your personal brand will be on social media.

Embracing authenticity is the best way to cultivate an engaged community on social media by creating content that supports the growth of your personal brand. Use these tips to start showing up more authentically on social media while building a personal brand that feels true to you.

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Gabriella Layne-Avery

Gabriella Layne-Avery is a Content Strategist, Creative Director, and the founder of the content marketing agency Strut Communications. Known for coining the term ‘sustainable social media,’ she believes it’s 100% possible for small business owners to leverage social media to cultivate engaged, loyal communities for their brands without spending 24/7 doing so.

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