One of the most common pieces of advice given to people looking to make a living from influencer marketing is how to work on their personal brand.
In the same way that brands spend a lot of time and creative energy defining their core values, every good influencer should also know what it is they stand for, and how they want to portray themselves to an audience.
So, to help you create the key elements of your own brand identity, here are three influencers who are already doing it incredibly well.
1. Decide on your look and feel
Few things are more beautiful or inviting as a perfectly coordinated Instagram profile. And it’s no accident that the very best profiles you see create the sense of one consistent style.
You won’t be short of amazing examples for strong, distinctive styles on Instagram, but visual artist Rick Bhatia is one of our favorites.
Rick Bhatia may be a professional photographer but his strikingly simple, uncluttered images, shadowy color palette and visual tranquility make him an amazing example of an influencer who doesn’t compromise on his core brand style
Be more Rick: create moodboards for the kind of colors, composition and lighting you ideally want to come through in all your images. It doesn’t mean every single picture you post looks exactly the same, but there should be a unique visual signature that people will begin to recognize as yours.
2. Create your tone of voice
Brands want every conversation they have with their customers to feel inspiring and familiar – whether its on social media, in their stores or through their advertising.
The same is true for content creators, because the way you talk to your audience and how you express your ideas can make all the difference between being influential and being ignored.
A favourite amongst the Collabary blog team for a pitch-perfect tone of voice is Camilla Ackley.
Sharing uplifting images from her lifestyle and wardrobe, Camilla not only has a beautifully light approach to her captions, she also often overlays her images with fun and inspiring messages.
Camilla is, of course, a wildly gifted writer (she’s the founding editor of ‘Into The Fold’ – read her brilliant piece on ‘An ode to female friendship’ to see her in full flow) but you don’t have to be an alphabetical expert to get your tone of voice right.
Be more Camilla: concentrate on expressing yourself in a way that’s most natural to you. Don’t waste your energy trying to make every post sound like it should be up for the Pulitzer – just stick to simple principles to ensure your followers can make a real connection with your voice.
3. Have a purpose
Having Instagram posts that are stunning to look at and thrilling to read doesn’t mean a lot if your audience doesn’t really know what you’re about.
This isn’t necessarily to say that you should post about one thing and one thing only – there are plenty of excellent influencers who have earned their reputation for talking about a relatively wide range of subjects.
What matters is that you have a point of view on the world, a reason for your Instagram existence.
One of the best around for this is Dominique Davis (aka @allthatisshe).
If you’ve never seen Dominique’s posts before (what on earth have you been doing with your life?) it’s a burst of quirkiness, imagination and expertly choreographed images you’ll find it impossible not to smile at.
From fashion and parenting to garden makeovers, Dominique isn’t easily defined as having any one particular specialism. Instead she shares her unique expression of her world and her family through creative scenes. Her reason for being is simply joy.
Be more Dominique… however it looks, whatever you write, just make sure you have a purpose as an influencer. A good way to find what this may be for you is to think about how you would like to be described by your audience. Whether that’s inventive, compassionate, strong or funny, that is the starting point for locking down your Insta-identity.