How To Infuse Your Brand With More Personality

One of the most common misconceptions about personal branding is that it’s just as simple as showing your face online. Look, showing your face is great! I highly recommend you do, because it helps your build connection and trust with your audience. Whether you sell products or services, people love to know who is behind the brand and feel like there’s a human there who cares about them and their needs. And not just a faceless corporation. But just slapping a photo of you on your about page and posting a few headshots on your social media does not a personal brand make. Your audience may see your face, but have they learned anything about your personality, your values, your purpose? Have they gotten to know you, your approach and the transformation your work offers on a deeper level? 

Corporate marketing world is no stranger to forced-smile team headshots on their websites, enlisting approachable looking characters to their campaigns to humanise their brand, or paying top dollar for celebrity deals to have a well-known face represent their brand. And yes – all this does work. Having human faces on an otherwise bland corporate website does make the company look more approachable and creates an air of happy employees who actually care about the work they do. And that A list celebrity or influencer you like does make you pay attention to a brand you might have otherwise ignored. But do you really feel like you know that much about the people behind or in front of these campaigns? Or is it just that you know of their faces?

Your audience may see your face when they come across your social media or website. But do they have something more that helps them get a deeper sense of who you are, and connect with you, beyond just your face? If you’re a service provider, are you giving your potential clients enough opportunities to assess what it would be like working with you more closely and build trust in your services, before they reach out? If you’re an artist or product based business, are you giving them a reason that goes beyond your creation to fall in love with your brand and keep coming back for more of what you create next? 

Want to communicate the value of your offers beyond just their price tag or convenience of time, access, etc? It’s time to lean into your personality and infuse it all across different aspects of your brand, so you can stand out and position yourself uniquely, even in the most saturated of markets! Let’s explore 7 key ways to do so.

1. Your Offers

If you’re like most entrepreneurs or creatives, you might not think that your offer itself is a way to stand out in the market. When I started out as a photographer, I was so keen to fit in and be seen as one of the professionals, that I though structuring and offering my work the ways I saw others in the industry do was a sign of legitimacy. Oh, was I wrong… It was actually just a sign of my insecurity and not having a strong business background. The market feels saturated when everyone is offering the same thing, in the exact same way.

For our clients it can be overwhelming to make a choice out of a hundred brands that do the exact same stuff. But the thing about creative and entrepreneurial industry is that there are no fixed rules. You can create whatever products, services and art you want. And you can do it all in your own way. Actually, it’s the offers that are truly unique that really stand out. If 99 brands in your industry are doing the same thing, and you’re offering something really different to them, the consumer is no longer just having to choose 1 out of a hundred, they’re now choosing out of the 1 and the 99.  Instead of standing in line with the 99 waiting to be the one to get picked, you’ve chosen to step out and stand in your own lane instead. And you’re the only one in the queue. Think of your brand as a one-off, totally unique designer dress, versus the 99 dresses on the high street shop rack. Sure, it’s a dress either way, but it’s not in the same market. 

How do you create a one of a kind offer? Think of what you most love about your work. If anything was available to you, if you could have people pay for whatever you create, what would it be? How do you work best, in your most genius or flow state? Structure your work to facilitate that. Are there values or interests that are important to you, that connect with the work you do?  Can you build your offers in alignment with those values and passions of yours?

2. Client (Or Customer) Experience

I recently ran a workshop on client experience with a fellow brand photographer, and as we were getting ready for the workshop, I realised something that really surprised me. Client experience has become such a common phrase in the online business world, that it’s kind of lost some of its meaning. It seems some people think that your client experience is a thing (like the software you use to onboard your clients, or the leaflet you send out alongside your product). Or that it has to look a certain way, and can be simply copied from someone else. 

So let me clarify before we progress. Your client, or customer experience is how your client, or customer journey feels. It’s the experience people have with your brand as a whole. It doesn’t just begin when they buy from you. It starts from the very first interaction people have with your brand. So if you want an experience that feels personal, and that supports your people in the right way. Ask yourself what you want them to feel when they interact with your brand. And how can you foster that feeling through your brand presentation, presence and every touch-point they have with your brand? 

As a person, how do people tend to feel when they’re in your company? What is your presence like when you enter the room? Are the life of the party? Do you dress in bold fashion and always make a statement? Are you always cracking jokes, especially through tough life situations? Or are you someone that makes people feel seen and heard? Are you a soft, calming presence? Are you the person people go to in a crisis, because you always seem to stay calm and have a plan? Look for opportunities to tap into these personality traits and infuse them into all aspects of your customer journey.

3. Your Copy & Messaging

Every sales expert will tell you that copy is what converts your audience into buyers. But be honest with me, how many times have you read sales copy that just sounded like the same on dry script that was clearly built on a template? Did you actually feel convinced or moved to buy? No, me neither. There’s so much copy out there that just sounds like it’s regurgitated from someone else or written by AI with zero personality or real connection to the reader.

Having some structural guidelines to lean on isn’t wrong, it can really help you write effective copy for your business. But don’t treat writing copy as a school test. You’re not getting graded. I’m no stranger to getting stuck and frustrated with my own writing, because I feel like I’m just “not getting it right.” But there is no right. There’s copy that’s authentic, honest and actually sounds like you. And copy that ticks the box. Choose to do the first. Write from the heart, write what you know and write what you really mean to say. Don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t try to sound more “professional,” or put together. Don’t try to sound more elevated, edgy, humorous or romantic than actually comes naturally to you. If you really struggle writing the way that you actually talk as a person, the way that’s natural to your personality, then you could try recording voice notes or a conversation with a friend. And pull from that. You’ll find that when you’re thinking less about the words or the right sentence structure, you get your message across more clearly. Because you actually say what you mean, and focus on the purpose of your words, not the words themselves.

As you spend more time writing, you’ll find that sounding “on brand,” will start to come more easy with practice.

4. Brand Photography & Video

Your brand photography and video content is a multi-sensory experience of your brand. Just showing your face or having people hear your voice is just one basic use of photo and video for your brand. Having a solid brand strategy will help you write your copy with clarity, and make sure your message is speaking directly to your ideal audience. You need to tap into that same brand strategy for your visuals, too. You know that saying about how a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, you need to know what words your picture is trying to say. If you’re to create meaningful and impactful visual content for your brand. Your copy is like a letter or being on the phone with your audience. It may be a really deep and vulnerable conversation, but you’re not actually there – face to face. So think of photography and video as actually having people in the room with you. If you were to invite your dream clients and customers in for chat with a glass of wine in your garden, a dinner party or take them on a adventure with you, what would this entail? Think of the atmosphere, the sounds and sights, the feeling of the space. What will you wear for this occasion, how will you set the space? How will you greet them? How do you want them to feel? I want you, again, to think of the way you hold space, and how people feel when they’re around you. What energy do you bring to your work and your brand? Your brand photography and video are the way to translate that personal energy, the experience you’re taking your clients and customers on, the way you’ll impact their lives, into your brand. So they know what to expect before they work with or buy from you.

5. Brand Design

Good design matters. And good design is more than pretty design. Much like copy and photography, it needs to be based on strategic and intentional decisions. So that you’re creating a cohesive and clear brand identity overall. Design holds and ties together your words, and your imagery, so you want to make sure it fits seamlessly together helping each part of your brand communicate with more impact. Design is also another way to infuse your unique character into your brand. It’s also, like words and images, a way to evoke emotion. So think about how you want your people to feel when they come across your brand, or when they’re working with you? How you can foster that feeling through your design. You want to weave the same personal energy, atmosphere, message, values and meaning through all aspects of your visual brand.  

Often, when it comes to design, it’s tempting to just go to Pinterest, look at what someone else is doing, what styles are trending, and much like fashion – base it on what’s popular right now. But going with the crowd isn’t how you create a stand out brand. Instead, think of your design as your signature style. Rather than looking outwards for inspiration, look at your own style and life. What do you wear? What do you surround yourself with? Notice the colours, patters, shapes and overall style. Take inspiration from there.

6. Your Website

Your website is the online home of your brand. Think of it as a brick and mortar shop. When people enter your shop, how do you want them to feel? What is the atmosphere and feeling of this space? Is it inviting? Are there things for them to take in and browse? Do you have leaflets with more information about the different things you offer? Can they touch and test some of the products? Do you come up to assist, strike up a conversation as soon as they come through your door? Do you introduce yourself and greet them with a smile? Much like you would welcome someone into a physical space, invite them into your website with a conversation and a welcoming atmosphere. Offer things for them to do and look at, so they are likely to peruse and stay for awhile.

Besides a beautiful experience, you want to give people an opportunity to get to know you better, to build connection and trust beyond those first impressions. This is the one online space you have full control over, so make the most of it. Give people something to linger over and read with a cup of coffee. And something to return for, a way to dive deeper into your world, your story, your passion and purpose. Through strategic and aligned design, copy, video and images all coming together intentionally – you can tell a story, evoke feelings, spark action, inspire and empower, build and nurture connection. This is a space to really put your own heart and soul into. To curate and style in your own personal fashion. And fully express what you and your brand is all about!

7. Your Content

If your website is the shop, then your content is the shop window, the catalog you send out to your regular customers and the way you stay in touch so one time visitors and customers return for more. Curate this intentionally. Unlike your whole shop, you have limited space and time to grab, and hold attention. Keep this window fresh, curate a selection of the most relevant, seasonal and the very best of what you have to offer, and say. Give people a sense of your personality, your style and what it’s like to spend time with you. Treat it as a way to intrigue people, give them just enough to want to walk in through the door and browse some more. And then offer them a reason to come back – keep the conversation alive, refresh your display regularly to garner new and renewed interest. Don’t overthink it, but have fun with it – it’s your space, you don’t have to follow the rules and do what everyone else is doing.

Ok, but how exactly do you do all these things? How do you know what it actually looks like to translate your unique personality into your brand offers, client experience, copy, design, photography website and content? I certainly do not expect you to just be yourself and that’s that. There are strategies, tools and methods to help you figure out how to extract your essence and infuse it into your brand in practice! That’s exactly what the Aligned Brand Course is for, and I’d love for you to join me on this journey of envisioning, creating and embodying your deeply aligned brand!