Defining your personal brand can help you differentiate yourself from the competition and ultimately attract more clients. Determining precisely how you want to present your professional image to the public, however, can feel overwhelming—how do you represent your personality and interests cohesively in a discernible way? We check in with Becky Godlove, senior marketing director for Coty Professional Beauty, for advice on how to discover and convey your brand.
1. Know Yourself. The key to creating your personal brand is identifying what’s important to you. “A personal brand should not be what you believe people want to see from you—it should be a representation of who you uniquely are,” says Godlove. Once you have a clear idea of your “why,” as well as your interests and your point of view, you can start building your brand story.
2. Picture Your Story. “The best stories have central themes, so it’s important to take time to define the values and themes that are important to you,” Godlove explains. To better express yourself, source inspiration visually. Go through the photos on your phone and print out the 15-20 images that spark the most joy.
3. Track Your Inspiration Timeline. Similarly, Godlove suggests going on an “Instagram hunt” for inspiration. Instead of following new accounts, write down the last 10 accounts that you’ve followed, notating what attracted you to them—this will serve as a record of your recent sources of inspiration.
It’s likely that what inspired you last month still inspires you today, but what about your childhood self? To piece together all the parts that comprise your identity, reach out to an old friend and ask them to tell you stories from your formative years. “You’ll notice some interesting truths about the things that were important to you when you were younger that still drive you today,” says Godlove, advising that you write down these stories on a note card.
4. Find the Pattern and Bring It to Life. Once you’ve collected everything, hang your images, Instagram hunt cards and phone-a-friend notes on your wall and look for patterns. “Do you see common colors, personality traits and values coming through? If so, you’ve found a theme,” says Godlove.
Once you’ve identified your brand’s themes, it’s time to bring them to life. Write down the four that you connect with the most and think about how to express them going forward. “If color creativity is a core theme, write down the activities, images and stories you want to tell and your action plan to do it,” suggests Godlove. Keep these themes handy, as they will guide your content going forward.
5. Refine What You’ve Defined. Now that your personal brand has a clear direction, refine it further. Start by creating a list of dos and don’ts; for instance, always having an optimistic tone but never getting fixated on a perfect result.
Like any brand, you’ll be relying on visuals, so consider your color palette and think about the moods you want to convey. Don’t worry about appearing too perfect—people connect with the lessons learned along the way as well as the wins. Ultimately, having a clear perspective earns likes, not being overly filtered.
As a stylist, you’re in a unique position to help others feel good about themselves, so think about what makes you most excited about your job and continue to explore that in your content. And remember, building a brand isn’t an overnight process. “As you evolve, so will your brand,” says Godlove. “Don’t worry about getting it perfectly defined the first time.”
This story first appeared in the February issue of Beauty Launchpad. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.