Defining (or REdefining) Your Personal Brand Identity:

Everything You Need To Know from Niching to Evolving Your Brand

Think back to middle school. Can you remember how you felt?

Whether you struggled with fitting in or with wanting to stand out, those pre-teen years are infamous for identity searching (see: embarrassingly trying to do everything we can to look cool.) Why? Because we don’t really know who we are then. 

Then you figured it out (mostly). You grew up and became an entrepreneur. Now, as a business owner, you see your brand going through a period, not unlike the dreaded awkward pre-teen stage. 

You’re asking yourself: Should I niche down? How do I pick a niche anyway? What is my brand identity? *angsty screaming* Who even am I? 

Take heart. If your future brand could come visit you today, this guide contains the advice and tips your baby brand would need to hear from them. 

But First, The Basics: What Is A Brand Identity?

Your brand identity ultimately encapsulates the way your brand looks and feels. Think of it as your brand’s style, the “packaging” or “outfit” that you wrap your goods or services in. Essentially, it’s comprised of all the little components you pour so much of your heart into, things like: 

  • the word choices you make
  • the fonts you use 
  • the colors you incorporate
  • your overall design aesthetic 
  • the visuals you use (logo, graphic elements, photography) 

These elements all work together to leave an impact on your audience, build your credibility, and communicate your unique approach. This perception of your brand is your brand identity. 

A young white woman wears a felt hat and smiles through a backdrop of pink carnation flowers. She is holding a camera to her eye. The brand feelings created here are bubbly, youthful, and joyful.
Your brand creates a feeling. What do you want people to feel when they come across your brand? Help shape the desired feelings you want for your viewer with your aesthetic and style choices. The feelings portrayed through this brand photo include: bubbly, joyful, youthful, and feminine, to name a few.

How To Define Your Brand Identity For The First Time

If you’re afraid of niching down, of rejecting clients who you could possibly serve, of limiting yourself and your resources with a niche brand identity, know this: you’re already on the right path and it’s just going to keep getting clearer all the time. Over time, the fog will lift and what may seem unlikely right now will one day become as clear as day. 

To get started, here are 5 Steps to Define Your Personal Brand Identity: 

Embrace who you are and what you’re already good at. 

You already have something to offer. You just need to figure out how to best communicate that. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want to be known for? 
  • What am I REALLY selling? (What’s at the heart of what you do?)

Imagine your dream customer. 

The clearer the image of your ideal client gets in your head, the easier it will be to find them. Ask yourself:

  • Who are they? 
  • What do they care about? 
  • What’s their aesthetic? 
  • How do they spend their time? 
  • What do they do for work? For fun? 
  • What would they like to see from you?

Make your core messaging super clear and easy to understand.

A good first impression goes a long way. If you resonate with them and what they care about, you’ve already begun to establish your credibility. Your job is to help your dream customer to see why you’re the best choice for them and then continuously build on that trust. 

Remember that your brand identity is separate from your own. 

Sure, there may be a lot of crossover between you and your brand, but everything YOU love doesn’t need to be a part of your brand. For instance, if your favorite color is hot pink but your dream customer has a modern and minimal sense of style, it would be a good idea to stick to the black and white aesthetic and leave pink out of it.

Most of all…be patient with yourself. 

Clarity comes with time. I promise you no brand – in the history of ever – has bloomed overnight. 

A personal brand photo of a white woman sitting on a bed under a pile of dirty laundry and with an annoyed expression on her face. This brand photo captures feelings that include quirky, informal, annoyed.
This brand has a different identity and creates a different feeling when you come across this image. What brand feelings are portrayed through this photo? Quirky, informal, expressive, annoyed are some feelings that read through here- which was our goal!

Experiencing Growing Pains? Here’s How To Redefine Your Personal Brand Identity 

Change is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier. 

Your brand is evolving at the same rate as you. Your goals and priorities will change, your ideal client will become clearer, and you may decide to pivot or niche down in a new way. Congratulations, you’re evolving!

How to redefine an evolving brand:   

  • Find the data that’s already available everywhere. 

Listen to your customers and your family members (who might notice things you miss). Are they saying things that help you know which direction is the right one?

  • Do some reflection. 

Check-in with your gut. Ask yourself: What type of clients light me up? Which ones drain me? What type of work leaves me feeling fulfilled? Which type leaves me with regrets? What part of my service/products do I just love talking about?

  • Hire help. 

In the beginning, you can’t always afford to hire people… but when you’re ready, let the experts do what they’re good at. You’ll be able to move along much more quickly and you can focus on the things you’re great at. 

  • Update your visuals.

Outdated visuals are going to keep attracting the wrong leads. Updating your visuals (logo, graphics, photography) is one of the best ways to start appealing to and resonating with the right leads. You want photos and visuals that reflect your growing clarity.

  • Most importantly…give yourself some grace. 

If you tried something and failed or quit? No worries! You’re now a data scientist, and you’ve now collected more data that will simply help you get to the next stage in business.

Bottom Line

Most importantly, your brand identity is what makes you you in business. It’s what separates you from your competitors. It’s what resonates with your ideal client. But a well-defined brand identity doesn’t happen overnight. Stay open to your brand’s evolution and celebrate your growing clarity. 

How The ALP Heartfelt Experience Can Help

Don’t have to have it all figured out right now? You don’t have to! The Heartfelt Brand Photography Experience is designed to help you gain the clarity you need. 

When you book your brand shoot, I promise to:

  • Bring my own experience and knowledge to craft photos that will truly be an asset to your business.
  • Ask questions that will get to the heart of why you do what you do and what you want/need from your photoshoot. 
  • Finally, I’ll help you set goals so that I can customize your experience to your brand needs and help you further define your brand identity.

Most importantly, when you take action, we can move the needle further in the right direction, and your brand identity will become clearer than ever before. 

Lastly, if you feel like your brand identity is strong but you’re still struggling with bookings, the next step may be to revisit your client experience. Check out this blog to audit your client experience!

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