When you think of your favorite YouTuber, TikToker, or blogger, there is probably a reason why you are drawn to them. For example, you know to watch a Huda Beauty video for a killer makeup look, while you might utilize fitness content from Kayla Itsines to inspire your workouts.
Whether it’s how personal creators make their content, what their content is, or the things you learn from them, it’s all a part of their established brand. With 50 million creators and growing in the creator economy, owning your brand as a creator in a saturated space is essential. Not only will this help you stand out in the crowd, but it will also give you more opportunities to monetize your knowledge and develop your skills as a knowledge entrepreneur. Most creators have a brand, but not every creator truly owns their brand. Regardless of how big your current audience is, keep reading as we guide you through what branding is, how to own your brand, and why it’s important to do so.
Traditional Branding Vs. Branding for Creators
Branding can mean a variety of things, and every creator approaches their branding differently. Simply put, your brand is the promise you make to your audience. There are the traditional and foundational aspects to every brand most people are familiar with - logos, mission statements, fonts, colors, etc. We instantly recognize the Coca-Cola logo and the ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ statement because they are familiar components of popular brands.
However, you don’t have to be a large corporation to have established business branding, and, in fact, branding looks a little different for content creators. This is because, as a knowledge entrepreneur, you are your brand. You might be offering a service, product, or partnership as well, but first and foremost it’s you and your content. Ultimately, not only what you share and teach your audience, but how you interact with them fits together to complete a cohesive brand strategy.
What Does it Mean to Own Your Brand?
So, you have a brand - it might revolve around fitness content, life coaching, or financial coaching; the next step is owning your brand. Around 49% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations, proving the more you own your brand, the more your audience will trust you and support your business. Let’s break it down into two different elements:
- Owning the Literal Aspects of Your Brand: This involves things we mentioned above - your logo, mission statement, colors, fonts, and general personality of your content. You may not need a logo as a knowledge entrepreneur, but you probably need the basics of branding for your website. The other physical part about owning your brand is where it’s located. Can your audience only find you on Facebook, or do you have your own domain and website that’s easily searchable? You want your audience to come to your space - not another brand’s space where your capabilities may be limited.
- Owning Your Content: Content is key to owning your brand, and as a knowledge entrepreneur, you can build trust and expertise through your content that will translate over to your brand as a whole. To stand out in the crowd, it’s important to hone in on your specialty as a knowledge entrepreneur so you can meet the needs of your audience. As you adopt your unique voice, style, and even content culture, owning your brand will come naturally.
As you start to implement both aspects to owning your brand, you will discover more ways to monetize your knowledge. You won’t have to solely rely on partnerships or YouTube AdSense because people will come to your brand’s space to directly support you.
How to Start Building and Owning Your Brand
No matter where you are in your knowledge entrepreneur journey, it’s necessary to reevaluate and go back to the basics to start building and owning your brand. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Get to Know Your Audience: While this might seem like a well-known marketing tactic, it’s even more imperative for knowledge entrepreneurs. Since you are your brand, they will expect you to get to know them so you can continue to curate relevant and high-quality content. As you get to know your audience, your brand will also grow into a community that relies on you as well as each other.
- Stay Consistent: Once you have your brand established, it’s vital to stay consistent across all your channels. From your YouTube to TikTok to your newsletter, don’t forget to stay true to the audience that supports you.
- Tell Your Brand Story: It is infinitely easier to own your brand when your story is intertwined with your content. Personal branding is one of the easiest ways to hook your audience and establish trust. For example, maybe as a fitness influencer, exercise helped you with your mental health - telling this story will keep your brand and content authentic.
- Speak Your Own Language: A huge part about owning your brand as a knowledge entrepreneur is the language you speak with your audience - are there terms or acronyms that only your followers understand?
Additionally, another important aspect to having an established brand is brand awareness or, in other words, getting your brand noticed. This goes back to tried and true marketing tactics that many modern content creators have yet to utilize. For example, some ways you can start to increase your brand awareness are to:
- Start a podcast.
- Create a blog that you update weekly.
- Host a webinar.
- Start a referral program for your audience.
- Write guest blogs on other sites.
- Create a members-only or VIP-only group for a select few in your audience.
As a knowledge entrepreneur, you don’t have to do it alone, and you won’t have to piecemeal your brand in a variety of places which is difficult, time-consuming, and inefficient. This is because there are tools that exist to help creators manage and own their brand to increase efficiency and revenue.
Why Owning Your Brand is Essential
Now that we’ve gone over how to own your brand - it’s important to understand the why. Many external factors play a part in knowledge entrepreneurs’ businesses and sometimes they are out of your control as a content creator. With social media being an integral part of most content creators’ strategy, an obvious external factor is algorithm updates - how many times have you seen Instagram influencers say “like this post so I can stay on your feed”? Algorithm updates are happening every day and they can be unfavorable for your business if the sole way to connect to your audience is on social platforms.
One example of why owning your brand is critical is the October 2021 Facebook outage. Many businesses who relied on Facebook for their shops, communication, and business suffered and lost revenue when Facebook was out of commission for almost a whole business day. This was a harsh reminder that relying on other brands to host your own brand is not a feasible long-term strategy. It is essential to have the ability to communicate to your audience in your space and to own your brand in numerous places such as your website, podcast, email newsletter, and courses.
Having a brand is not enough in the crowded creator world; the influencer economy is expected to reach $13.8 billion by 2022, and to stay afloat, knowledge entrepreneurs must own their brand in every facet to see success. Looking for an easy way to start building and owning your brand? Sign up for Kajabi today!
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