Today I have a special treat for y’all…a guest post on blog branding from my friend Hillarie Kay! She is a marketing guru, girl boss, and lover of all things pink. In other words, she is absolutely fabulous! I am thrilled to bits to have her sharing some tips for fellow bloggers on how to stay authentic while running a successful blog.
Hi! My name is Hillarie Kay and I own a Marketing and Operations Boutique Agency. My passion is helping small businesses succeed with the help of solid marketing and operations tactics. When I met Laura, I instantly fell in love with her southern charm. She truly embodies what you see on her blog. Talk about someone authentic.
Authenticity is becoming harder and harder to find in this social media-driven world, but for the group of us who are, I think there is an underlying fear about how we can possibly stand out and brand ourselves authentically and uniquely. After thinking about this, I’ve created five quick tips on how to authentically and uniquely brand yourself.
1. Define your core values. What are you passionate about personally? For example, Laura has dedicated her blog to fair trade, eco-friendly and socially conscious products. You never want to deviate from your passion. It will show. Authenticity and true love for what you’re talking about should be evident. Know your lane, and stick to it!
2. Define your target audience. This is true for whatever business you’re in (and YES! blogging is a business). Everyone is not your target, so don’t try to please everyone. The people and audience you are attracting should be directly in line with your core values. When defining your target audience, I would go as far as giving them a persona. For example, Laura’s might be: females, 20-35, interested in health/wellness, eco-friendly movements and social consciousness. You might even list out different organizations with which they might be affiliated.
3. Be patient, don’t sell out. As your audience grows, you will begin having people and companies approach you to sponsor their products, guest post, etc. Make sure you take these all back to your values and target audience. Do they align with your personal brand? Don’t dilute yourself. You will have the right opportunities come along, just be patient.
4. Find like-minded people and collaborate. Don’t be scared of your “competition.” Actually, get that word out of your head. Collaborating with other like-minded people is one of the best ways to build community and to grow your mission (remember that core values thing?!). Introducing your audience to other people like you will only help! Just like businesses who approach you, it’s also important to note that not every collaboration is a good fit. If you haven’t heard it enough already, take it back to your core values!
5. Talk back. If you don’t listen to anything else, listen to this! Every like, every comment, every share… talk back! Your following is THE most important thing. This is how you will really set yourself a part as a blogger, and how people will get to know you. This is where a lot of bloggers fail. They produce great content, but they don’t have a good relationship with their following, thus causing readership to go down and engagement to decrease. Engagement is really what’s important in the social media world and creates that authenticity we so crave.
Such great tips, right?? I’ve written before about how I truly strive to be authentic on social media, but this post has prompted me to think more deeply about my blog’s purpose and how I can keep that at the forefront!
Leave me a comment below letting me know how you make (or plan to make!) a conscious effort to stay authentic in your online presence.
And, be sure to follow Hillarie on Instagram if you want more awesome marketing and branding tips (or if you just like pink)!