Try registering on the influencer outreach tool, Buzzsumo, and start following a hundred new influencers each week through the platform. You’ll soon notice similarities among them all: the same subjects, captions, locations, and even outfits. When so many influencers are influenced by each other, their brands can become diluted.
That’s why it’s so refreshing to stumble upon a well-constructed and totally unique online persona, such as Amra Beganovich’s profile. She and I recently discussed personal brands and the ins and outs of making yours unique and sustainable.
1. FIND YOUR NICHE
I think it’s safe to assume you wouldn’t want to go to bed at the end of the day knowing that all you did was try to copy Chiara Ferragni. Please do not register another influencer profile if you’re not unique; there’s no need for one more knock-off. Do get started, however, if you have a compelling narrative and point of view that isn’t all about you traveling to well-worn hotspots or how fit you look in that Gucci dress.
Many influencers with the biggest followings are not necessarily the best social media role models, considering that most of them only have their follower base of millions because they started very early on. In reality, there’s nothing that distinctive about them.
“There are certain influencers who have been around for a long time, and they don’t do things that stand out. People sometimes think that ‘She just takes pictures in front of a garage and she has high following. If I do the same thing, it will work for me too!’ She has been around for a long time, but you haven’t. If you want to see growth, you can’t copy their style,” Amra says.
When constructing a personal brand DNA, it is crucial to look at what the mission or angle is that sets it apart from everyone else. “If you are into astrophysics, and you are into fashion too, why don’t you take images featuring fashion with the stars at night?” suggests Amra. “This is something that doesn’t exist. It merges your two passions, and it instantly becomes memorable.”
2. GROW COMFORTABLY
Thanks to social media, it is now often possible to reach a faster growth than you would have been able to a few years ago. It’s a good idea to find your own pace in order to avoid the pressure crushing you. “We have to be patient,” says Amra. “I would say that making sure that the whole process is comfortable for you is really important, so you are inspired and not frustrated.”
3. REFRESH YOUR PERSONAL BRAND DNA
Occasionally you may need to rebrand, but what’s the healthy way of doing so? “I would say to dip your toe in,” says Amra. “When I started transforming my Instagram, I produced and posted images sporadically that I thought reflected the brand shift that I wanted to see in the future. The audience responded really well. Later I included more and more images, until I just completely switched.”
Amra also told me about a trip to Italy, where Amra decided to photograph iconic places, aiming to inspire their followers to dare to dream. They woke up at 4 AM, when no one was out in the streets yet, and captured the rays of the rising sun. “It takes your breath away even more so when there’s nobody else around, so viewers can really envision themselves being there. I call it romance nostalgia.”
4. TIME MANAGEMENT: IT’S NOT ABOUT THE HOURS
It’s vital to know yourself and your work ethic, what sort of work you can do and when, and what time of day you are most creative. “It’s not necessarily the quantity of hours that counts, but what you do in 1-2 hours,” Amra says. “Two hours is the most that we can focus on creative work–the rest is mechanical. It’s hard to be that attentive for a long period of time. The rest of the time should be spent doing things that are much easier.”
Forget what other people are doing and concentrate on what makes you different; there’s no need for yet another brand to reflect boring perfection. Let your brand DNA be easy to identify, and show others an alternative way of living.
Editor: Xylia Buros