Can you believe I led my first workshop: Branding through Instagram with the Seattle Business Babes?
I literally put my intention out to lead a workshop out in the universe this season and I can’t believe I actually got to do it. Thank you Seattle Business Babes for inviting me to talk about Branding through Instagram! And thank you to the wonderful ladies who came out to the first Seattle Morning Mingle at 7:30am last Friday.
As I promised on Instagram, I’ll be emailing out my presentation to my email subscriber list this week! I’ll be enhancing the presentation with a few worksheets and notes since the presentation was a visual guide to what I delivered at the workshop. I wanted to give you a teaser of what I included in the presentation! So here is the first part of the Branding for Instagram presentation: Defining Your Brand.
Before we jump into Branding for Instagram,
What the heck do I know about building a brand – especially on Instagram?
Well before I created Emma’s Edition I helped built up TEDxUofW and Victoria Secret PINK at the University of Washington brands and communities. These two very distinct communities had their own priorities and objectives.
For TEDxUofW, I ran the sponsorship committee and I was responsible for getting both in-kind and monetary donations. I had to pitch to brands and communicate that our conference TEDxUofW “The Elements of Transition” was creating a space for the UW community to come together and share ideas. The first year TEDxUofW was founded, we had four sponsors. Under my leadership, I brought on 16 sponsors for the second annual conference. I brought on Dry Soda, KIND snacks, and Einstein Bagels to help feed our volunteers and attendees.
For the Victoria’s Secret PINK team, I was put a team of 7 girls together to help spread the VS PINK brand on the University of Washington Campus. I put together social media goals for all of our accounts and heavily focused on Instagram. I also organized community events – like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Viewing Party + Yoga and Zumba parties. And alongside the events, I corresponded with the Victoria Secret PINK team on a monthly basis. All the VS PINK reps got to vote on new designs, share successful events, and share any new trends they were seeing on campus.
These two very different brands taught me how to build your brand both online and offline. I realize now that a lot of what I learned in these experiences has actually helped me build Emma’s Edition.
So now that you’ve gotten to know my background, let’s get into the strategy portion for Branding through Instagram: Defining Your Brand.
First, what is a brand?
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Source: Wikipedia
A brand can be personal, it can be commercial, and if you’re a blogger – it can be blended. We all have brands we love, brands we have emotionally charged emotions with, and brands we can characterized without thinking.
The fun and the challenging thing about creating your own brand is communicating how you see yourself as brand and seeing how people receive your brand. Honestly, I’ve found that the biggest challenge people encounter when they first launch their own blog, Instagram, or YouTube Channel is that they aren’t sure what they’re brand is.
For the Defining Your Brand portion of the presentation, I had the class write down an exercise to help them figure out their personal and business brands. I asked them three questions to help them define their brand:
Branding through Instagram #1: What do you want to be known for?
If you’re just starting or have recently started your blog or website, ask yourself what do you want to be known for? Do you want to be known as creative? Do you want to be known as the fashion expert?
When people think of you, what words do you want them to associate with you?
Creative? Empowering? Smart? Businesswoman? Vegan? Video maker? Adventurer?
Branding through Instagram #2: What is your mission statement?
Defining your mission statement is defining your purpose. Personally, my mission statement for Emma’s Edition is: “to inspire the modern woman with fashion, career, and life tips”. I picked this mission statement because I’m passionate about giving advice and insight when it comes to what to wear this season. And I’m also excited to share what I’ve learned so far in Corporate America as well as my blogging journey for other microinfluencers out there.
So when you ask yourself about your mission statement, think about your product or service your offering to the world. Also take the time to think about who you’re serving. In my personal mission statement, I define “modern woman” as the college girl (18-22years old) and the young professional (23-30 years old).
Branding through Instagram #3: What are your core values?
If defining a mission statement isn’t your thing or you want to take your mission statement to the next level, what are your core values? Is it building and empowering other woman? Is it inspiring others to take a leap of faith and travel somewhere new? Are your core values centered on sustainable fashion? Or maybe your core values are around creating easy, healthy meals? Or traveling the world on budget?
My core values are centered on uplifting and empowering the modern woman – whether she’s at work or she’s trying to build up her Instagram following, I’m here to guide her through my blog, Instagram, and other social channels.
Have you already gone over these three questions to help define your brand? If you have, is it time to reassess these questions? If you haven’t asked yourself these three things yet, is it time to sit down and reflect what you want to be known for?
Why are these questions important to build your Instagram strategy?
Understanding who you are as a brand and what your purpose is will help you determine what type of content to create. If you want to be known as an adventurer or traveler, than you should create content around your adventures. If you want to be known as a fitness or health focused person, then you should create content around what you do everyday to live a healthy lifestyle.
Part 2 of Branding Through Instagram will be tips and tricks around executing your strategy! Stay tuned!
Thank you always for reading!
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Photos: Holly Phan