How to Create a Style Guide for your Personal Brand
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Consistency is absolutely key when it comes to crafting a personal brand that appeals to your ideal audience and helps you to reach your business goals. Not only does it mean that you’ll be able to create content more easily, but also that your audience/customers will feel more as though they know you. And that will take them from a follower to a fan!
One brilliant way to ensure consistency is to create a brand style guide which you can refer to as and when needed. This is essentially a set of guidelines on everything from written style to visuals, broken down into digestible chunks.
We know from experience that writing a good one can feel massively overwhelming, though! So, we wanted to break down the process into 5 simple steps that will leave you with clarity and direction in everything you create.
Section One: Your personal brand’s goals
The core of your whole style guide should be based on the goals that you have for your brand. After all, how can you know how to present yourself if you don’t know what you want to achieve?
Have a good think about what you would love your personal brand to get you…
Do you want more clients?
To get more followers so that you can land sponsorship deals?
To make your way into the mainstream media?
Or to spread a message with the masses?
Make a list of 2-3 of your brand goals, as the opening of your style guide.
Section Two: Your ideal reader or client
Now that you know what your goals are and can base any decisions on whether the outcome would push you towards those goals, it’s time to get clear on who your brand needs to appeal to.
If you’ve been around these parts for any amount of time, then you’ve no doubt heard it all before: Your ideal client/customer/reader/follower is one of THE most important pieces of information when it comes to growing your personal brand. Each asset should be crafted with them in mind so that you can get them invested in your business more quickly.
We have an Ideal Audience Workbook in our Grow & Glow From The Go Bundle, which you can access if you’re a member. In it, we walk you through defining your brand’s customers step-by-step. However, here are some questions to get you started…
- What is your ideal customer’s age, gender and their key area of interest?
- What is their pain point?
- How are you improving their lives in some way?
As well as allowing you to better understand who you’re targeting, these questions will help you to figure out what your purpose is as a business. Use them as a way to hone in on what you really give people through your businesses and note these in your style guide.
Section Three: Core values
What are the values that are naturally a part of your brand?
If you’re a small eco-friendly business, sustainability is obviously one of them. But what about accessibility and inclusivity? Or being bold and leading a change?
If you’re a parenting blogger, perhaps your values are honesty, fun and positivity?
Most of your values will come to mind straight away, so try not to overthink it and write down as many as possible. This list can be a good place to start for inspiration.
Step Four: Tone of voice
Building on the previous three foundational steps, it’s now time to get into the nitty-gritty of how you will portray things like your core values, purpose and goals to your ideal reader. This is your messaging.
Your tone of voice is important, as it’s one of the core ways that you can appeal to your ideal customer and immediately portray your value. You can perfect this form of messaging by thinking about what writing style would best get across your core values and purpose to your ideal reader. Make a list of words that you think could describe your ideal written voice. For example, if your purpose is to entertain your audience through hilarious dating stories, your style could be described as: Conversational, light-hearted, funny. And certainly not corporate, academic or serious!
Step Five: Your visual branding
To finish your guide, lay out the key visual elements that make up your brand including logo, colour palette and typeface. Include any variations in logo depending on colour of background, as well as when and where different fonts are used, to make your brand style guide as useful as possible.
These are another way to get across the personality of your brand, so these decisions should again be based on who your ideal customer is and what you want to convey to them. We have a complete guide to this in our Glow Your Branding course. Become a member today to gain access!
Use your style guide any time you are creating content, marketing material or visual assets for your brand, to maintain a sense of consistency and professionality. It can also be super handy if you take on freelancers or staff! It means that they can have everything they need to know about your personal brand on hand as needed.
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