If you are unclear about what to post on social media, chances are you are missing a clear brand strategy.
Continuing the journey from corporate to entrepreneur in the Transition: From Corporate to Entrepreneur series, I sat with my business bestie Vivienne Okafor, for a session on building a brand strategy.
Vivienne shares her top tips to help you start creating a strategy that builds community, attracts the right clients, and prevents you from feeling overwhelmed by your content.
The Purpose of a Brand Strategy
First and foremost, your brand strategy is created to speak to your ideal person at any stage of their awareness journey. This is particularly important in social media where people following you may be in different sections of the marketing funnel.
Your goal with a brand strategy is to speak to potential clients and to current clients alike. Whether someone just learned about you or is ready to buy from you, your brand strategy’s cohesiveness will ensure you speak to people in different levels of the funnel.
However, when you first start, you may not have an offer. Before worrying about what your offer is, take the time to connect with your audience while you figure it out. The most organic way to do this is through your purpose and story.
Share Your Brand Purpose and Journey
Your “why” is the purpose of your brand- the big purpose statement that gives you a self-aligned brand.
Even if you do not know what services or products you may be offering, sharing your purpose will help attract people who share your goals and make you memorable in people’s minds.
[Recommendation: If you are unsure what your central message is, follow these 7 steps to start building your personal brand to start your personal brand and start honing your message].
At the core of your message is the transformation you want in your life and what you want to share with others. In my case, my message is centered around the freedom to live a vivacious life.
Whichever your message is, start sharing it with your audience.
Start Where You Are In Your Journey
To avoid overwhelm about what to post, when you are beginning your entrepreneurial journey share what you already know: YOU.
Vivienne suggests starting by sharing your thoughts around your message. Share your struggles, your worries, and your mindset shifts.
As you start sharing these, you will find your message gets clearer. For instance, using my brand as an example, Vivienne mentions how my message of freedom can be shared in multiple ways.
Some ideas I could choose to discuss around freedom are: why is freedom important to me? What does it mean to me? I can share a time I did not feel free. I can share about what makes me feel free. I can talk about how being in corporate inspired me to seek my freedom.
Sharing your core message gives your audience something to latch onto, a vision that can be achieved (eventually with the support of your offer). Sharing it also helps you connect with your audience and better understand them.
If people connect with your message, as Vivienne notes, they start asking you specific questions. For me, sharing the freedom I found by leaving corporate allowed me to connect with my ideal client: people who are seeking the same type of freedom I found.
While my story about corporate may resonate only with those who share that experience, my desire for freedom to live life on my terms, to travel, to create a path that honors all my passions speaks to people beyond corporate.
Understanding you and your audience share a goal like building a specific lifestyle, it is then easier to create content pillars that help people achieve what you have achieved so far in your journey.
Your Brand Strategy Guides Your Content
Understanding your client’s journey will help you further develop your strategy and define content pillars that guide your content strategy, not the other way around.
As Vivienne repeatedly says, brand strategy is about who and why you create content.
This is why it is imperative to build your brand strategy before looking into content strategy. If you have a content strategy that says to post two carousels and one reel a day, without knowing who and why you’re posting, your content will become confusing.
This tends to lead to more mistakes like not serving the right clients and a lack of passion, which leaves you sounding generic at best and burned out at its worst.
So what do you do? Go back to your core message!
As an example, Vivienne points out that my message of freedom is the foundation for my content. For me, freedom has been about becoming the CEO of my life through my expertise in branding, specifically brand design and brand strategy.
My content pillars then center on these three themes. This is how you form a strong content strategy: clarifying your “who” and “why” to help you decide what to post.
Using the Mirror Method for a Successful Content Strategy
Once you have your content pillars you can start brainstorming what to post. When you first start, Vivienne advises to use the mirror method in which you look back on your journey and share what you have learned within the topics of your content pillars.
Vivienne gives various examples of content such as quick tips, mistakes you made, myths (i.e. misconceptions people have about X topic), or tools you use.
[Bonus tip: Vivienne emphasizes the importance of brainstorming. Having a dedicated time for this can help you not only generate ideas but help you be more intentional about how to use different content formats and the next step of building a content strategy with your pillars].
Ultimately, your content goes back to your main purpose: what is it that you want to achieve and help others achieve with your offer.
Whether it is a brand development program or digital products (e.g. Canva templates) that genuinely help your clients, at the core of your brand strategy is the mission that drives you even when you do not see immediate results or during a difficult moment in your journey.
Vivienne shares how it took her five months of consistent posts to get her first client and how it was her purpose to create a connection that fueled her during the months she did not sell. Her journey serves as an example of what you can achieve with the right brand strategy even if you are still in a 9-to-5.
Watch the IG live to learn more about Vivienne’s journey and get MORE brand strategy tips.
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