Build your personal brand through the power of video
Whether you want to be an influencer, lifestyle guru, or business thought leader, you must first master the art of content creation and personal branding. Sure, landing TV and magazine interviews, blogging, and even hosting IRL events can catapult your personal brand, but video will likely be a powerful tool for connecting with your audience.
Why video? Video content allows people to connect with you on a deeper level than they can with just text or images. In fact, video is the preferred medium for consuming information—especially among millennials and Gen Zs, who specifically seek videos to which they can personally relate, according to Adweek. This connection is key to building a successful brand.
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to create your own videos and share them with the world. Just about anyone can pick up a smartphone, create a video, and upload it to a variety of platforms. So, how can you use your video assets to build your personal brand online? Here are seven action items you can use to get started today.
1. Know your audience
Before you start creating any video content, it’s essential that you take time to get to know your audience. Who are they? What do they care about? What kind of content do they relate to?
By doing your research, you can tailor your videos to fit your audience’s interests and create content that resonates with them. You can also identify what topics you should focus on, which aspects of your brand you should promote, and what types of videos you should create.
You can also use this research to find out which social media platforms your target audience uses the most. This will help you decide where to share your videos and ensure that you’re reaching the right people.
Need help defining your audience? Use EllenSu.tv as an example for defining and reaching your ideal audience. A director, designer, and recruiter, Ellen Su built her brand by focusing her attention on 2D and 3D animation while also holding onto her Chinese-American roots. While Ellen’s website is an all-encompassing portfolio of her work as an Art Director, Ellen’s social channel includes sketches and finished art which focuses on female leadership and empowerment.
2. Determine what type of videos to create
Spend some time brainstorming what video approach will work best for engaging your target audience. Think of stylized series that can differentiate your content from other creators. Will it be long or short-form content? Is it a talk-show-style interview or a vlog that follows you throughout your busy day? What’s your area of expertise? What is the best way to share it to make sure your content is seen and heard?
For example, if you’re a personal chef, you’ll want to share recipes and tutorials live from your kitchen–but you might want to differentiate your cooking content from millions of others by also adding a special introductory section about how and where you source your fresh ingredients from farmers’ markets.
For JennyYang.tv, knowing what videos to create was easy: as a stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and host, Jenny’s videos are primarily comedy sketches she’s written and acted in over the course of her career. Jenny’s website also includes interviews and collabs she’s participated in, but her social channels stay true to her brand: making people laugh.
3. Create content that is aligned with your brand
Now that you defined your audience, keep them in mind when you start creating content. Think about the type of videos that will resonate best with your viewers while aligning with the brand message and identity you want to convey. This means that you should consider the type of content you create, the tone of voice you use, and the visuals you include.
When it comes to creating videos, the key is to make sure your content is engaging and creative. Try to think outside the box with your topics and come up with ideas that will capture your audience’s attention. You could do something as simple as a Q&A session or use more creative techniques, such as a live video challenge.
BeyondtheSummit.tv (BTS) does a great job laying out steps 1-3: by defining themselves as an eSports production company, Beyond the Summit says they “make unique content that resonates better with audiences. We get more out of players and talent.” BTS’s content includes broadcasting gaming tournaments and working with gaming developers to help them create content, and their social channels are filled with eSports-related content and events.
4. Invest in the right video tools (but don’t go crazy)
As a newbie, don’t feel the need to spend thousands on a professional DSLR camera. Stick with your iPhone and scale up your investments toward video over time as you grow with your audience. Lighting is everything so consider buying a simple ring light, or a full vlog kit that usually includes lighting, a microphone, and a tripod, which you can buy for less than $100. Video is visual, so make sure your appearance, background settings, and even guests are professional and on-brand. For example, if you’re a career coach, you want to record from a clean, uncluttered space, and that your clothing is polished.
RaisedByWolves.tv has mastered the art of video design and can be a good example of what to strive for. Experts in grading, visual effects, computer animation, and versioning, Raised by Wolves helps beginners by taking in their raw footage and applying special effects to make videos look Hollywood-ready. Remember: it’s not always how much you spend on equipment, but how you use that equipment that counts.
5. Develop a video content calendar
Once you’ve established a balanced production schedule and format, be thoughtful about consistent output and distribution. You can’t unveil a fabulous video to your followers, then go radio silent for weeks. A good rule to follow for social management is about five times per week, and no more than once daily. The point is to post consistently, so your audience knows what to expect from you, without overdoing it, as you don’t want your followers to feel “spammed.”
6. Launch a personal website
Create a branded website as a central hub for all your material. A personal site allows you to have full control over the look and feel of your online presence. You can easily embed your videos, create a blog, and link to your social media pages from a single location. This will make it easier for people to find you, engage with your brand, and share your content. Consider alternative domain extensions, such as .TV, .CO, or .club, which will expand your options of available domain names to help you land the best possible domain for building your brand online.
Additionally, a website can help you build relationships with your viewers. You can easily add a contact form or newsletter signup to your site, which will allow you to stay in touch and engage followers. In fact, a newsletter signup was the number one medium used by content creators to grow their audience in 2022.
7. Share your videos on multiple platforms
Whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or LinkedIn, cross-publishing your content is key to increasing your brand visibility. Be thoughtful about which platforms make the most sense for your brand (see tip #1 above), link out to them from your personal site, and link back to your personal site from your social platforms.
- YouTube. YouTube is the second-largest search engine, after Google, so your content will be visible to those who use YouTube as their source of information. Having a YouTube channel is a must for every serious video creator.
- Instagram. When it comes to video, Instagram is a dynamic space for content sharing. In fact, it’s tough to imagine Instagram without video, where you can post videos to your feed, Stories, and Reels, and even go Live.
- TikTok. This platform is among the fastest-growing social platforms, hitting 1 billion monthly active users in 2021, years earlier than when Facebook and Instagram reached that milestone, according to Forbes. The app allows for the making and sharing of short videos with an emphasis on culture and personality.
- LinkedIn. For business and educational creators, LinkedIn allows you to add video to its Featured section, which is placed just below your bio.
Beginner’s Tip: If you already have a strong social following on a single channel, and are not yet ready to launch a personal website, registering a branded domain name – like Kaylonator.tv – that you can redirect to your main channel is an easy and effective way to start building brand equity online. It’s much easier to share a short, memorable domain than it is to send people to various platforms with different user handles.
Building a brand through video
Remember, in today’s digital age, building your personal brand through video is one of the most powerful ways to promote your online visibility. Video can be inspiring and strike emotional chords in ways regular text cannot. It can engage and connect you with your audience in new and amazing ways. You’ll find that you can use your own video assets to show off your expertise, demonstrate your personality, and create meaningful connections with your followers.
Establishing a branded digital footprint, under a short and brandable domain, is one of the quickest and easiest ways to stand out in a competitive online market and begin to share your story with the world.