In the day and age with social media, Twitch, YouTube, cosplay, and more, it is hard to fight the urge to start your own brand! If there was ever a time to chase your dreams, now is the time because it is so easy to get yourself out there!
Although it might be easy to start your own brand, it is growing it and maintaining it that proves the hardest challenge, especially if you are an independent content creator with no support or background in start ups. Well, don’t you worry one bit, as we are here with five ways to make your brand more professional!
Separate Your Personal Content from Professional
The very first action you want to take is securing separate social media accounts for your brand. This single action immediately showcases that you take yourself seriously because there are now dedicated pages with information and content solely about your project.
This is one of the most important aspects of UNIFIED BRANDING. Unified branding means that across all social media platforms, your brand name is exactly the same. This will make it significantly easier for fans and other brands to connect with you! Not to mention STICK WITH YOUR BRAND NAME.
The most cringe-worthy experience is trying to support independent content creators who constantly re-brand or have alternate spelling or use special characters for only certain social media accounts. There is a very important thing called search engine optimization, or SEO, which we will not get into in this post but just know that you want to keep the same name so it can become an established keyword across search engines!
Do not make it hard for folks to shower you in love!
Take the Time to Set Up Contact/About Us Sections
One of the most frustrating aspects about the independent scene is trying to get a hold of brands that do not conveniently list how to reach them. Taking an hour to set up professional looking sections of your social media or website to include your dedicated email address gives everyone involved proper guidance.
That way you will know if some one is legitimately interested in working with you since they took the time to go through proper channels. Don’t ever make it hard for someone who wants to work with you!
Monitor Your Messages and Respond
So you have your professional accounts set up with the same brand name, right? Good! One of those professional accounts that you set up was a free email account also dedicated solely to your brand! You then placed information on how to reach you officially on all pages.
Soon enough you’ll start receiving messages! Fan questions, comments, requests, collaborations, etc. , which is terrifying because although a majority of them starting out will not be professional, they still matter. One of the biggest mistakes I made early on as a content creator was letting pride and social anxiety dictate my actions.
There is absolutely no place for either of those in the professional environment. When messages come through that are relevant and ask for a response, it is proper etiquette to message back in a reasonable amount of time. Even if the message is offensive or written in an unprofessional manner, it is best to always reply to ensure they understand that you did receive their message.
At the same time you always have to imagine that whatever you write will be screenshot and posted on Twitter. Even if you are speaking to close friends, never lose your integrity while your brand name is involved. If unreasonable responses come through or continue to come through you can always stop replying after sending a message stating that while you did receive their message, you are too busy to reply and wish them well.
The way that you handle private messages speaks volumes about you as a person and as a professional. I have been disappointed in so many content creators by their lack of professionalism when trying to connect with them for a collaboration where they would read our message and never respond. Whether it was social anxiety or they simply dismissed us, it is disrespectful to not take the time to reply.
Keep Your Brand 80% Content and 20% Personal
Have you ever followed an artist or Twitch streamer that you really respected. and then were subject to an overwhelming amount of posts about politics, religion, drama, or even just selfies?
It can be pretty cringe worthy!
There is a fine line between business and personal information. Too much business content and your brand can seem soulless and only there to make a buck. On the other hand, if you post too much personal content you can come off as desperate for attention or unprofessional.
It is always best to have an 80% business posts to a 20% personal posts ratio. When people follow you and your brand, it is because they admired what you do/did and want more of it. So never ever stop giving them what that want but it is also healthy to provide insight on your daily life.
A great example is Game Grumps! On all of their social media, they post about their most recent episodes or hyping upcoming ones. Yet you’ll find a handful of tweets or Instagram stories of them just hanging out. Fans live for these personal posts because they feel that much closer to their favorite content creators.
Handle Drama with Grace
Unfortunately, like all aspects of life, if there are good times then there will be bad times as well. Someone, somewhere, for some reason, will dislike you. It could be a legitimate reason, like a falling out you had collaborating with them, or something unreasonable.
No matter what it is, you never benefit from venting about it on your professional brand. It does not matter how many followers you have or how little they have. The moment you hit publish, judgement is being cast by everyone who views the post. Even if you are well within your rights of being angry about the issue, maintain your professionalism.
The return on investment just is not worth it. It can be hard to maintain a level head during these times but the best thing you can do initially is simply not respond. Walk away for a bit and then come back to offer a neutral response that addresses the issue if it is absolutely needed. Attacking another party publicly or even venting is never worthwhile.
There you have it! Five ways to make your brand more professional! Using even these simple best practices will ensure that your brand stands out from the rest of the community who are just starting out. This alone might be the difference between landing that key collaboration or getting overlooked. Hope this helps! Stay tuned for more helpful tips!