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As Jeff Bezos famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It’s real, it’s authentic, it’s your essence – and it’s difficult to fake. Building your personal brand is more than having a well-designed logo and more than just getting your name out there, it’s also ensuring that every one of your messages and actions works toward growing your influence by controlling the narrative. People are going to talk no matter what, so you may as well take part in the conversation!
Squarespace can help your brand’s narrative by making your site a true reflection of what you’re trying to achieve and making you look like a pro from the start. Their award-winning templates are easy to personalize while their marketing tools will help you grow your audience and be found.
Brendan Fallis is a Canadian import who has quite the resume – he’s a worldwide sought after open-format DJ, an impressive style icon, and a partner in a talent management firm. It’s safe to say that he knows more than a little about building a personal online brand, so we reached out to get Brendan’s take on what makes him shine among the masses, as well as how Squarespace helps him and his online brand be viewed in the best possible light.
Make yourself standout.
For Brendan there’s one quality that stands above all others, “Number one would be authenticity. So many people in the space are not true to what they are. Lots of people see a lane they think will fit them and then grow into that lane. For me, I just post the life I live in a way I like to portray it. In my mind, a lifestyle is your brand and it needs to resonate in all aspects. A lot of people who fall into this category are strong in one space but fall short in others, and I think it’s highly noticeable.”
In the case of personal branding, influence lies in the authority of self-expression, so taking control of what’s being put out there about you is vital. The more authentic you come across to your audience, the more lasting power you’ll be building day to day. In Brendan’s case, the worlds of music and fashion share some crossover.
“Music definitely got me my ‘keys to the city’ so to speak. It was the first part of my life in NYC that took me out of an office job. From there, I began to use fashion as a tool for more work in the music space, and from all of that, the talent management company was born. It’s great that all the verticals play into themselves. It allows me to have leverage in all sorts of creative ways through relationships old and new, for both the talent we represent and myself.”
When it comes to advice for designers working with influencers, Brendan suggests “Your brand is only part of the equation. Although you might be and should be heavily invested in your own brand if you’re looking to work with an influencer keep in mind that they’ve created a brand for themselves that you need to be conscious of. As in any relationship, it’s a two-way street – be open, listen, learn and react. There are plenty of great things to accomplish and a lot of roads that will lead to nowhere, but just keep pushing and stay positive and it will all go the right direction.”
Find your people.
In order to acquire that all important influence and sway, you’ll need to identify your audience, keep them engaged and energized, and figure out where to find them. One or two social platforms are sure to stand above the rest when it comes to all of this, and the only real way to find out which is through experimentation.
Brendan says, “I don’t target an audience specifically when I think of creating content, but the audience formed and now falls into a majority between the ages of 26 and 40. I used Facebook and Soundcloud originally to get my word out around music and then when Instagram was born, I learned how to create new content that promoted growth around my personal brand.”
“Engaging your following is more difficult than most people think. You have to be creating and sharing content constantly. As much as people say the job must be easy, putting together 3-5 original pieces of content a day that represents quality and is engaging is super time-consuming. Once you post any content you need to be there to support it cross-platform and, then follow up with all followers who engage to give it more of a personal touch. I also feel it’s important to engage directly with those who reach out because, at my level especially, I feel listening, learning, reacting, and being motivated by your following is super important. Instagram is where I spend the most time but trying to give YouTube a solid amount these days as well, which I’m finding the most challenging.”
Put yourself out there.
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As you can see, there’s a good amount that goes into growing a personal brand after launch as well. As a seasoned veteran, Brendan has some good tips and advice for those just starting out on building their own personal brand.
“There’s a lot that goes into building a brand and it largely depends on what the vision is, but in general some key pieces of advice are to be authentic, be transparent, be humble and listen,” according to Brendan. “Your brand will be how the world sees you before you get a chance to explain yourself or respond to any questions, so make sure you feel confident and comfortable with what you’re going to go to market with. That being said, if something is too over-thought you may never even roll it out. In this world you can pivot and grow within reason, so don’t stew on an idea forever. Sometimes it just takes it getting out there to understand what it needs to be and where it can go.”
Craft your look.
Squarespace is a great resource for not only easily building a sleek and intuitive website but also injecting it with the personality of your brand. And the beauty of it all is that everyone can achieve the look and feel they’re looking for without breaking the bank.
When it comes to Brendan’s approach to his own brand he said, “I like to keep my own brand quite simple – clean and classic – but make myself approachable, humble, and relatable. I think the site design speaks well to all of that.”
His site was designed by Robert Levine who shared, “The intention was to build a website sophisticated in its simplicity, just like Brendan himself.”
“Robert mood-boarded the whole project. He understands my brand from afar, so he was able to come to me with a very concise plan about color, font, copy, and use of photos. Robert has a very clean, precise taste so I knew he’d be able to take my analog qualities and allow them to live in a digital world in a comfortable way,” Brendan said
He then added that “It’s always refreshing to find a company that makes something very daunting incredibly simple. Squarespace takes the guesswork out of searching high and low for an answer on how to build a website. It’s simple, efficient, and on top of that focused on great design. There are plenty of options to choose from to find the vibe you want, and then you can tweak it a bit from there. By alleviating the stress of building a site, it allowed me to focus on how I creatively want my site to live and gave me a quick but professional looking tool to use as a point of reference, landing, and resume so I could spend more time in the field building relationships and work.”
Ready to get to work on that branding? Take the first step with a Squarespace website. Use coupon code DESIGNMILK at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.