How-To, Career

How to Build Your Brand (And Share It with the World)

By Katie Melko, RDH, MSDH on August, 5 2019
Katie Melko, RDH, MSDH

Katie works as a public health hygienist and educator and as adjunct faculty at Lincoln College of New England. She is involved in ADHA and currently serves as Immediate Past President in Connecticut.

Have you put serious thought into becoming a speaker, key opinion leader, writer or public health advocate in the dental hygiene community? Or are you looking to market your business? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's time to start building your brand.

Capture Who You Are
A brand helps identify who you are in your industry. When you’re building that identity, it’s important to ask yourself what your focus is and how you want to be perceived. Make a business vision statement that describes your overall mission, and build your brand off of that.

Here are some real-life vision statements to give you a few examples:

Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.Patagonia

Empower people through great software anytime, anyplace, and on any device.Microsoft

Spreading the power of optimism. Life Is Good

Think about what will resonate most to help you achieve your mission: is it a brand that is clean and professional? Quirky and fun? Modern and innovative? Make sure your brand reflects your personality and that you can relate to it well, otherwise you risk confusing your audience down the road.

Once you’ve identified your brand, work on a business name and a logo to complete your look. What tone do you want to convey and what type of audience do you want to attract? Thoughtfully incorporate images, fonts and colors that accurately convey your brand to your audience.

Hit Send
Social media is a great tool for reaching your target audience. If you already have a good following and name recognition on social media, you can leverage your personal page for your professional goals. Or you can create a business profile that’s separate from your personal page.

Managing your image on social media requires diligence, attention to detail and a regular cadence. While everyday life is fun to share, not everything you do requires a social post. That goes double for anything inappropriate, including posts you may be tagged in by your friends.

It’s also best to avoid polarizing issues or engaging in arguments with people on any social platform. Make sure you post in the correct context, and that your posts align with the image you’re building and won’t be perceived negatively.

Instead, keep your posts positive and focused on your business, such as what your business is doing and any events that are coming up. But be careful; you don't want your social media pages to become a giant infomercial!

Your pages should reflect your personality, too. For example, you can share your views on working in private practice, public health or any setting you’re currently working in with your followers.

Stay On Track
It might help to create a schedule that outlines your week. It could look something like this: 

Calendar_brand-1


Focus on posts that help reach other like-minded people who have the same interests and are looking to follow a similar path. Avoid negativity and instead fill your brand with a happy, positive image that reflects your brand.

Sharing your struggles can lead to a deeper connection with your audience, as long as you keep it educational and informative.

Tailor Your Posts
Learn the nuances of multiple social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. A post that works well on Facebook may need to be tweaked for your Twitter audience. As you build your brand on social media, pay attention to who tends to use each platform and how they are using it so you can optimize your content.

If you have an event coming up, consider creating a Snapchat filter or Instagram GIF to encourage your attendees to create posts surrounding your event, which can lead to a future increase in attendance. Sprout Social and Hootsuite are two of many apps that help you manage your accounts by allowing you to schedule your posts at a pre-set time.

Building a brand is fun and exciting, and you may be eager to get out and share it with the world. But it’s important to build your brand at a steady pace so as not to get overwhelmed.

Building a brand and social media following take time, and if done right, you’ll be able to surround yourself with people in your tribe who will support and uplift you. Good luck and have fun finding your brand!

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