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Human Branding – the Trend for 2020

For what feels like forever, 2020 has been every trend watcher’s near-mythical time horizon. Now, we’re about to live it.

The new decade will thrust upon us new challenges and huge opportunities! There are several emerging consumer trends that will help supercharge your planning and each one is a powerful opportunity to build new products, services, campaigns, brands and more that people will love in 2020 and beyond.

You are already experiencing the impact of influencers and their effect in mainstream marketing. Instagram, the #1 ranked social media channel for influencer marketing is a must in any branding campaign. New formats such as IGTV, and features such as the ‘shoppable’ Instagram functionalities, continue to rapidly motivate a customer through the shopping journey. As the influencer user base continues to grow, Instagram sponsored posts are steadily rising, with 6.1 million total sponsored posts expected by 2020. The Instagram influencer market has swelled, approaching $2.3 billion dollars.

Check out this guy, Cameron Dallas. A 20 year old millennial who’s feed is full of fun comedic shots, professional modelling shoots, intimate family photos, flashbacks to a younger him and images depicting all kinds of social issues has over 21 Million followers. Instagram: Cameron Dallas

His antics portray the boy next door with a content mix of lifestyle and social events. There are photos of everyday life experiences through to the extraordinary opportunities his fame has brought. Product placement and playing with pets feed our curiosity but it seems the greatest attraction is how Cameron bounces from messy to polished in an insta-nt.

Meanwhile, virtual avatars are becoming more of an influencing reality elsewhere. Brands immediately saw the value of the social media space but the use of AI has recently allowed them to portray their image in ways we have never experienced. Re-known Instagram influencer, “Lil Miquela”, is one of the most followed online social media influence with 1.6 million followers and she is a synthetically developed character. Developed by a Los-Angeles based company, Buda, who specialises in artificial intelligence and robotics has partnered with Prada and Calvin Klein in executing some of their respective advertising campaigns with Lil Miquela as the profile.

AI will certainly give individuals and companies a new level of anonymity that Dallas Cameron no longer enjoys but it really comes down to your intention and purpose.  Virtual Avatars may be the face of your brand but your content will still need to be on message. Communicating the values, beliefs and choices that connect you to your community and customers. Defining those is easily achieved by your actions and behaviours. So be inspiring by sharing how you were inspired. Build connections by staying connected.

Human Branding requires integrity, alignment and accessibility.

How to build personal brand with your voice?

The number of Twitter followers, Facebook Likes and blog subscribers are   very poor metrics for building a meaningful personal brand.

Building a personal brand means providing so much value in one (or multiple) niche(s) that people begin to associate your name with the idea of what it means to be successful in that industry.’  – Pip Rae

Becoming a thought leader and an influencer is just a small step from being the expert in the room. This takes a lot of work, around 10,000 hours of specialisation and experience.

Step 1: Work out your good at, what you want to do and how you can make a living out of a niche.

The first step is acknowledging what you like doing, and more importantly what you don’t. Chances are you don’t like what you’re doing you won’t take it very seriously, and if you aren’t taking it seriously, you will end up fighting with yourself about doing it properly and well.

Commit to being as great at that thing as you possibly can be. This has to do with realising that whatever you like doing, a million other people like doing it too–and they are all ready to take your position, should you start slacking off.

Set boundaries around what you do, who you do it with and what that is worth. Your times is valuable and spending it on something will be costing you other opportunities whether that is with your family, friends or other clients.

Step 2:  What social platform?

The number one problem most people is they rush into building a website for themselves and spend hours trying to come up with how they are going to brand themselves.

None of that really matters. Well not yet.

Immediately start owning your craft, and providing the value of what you do to the people and things will grow from here.

Find a platform that suits your interest, and start creating the best content you possibly can.

Fashion? Make style videos on Instagram. Life Coach or speaker? Facebook video your face off. Graphic Designer? Pinterest your creations in themes. Unicorns! LBD’s! The green thumb Gardner can post valuable information about different plants, seasonal tips and great products.

Step 3: Collaborate for Content.

Next, reach out, connect and build as many relationships as you can. Find a mentor and discuss concepts with other thought leaders within your niche. This opens doors for you and helps grow your social following. Aligning yourself with like minded people is simply inspirational.

Find other people who create great content and collaborate. Fitness? Run together, record your results, and post it to instagram in a friendly competition. Hospitality? post funny food clips on Snapchat and @tag each other in text on the screen. 

By creating the content together and trading audiences your reach just doubled. Everyone grows, everyone wins and watch as your alignment attracts some awesome connections. I found I made ‘new’ friends in the process.

Step 4: Build your website and email list.

Even without a significant following on social media take time to build your website. It will become a valuable tool to referring new clients to and host your body of work. Start with something simple and curate this space as you grow.

Your website needs to contain value to your readers and regularly update with information, education and products. To attract attention retain their interest, post regularly on social media sharing the value on your website.

Create a win/win situation by offering a specialised content in exchange for their email–a free download. It has to be something that will motivate them to ‘do’ and take action. This gives them a test of who you are, what you are good at and what you can do for them in the long term.

When creating your website and client journey, focus on planning navigation of this process so your engagement references and shares as much as possible\.

Step 5: Create your own products.

Building a Personal Brand enables you to develop your own style and create your own products. There no doubt it also gives you credibility as today your business card is the book you write, the course you create and specialised product that shares your knowledge, skill and expertise.

The incentive for launching your own products, is not just about creating a passive income stream it is also an opportunity to leverage what you stand for. Environmentally sustainable promotional products create awareness, drives innovation and contributes to the cause. Products continue building your social followings, create collaborating opportunities and engagement with new influencers and their audiences.

Products that represent your brand are simple and align with what you believe in. Healthy Lifestyle, Sustainable Clothing Options, Charity Organisations and Socially Responsible Causes.

So what you say is going to be as important as what you look like, what products you sell and who you affiliate with. Big job for many but the more you get to know yourself, the easier you will find it to make decisions about the work you do and YOU will emerge as the person you want to be seen as in the world. When you FIND YOUR IDENTITY, you then have the capacity to change the world, by being the change you want to see.

Remember, trends mean nothing if you don’t use them to make what you do – and the world – better. So absorb these trends, take them to your team, share, discuss, argue and conspire. 

But most of all, act.

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