As marketing students, we must hear the word “brand” at least 10 times a day. This word alone is the driving force behind our future professions. Developing a brand identity, establishing brand loyalty, growing brand awareness—all of these tasks are our goals, and means to earning us a salary, as marketers. But what about your brand? What defines you and sets you apart as an individual?
I don’t know about you, but this notion is pretty stressful to think about. You might be thinking, “I’m not a product! Why do I need to be branded?” The answer is simple. In a day in age when getting a job is as difficult and competitive as it is and when recruiters are scanning dozens of resumes that all look exactly the same, the brand that you establish for yourself as a person might be that one thing that sets you apart from your competitors. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, recruiters are looking at our social media accounts before they hire us. We all know by now that what we post is pertinent in letting future employers know what kind of person we are at a single glance. That being said, why not use that opportunity to leverage yourself? I encourage you to use your social media as a space to establish your unique identity! One of the best platforms for doing this is Instagram. If you’re not really sure where to begin in branding yourself through Instagram, here are a couple easy tips to get the ball rolling.
Keep a color scheme
This is probably the easiest way to establish an aesthetic on your page. As you can see from this screen shot from my Instagram feed, my pictures are all purple and blue-ish in hue. Pro tip: if you have a photo you want to post that doesn’t match your color scheme, you can either make it black and white OR you can slap a colored filter over the picture to make it match the tone of the other pictures around it. To do this, go to the “color” tab in edit function of Instagram and chose which color you want to make your picture. You can either chose to color the “shadows” the photo, which adds color to the darker parts of the image, or color the “highlights” of the photo, which adds color to the whiter parts of the image. Adding color to “highlights” is going to be your most effective choice in subtly adding color to your photos.
Switch up your content
If you’re concerned with likes, then you’ve probably already figured out that photos of you are the pictures that get the most likes. But if you want to stand out to creatives looking at your account, add some pictures of objects, art, food or landscapes. Including photos of non-living things will help recruiters know what you like and what makes you unique. Bonus points for posting photos that you’ve taken!
I also like to post songs that I listen to on my Instagram story and then later add them to a highlight that is pinned to my main page. While this might not attract the likes/views that you crave, having mutual music interests with a recruiter might give you a great talking point.
If you have a talent, showcase it!
Do you play an instrument? Dance? Paint? Write poetry? Post it on your Instagram! It can be scary to put your work out there, but it truly says a lot when someone is brave enough to let others see their original creations. For example, I like to make music videos, so I have a link to my YouTube channel in my bio. I also occasionally post videos of me playing guitar. This is another great trick for creating some versatility on your feed.
Stand up for what you believe in
We can all think of a brand that has stood up for a cause that they believe in (i.e Nike supporting the “take a knee” movement). If you have a cause that you feel passionately about, why not vocalize it? Passion is an extremely appealing trait in an employee and showing that you care about things other than selfies will speak highly to you as an individual.
Don’t get bogged down in what other people are doing
I know I personally struggle with comparing myself to others, not only on social media but also in day-to-day life. It can be easy to start defining yourself based on the amount of likes you receive or the followers you have, but those numbers mean nothing. Your Instagram is your space to express yourself and interact with your friends, so don’t let the way someone else does this get to you. Just focus on creating content that speaks to who you are as a person—content that makes you happy and proud of who you are.