Your personal brand says a lot about you, and you can potentially use it for a number of different circumstances. For example, you might use it as a conduit to serve as the public face of your startup. You might use it to present a professional image while searching for a new job in your chosen career. You could even use it as part of your identity as a musician or an artist, giving people more context for your work.
The advantages of personal branding are innumerable, especially if you keep your identity consistent over time; one of the hallmarks of a successful strategy is recognizability, and consistency is the only way to achieve that. That said, there must be room for experimentation as well; otherwise, you might remain indefinitely locked into an audience or a strategy that ultimately doesn’t work for you.
Why Experimentation Is Important
Let’s start by explaining why experimentation is so important for your personal brand. First, understand the situation under which you create your personal brand standards initially; you’ll have almost no experience with personal branding, and no firsthand experience with what type of it work in your industry. Inherently, this means you’ll make some inefficient or even counterproductive choices in how you present yourself; only after experiencing the strengths and weaknesses of your own branding efforts will you be able to make a better determination of what’s best for your goals.
Experimentation is also your chance to conduct AB tests with your existing audience (and future potential audience). Essentially, you’ll gather data on the performance of your previous personal brand, compare it to the data you gather on your new personal branding standards, and be able to objectively conclude which set of characteristics work better.
How to Experiment
So how exactly are you supposed to experiment with your personal brand? There are a few possible approaches to take, some of which will apply to some environments better than others:
- Try a new fashion or look. Your first choice is to invest in a new fashion accessory, a new style, or a new look. If you’re a musician or an artist, this can be especially effective. For example, you could try a more ostentatious look to differentiate yourself from the competition; according to 14kgoldteeth.com, custom gold grillz could give you the edgy look you desire. You could also adopt a fashion style that mimics what you’re trying to achieve with your work, such as being more minimalistic or more ambiguous. If you’re trying to brand yourself on behalf of your company or your professional persona, a new look could be simpler, like investing in higher-quality suits to seem more successful, or adopting more casual attire to seem more approachable.
- Change your tone on social media. Tone is a major element of your personal brand, and it’s one of the easiest factors to experiment with. For example, if you want to make yourself seem more charming and relatable, you might try injecting more humor and sarcasm into your posts, comments, and responses. If you’re trying to seem busier, more mysterious, or aloof, you could try to write in shorter, more opaque sentences. Take a look at the types of posts other people in your industry are writing to get a feel for the wide range of tone options available to you.
- Delve into a niche. Chances are, you started building your personal brand by choosing a specific niche, and expanding outward. If this is the case, you can choose a different niche to experiment with. If you haven’t yet chosen a niche, now’s a good time to get involved in one. Niches are generally constrained topics, so they’re somewhat easy to learn, yet because they’re focused on a specific audience or a specific need, there won’t be much competition to contend with. Becoming a knowledgeable authority in a new area, then presenting that authority, can be highly effective.
- Take a bold stance. Finally, consider taking a bolder stance on a given issue—especially a contentious one in your industry. Controversy can work in your favor, since it tends to evoke more responses and shares from your audience (even if it risks alienating those who disagree with you). It can also add more color and intrigue to your brand, and illustrate you as a person with stronger convictions.
In the course of your experimentation, try not to veer too far from the original personality you wanted to present. Unless you’ve hit a total wall of disengagement from your initial audience, there’s no reason to completely overhaul your brand from scratch. Instead, apply new tweaks and additions on a gradual, evolving basis, so you can see how new audiences respond without totally alienating your existing audience.