Defining Your Brand Values
Hello! I'm Charlotte, and I'm the founder of Blog and Beyond. I'm a slightly sarcastic 22-year-old grandma from Glasgow who loves The Sims, Hugh Laurie and programmes about airports. I've been blogging at Colours and Carousels for nearly eight years and work freelance in digital marketing.
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Why are brand values important?
Everyone has values, even if we don't realise it. We have things we believe in and standards we like to reach in all aspects of our lives. The things we care about and our passions determine our personal values, which can, in turn, influence your core brand values - be that personal brand or your blog/business brand.
Your brand values tell people about who you are and what matters to you. They promote the things you really care about and create a foundation for what you offer to the world. These tell people why you do what you do and ultimately underpin your entire "brand image".
A brand can take different forms for different people, it's all about your own personal feelings and what you want to project. Most importantly, your brand should reflect yourself! 🤓
This is particularly important as a "lifestyle" blogger, as you are your blog. Your blog is your brand, and you are a core part of this. For example, some of my core brand values are sharing knowledge and value, using my experiences to help other people and not taking myself too seriously. Those barely scratch the surface, personally, but they do come through in my online brand a lot.
Defining your brand values
So, how do you figure out what your brand values are?
- Look at brands/people/businesses you admire and figure out what it is about them that resonates with you. Why do they appeal to you, and what do you think that brand says about you as a person?
- How can you apply what you admire about these people or companies to your own work and life? What do you think your offering reflects about you?
- Sit down and have a think about the five things that matter to you most in your personal life, then your "professional" life. What are your goals, what do you want to do with your online presence? It could be as simple as sharing the things that make you happy to make other people appreciate the good things in life. Maybe you want to write about difficult subjects to promote them to a wider audience and give them the platform they deserve.
- On a similar note, think about why you do what you do, and what values support this. Think about the words you'd use to describe yourself - are you passionate? Creative? Determined? Tenacious? How do you want people to see you?
Ultimately, you determine your values, and no one else can. It might feel difficult to boil it all down to a few core values, but realistically you can have as many or as few as you'd like.
How does this impact your blog?
So, like I said before, everything you do should be underpinned by your values. It's only natural to react in a way that reflects what you care about, and this should carry through to your blog. Creating authentic, relevant and valuable content is something I care about a lot, so whenever I'm planning posts I look at my brand values for inspiration.
Ideally, some of your values can be boiled down to broad "topics", that you can then use to solidify your brand as a blogger. These brand value based topics act as your main content pillars, which should attract your "dream" audience and ultimately help you figure out exactly what you want your blog to be.
Looking at my own blog as an example again, here's how I use this to determine my "brand". I care about sharing a realistic representation of my mental health and honest experiences from my twenties, which ties into my lifestyle posts. I want to share valuable advice for people looking to grow their blog, which is why I regularly write about blogging tips and ultimately the reason behind the entire Blog and Beyond community.