How to Start Up And Stand Out

Kennedi Brookins

Kennedi Brookins, Marketing Intern

June 14, 2023

Most people don’t realize it, but no matter where you work, you are a brand. 

A brand is a product, service, or concept that can be distinguished from other products, services, or concepts so it can be easily marketed. If you’re looking to stand out with your business, in the office or amongst co-workers, you have to first understand who you are. What makes you unique?  Whether it’s your skills, mindset, or attitude, everyone is unique in their own way. However, only few tap into their uniqueness and leverage it to their advantage. 

To understand yourself as a brand, first, think about your personal and ethical beliefs internally. What are you passionate about, what drives you, when do you “draw the line,” and what’s the best way you complete a task? Then think about external factors, like what’s your voice, how do you want to be viewed, and what reputation are you building for yourself?  Next, start showing up to everything you do as that version of yourself. It’s a process and it’ll take time, but it’s worth it. Consistency is key to becoming a good brand. 

Turning my passion into a lifestyle

Once I figured out my personal brand, it was time to figure out my business brand. I am all about turning my passion into a lifestyle. Meaning, I want to do what I love and get compensated for it. There was an opportunity on my college campus for a make-up artist service. We had nail techs and hairstylists, but barely any make-up artists. I knew I was good at make-up but, was I really ready to start my own business? The truth is, you might never feel ready, but you are. I took the leap of faith, stayed true to my brand and 4 months later I turned an idea into a reality.

‌How I created the business plan: what worked and what didn’t

‌Creating the business plan had to be the hardest part because I didn’t know where to start. I just created a Google doc and started putting ideas on the page. Soon, those ideas turned out to be the skeleton of my business. One idea led to another, and the mission, vision, and plan were formed. After that, I figured out the four P’s: product, price, place, and promotion- in that order. I had a plan; now,  I just needed the platform.

How I market the business to potential clientele and standout amongst other artists

‌When everything was up and running, I had a goal to stand out. Social media, along with my website, were the platforms I utilized to market my services. I made sure to create a social media calendar and content plan for when posts would be made. I used every aspect of each platform to my advantage. On Instagram, I used Reels, story posts, feed posts, hashtags, and highlights. You can have great content, but without consistency, your business can fall to the side. Stay consistent in what you post. Your content should have a similar color scheme, message, and design. This builds brand recognition amongst consumers. Be creative, even if it’s an idea that’s already been done! Just add your own twist to it. Do not be afraid to take risks! It’s only counted as a failure if you don’t learn from it. Think to yourself, “what if…” and make the other half of that sentence happen.

Looking back on my journey, I have been able to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. My biggest takeaway of what didn’t work: rushing things! This is easier said than done. You can see the vision in your arms reach in your head but, to get there, you have to have patience.  It’s a process; trust it. A good takeaway is to be proactive, not reactive.  This way you can understand how your brand is being perceived from a consumer perspective. 

How it’s been since the launch

Since launching the business, I have serviced 14 clients in four months and also acquired recurring clients. As a business owner I am always learning and thinking of new ways to take my business to the next level.  I am grateful for the doors my business has opened for me. It has given me a shift in mindset, new skills, and many fulfilling experiences. In order to stand out, you have to show up and unapologetically be you.

You are a brand, always remember that.