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Summit Recap: How to Build a Strong Personal Brand

In the world of the creator economy, traffic growth and brand partnerships rely on one thing: the creator’s personal brand. Many creators have turned to experts to help them shape their brands and stand out. Laura Mandaro, managing editor of news and talent for The Information, spoke with three luminaries for their advice on developing a unique personal brand:

  • Ian Wang, head of product, Adobe Express
  • Skyelar Garcia, social media coach and strategist; entrepreneur
  • Goldie Chan, strategist and author; founder and CEO, Warm Robots

The Most Important Thing: Be Original

Each panelist agreed that the greatest sin (and quickest route to failure) for creators is to be boring. To attract notice, creators need to be unique, authentic, and original. As Skyelar Garcia said, “The worst mistake? Copying someone.” She has lots of clients coming to her who want to just emulate other successful creators. “I help you come up with content ideas that are unique to you. That’s how you’re going to stand out.”

Ian Wang of Adobe said that what’s most authentic to you is most important, but it can be hard to scale and keep branding and content consistent across all platforms—especially if you’re not a professional designer. “Every platform has a different audience, different aesthetic, different voice.” Adobe is trying to amend that with Adobe Express, allowing anyone at any skill level to create fast, easy, and fun standout content, with beautiful high-quality templates and assets. “For us, it’s really about lowering those barriers and making sure that you can be you.”

Turn Up the Volume

How much content should you be putting out, especially in the beginning? To start, Garcia advised on a high volume, if only to build your skills and build awareness. “I think content creation is like a skill, right? You get better and better at it the more you do.” Once a creator has mastered the skills needed and becomes more established, they can slow down, focusing on quality over quantity.

Maintaining a high volume of content can be overwhelming, but there are tools to help. Chan relies on calendaring programs to keep herself and her clients on track. Adobe Express makes it easy for creators to plan, schedule, preview and publish standout social media content across platforms.

On Platforms: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

Mandaro asked the panelists what every aspiring creator wants to know: Where do you start?

Garcia advised beginning with the platform you’re most comfortable with. “Start with the platform that you can use your strengths with,” she said. “It can be really intimidating to go on video if you’re used to writing. Start with static posts on Instagram. Once you’re comfortable with that, move to video. As long as you challenge yourself to keep going further, then I think you’re golden with the platforms.”

Wang agreed, adding that the most important thing is to be true to your brand. “The trick is to stay authentic with your brand elements, your aesthetic, your point of view."

The Creator’s Generative Assistant: AI

All three panelists thought artificial intelligence can be helpful to creators,streamlining the business processes while allowing creators to do more of what they do best: creating content. Wang described how Adobe incorporates AI into its products. “We’re investing a lot in the concept of really understanding your aesthetic and your look and style, and then really applying that at scale.” The goal? “This is all about helping you focus on what you care about rather than all that mundane work that is very, very time consuming.”

But AI carries its own risks. Wang noted, “Right now a lot of the tools out there aren’t crediting creators’ works, and I think that’s a problem. Adobe Firefly—Adobe’s family of creative generative AI models—is based on content that people can commercially use and source. Our content authenticity initiative helps people see what is true content that someone created and what has generated content.”

Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever

The creator economy is only going to get bigger. There will be more platforms, tools, voices, and demand for original content. The more crowded the space is, the more creators will need to highlight their individuality. Building a truly unique personal brand is critical, as is the advice of experts like Wang, Garcia, and Chan. And we can expect to see more inspiring tools like Adobe Express, which will help creators shine and truly be themselves.

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