A brand’s content is three times more important to consumers that their trust in a brand’s employees. Which is why so many businesses are turning to a brand strategist to help them craft the perfect message.
If you dream of helping brands tell their story in a fresh and unique way, you might be just who they’re looking for. Read on to learn more about pursuing a career as a brand strategist.
What is a Brand Strategist?
As a brand strategist, you play the role of both storyteller and ambassador. It’s your responsibility to communicate the right message to a brand’s audience to build long-lasting consumer relationships and an iconic brand story.
Sound easy? If you are research savvy, creative, and have no problem thinking of new and innovative ways to market a business this may be the gig for you. It’s important to remember that as glamorous as it may sound, being a brand strategist requires a great deal of work on your end and trust from your clients.
Carving out Your Unique Style as a Brand Strategist
Being a brand strategist is satisfying work that pays well, so there’s no surprise that it’s a highly competitive field. If you plan on standing out you’ll need to find what makes you unique as a strategist.
Are you brilliant with organizing and executing large campaigns? Is guerilla marketing your forte? Maybe you know how to effectively integrate brand culture in a way that employees easily grasp?
Whatever your specialty is, play into that.
Contrary to popular belief, there is a way to become a certified brand strategist. While you can always build your strategist career gradually as a freelancer, having some certification behind you lends credibility to your name.
Certification like the Association of International Product Market and Management (AIPMM), The Society of Marketing Executives International, and the American Certificate Institute’s Certified Marketing professional all hold enough merit to mark you as a marketing professional.
Find Your Niche
If you’re speaking to everyone you’re speaking to no one. Defining your niche market as a brand strategist allows you to focus your skills in one area instead of trying to master them all. We suggest choosing an industry that has some personal connection to you.
Need your daily workout and green juice to get through the day? Health and wellness may be for you. Love the rush of checking off your to-do list? Try working with a brand that focuses on productivity. The more connected you are to the industry the easier it will be to tap into their audiences wants and needs.
Where to Find Your Clients
Before you start blindly sending out your resume to every HR email address you can find, understand that in this industry it’s all about who you know. When it comes to hiring brands are more likely to hire friends or family, graduate superstars, recognizable surnames, or hot young “influencers”.
This means your best bet is defining your own brand and knowing how to work a room!
Socialize, Socialize, Socialize
The more people you know and connect with the higher your chances are of landing that dream client, just make sure you’re falling into the right circles. Remember that niche we told you to carve out? Well now is the time to start attending events for that type of audience.
This can mean everything from workout classes to product launch parties. Remember, you get out what you put in, so if you are looking for clients that will pay more you have to be willing to spend a little extra to get into the right events.
Craft Your Own Brand
Now that you’ve made the right connections, you need to make the right impression. While a great sales pitch is a must in your arsenal, in today’s world it only takes five minutes to look someone up to see how large their following is.
You may be thinking, but I help brands what does that have to do with my following? But brands first reaction will be “how can she do this for us if she can’t do it for herself?” Creating your own brand, style, and look will also let clients know that you are aligned with their mission and purpose (remember that niche market).
Build a Solid Portfolio
Potential clients will also want to see examples, which puts you in a perplexing situation. If clients need to see past work to hire you how are you supposed to get hired to begin with? The truth is, you don’t.
This is the time in your career for “case studies.” Have an up and coming brand you love? Maybe a close friend is embarking on a new project? Offer up your services as a brand strategist free of charge and use the experience to craft a stunning portfolio.
You won’t need to do this forever, 3-5 strong case studies are typically enough to turn a potential clients head.
Pay Attention to Details
As a brand strategist, it’s important to remember you are representing someone’s life work, which requires extreme attention to detail. Just think about the last brand scandal that appeared on your newsfeed because someone didn’t pay close enough attention to a t-shirt or certain wording on a website?
You are held accountable for every detail of the brand, which means brand owners will be looking at your spelling, email etiquette, and how fast you can put out a fire.
Think Outside the Box
Finally, what will truly set you aside as a brand strategist is your ability to think outside the box. Impress your clients with unique ways to grab their audience. Don’t just create an ad campaign, create an immersive app! Don’t just hold a launch party, hold an international online dance off.
The more innovative your ideas are the greater the appeal they would hold with your audience, and that’s how you craft a memorable brand. Remember, it’s less about what’s trendy in marketing and more about creating a killer creative strategy.
Create the Career You Want
Remember, even the tiniest steps are moving forward and there are plenty of brands out there waiting for your unique skill set!
Check out our blog for more career-related content.