Do personal brands need a messaging strategy?

There’s a common belief in the online business space that personal brands, or brands that heavily feature their founder as the face and voice of the company, don’t need a solid messaging strategy or tone of voice. Because, if the voice of the brand is the voice of the founder, then that voice is easy to understand, capture, and tap into. And, if the message is coming straight from the brain of the founder, then there doesn’t need to be a strategy in place.

In case you haven’t guessed already, that belief is off base. A personal brand does need a messaging and tone of voice strategy. It may look a bit different than a faceless brand or corporate identity. But that doesn’t make strategy any less important.

The way we see it, there is both a strategic advantage and a personal advantage to having a solid messaging strategy for a personal or founder-forward brand. Let’s talk about both

The Strategic Advantage of Brand Messaging

There’s no denying that thoughtful, intentional, and consistent brand messaging and tone of voice strategy is the key to building a personal connection with a business’ audience. Companies with teams or who frequently outsource marketing work to different contractors need a strategy in place simply to keep everyone on the same page. The social media manager, art director, project manager, graphic designer, copywriter, and more all need to be able to create a consistent presence for the brand. Every piece of organic and paid content needs to strategically and tonally make sense for the brand. Essentially, messaging and tone of voice guidelines helps to keep everyone on the same page so they can show up across channels with one unified brand voice.

So what if it’s just you? What if you are the social media manager, art director, project manager, graphic designer, copywriter, and more? Why would you need guidelines to help you stay consistent in the brand voice that you are the creator and owner of?

Because “off the cuff” marketing only works to a certain extent.

Consumers definitely find personal branding and unpolished, honest marketing to be refreshing. Especially in a digital space where we’re having search engine optimized, AI-generated, icky advertising shoved down our throats 24/7 🤢

But consistently creating without strategy makes you a creator, not an entrepreneur. And there’s nothing wrong with being a creator, but those are two completely different fields that have different necessities. Being an entrepreneur and building a brand, even a personal one, necessitates strategy.

Because without a solid messaging and tone of voice strategy you have…

  • Nothing to rely on when you’re feeling strapped for ideas or inspiration.
  • No metric for success across platforms.
  • No way to track if you’re staying consistent across platforms.
  • Nothing to act as the grounding or reference point for any crazy or creative ideas that you might want to experiment with now or in the future.

When you go completely “off the cuff” without a lick of strategy, you’re always going to be shooting in the dark. Messaging and tone of voice strategy doesn’t box you in or dictate who you are as a person, it guides you in the direction of building the strongest connection with your target audience.

The Personal Advantage of Brand Messaging

Being a personal brand owner is a big responsibility, and requires A LOT of focus and energy from the founder. It also requires a level of rawness, honesty, and vulnerability that not many people are ready to own up to on the internet. When you make yourself the face, primary point of contact, and top salesperson for your brand, there is an expectation to be “on.” And even though people love to talk about boundaries, working 5 hours a week while sipping margs poolside, and building a brand that gives you “time and money” freedom (DON’T get us started on that one 🙄), most people who run personal or founder-forward brands can tell you:

It’s equal parts emotionally empowering and exhausting.

Not only will you definitely NOT be working 20 hours a month making $$$$$$$ (especially if you’re in the first few years of business which are notoriously ROUGH), but you will overstep your own boundaries before you even know it’s happening. The pressure to overshare, overdeliver, and give your all to every single person who enters your space is… overwhelming, to say the least. If you don’t keep a firm grasp on your sanity and your energy, they will slip away from you.

All of that sounds really big and scary, and a bit like a PSA to NOT build a personal brand. But we love personal brands. Most of the online service providers that we support with our DIY copywriting templates and resources are personal brands. Honestly, we just want to help personal brands protect their peace.

That’s where brand messaging strategy comes in.

Brand messaging guidelines are a tool that help you set boundaries, not overshare your personal life for the sake of sales, and build a connection without laying your personal life bare for the entire world to see. You can be a personal brand and still keep things personal behind the scenes. But it becomes much more difficult without strong messaging guidelines in place.

People who look at brand messaging and tone of voice guidelines as a box that they’ve been trapped inside of will always struggle with consistency, motivation, and being able to measure and replicate success. People who look at brand messaging as a foundational tool to guide strategic business growth will conserve their energy and thrive in their business.


Love what you read here and eager to implement brand messaging and tone of voice guidelines in your own personal brand? Click here to learn more about our Brand Messaging & TOV Strategy service!