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You. Your brand. Building Revenues for Organizational Growth with Instagram – Part I
October 19, 2018

Woman using mobile device (Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock)
Photo credit: Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock


Who are you? Know your personal brand.

Organizations need to build brands to sustain functions and grow. A strategic brand image, with consistent communication and a clear message, develops trust. Trust builds perceived value. It’s imperative to define the brand, differentiate the brand within its market, then communicate the attributes of the brand to its intended audience.

It is important for you to understand that there are two important brands. One brand belongs to your organization. The other brand belongs to you. It is who you are: your values, your character, your aspirations, your interests. How you develop your personal brand indicates how you promote your organization. Leaders are seen as a sub-brand of their organization.

Use Instagram to tell the world about your brand.

The New York Times recently presented a feature calling Instagram the most important social media platform, surpassing Facebook in the opportunity it provides to reach connections and eventual customers. Instagram is a photo-sharing application. It is owned by Facebook and has 700 million users; 80 percent of those users reside outside the United States.

An innovative business proposal for your personal brand, directly related to your organization.

After speaking to many Mandela Washington Fellows, I realize how difficult fundraising can be and how your needs are acute and immediate. Best-selling author Chris Anderson wrote The Long Tail (2006), which stated that much of world commerce is shifting to thousands of small microbusinesses, operating through internet marketing. Billions in advertising dollars are being diverted to social media influencers. It can be possible to develop your personal brand, achieve income, then share the income with your organization. Forbes magazine published an interesting account of how an Instagram user with 100,000 followers can earn $5,000 for a single post, made in partnership with a corporate brand.

Are you interested in learning more? In my next post, I will demonstrate how to build your social media brand through a high-performance Instagram profile.

A headshot of Dr. Mueller Thomas S. Mueller is an associate professor of advertising in the Communication Department at Appalachian State University. He is a lead instructor in the department’s internet-mediated online degree program. Dr. Mueller facilitates seminars on marketing and communication for Mandela Washington Fellows who participate in Appalachian State’s summer experience program. He has developed several tips on building your personal brand on the social media platform Instagram, with potential to become an “influencer” who generates money from business partners. While his tips will not ensure easy money for your project, they may help you take the next step toward funding. You can learn more about Dr. Mueller at his personal website, profwriter.com. You can view Dr. Mueller’s 2018 Mandela Washington Fellows presentation, “Making Money with Instagram,” on YouTube.

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The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government.