I have used a lot of different digital marketing strategies over the years. SEO has been the fundamental one. Content marketing comes a close second. But I have also used influencer marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, affiliate marketing, pay per click advertising, email marketing. If it is “marketing” and “digital,” I have probably done it. But there is one form of marketing that does not fit neatly into the “digital” category. It is a mashup of professional, personal, social, digital, content, and whatever else. It is personal branding. Personal branding is huge.
In fаct, if you expect to succeed in any way in today’s digitally-driven world socially-connected, you have to build your personal brand.
Personal branding is not just for celebrities. It is not just for big-shot entrepreneurs, for wantrepreneur, for selfie-obsessed egotists, for everybody!
An article in Elite Daily puts it like this:
We usually consider that branding as something done only by large corporations, but everyone has a personal brand. You may fill a back office role in a large agency, but you still need personal branding. You can be an introvert who avoids other people, but you still need personal branding.
If I were to pick one form of marketing that has been crucial to my professional success, personal development, and level of achievement, I would have to say it is personal branding.
In fact, I can point to some moments when my personal brand has provided me with clients. Over the years, I have learned several super helpful tips for developing my own brand to build my customer base. My new audiences haven’t always overgrown. It takes years to build credibility and grow your influence.
Personal branding is hard that way. You cannot simply pull out a few strategies, throw some money at it, and expect it to work. Thankfully, however, some tried-and-true methods will give you a real edge. Some of them are basic (being authentic and honest), others are creative (investing in strong visuals).
All of them work. Give them a chance. Take some time, and your personal brand will be a source of customers, just as it has with me.
The tips that follow are inclined towards content. Along with your personal brand creating, you should also be using content marketing for your growth.
TIP 1: SHOW YOU ARE AN EXPERT
The number one tip for demonstrating your expertise is through long-form, rock-solid, super-helpful content. Content wins the day. It is just that simple. You have to set yourself aside in an online space, where you’re competing with other brands for the attention of your new clients.
To do this, show you’re an expert in your area.
You can do this by building your credibility by talking about the customers you have worked with, and the years you have been in the business.
But you can also communicate this more creatively through Buzzfeed-like lists and tip sheets, which can give your audience information that values in their lives.
Showing you are an expert means two things:
-being an actual expert;
-choosing a field of expertise.
Do not let number one trip you up.
Have you ever heard the words “fake it till you make it?”
There is some truth to that. If you do not feel like an expert, do not sweat it. Just act like one.
Pretty soon, you will become one (even if you do not feel it). Then, you can show you are one.
TIP 2: APPEAL TO MILLENNIALS
You cannot leave Millennials or Generation Y out of the mix when you’re building your personal brand to leverage a new audience.
Want to know why? Here is why.
Generation Y will be the number one demographic that sees and reacts to your personal brand.
One of the most critical changes you can make in your branding communication is the social media platforms you use and the kinds of content you produce. Why? Because Generation Y is the socially associated generation.
Use favorite social networks such as Snapchat and Instagram to market your personal brand. Also, develop content such as videos to grab the attention of your audience and market your expertise.
TIP 3: BE TRANSPARENT AND AUTHENTIC
One of the most important things you can do as you market your personal brand is to remain open and authentic. Case in point is entrepreneur and coach Leigh Louey-Gung, who created a strong business for himself through a process of complete honesty.
Leigh was excited about helping other entrepreneurs and created Secure Thoughts to help train them about maintaining privacy on the web. We’re marketers at the end of the day, and you’re crafting a personal story about yourself.
Remember, you always have to come through on your commitments and back up what you say to your audience. If you do not, they’ll have no problem walking away. Many of the customers I serve today came to me because some other agency scammed them. I was able to keep my promises, to maintain my integrity, and give them results.
TIP 4: INVEST IN STRONG VISUALS
I hesitate to say it, but if someone sees low-quality photos on your website, they’ll subconsciously perceive you as unprofessional or as not trustworthy.
Get on the top of the game by having high-quality photos of yourself taken for your website. Your photos and website may be your new user’s first impression of you! When I am looking for a new hire, I cannot help but base my impression of them on their LinkedIn photo.
I am trying very tough not to be biased against a drunken party or blurry profile pic, but it is hard! One of the best ways to get customers through your personal branding is to look the part!
TIP 5: INCENTIVIZE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
One of the quickest ways you can use your personal brand to develop your target audience is by giving something away.
And I do not mean just anything. If you can give away a particular product related to your personal brand, you have a higher chance of attracting a new audience.
Entrepreneur Magazine, for instance, highlights the case study of a women’s boutique that gave away a kimono to attract new clients.
This tactic works really well for building a personal brand. Let’s say you are building a personal brand as a copywriter. Attract clients by asking them to enter a contest by submitting their email addresses. The prize could be free copywriting for a week or copywriting for a particular project. Simple? Sure. But effective? Definitely.
TIP 6: BE KNOWN FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Have you noticed a lot of people’s Twitter sounds the same? Social marketing guru. Cat lover. Coffee aficionado. If you are not intentional, your work at personal branding might not be making you known. Sounds familiar, right? There’re ways to set yourself apart, but it might feel awkward. For instance, I learned that wearing sunglasses allowed me to build my personal brand.
The people who do great at personal branding, always have one thing they are well known for. It might be weird. It might be awkward. But it makes them unforgettable!
What about face-to-face personal brand building and networking?
You must have a business card on hand that sets you apart. Think creatively, but make sure your card is simple and gives the information a new customer needs.
Try a card, for instance, that is made of a smooth paper is a die-cut or has a non-standard shape. These cards are more interesting and can give a bigger impression.
TIP 7: BUILD STRONG ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS WITH INFLUENCERS WHO CAN HELP
Even though we call it personal branding, it is not 100% personal. You cannot do this on your own. And you should not even try.
Personal branding is all about connecting with others, helping others, serving others, learning from others, getting to know others, adding value to others.
If you inspect personal branding as a form of marketing (which it is), you have to identify what the heart of marketing is.
What is the heart of marketing?
No, it is not shouting your message to the masses. It is giving value to the right people! Some of my best customers started out as friends of friends. For instance, early in my career, I met a person at a conference. His personal behavior and \grooming left a lot to be desired.
Most people ignored this person. I spent some time with him and helped him out, doing what I could. Finally, he introduced me to more customers!
I did not realize it when I helped him the first time, but this guy was connected! And through him, I earned many more customers.
Over time, your relationships will help promote your personal brand and lead to a growing audience.
You may not be able to become best friends forever with Tim Ferriss in your first few days of personal branding. Over time, however, you will build the right connections with the right audience and get the right customers.
TIP 8: START BLOGGING
Blogging is a fantastic way to form relationships and become an expert specialist. My first blog post ever has hundreds of newsletter subscriptions, gotten over 14,000 visitors, 40+ comments, and has introduced me to some marvelous people. Start by blogging about topics that match to your services, and will appeal to prospective customers.
Peep Laja writes a blog about conversion optimization, which is filled with blogs that help companies expand their conversion rates, and make more money. By posting quality content, Peep is viewed as a specialist on conversion optimization, which allows him generates new business and build an audience for his consultancy.
The critical question that comes up with blogging is how to drive traffic to your posts. After publishing a blog, I like to post it to Inbound, GrowthHackers, Reddit (find a subreddit for your blog niche), Hacker News, and my Twitter. You should also email each person or company you mention in the post, with a note that you have mentioned them. I also reach out to my network and send a link to the audience who I consider might find my post interesting. This usually is enough to get the ball rolling and to get some traffic to the post. Blogging takes a lot of time, mainly since you need to do it consistently, for better results. Scripted is an excellent content writing service you can use to outsource your blog post writing.
Experiment with these eight pro tips for leveraging your personal brand to find more committed, and larger target audience.
As marketers, we have to be ready to take a few risks and to be original in our approach.
You can use these tips to attract and cultivate your audience, but you will need to deliver on your content promises.
Your clients will not be pleased in the long run if you are not giving them new valuable information applicable to their products or lives that can make a difference for them.
If you are ready to start developing your audience and to attract new clients, use the tips in this article—they have worked for me as I have built my personal brand.
You will be on your way to chart a new path for your company and creating energy around your services and products.
Are you ready for an overhaul of your personal brand?