Have you thought of creating a personal brand? You might say to yourself, “Why in the world do I need to build a personal brand, I have enough on my hands, trying to build and promote my business brand?” Well, the answer is competition. If you want your business to compete, your business branding efforts might not be enough; you need to create a personal brand that puts the spotlight on you – the business’s founder/owner/big chief. That’s because, your target audience is more likely to put their trust in you and what you say, than your business’s brand messaging. It is pretty simple really – people trust other people. By building your personal brand, you can essentially rub off its credibility on your business’s product/service offerings.
Here are a few statistics that will convince you of the value of creating a personal brand:
- 92 % of people trust recommendations from individuals.
- A mammoth one third of consumers trust the word of a stranger than that of a brand.
- 85 % of consumers rely on expert/trust content while making a buying decision.
Now, that you are convinced (I hope) to build a personal brand, it’s time to identify how you can go about building a personal brand for yourself, something that is closely associated with your business.
1. Leverage your business website for personal brand
While building a website for your business, why not think about leveraging it to drive your personal branding efforts. For example, make regular contributions to its blog section with thought leadership articles. Or you could have a video section that is devoted to product videos where you explain to your target audience how to maximize product potential. You could also host videos that talk about the latest trends, explain the latest domain centric concepts, a ’la Rand Fishkin; the options are endless.
So how does this help? Once you start building a body of meaningful work on your website, your target audience will start seeing you as an expert and credible face in your domain. As can be imagined, this credibility rubs off on your products and services.
2. Your own website
While, making use of your business website to promote your brand is a good idea, why not double down on your efforts and come up with your own blog as well; Neil Patel’s website and the blog on the site is a great example.
When you create your own site, you have the liberty of giving it a more personal touch and taking it in the direction you want to. You are not bound by the limitations of your website’s brand messaging. So, if you are selling T-shirts, and want to talk about the latest fashion trends, design technology, or fashion branding, you can hold forth on these topics on your website.
It’s important to remember, though, that your business website must have a link to your personal website or blog. If you want your personal brand to benefit your business, you cannot completely disassociate it from your business interests. Cast a wider net when it comes to identifying the topics you need to cover on your website/blog and how they are in some way connected to your business offerings.=
Participating in conferences as an attendee or a speaker will elevate your personal brand like nothing else can. Let’s talk about getting a speaker position in a conference. It’s difficult to earn this position, if you are not a well-known figure in the niche. However, you could start small, that is speak and the not- so-well-known conferences and work your way upwards. The idea is to pick a topic that everybody is talking about, and bring your own opinion to the party.
A speaking gig at some of the well-attended and well-regarded conferences will be a challenge. It is important to be extremely well-prepared and bring a wealth of topical understanding to the table. You will be asked all kinds of questions related to your topic and you must be able to answer them. If you don’t, your personal brand will take a big hit. But if you do, you will be feted.
For attendees, conferences are a fantastic networking opportunity wherein, you can exchange ideas, opinions and of course, your business cards with peers. There is no problem in being a little shameless in your networking; go out of your way to interact with people who you know are influencers in your domain. Identify the brand advocates and pursue them, talk to them, and convince them about the benefits of your products/services.
Keep attending. You might not achieve anything worthwhile after the first few conferences you attend, but after a period of time, you will become a pro. That is of course, if you make a real effort in this regard.
4. Leverage Social Media
While there are many things you could do to leverage the potential of social media for your personal branding efforts, the first thing you must do is read this article.
The problem with trying to leverage social media is that most people expect immediate results. This isn’t going to happen. The key is to keep investing in social media and think of it as a long term bet. Identify the channels you want to make use of, and make a sincere attempt to actively promote yourself with meaningful shares.
The biggest benefit of social media is that it gives you a chance to interact with your potential customer on a personal basis. Yes, in this case you are the personal representative of the brand, wherein it isn’t really necessary that you come across as a completely separate entity. You can be pretty upfront about your association with your business products and services and still define your personal brand. Also, once your social media profile becomes popular, it can take a life of its own.
So here they are – the 4 tips that can see you building a profitable personal brand. But, remember, it’s not going to be easy. It’s not as simple as following these 4 tips; you will need to put in the maximum possible effort to make these tips work for you.