In this age of social media, you might have heard a lot about ‘personal brands.’ You might even be asking yourself what exactly a personal brand is, and why it’s such a buzzworthy concept. Think about all of your favorite social media influencers and personalities that you follow online—those influencers have all created, grown, and profited from their own personal brands.
So why should you think about starting your own personal brand? Because a personal brand is a great way to turn your passion into a business.
In this article, I’m going to go over why you should think about starting your own personal brand, and the 7 steps you need to follow to get started.
What Exactly Is a “Brand”?
Apple. Google. Amazon. These are all large, recognizable companies with well-known names and logos. But a brand is much more than that alone.
Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business
Businesses have names, products, logos, colors, fonts, a language, and reputations that these large companies spend millions to create and manage. These aspects of their company make up who they are, and affect how they’re perceived by their customers and the public at large.
A brand is about more than simple recognition, though. They help a business build a reputation and identity and foster trust with their customers while offering a sense of interaction.
Like businesses, people have brands too. We each have a name, a face, a style, a way of communicating and creating different impressions on different people that influence what they say about us when were not in front of them.
Most importantly, branding, especially personal branding, isn’t necessarily about selling a service or product. It’s about creating a relationship between your business and your customer. Of course, to monetize a personal brand, you will have to have a product or service to offer. The bottom line is, building a strong brand with a great reputation will help you grow your sales.
So how do you get your own personal brand started?
7 Steps to Starting Your Personal Brand
If you want to get started with your own personal brand or launch a brand awareness campaign for a client of your social media or digital marketing agency, then you simply have to follow these 7 steps.
1. Select & Research Your Niche
You can’t have a personal brand without a topic of interest and an audience you’re reaching out to. After you determine what your niche will be, you need to do research on this niche in order to figure out the best ways to reach them and connect with your audience.
First, research the size of the niche. Ideally, you want to choose a niche where the competitive edge for your audience is not too narrow.
Next, you’re going to want to interests, demographics, behaviors of the audience. Research detailed behaviors and lifestyle of your prospective consumers so that you know who the ideal consumer for your brand will be. This is essential because you want to make sure you’re finding the right people to connect with your content, click on your ads, opt into your email list, and ultimately purchase your product or service.
Anytime you embark on a new business endeavor, you should always research the issues with the current status of the industry and it’s not different for a personal brand. Find out what your competition in your niche is doing well, and what mistakes they are making that you’re going to want to avoid.
2. Decide Your Brand Purpose
Deciding on your brand purpose is essentially deciding how you’re going to add value to your audience’s lives. There are a few different approaches you can take to your brand purpose:
- Educate – teach your audience a new skill and position yourself as the expert/teacher.
- Entertain – add value to your audience’s lives by providing them with entertainment.
- Inform – improve your audiences’ lives by expanding their knowledge by providing them with information.
- Review – help your audience navigate and make choices about your industry by reviewing other products or services within your niche.
3. Select Your Advertising Medium
In order to reach your audience, you’re going to have to figure out which medium will best resonate with the demographic of your ideal customer. Each medium offers different advantages, and in most cases, you will benefit from using more than one.
- YouTube – videos are a great way to reach any demographic, and any niche that is very visual will definitely fit right in. For instance, if your niche is makeup, YouTube is a great platform for tutorials, reviews, etc.
- Blog on Website – like videos, blogs are suitable for most demographics, though may appeal to an older audience with a longer attention span.
- Facebook – Facebook is a great platform for businesses, but for a personal brand, the audience skews older.
- Instagram – Instagram has a much younger audience with a shorter attention span and is a great platform for reaching millennials or younger.
- Podcast – like blogs, a podcast is more suitable to a slightly older audience who has a longer attention span.
4. Plan & Create Your Content
Your content is how you are going to grab your audience’s attention and engage with them. You’re going to want to create consistent content that you publish on a regular schedule that is relevant to the audience you want to attract.
A few tried and true styles of content include:
- ‘How To’ Content
- Funny Content
- Review Content
In general, you want to make sure that your content is adding value to your audience’s lives.
5. Plan & Create Your Lead Funnels
Lead funnels are how you’re going to get customers exactly where you want them to end up—whether that means signing up for an email list, checking out your online store, or whatever else will help you turn a follower into a succession conversion.
With this in mind, you’re going to want to build a roadmap by tracking what actions your customers make on your website and the information your customers need before they actually make a purchase. This could mean leading your audience to:
- Landing Pages
- Value Documents/Templates
- Email Campaigns/Automations
- Retargeting Ads
6. Plan & Create Your Revenue Model
While creating a personal brand is all well and good, you need to remember that your personal brand is still a business. That means you need to discover the best ways to generate revenue for your business in relation to your niche.
There are many ways to generate revenue, including:
- Online Course – creating an online program so your audience can learn what you know
- Affiliate Marketing – working with other brands to lead traffic to their products/services
- eComm store – selling products online
- Ad Revenue – placing ads on your content
7. Engage with Your Community and Improve
Once of you have all of your infrastructure in place, it’s time to engage with your audience and continue improving your relationship with them.
- Answer Questions – build trust by answering your customers’ questions and inviting their questions
- Be Transparent – be authentic and your customers will come to trust both your honesty and integrity
- Give value – solve your customers’ problems through your service or product
Any business, whether it’s a personal brand or a traditional company, needs to work on brand awareness in order to develop a trusted reputation and a rapport with their audience. Connecting with your audience is not the challenge—the challenge is making sure this connection is based on trust.
To successfully build a personal brand, you need to provide value, be honest and transparent with your audience, engage with the community, and create and share engaging content on social media platforms that is relevant to your niche and audience.
If you want to learn more about branding and how you can successfully build your own personal brand, then check out our brand new Personal Branding & Influencer Marketing course—enrollment starts August 1st.