Influencers are thrust into our faces time and time again. When asked how they achieved their success a lot of business-focused influencers bark on about their personal brands. Everything they do builds this personal brand. Each post, campaign and giveaway is all about building that brand. But, I get asked frequently do I need a personal brand to be successful? The answer isn’t really a yes and no.
What is a personal brand?
Now this question may seem simple enough, but when you delve deeper into it you can see the waters get a little bit muddier. Is a personal brand the name that gets attached to each new piece of content or product? Or is it the reaction you have when you hear those names? If I said Donald Trump some recoil in horror, others will immediately share the article without reading it and a few will simply ignore it. The reaction and feeling behind that name could be seen as the personal brand. But that’s the highest level of personal branding there is.
Another example of a personal brand is a simple social media profile. Your Linkedin profile is the landing page for your “personal brand”. No matter how many followers you have or if your profile is public or private is irrelevant, that is now your brand. What you do with your branding is how people will view you online whether you like it or not.
So, even if you ask the question do I need a personal brand the answer really is you’ve already got one whether you like it or not. Your personal brand is you.
Building a Personal Brand
If you’re looking to expand your personal brand and chase the benefits of growing one you need to first complete some research. Who are you trying to reach? What does your audience look like and how do you speak their language. Most brands themselves still struggle with this messaging as it can be confused with what are you selling or your call to action. “Buy into my service” or “comment on my posts” isn’t a brand message it’s just a set of instructions. To get this part right there are a few tips you can follow:
Define Your Audience
Put out some content for a week, using relevant hashtags and content to your offering or business. If you just want people to buy into you, this could be a few posts about yourself and your lifestyle. Next, take a look at who you are attracting naturally. The figure will be small if you’re just starting out, but there should be enough to get you started. Depending on the social media site you’ll be able to learn more about your audience. Are you more popular in certain areas of the world, what industry are you appealing to, their ages ect.
Note: If this isn’t the data you want to see, you need to switch up your social media strategy.
Learn From Others
You can’t steal other people’s personal brands, but you can learn from their approach. Even if you go full Nicholas Cage in Face-off and catfish people with a profile copy what is really the endgame of being a knockoff version of someone else? You just inspire them to get the real thing. Ever been denied a Coke at a restaurant? The upcoming days after I bet you hunted after one without even realising it. What you should do instead is learn their methods. When do they post, how often and why? Learn this and you’ll be halfway there.
Double Down On Your Social Media
Social media reach is unmatched, even the biggest billboard in the world wouldn’t give you as much recognition as a social media account would. You can’t shake hands with everyone, and you probably shouldn’t right now. But, with social media, you’ll have the ability to personally greet hundreds and thousands of people a day. Get your brand out there every day with fresh content and you’ll build that following. It takes time and the right strategy to get right, but it is the single most effective way to build a personal brand today.
A Successful Personal Brand
Now you have a personal brand and you’re building it up, how long until you have a successful personal brand? Honestly, that’s a question only you can answer. The whole reason people set out to have a personal brand is the credibility it can generate. Your words on and offline will hold more weight and you’ll be able to sell more effectively. But, the feeling of success can wither and figures that mean the world to you now can feel like nothing in comparison. You shouldn’t focus on being labelled a success. Focus on how you’re growing. Set yourself a few goals and keep it going. Short and long term goals will help you reach greater heights.