Trust and credibility are two of the most important ingredients in business. If you’re going to get people to exchange their dollars for your products or services, it all starts with these two elements. And one of the fastest and most effective ways to establish that trust is by building out your own personal brand. By learning how to ace personal branding, you’ll give yourself a lot more openings through which to seize opportunities.
What is a Personal Brand?
Source: Google Search
A personal brand really isn’t that different than a business brand. But instead of marketing a selection of products or services, you’re marketing yourself and your own strengths/attributes. You’re basically telling the world – which usually means a group of people within a specific niche or market – who you are, what you do, and why you’re worth listening to.
If you’re like most people reading this article, you probably came here thinking something like: “I need to create my own personal brand so that I can land a better job/generate passive income/grow my side hustle/etc.” In other words, you believe you need to create a personal brand.
But do you want to know the truth? You already have a personal brand – we all do! Whether you’ve intentionally created it or not, you have a personal brand that’s attached to your name. It’s made up of the things that friends, colleagues, and acquaintances think about when they see you and/or hear your name.
Now it may not be a very cohesive brand (or even the things that you want to be known for), but it exists. So rather than saying you want to create a personal brand, you should really focus on how you can mold your personal brand into something that works better for you and helps you accomplish your entrepreneurial goals.
Why Your Personal Brand Matters
While we all have our own personal brand, very few entrepreneurs have a personal brand that works well for them. But if you’re able to improve that brand and make it more cohesive, you can create something that elevates you and gives you a chance to be more successful in your entrepreneurial pursuits. Here are a few of the biggest benefits of having an intentional and articulate personal brand:
- It helps you stand out. Let’s say that you’re a SaaS entrepreneur. You create business productivity applications, but have yet to “make it big.” One of the problems is that there are thousands of other SaaS entrepreneurs and programmers. You need to stand out. Having a compelling personal brand allows you to do just that.
- It establishes preeminence. Imagine walking into a meeting, interview, or VC pitch and already having some level of trust, visibility, and familiarity with the people sitting on the other side of the table. That’s called preeminence, and it’s something you enjoy when you’ve taken the time to create your own personal brand online.
- It gives you unique opportunities. When you have a personal brand, you enjoy access to unique opportunities that you’d never have otherwise. This may include speaking gigs, invitations to exclusive events, and the ability to drive traffic to content that you create.
3 Personal Branding Tips and Tricks
The value of personal branding is clear. The question is, how do you mold your personal brand into something that works to your advantage as an entrepreneur? Here are some tips:
- Create a Positioning Statement
Before doing anything else, you need to create what’s called a “positioning statement.” And in order to do this, you have to get clear on two very specific things:
- What are your biggest strengths and interests? List all of the strengths you bring to the table/want to be known for. Also, take inventory of your biggest interests – i.e. what you would like to focus your time and energy on.
- Who is your ideal target audience? In other words, who do you want to reach with your skills, products, and services? Get as specific as you possibly can. For example, it could be West Virginia coal miners who want to spend more time with their children. Or it could be parents who have over $2 million in savings and want to retire by the age of 50.
Based on these two factors, you’ll go on to create a positioning statement for your personal brand. This typically follows a formula like:
“I help [insert target audience] to [insert desire they have] without [insert pain they want to avoid.]”
For example: “I help West Virginia coal miners spend more time with their children by giving them access to world-class retirement planning services that don’t require high fees.”
The goal is to create a simple statement that speaks directly to who the audience is, who you are, and why you’re the logical choice. All of your personal branding (including content and visuals) then flows through this statement.
- Create Your Own Content
Content is currency in the online world. If you want to stand out and create a name for yourself, you must have your own content attached to your name.
There are a variety of ways to create and share content, but few methods are better than starting your own blog and regularly publishing high-quality content that resonates with your target audience.
As The Blog Starter shows, building and launching a blog isn’t as intimidating as most people make it out to be. It’s something you can do in an afternoon and then update a couple of times per week. The goal isn’t to generate 1 million visitors per month. You just want something that establishes credibility for you.
- Publish a Topic Page
You won’t always have time to write your own 2,000-word blog posts every week. And sometimes you’ll find it difficult to articulate what you’re thinking. But thankfully, there are other ways to compliment your blogging efforts – and content curation is one of them.
With Scoop.it, you can create your own topic page for free and begin automatically curating the content you love so that it can be shared with your audience in a single place. Think of it like finding the best articles and resources around the web and creating your own blog where your audience can access this content. And even though you didn’t write the content, the fact that you’re able to curate it makes you a thought leader.
Build Your Personal Brand
To summarize: Everyone has a personal brand, including you. But if you want your personal brand to work for you, it must be intentional and cohesive. This means getting clear on who you are, who your audience is, and developing a visible persona that people resonate with and trust.
There are a million and one ways to build a personal brand, but if you follow the tips outlined above, you’ll be able to accomplish your goals in less time. Now’s the time to buckle up and get to work!