Before I begin this advanced guide on ‘Personal Branding’, I would like to put forward a quote-
“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
The world’s richest man, Amazon Founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, made this quote.
In many ways, we do not need a two thousand-word article, to understand personal branding. Jeff Bezos has beautifully summed it up.
According to me, the world is divided into two types of people, those who move, and those who are moved.
‘Those who are moved’ are people who lead anonymous lives. They are happy as long as they have their friends, family members, and neighbors. They do not have lofty expectations and are happy within themselves.
Then there are ‘those who move’. These people (and there are very few of them), want their professional expertise to shine at all times.
When they are not expanding their businesses, they are reading a book, or writing a review on Quora.
They are the movers and shakers of the world. Like businesses and brands, they want their names to figure on the first page of Google search.
In this article, we will look at how Personal Branding can help you and your business grow infinite times. We will also look at how the best entrepreneurs use branding services to grow their personal brand.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal Branding is the process of promoting your skills, expertise, experience, nature, and personality for desired ends. This can be either for something personal, like a job opportunity or for promoting your own business.
Everyone, be it an employer, or a client, wants to look up credentials of the people they were dealing with. I want to give you a small example.
Whenever you apply for a job, the HR personnel goes through your LinkedIn account to see your credibility. They see your network, experience, endorsements, skills, and recommendations.
Some recruiters also see whether you regularly publish articles on LinkedIn or not. Likewise, if banks of VCs are looking to invest in your company, they do the same.
This is all about understanding the person someone is getting into business with. The more professional stars you have, the better becomes your chances at success.
People who stand out from the crowd are the ones who are going to be noticed. This is natural, given all the chaos and crowds that we have around us.
Everyone is an entrepreneur, everyone has come out with a life-changing app, and everyone wants investment funds. However, not everyone takes help from branding services or social media marketing to grow themselves.
By investing in personal branding, you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Once you are able to back up a problem with a solution from a position of authority, the chances of succeeding improve significantly.
This standing out helps business owners become much more attractive to their target audiences. There is no better feeling than someone saying, they can relate to what you are saying.
Benefits of Personal Branding:
In the last two sections, we have briefly touched upon the benefits of personal branding. In this section, we will look at how personal branding can help you turn yourself and your business around.
1. Increase your revenue generation and cash flows:
By investing in your personal brand, you start becoming an authority figure in your industry. This helps you nurture trust and credibility. People want to do deals with people who are famous, credible and trustworthy. By investing in yourself, you will open a lot of revenue-generating opportunities for your business.
2. Establishing recognition in the industry:
People who invest in personal branding care about things other than money as well. They want to be part of important industry bodies and associations. Being invited as Chief Guest at a budding awards ceremony is something that boosts self-respect and self-esteem. The aim is to become a titan of the industry you are representing.
3. Improve your Network:
Many people make the mistake of thinking about networking as showing off. That is not the case. Networking helps you connect with fellow people who share your thoughts, vision, and expertise. Being in touch with CEOs and other influential people in society is always a great thing for an individual. They help grow your business in a short span of time.
4. Increase in Productivity:
Personal branding helps you improve your productivity many times over. Once you start becoming confident of your abilities and see the results of your efforts, you become motivated to do more. This also has a positive effect on your team and employees. They tend to match their leader in terms of effort. As a result, productivity increases for the entire company.
5. Helps in Commanding your Price:
How often have you had to quote a lesser price to a client just so you could get his or her business? Do you remember how frustrating it was? By establishing your personal brand, you would not have to compromise anymore. People would want to work with you at your quoted prices. It will be the other way around.
Apart from the above-stated benefits, personal branding has several other benefits. It helps in ensuring higher salaries, more rewards, and better professional and personal confidence.
Digital Strategies to help create your Personal Brand:
An individual can take recourse to online as well as offline strategies to grow their personal branding. However, since the purpose of this article is to shed light on online presence, we would only look at digital strategies that can help in personal branding.
1. Social Media Marketing:
With more than 4 billion users on social media, no brand or entrepreneur can afford to ignore social media. Did you know Elon Musk has more followers on Twitter than all three of his companies combined?
The same goes for Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuck and countless other billionaires in the world. Social Media Marketing helps connect with fans and followers. It also serves as a platform for demonstrating your skills and expertise.
This is why most entrepreneurs employ social media marketing companies to maintain their profiles strategically. By porting regularly on a number of issues, you can help build your personal branding. This also serves as a medium where you can update the world about the happenings in your company.
2. Branding Services:
Have you ever wondered by companies from around individuals, rather than the other way around? Would Apple have meant the same had it not for the magnetic personality of Steve Jobs? Would people know about Berkshire Hathaway without Warren Buffet’s mantras? I guess not.
Branding Services help leverage exposure on multiple channels at the same time. This means that a business owner can become identified with several important markers for the industry. From designing a personal logo to commissioning a motorcycle build and auctioning it for charity, branding is a much more complex phenomenon than most people expect.
Branding services also help narrate a positive viewpoint of the business owner and his company. By aligning with a charitable cause, it presents a humane view of the business and the management.
3. Create a Content Strategy about yourself:
Personal branding is all about content. The more you are able to put yourself and your views out there, the better will be your personal branding. However, you cannot write about everything under the sun. This is why you need to create a Content Strategy with your digital agency.
This means Creating content assets like-
- Blog articles
- Case studies/Success stories
- Live Q and A sessions
- Podcasts and Webinars
The more content you create, the better are your chances of engaging with different audiences. You need to ensure that your content resonates with different target audiences. It should motivate your employees, instill confidence in investors and vendors, and spread positivity in your consumers.
4. Be aggressive on Quora and LinkedIn:
In 2019, no personal branding strategy can be possible without having a Quora or a LinkedIn angle. I could have included LinkedIn in the first point. However, from a personal branding point of view, LinkedIn needed a special mention.
No one can claim to be an authority if he does not have a strong presence on Quora. Even a digital marketing guru like Neil Patel, invests time, energy and resources to maintain a strong Quora presence. If you really want people to read about you and know you, make it a point to write at least two answers on Quora per day.
By making it a habit of publishing on Quora and LinkedIn, you will grow your audience. This will also help you understand many questions that dominate your industry. By connecting with real people and real users, you would be exhibiting your expertise in front of millions.
Read more: An Advanced Guide to Quora Marketing
5. Create a Personal Website and Blog often:
While many people might think that having a separate website is borderline vain, what they do not realize is its benefits. Most serious executives create personal websites as a point of demonstrating their social responsibilities.
They also establish the website as the fulcrum of all their social media platforms and other content creation processes. By attracting website to their website, they redirect the same to their business website.
Maintaining a regular blog is also one way of connecting regularly with audiences. A blog is a much more open space for connecting. Here, you can be your real self, and share opinions on a range of issues including cultural, social and political. No matter how controversial your take on things, you can always write about it.
Read more: How to start An ecommerce Website
6. Be a part of Online Collaborations:
It is always a good idea to appear for a YouTube video with someone similar to the industry. Many bloggers and influencers are always looking for people to interview on their channels. If you are part of such a collaboration, you open yourself to attracting newer audiences.
Have you seen Warren Buffett routinely helping Bill Gates out on his charity? This is because it helps serve the purpose of both billionaires. Not to mention that they are great friends too. Collaborations also open possibilities for networking and exchanging thoughts.
You might never know which collaboration will open up the doorway to million-dollar partnerships. Most importantly, it is always great to appear relevant and in accord with many diverse things. There is a reason why Elon Musk went on the Joe Rogan show and smoked weed on national television.
7. Help people out Online:
While this may be an off-the-record kind of a thing, it is a truly invaluable obligation that will serve you a lifetime. Young people who are starting out in their careers need recommendations and endorsements. Why not help someone out on LinkedIn with a good and positive statement.
If someone does well because of your help, he or she will always talk about this to everyone. For a long period! The same goes for helping people on Quora. By endorsing someone’s blog or social media post, you will get a convert for life.
You never know which upcoming youngster becomes the next Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Spiegel. This will also help establish a much more empathetic aspect of your personality to thousands.
Personal branding is not something that has come up as a rage in the last couple of years. According to me, the first great example of successful personal branding was Steve Jobs. What Apple is now owed as much to Steve Job’s personal branding as it does to his tech intellect!
If you are looking to grow your business and your brand, personal branding is the way to go. You might think of it as a substantial investment, but it is an investment, which will give far greater ROIs than anything else will.
Last, I checked, investing in yourself always pays the right dividends.
As the great Oscar Wilde had once remarked,
“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”