Think of the experts you follow on social media. Cooks, psychologists, tour guides, coaches, and marketers – all build their businesses and attract customers through a personal brand. You can create it from scratch by interacting with the audience and presenting yourself appropriately. Read the article to learn how to do this.
What is a personal brand and why do you need it?
We all have a personal brand. She is our image in other people’s minds. This image is based on character traits, communication style, reputation, skills, and knowledge. But for a personal brand to work for a company, you need to shape it with purpose and get it out to as many people as possible. Personal marketing has several advantages:
- It builds confidence. Imagine that you need to choose a photographer for your wedding photoshoot. One of them only showed him the portfolio, but the other also talked about the behind-the-scenes of the filming process, his attitude towards clients, and recommendations for preparing for the photoshoot. Who will you choose? When we recognize a person not only for his professional qualities but also for his personal qualities, we perceive him as someone like us and so we trust him more.
- It attracts customers. People prefer to communicate with real people over companies, even if the company is exceptionally friendly. For example, Elon Musk has twice as many Twitter followers (38.7 million) as Tesla and SpaceX combined.
- It sets you apart from the competition. The methods of positioning companies are limited, however, a personal brand is 100% unique, as is each person. If you define your personality and manage to accentuate it, it will be difficult to mistake someone for someone else.
How to Create a Personal Brand from Scratch
Your exclusivity will be the basis for your personal marketing. To identify and present it, you will need to follow a few simple steps.
Step 1. Find a Niche
You cannot offer “everything to everyone”. Therefore, you must start with a clear position. Start by analyzing your company, your skills, as well as the interests and needs of your customers. The formula for finding a niche can be defined like this: what you do best + what you really enjoy doing + what the target audience wants. Answer the following questions:
- What are your knowledge and skills: your main occupation and additional training (training courses, seminars, etc.)?
- What do you like: Which issues are you genuinely interested in and which are you deeply immersed in?
- What value can you offer potential customers?
- Does this value correspond to the real needs of the target audience?
Step 2. Describe your target audience
To understand exactly what potential customers want, do a detailed analysis. The more you understand about them, the more accurate your value proposition will be for the desired segment.
- Make a spreadsheet with the characteristics of the target audience: sociodemographic (sex, age, marital status, location, occupation, employment) and psychographic (lifestyle, habits, fears, desires, problems, needs).
- Lack of information? Create a persona or avatar of the customer you want. Give the avatar a name and describe him in detail: who he is, what is his lifestyle, what he wants, and what problems he is facing. In the beginning, trust this model created and adjust the strategy based on the response of your target audience.
● Don’t try to please everyone. To build a successful personal brand, you only need people who are interested in you and your product. By attracting the right target audience, you will put the rest of the people aside. And this is so.
Step 3. Emphasize your personality
Personal qualities, manners, values, and beliefs are the emotional spice without which a personal brand is impossible to exist. Your personality will attract your customers and distinguish you from competitors working in the same niche.
- Character Traits. Are you cheerful and dynamic? Are you an energetic and inspiring person? Systemic and deep? Highlight the qualities that are inherent in you.
- Your values and beliefs. What do you believe in? Which intangible assets do you consider the most important? What do you not accept or are against? Shared values are the basis for bringing people together.
- Mission. Why do you do what you do? What makes you keep going your way? This message must be expressed regularly in communication with the public.
Note: The fundamental principle of personal marketing is authenticity. Don’t try to be what you’re not: insincerity will quickly turn people away.
Step 4. Create a website and your social media profiles.
Once you’ve built the foundation of your personal brand, you should start promoting it. To get started, use a website and social media.
The website is the main platform that will provide all the information about you that will be useful to customers:
- Value proposition: what problems do you solve, what tools do you use and what experience do you have;
- Product or service line: detailed product descriptions with prices, photos, or videos;
- Social proof: customer testimonials, publications in relevant media;
- Contacts: different ways to get in touch with you (email, social media profiles, phone numbers);
- Call to action: it is not enough to just have the “Buy” button, but also other triggers that will guide customers through the sales funnel: “Join the Webinar”, “Get a Free Consultation” or “Download a Checklist to Get Ready for a Marathon”.
- Having a profile or page on a social network is necessary to reach the widest possible audience and build an emotional connection with them. Your task is to drive traffic to the website through those places where your potential customers are (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.). Some important issues to consider:
- Don’t try to be present on all social media: choose two or three that are used by your audience;
- Design your profiles: put your photo, write what you do, and leave contact information and links to other social networks and to the website.
Step 5. Develop a content strategy
You can showcase your knowledge and gain the audience’s trust by using diverse, high-quality content.
Storytelling is an effective personal marketing strategy. Stories show a real person and engage followers. Alternate stories about the following topics on social media:
- Specialized content. Don’t just convince people with words that you can help them. Instead, show them how you’ll do it: publish case studies, write about ways to overcome difficulties, and show them behind the scenes of product creation.
- Personal content. Everything that interests you and your target audience: hobbies, travel stories, family, life sketches – something that showcases different aspects of your personality.
This type of content demonstrates your expertise and brings traffic to the site:
- Personal blog articles. To make a list of current affairs, analyze top search queries about your industry using search engine tools (Google Trends, Yandex Wordstat).
- Guest articles. Write articles for other blogs and online media that your target audience reads. This will increase your visibility, strengthen your experience and help you attract customers.
Other types of content
Don’t limit yourself to posts and articles. Make the most of the full potential of the online space. You can share:
- Guides, checklists, and workbooks.
To make your promotion strategy work, consider these nuances:
- Focus on quality and consistency. Don’t expect immediate results. Content marketing is a long game that brings great results if managed properly.
- Focus on audience response. Spend some time analyzing statistics: how many people reacted to the post, read a long article to the end, clicked the “Buy” button, etc. Adjust your strategy by focusing on conversion results.
Step 6. Be consistent
A good personal brand is consistent in both communication style and visual presentation. Through consistency, people will remember and recognize you.
In 94% of cases, the design is what makes a good first impression of a person or brand and this decision takes just 50 milliseconds. We’re talking high-quality photos, company visual standards, fonts, and logos. To make your design look professional, we recommend that you ask photographers to take professional photos. To develop your brand’s visual identity, you can use the Shopify online generator to develop your identity.
First, determine the tone of voice of your communication. This will depend on the brand image you want to create: informal, friendly, solid, conservative. The tone should be sincere and equal across all platforms: in posts, articles replies to comments, private messages, etc.
Step 7. Keep developing
To strengthen your personal brand, keep improving yourself: look for new ways to communicate and expand your audience, and learn about and follow market trends. Here’s what else you can do for your personal marketing:
- Create a group-specific to your field of activity, on Facebook or Telegram, so that your audience and customers can participate. Let people post things, share ideas, and support each other.
- Stream live on social media: answer important questions, share useful information, and inspire people.
- Keep learning. Every day, new tools, approaches, and new techniques emerge in the world of marketing. To develop your brand, keep an eye on market trends and learn from more experienced mentors. Tell your followers what you are learning – it will add value to your experience.
The main rule of personal branding is that there are no hard and fast rules here. You can freely act according to the steps we have outlined, focusing mainly on your personality, niche, and the interests of your target audience. Note that building a personal brand in a few days doesn’t work: it’s a project that requires time and mental and financial investment. You need to be flexible, and constantly develop and change according to the external context and personal transformations.