Building a personal brand and creating a more valuable ‘you’ can have a positive effect on both your personal and professional life. Think about the ways that companies do this. Highly caffeinated marketing teams sit in rooms, poring over logo design, advertising collaterals, and their next tweet so that they can present their company in an attractive, effective, and appealing way.
So, why should it be any different for you?
Consumers trust individuals more than brands. The level of trust and integrity that you can get from an individual can seem lost within a massive, global conglomerate. If you want to freelance, consult or increase sales for your company then creating an investible personal brand will help you stand out.
Let us look at 5 great ways to accomplish that.
#1: Become An Expert In Your Field
Branding yourself can be hard when you don’t have an area of expertise. So, first, what you need to do is to make yourself an expert in your niche. Every influencer has his or her own niche. If you have an online store selling tools you might want to make sure you’re an expert in carpentry, furniture design, or some sort of relevant niche. If you sell car parts, you should probably build up your expertise in the automotive industry so you can provide value.
Another way to look at it is to build a brand around your own area of expertise. Say you worked at a hair salon for five years, you might build a personal brand where you share your expertise on hair issues while selling hair products.
Clarify what you want to be known for
Paired with repetition (one of the most underrated ways to get known as an expert!) these are the kinds of things that will help you stand out in a crowded niche and have people see you as an authority.
- Content pillars – narrowing down your areas of expertise and therefore the things you’ll be talking about in your content on your own platforms
- Expert topics – a handful of signature topics with pitch-ready angles that will help land you opportunities to feature on other peoples’ platforms
- Polarizing opinions – the things you see differently from other people in your space that help position you as a thought leader
#2: Public Speaking Engagements
Public speaking is an important platform for building your reputation and personal brand. Audiences are predisposed to trust anyone who stands at a podium, so just getting there is half the battle.
Pick your presentation topic
Most public speakers have one primary topic that they talk about all the time as well as several other topics they can speak about.
When you’re first starting out in public speaking, choose a single topic that is highly relevant to your business and area of expertise. As you build your reputation, you can add more topics. This is a recommendation I give to both my business branding and personal branding clients because a focused brand is a strong brand. With that in mind, start with a laser focus and expand later.
Keep in mind, your lecture topic should be something that you can present and answer questions about. Your audience should walk away from your lecture with useful information, a solution to a problem, and actionable tips.
And don’t be afraid. Very few people are born public speakers. In fact, public speaking terrifies most people. The truth is it takes a lot of practice and a lot of speaking events to become a polished public speaker. Keep putting yourself out there, and in time, you’ll see your skills and your results improve.
Read More: How To Get Noticed For Your Work
#3: Develop Your Personal Brand By Blogging
Every expert should be blogging. A blog is probably the best and easiest way to develop your personal brand by giving value. It is an essential tool if you want to spread your wisdom quickly and widely. It’s also one of the easiest ways to start building a loyal following. And when you apply search engine optimization (SEO) principles to your posts, you open up a whole new world of prospective clients who, for the first time, will find you through an online search.
But building a personal brand through blogging is about more than just setting up a website and calling it a day. You need to build your brand (and keywords) around a niche, use personality to create a brand voice, and consistently write a lot of relevant content.
So, pick a niche and research keywords. Fill a void that needs to be filled. Write a lot. Strive for high-quality, valuable content. Make connections. Get your name out there. That’s how you build a brand that will not only open doors for you but will also provide value for the people following you.
Bonus Tip: Improve Your Writing Skills
You may be a good writer or an indifferent one. But if you want to be an effective teacher and build a compelling personal brand around your expertise, you must be able to produce clear, nontechnical prose that’s a pleasure to read.
#4: Make How-To Videos
In today’s marketplace, a dominant online presence is a key to establishing a strong, recognizable, trusted brand within your own industry and staying ahead of competitors. Many manufacturers are investing in video marketing to show prospects a tour of their factory to connect with more customers.
According to a recent TechSmith study, 53% of people reported watching two or more instructional videos per week (up to 152% compared to 2013).
Regardless of your industry, instructional videos are the best delivery method if you’re serious about teaching others, growing your business, or building an online course.
Create a Youtube channel
Whatever kind of audience you want to reach, launching yourself on Youtube should be a no-brainer.
When creating a YouTube channel, plug some information about yourself in the about section and design a cover image using Canva. Also create a template for your video’s thumbnails, including the style of the text, font combinations, and colors you’ll use.
#5: Write A Book
Clearly, writing a book is an effective way to demonstrate your expertise and build visibility. And if you look around at the highest-profile experts in your field, chances are most of them have written one or more books.
Whether you do it yourself or enlist a ghostwriter, you will need to produce a book that addresses your area of expertise. A book is a critical credibility builder.
Your book can be traditionally published or self-published. A traditionally published book can deliver instant credibility, but self-published books (for which you can set the price or give away for free) offer more flexibility.
Either way, you will also need to promote it, since even name-brand publishers rely on their authors to do most of the marketing. A book can be a heavy lift, so don’t feel like you have to tackle it right away. But set a firm goal to produce one in the next couple of years, if not sooner.
Key Takeaway to Create Value
While it’s easy to create stale content, making content that is insightful, engaging and that truly helps your audience is a different story. Creating valuable content requires planning and intention.
If you really want to develop your personal brand by giving value you should ask yourself – “Would this help me? Is this actionable?” Don’t settle for fluff or trite advice. Provide your audience with content that will make a real difference in their lives.
While this can be a lot of work, the payoff is enormous when done correctly. So, stay committed, never stop learning and be prepared to adapt. And, don’t worry about the time it takes to grow your brand. As Earl Nightingale once said, “The time will pass anyway.”