Building your “Personal Brand” is a buzz-word of the new interconnected social media age. There are new Instagram and YouTube celebrities. There are bands who became famous without record labels through online media. Individuals are getting huge sponsorship deals thanks to their millions of Facebook likes or Twitter followers. Whist not everyone has the followers of Dwayne Johnson or Christian Ronaldo, it is rumoured that top social media “Influencers” get paid £100,000s of per Tweet & Kim Kardashian earns £10’s of millions from Instagram.
But how can the normal, everyday entrepreneur, creative, part-time income seeker best build personal brand to get maximum reach, likes, followers, fans, subscribers and leverage to either grow your business or your celebrity status? You don’t need millions of followers and you don’t need to post guns-and-Lamborghinis-and-bikini-clad-babes daily to achieve your online media and brand success. Follow these 8 steps patiently, persistently and consistently, and you too could create part or full time income from your social media accounts and “Personal Brand”
8 ways to develop your personal brand:
1. Get clear on how you want to be known
This is known as “positioning”. How do you want to be perceived by the world? What expertise or guidance do you want to offer? What is your “niche”. You can’t be everything to everyone. You should have a unique, even disruptive position, and ensure you are not trying to be everything to everyone. My podcast the “Disruptive Entrepreneur” positions “Disruptive. It is clear what you are going to get. And it makes no apologies for that. It is a reflection of who I am. And so should your “Personal Brand”. It should reflect who you are. Your vision. Your values. What you stand for and against. Never try to be someone else just to fit in or to get attempt to get more likes. And make sure you go through these questions and come up with answers that you know you could do, be and have for a long time, because chopping and changing your identity too often will confuse your audience.
2. Set up all the main media platforms
Whilst basic and logistical, it is important to have presence on all the main (social) media outlets and platforms. SO if you haven’t already, do the following:
Separate your business and personal brand and profiles. Businesses aren’t personal, though you should try to make them that way. If your personal and business brand are the same, you can’t escape your business easily, it will be harder to scale, and you may not be able to express yourself freely. So ensure you have profiles for both. And separate your personal profile where you have naked-throwing-up University pictures, from your personal brand. Unless that’s your personal brand!
Set up or update and populate the main accounts such as Facebook (pages, profiles, groups, ads), LinkedIn, Twitter, Podcast, Blog, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, your personal website, Amazon (book, ebook, Kindle), Audible (audiobook), Reddit, etc.
Ensure they are not just set up, but there’s some history of content, updated bio and photos and they look used and interactive. Otherwise people will leave.
Keep an eye out for new ones that emerge and set up profiles as necessary.
Better to set the profile up early and drop nothing with it than not have a profile. And if they go big you will catch your followers and fans early.
3. Post your “on brand” content consistently
Consistency will breed habits in your followers minds to watch and consume your content. It will increase the inter-connected reach. The social media algorithms will give you more exposure. You will have more content out there in the ether that people can find. You will appear relevant and of the here and now. The amount of content you should put out there various from platform to platform. Minimum 3 times a week, and upwards of 3 times a day for quick-fix-fast media like Twitter and Instagram. Some top influencers post 9 times a day. If you’re concerned about being able to create that much content, use other peoples and share and give them credit. Ask questions. Vary your content mechanism from image quotes to live feed videos to pre-recorded videos to blogs to short excerpts to media commentary and news-jacking. Also, follow step 4 for continued inspiration and leverage…
4. Ask your audience what they want & give to to them
How do you know that the content you put out there is what your audience wants? And that is will get likes, shares and comments? Simple: ask them what they want. Then listen and give out to them. Do polls, surveys and tests and allow the answers to inspire you. Solve your communities challenges and your personal brand will grow exponentially. So simple, most people don’t do it. Why struggle to be inspired when the answers are hidden in plain sight? Plus they will feel included and so will support your future work and defend you against critics. They will share your work because they were part of creating it.
5. Repurpose your content
I tend to focus on one main platform personally (Facebook) and then my agent/researcher/general legend helps me by “repurposing” my live feed videos onto YouTube and Instagram. transcribing them into blogs, articles and social media posts, taking quotes out for Instagram, and using the audio for some podcast episodes.
6. Test your content
You earn or you learn. You win or it was a test. So don’t be too precious about the initial quality of your content, start now, get perfect later and test. What is the right length? Format? Time of day to post? Quality of video and audio equipment? The answer is it depends on the platform, audience and other variables. So continually test and measure the results. Scale what works and delete what doesn’t. This will get great compounded results. And if you are even in doubt get some Lambo’s and guns and bikinis in shot!
7. JV with/interview top influencers
If you can do interviews with top influencers, and they share your work, you can get huge leverage. Approach the go to people in your niche. Offer to help them in some way. Perhaps they need a problem solving or they need good external content. You could guest blog for them. You could interview them on your podcast. You could promote something of theirs to your followers and in return they could for you.
You could share their work and tag them in. Balance being persistent with being patient as you will not win them all. One or two big players and you could really grow your following that would otherwise cost serous marketing pounds and dollars.
8. Grow your followings
Keep at it, it will come if you follow these steps. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and asking for shares, likes, comments and feedback. Post your content across all media, link from one media to another, and build your followings across your platforms. Use hashtags. Vary the time you post so that someone who follows you on all platforms doesn’t get it all at the same time. Go back and comment and engage with your followers personally in the comments, and they will come back. Mention them in your material. Ask for their thoughts, comments and advice. Later, you can move onto paid ads.
If you follow these 8 steps you will have a robust, well spread & trusted “Personal brand”. This means your business can scale without you, and you can creatively express yourself through your personal brand without confusing your customers. You are allowed to express you passions and new discoveries in your personal brand, because it reflects who you are. I often talk about watches and podcasts and non-property and business related subjects that I wouldn’t be able to if my personal and business profiles were not intertwined.
If you’re interested to learn more, or want some profiles to follow to help you build your own personal brand follow these:
"If you don't risk anything, you risk everything"
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