Building and marketing your personal brand is a key element in attracting customers and growing a business.
Deakin University invited me to speak about personal branding. I talked to a group of enthusiastic students and showed them how I leverage off my personal brand to make a lasting impact on my audience while delivering value first, before making an ask.
Below are some key takeaways from the 60-minute personal branding presentation, that I’m sure you’ll find valuable if you’re looking to start, improve or grow your personal brand.
Step 1: Define what you stand for
Market your strengths and your point of difference. Why would someone find you interesting?
Everyone has something unique that he or she can and market. The challenge is defining what makes you different from the next person, for example, what are your top three strengths? By figuring out your unique qualities and strengths, you’re then able to write a compelling piece of text that primarily will be your personal statement.
You can then publish your personal statement in different places such as on the ‘about page’ of your website and even as your short or long description text for your social media profiles like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
If you’re still stumped, here are some things I’ve put together that will help you work to define what you stand for.
Step 2: Understand your audience
The second step to building a personal brand is to understand the audience you want to target.
For example, let’s say you’re a creative person looking for more work. You’d first think about where the person wanting to hire you would look for you. Would they, for instance, go into Google and type a specific keyword to search for the type of artwork you create? Alternatively, would they use hashtags to search for your work on Instagram?
Wherever you think your audience will be, this is where you need to invest time in building your personal brand to demonstrate your credibility and value.
Step 3: Which channels will you use to showcase your personal brand
After identifying your audience, it’s time to decide which channels you’ll use to market your personal brand.
You don’t want to spread yourself to thin. If your channels are not aligning with your brand and take up a lot of your time, then stop them. It’s a good idea to start with one or two social media channels before putting time and resources into creating additional social media profiles.
Also, try and make the content shared on each channel a bit different, don’t just ‘cut and paste’ the same content across it doesn’t do you or your personal brand any justice.
Step 4: Be yourself by being as authentic as possible
People do business with people. A perfect example of someone who is funny as well as having a strong business acumen is Jane Lu. For those of you not familiar with Miss Lu firstly where have you been and secondly you need to know that Miss Lu heads up a fashion e-commerce business employing over 30 staff as well as wanting to achieve annual revenue of more than $30 million.
Her funny side is seen through her candid and very personable Instagram stories. Whereas her business side is evident through the content posted on LinkedIn. So having a broad spectrum of different personalities is okay. You need to make sure you choose the right channel and content to portray each of your personalities.
Step 5: Be conscious of brand alignment
Market your personal brand according to your audience and what you want to achieve.
Chloe Morello is one of Australia’s most popular YouTube stars. In an interview with Marie Claire in 2017, Chloe states that brands like Bobby Brown and Givenchy approach her. If Chloe wants to continue attracting high-end brand collaborations, then she’d most likely going to keep using high-end branded products in her makeup tutorials to attract an audience that these makeup brands want to market to.
Step 6: Put it into action
So we’ve spoken about some things to consider when building a personal brand, but where do you start?
It’s easier and faster to look at how you can improve some of your current personal assets such as your social media channels.
In this table below, I’ve outlined some current assets you may have and some important actionable items you can do to improve the state of your current assets.
Step 7: Monitor your brand mentions
So how do you know if your personal branding is working? An easy and free way to do this is by creating alerts.
There are two free tools you can use to track when someone mentions your name (or business) online. Check out Google Alerts and Talk Walker Alerts. I use both tools because sometimes one tool picks up a mention over the other tool and vice versa.
If you have any questions about personal branding, please do not hesitate to get in touch via my contact page. I’ll follow up this post with some other things that I touched on during the presentation to the students at Deakin University.