Have you ever wondered what makes some people more successful than others? I have one of the answers for you. That is their personal brand.
Everyone you meet is a brand reflecting a certain set of values. All their beliefs, and ideas combine together to help you form an opinion about them.
You can experiment with two people who have the same potential. The successful person would be the one whose personal brand is viewed favourably by the people. Now the other person can have some really nice ideas, but if they are not respected and perceived well – they will never be able to make it to the same level of success.
So, what is a personal brand in the marketing world? A brand is basically a promise to your consumers that every time they come to you, they can expect a certain standard of excellence that would be maintained in your product or services.
As you stand the test of times and prove your integrity to the people by fulfilling this promise every single time, the world will eventually start rewarding you by throwing money at you. Here I will discuss the best ways to influence your marketing by establishing a favourable personal brand.
1. Research Your Marketing Content
If you look at the famous personal brands, you will always find that they are specific to one single industry. You will find very famous brands in marketing or a very famous brand in fitness, etc.
There are two things that you need to keep in mind. The first thing in establishing a marketable personal brand is to make sure that you do not dwell too far from your niche. Think about it. If you start marketing multiple different things, it will be difficult to understand what you are REALLY about.
The second thing is that you have to make sure what you are promoting is actually interesting. People should be looking for your product or service.
This is where research comes into play. What you should do is – go to your niche and see what is trending there. Find out what people are talking about. I personally use sites like Quora to see what are the popular questions that are being asked. Similar you can also use Twitter hashtags, Facebook Groups, etc.
There is a saying in finance, “The trend is your friend.” Research the trend, and find what people are looking for. Provide them with products or services that can help them and keep doing this. When you do this consistently, you are already halfway there in establishing a personal brand.
2. Establish Your Personal Brand with a Single Medium of Influence
One of the mistakes that people do when they are starting is that they are not focused in one medium of influence. They step in all forms of media at the same time i.e. written, verbal, short videos, interviews, podcasts, etc. The common notion that drives the starters is that they think that they can try several different methods and one of them will eventually work. To be honest, I used to think the same way when I was starting as well. Throw five balls, and one of them will land in the basket, right? No, wrong. And I’ll tell you why.
The problem with such mindset is that when you divide your effort between various media, the odds are that you would end up doing none of them perfectly. At least, not to the same level if you were solely focusing on just one specific area. But at the same time, everyone wants to leverage all the different possibilities to maximise their reach and revenue. So, what’s the way forward?
The trick is to start from the point of your strength. If you are a good content writer, focus on the writing Blogs, Forums, etc. Similarly, if your strength is your verbal communication, focus on making videos on YouTube. The key is that when you start from the point of your strength, it allows you to establish yourself. And once you do that, you can then spread your wings and jump into different media. Chances are you might strike gold and reach a much wider audience in a different medium. But in case you do not, you know that you can always rely on your strength and come back to the medium where you are already established.
3. Document Everything and Market Your Personal Brand
People always decide emotionally, and they justify those emotions based on logic. They are interested in your journey, your struggles, the highs and lows. When you tell them your story, it feels genuine. They know it’s not scripted. As a result, they start viewing your personal brand favourably. We call this the influencer marketing technique.
There are so many examples of this which we can find day to day. Look at Gary Vaynerchuk or the Kardashians for instance, all they are doing is just living their lives and putting it on a YouTube channel. And because people are curious and they like to keep up with them, it has enabled them to amass a significant following.
The key is that once you gain enough following as an influencer, you can start using that to your advantage and start marketing yourself. For example, a world-class surfer with many followers will be a big catch for any company wanting to sell surfing clothing and equipment.
Now of course, not everyone is a world-class surfer, but you can always start small and look for smaller results in the beginning. Once you catch up, the results increase exponentially. There are so many examples where we see people going viral, even the ones where the content makes us cringe. As they say, “No publicity is bad publicity”. Remember, “Cash me outside howbow dah”?
4. The “Favourable” Personal Brand
See, our goal is not to just establish a personal brand. It is to be on the right side of the coin. So that we can use that as a leverage consistently and start marketing products and services. The problem with unfavourable personal brand is that it is usually short-lived. Now of course, there are exceptions, where people hate you for long-term. But hey, that’s another story.
So how do we maintain a good personal brand? I have already discussed some of the points above. But one of the main points that I want to highlight is feedback. We have already established that personal brand is basically how people see you. The way to make them view you in a favourable light is by paying attention to details.
Say, you post something on YouTube, or someone comments on your Blog – take the time to respond to them. Now that does not mean that you have to sit and respond to 100s of individual comments. You can respond by doing a podcast, or making another video, or writing another blog post. It helps create an aura around your personal brand.
Gratitude is very powerful, so thank them. Recognise their comments when you are doing your videos. Some of you commented on my previous video this that… When you do this, people feel cared about. They start trusting you more. What do we do when we care about people? We listen to them. So, when people start listening to you, that is when you do your sales pitch. And trust me, there is some high conversion rate there!
5. Get a Mentor
Life is a continuous process of improvement. No matter how far above you are in the food chain, when you look up, there is always someone above you. You should always put yourself out there whenever you get the chance to do so.
So, once you start getting a bit of traction, you should start looking for mentors. People who are established and ahead in your niche. People are generally nice and helpful, unless they are not. So, reach out to them, even if it appears far-fetched. Most people tend to be very agreeable to the idea of being interviewed. Let’s be honest, it serves the ego a little bit too! Try to schedule interviews with them. When you appear with them at that circle, people start looking at you at the same level and it gives a great boost to your brand.
However, at the same time everyone is wired in a unique genetic way, so we cannot blindly follow a successful person and expect the same results. But the benefit of having a mentor is that you can avoid the mistakes that cost them years of their life and save in one of the most precious assets we have: Time. If you are looking for a shortcut to success, then getting a mentor is one of them.
I will just end it by quoting one of my favourite people that I look up to. In his book, Crushing It, Gary Vee says, A strong personal brand is your ticket to complete personal and professional freedom. And I could not agree more!
Too Long Didn’t Read (TL;DR)
Everyone you see is a personal brand. It is how they carry themselves, the values and beliefs they have, etc. In the world of marketing, your personal brand is basically a certain standard that your consumers expect from you. If you consistently meet that level of expectations, they will start trusting you and putting money on you.
Some of the ways in which you can establish a favourable personal brand is, by researching the trend, finding out what people are looking for and providing them with value. And by making sure that you stick to your niche and not dwell too far away from it.
Speaking of sticking, you also want to start with one medium of influence when you are starting. Start with your strength, if it is written, then write content, and if your strength is verbal, then focus on videos and podcasts. Once you establish yourself, you can then jump into other media.
People tend to be curious about your journey and struggles, so document everything. When you document things, it feels genuine, and people start trusting you more. You can then leverage that trust and use it to your marketing advantage.
One of the ways to make people look at you in favourable light is by paying attention to details and taking up feedbacks constructively. Finally, you should always focus on improving. Try to get a mentor and learn from them. Avoid the mistakes they did and save years of your time by doing that!
About the Author
Fahim Ahmadi is an entrepreneur, blogger and marketer. Follow Fahim at fahimahmadi.com as he writes about making money online, emerging software and technologies, and his journey as an affiliate marketer