Many of us don’t like the idea of developing our personal brand. We think we have to sell our soul to get a few more clicks or sales. But developing a personal brand doesn’t have to be like that.
You can create a personal brand that will be an accurate representation of your life. You can take whatever makes you special and project it in your brand. Take Elon Musk, Richard Branson or Bill Gates. Their brands are closely tied to their personal reputation.
You don’t need a business to create a personal brand. If you are looking for a job, your potential employer will google your name to evaluate their online presence. If you have an established personal brand, you can control your narrative. So when someone Googles you, they will see exactly what you want them to see.
Here’s how you can establish your personal brand:
Define your story
People interested in you will want to know your backstory. So you need a potent narrative to carry your brand. All strong personal brands have one.
Make sure your story says what your goals are, what motivates you, how you got to where you are. But you don’t need to write about all your life. You just need to find the parts that are worth telling.
If you are having trouble writing a good story, you are not alone. Most of us can’t form an objective opinion of ourselves. So use feedbacks from others. Ask people you trust to describe you. Ask them what they think you’re good at, what is your strength, weakness, etc.
Now write your story in your Biography/About Me page. At the end of the bio, direct people to landing page/book/blog/online store. This will further expose curious visitors to your brand and hopefully, generate some opportunities for you.
Create a brand statement
Take your story and package it into a handful of lines. You need them as your elevator pitch. Whenever someone asks you what your business is about, you’ll be prepared with your elevator pitch.
Make sure your brand statement has these three elements: what value you provide, what your target audience is, what makes you unique.
Use your brand statement as an inspiration to write your social media bio.
Build an online presence
The internet is noisy, but it’s possible to cut through the clutter. Leave thoughtful comments on articles, tweet regularly, try to get featured in magazines/newspapers, publish case studies about your business.
If you build an active online presence, you’ll have a huge advantage. 90% people on the internet are lurkers. They only passively experience the internet. So if you’re just consistently sharing your thoughts, you’re ahead of most people.
Start a blog and write articles regularly. This is the most important part of maintaining your online presence. Your blog doesn’t have to be flashy. A WordPress blog with a free theme will do.
Share what you’ve learned. Share both your success and failure. People love stories. If you are unable to start a blog, write on Medium. Make sure your article reflects you and your interest.
Sometimes write guest blogs on popular blogs.
If you are not good at writing, you can create a podcast or start making videos on YouTube. Reach out to moderately popular podcasts and offer to be a guest.
Join online communities. Find out where people like yourself hang out. Then join those communities. These could be Facebook or LinkedIn groups, subreddits or Forums. When you are joining these communities, make sure you are actively contributing values. Don’t just do self-promotion.
You can also join offline communities. Apps like Meetup help you find offline communities around where you live.
Speak at events
Speaking at events & conference is one of the best ways to establish the authority of your personal brand. If you are a novice, you won’t get invited to speak at TedX. So start with smaller gigs.
Speaking at events also bring authenticity into your brand. You talking in front of a live audience, you can’t edit mistakes, you’re vulnerable. People like vulnerability.
Do crazy things
Sometimes try to do crazy things. I have already mentioned that only 10% people actively take part in online discussions. One thing I haven’t mentioned, most of them are boring. So if you sometimes do crazy things & share it online, you will be memorable. You are creating your personal brand. So you can freely share your personal life.
Billionaire Richard Branson is a master at doing crazy things and sharing pictures of them. Since you aren’t a billionaire, your opportunity to do crazy things are way smaller. But there are still a lot of things you can do.
If you do these things, you will create a pretty strong personal brand in a short amount of time. Do you already have a strong personal brand? Let me know what you did that worked for you.