May 13

How to build a personal brand

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INTRODUCTION

In a recent tweet, Elon Musk has captured the attention of the US president Donald Trump for desiring to open his factories again in Almeda Country, CA.

As of writing this post (barely a day since his tweet), it has garnered 81.4k retweets, and more than half a million likes.

personal-branding-power

What's my point mentioning this? Simple. The power of personal branding can quite literally turn your dreams into reality.

In Elon's case, it allowed for his factories to open again, and for people to earn a wage again.

Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you're on, you have to admit - having such a powerful personal brand can allow you to fulfill all that you desire in life.

It's not just Elon - Think of people whose fame has carried their businesses far and wide.​

Think of Steve Jobs, who created the modern Apple brand as exclusive and producing top-notch quality products.

personal-branding-power

Think of Amazon, a company that muscled it's way from a brand known to sell books, to a powerhouse that sells everything, and offers a massive web service for millions of companies.

Now? Jeff Bezos has billions.

What I'm getting at is simple:

 Build your personal brand, build your empire.

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Building a personal brand is a very interesting concept, and it will be naturally interesting to many people.

After all, who wouldn't want to be able to be able to influence what people think and improve their lives, while being paid to do so?

Essentially, what a personal brand is, is basically taking your name, and your image, and turning that into a brand. 

In a way, it's a minor form of being a celebrity, both online and offline.

But the biggest draw to it is the opportunity for you to grow your business to a far larger audience in a more personal way.

At the same time, having a strong personal brand allows you to create a more direct relationship with your audience - to be more 'human' and accessible. (Most celebrities seem very 'distant' from the 'commoners' like you and I)

Having that direct relationship with your audience means you'll be more likely to develop actual friends and fans who will vouch for you (see the importance of testimonials here!), and by doing this, you create a far superior type of relationship for your business.

For another example, look again at Elon Musk's twitter - he quite regularly replies his followers and retweets them. That's what makes him so personable, and quite well liked in general.


PERSONAL BRANDING EXPLAINED

Perhaps the best way to explain what is a personal brand, and how to create a personal brand is to showcase a few more examples.

Let's take Gary Vaynerchuk (or Gary Vee for short) for example. Gary is a prominent figure in the world - both loved for his wine shows, and his new media empire, VaynerMedia.

He regularly puts out massive amounts of content online on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, often replying personally to people who reach out to him.

Heck, he even posts his own cell number for people to call him!

In short, he's basically someone who is extremely personable, and has a massive following.

(He has nearly 8 million followers on Instagram, 2.66 million on YouTube, and 2.1 million on Twitter)

personal-branding-power

It's really hard to argue he's not influential

A lot of Gary's successes came down to his initial branding.​

Notice how you know his name, rather than his company. In fact, his surname, Vaynerchuk, is hard enough for most people to pronounce which led him to using the moniker GaryVee instead.

The same goes for quite a few people, like Tony Robbins, and Warren Buffet.

These are people whose names come first, before the company. Other people also include PewDiePie, a famous YouTuber who struck it rich with both his personality, as well as his gaming content.

WHY IT WORKS

There are quite a few reasons why personal branding works well, especially when combined with social media today.

PERSONABLE

One, a personal brand makes your website and business feel far more personal, and helps people feel they know you, and relate to you.

This means they'll feel like they can trust you, and in turn, be willing to buy from you, and heed your advice.

This is most evident in the case of Gary Vaynerchuk (see above), where people get to ask him for life advice and everything else under the sun.

This allows people to feel he's 'just like us', an incredibly powerful idea that allows him to inspire the next generation and further leverages the strength of his brand.

ROLE MODEL

The aim of having a strong personal brand is to become a role model, becoming someone that others want to emulate.

Most of the time, we usually see and hear of what our favorite celebrities do in social media, in magazines or in the news, usually also from family and friends.

Generally, what they recommend us to buy usually works better on us than when compared to an advertisement telling us to buy an unknown brand's t-shirt.

personal-branding-power

Conor McGregor, a famous MMA champion, marketing his own brand of suits.

That's the power of social influence.

It's super massive.

This is the power of being a role model - having a personal relationship with your fans, which leads to your fans being more emotionally invested in you.

It means they'll want to see what you want to do next, and how they can reach out to you and help you achieve what you want.

This also makes them far more likely to engage with your posts, and be persuaded by what you say. It can work both ways too - by helping you, you can invariably put some fans on your pedestal and promote them. 

Just look at how Kylie Jenner engaged her fans to help turn her into the world's youngest billionaire.

BIG LIVING

Another reason why it works so well is because people love living large in life.

One of the easiest ways to that is to view your social media - see how you're living life. This can also have the positive effect of letting your fans aspire to live like you, and to build their empires as well.

VALUE PROPOSITION

Finally, being your own successful personal brand allows you to see the idea of the "value proposition".

Value proposition meaning:

 an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers.

A value proposition can drive a product or service to be extremely successful.

This is basically the "promise" that your product or service can do for people.

It's the lifestyle that you're promoting, as well as the emotional hooks that come with it.

By having your personal social media account show that, you can essentially market yourself using the product, living the lifestyle that you're selling.

When you can do that, people will be inspired to buy your product.

ETHICAL DISCLAIMER

While creating a strong personal brand is great and can benefit you immensely, please do note the ETHICS of selling shoddy products.

Being a prominent brand on social media (and by extension, in the world), you have a DUTY to be ethical to people - people are relying on you to help them and to make their lives easier. So please, be very mindful of what you promote and to whom.

Money can come and go, but your professionalism and reputation WILL stick to you forever, and it only takes 1 mistake to wipe away all that you've accomplished.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN PERSONAL BRAND

Now, the all important questions...

Are you ready to create a personal brand for yourself?

Do you want to join in the world of the big boys in your field, and start being a respected authority figure?

And of course..

In making a brand, earn and attract a nice amount of money?

Then look no further - Let's start by focusing on the THREE Golden rules.


THE THREE C'S OF PERSONAL BRANDING
CONTENT

Being an authority figure and making a strong personal brand is all about creating amazing content.

It doesn't matter whether you're on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok or Facebook - People tune in and watch you because they want to be inspired, informed or entertained, and that's what your content will do.

Just look at the 'backpack kid' aka Russell Horning, the kid who rose to fame via his viral video doing the "floss" dance move to a popular song, and successfully entertained millions of people.

It wasn't even an intentional effort, he was just having fun.

While Horning's fame was mostly luck, it doesn't mean the content you create won't get that lucky break.

Your content can also be so good that people get attracted to it on Google, or from their friends sharing and reposting your content.

Great content is probably the most important when it comes to networking and getting shoutouts from other influencers, as well as finding sponsors.

The higher quality your content, the more people are going to want to be associated with your brand.

How we'll get people to want to be associated with your brand will be addressed later!

So how do you create amazing content?

You first need to know and understand your value proposition.

You need to know WHY your audience responds to what you're doing, and what they hope to gain from following you.

Once you can achieve that, you can utilize that emotional hook and bring them back over and over.

COMMUNITY

Community engagement is a critical part of building any personal branding, and especially so for anyone who wants to be an influencer on Instagram and other social media networks. The key word here in social media is social.

Remember that social media platforms are designed for community, and for communication.

If you're planning on putting out amazing content, but refuse to respond to any comments or messages, you're not only not using the platforms as intended, you'd be branded as aloof and uncaring.

It can be quite astounding how quickly negativity spreads on a group or channel, so do your part to keep that negativity away as much as you can!

Start communicating with your fans (and keep the negativity down) by actively responding to them, and engage them with your great content. Give them a feel of them knowing who you are.

It will then give your audience a greater sense of ownership over your brand and belonging, and ultimately, it will eventually turn your audience into true 'fans', as opposed to passive followers.

Who knows, you might even meet your lifelong friends and partners for business and relationships there!

This method also works for those in the consultancy business - it's known as a "soft sell".

Just imagine you're selling your consultancy service for $1,000 per session.

Instead of shoving that down people's throats, you instead post images and videos (aka the content) of you living your best life, and mention casually that you're offering life coaching. 

Your fans and audience will put them together and contact you about it, at which point you can start talking to them and getting to know them personally, understanding if they truly need your consultancy services.

Only when you've talked to them and know them, do you determine if they're eligible for the service (this is the ethical part meshed with sales)

And then you can further outline your program you offer, at which point they'll be hooked.

This is how you can use your personal brand to sell your services and live your good life as well.


The same can be said of online courses and other services, by posting great content for free - content that would normally cost a lot of money, and is actionable for people to work on themselves, or their own business.


CONNECTION

The final C: the need to connect.

Success with personal branding is as much about who you know as creating great content, and if you can work alongside other big names in your industry, you'll very likely get a big leg up and helps you build that personal brand of yours much quicker. 

If you associate your brand with the brands that people know and love, you will eventually become one yourself.

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Yes, that will involve putting yourself 'out there' to find sponsors, or joint venture partners. 

Unfortunately, you can't just wait for people to find you, especially when you first start building your personal brand.

How do you find people to connect to? An option is to check our closed, secret Facebook community of like-minded creators.

Everyone has something to offer, so don't be afraid to ask and put yourself out to the world.

Don't be afraid to try to contact the big names too, you might eventually get a reply or a shoutout from them! 


FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

Of course, personal brand growth is not merely limited to YouTube videos or more email subscribers.

While email marketing is arguably one of the most effective ways to help leverage your own company growth, there are are growing number of people who utilize social media as well.

Why social media? Simply because some people use social media platforms to showcase their portfolio and work [add portfolio article here]

INSTAGRAM MARKETING

 Possibly the most used platform to leverage this growth is Instagram - many creative people use it as a showcase for their artwork, photography, and various visual  works.

For example, SHEN COMIX started off as a comic artist doodling for fun, and now has over 2 million followers.

As his channel grew, he added in ways to monetize as well, via merchandising (t-shirts, plushies) as well as having a private Patreon for his work (Patreon is a platform where people 'subscribe' to him monthly for exclusive content and merchandise)

We also have an Instagram course coming up, so stay tuned for that!


 TIKTOK


An up and coming platform is known as TikTok - a Chinese platform where people can upload videos as content.

As of this writing, TikTok has over 800 million (!) active users worldwide, and there are people who have leveraged the initial growth to become superstars on that platform, raking in millions of followers and pulling in large sponsorships.

More information will be updated on this as statistics are revealed.

We also have an upcoming course on TikTok - TikTok Marketing. Stay tuned for the announcement details!


CONCLUSION

Personal Branding in the world today is highly important - not just if you want to be an influencer, or a captain of industry.

Even in your industry, being someone who has a professional, positive personal branding will lead you to be in high demand, which allows you to command higher salaries, or charge a far higher consultancy fee for your services.

Also remember that while building personal branding is important, don't forget that it only takes a single misstep for the brand to take a massive hit. So in that regard, be careful and professional with your answers.


Got any other questions for us? Or maybe you have a way to improve our article. If you do, just drop us a comment below, or email us.


about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and helping people make money online.


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