Creating a personal brand is the most important step to take to progress in your career. It is the most effective way to help your target audience understand you, your values, and your mission. It is also a great way to build trust, form meaningful relationships, grow your audience, reach potential clients, and showcase your skills.
So, take the following steps to brand yourself, prove credibility, and form worthwhile connections.
IDENTIFY YOUR NICHE
Decide what you want to be known for. What is your area of expertise? Define your niche to easily reach the right people and add value to their lives. Have a specific area of focus to build your audience, prove credibility, and build authority in your industry. Achieve this by finding your niche and building a personal brand around it.
Consider your skills, passions, and knowledge. Find something that you know better than everyone else or something you enjoy. Identify your top 5 skills and work from there. Keep your business purpose and goal in mind when picking a niche. Remember you want to show people you are knowledgeable in a specific field and convince them to choose your business over the competition. For example, if you are an online marketer, share useful information about online marketing success. Use your brand to reach a specific audience and give specific advice related to your niche.
This will make it easier for prospects to trust doing business with you in the future because they know that you are knowledgeable in your field. They value your opinion and trust your service or product.
Reflect on what you want to be associated with before selecting your area of focus. What is the first thing you want people to think of when your name comes up? Knowing this will make it easy to boost engagement, build authority, and establish your brand.
You can also identify something you enjoy doing and build your brand around it. For example, if you love traveling, share your adventures, discoveries, and memories. Take it a step further and talk about the best places to visit on holidays or when traveling solo. Recommend the perfect spots for hosting business conferences or going on a business trip with your team. This will be most effective if you own a traveling agency or if you are a photographer or offer related services. The goal is to get people talking about your posts and hitting the ‘Share’ button.
SET CLEAR GOALS
Next, have clear goals. Define your purpose. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to raise brand awareness? Do you want to build trust and authority? Maybe you want to connect with your audience at a personal level? Whatever your goal, ensure it’s clearly defined so you can find effective ways to achieve it.
Remember you want people to fall in love with your brand and make it easier for them to engage in business with you. So, set S.M.A.R.T goals to ensure that happens. Align your goals to your values to ensure success. Come up with a mission statement to get your audience to easily identify you as well as to communicate your purpose, goals, and beliefs. Take for example Tesla’s mission statement; ‘To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.’ You can effortlessly understand their aim and the value they bring.
So, focus on three things when defining yours; your objective, the value you bring, as well as your unique proposition. Come up with a mission statement that defines your goal and helps you stand out from the crowd. For example, if you own a sales and marketing agency and are targeting freelancers and entrepreneurs, your mission statement could be; ‘To enable small businesses to boost sales by raising brand awareness and increasing web traffic.’
Once you decide on your mission statement, ensure you fulfill your promise. Give your audience precisely what you promise, meet their expectations, and add value to their lives as promised.
DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE
Next, define your target audience. Who do you want to reach? Decide who you want to form relations with based on the kind of service you provide or the product you offer. For instance, if you are a content developer, you can target website owners, authors, as well as upcoming freelance writers. Identify prospects based on your niche and the kind of content you create. If you focus on self-improvement, motivation, and lifestyle, for example, target websites or authors in that area.
If you sell computer hardware, target computer repairs technicians, IT students, and tech enthusiasts. Research on the top websites or social media channels they spend most of their time on and network. Join Facebook groups and relevant online communities to get noticed. Share your knowledge, help them solve certain issues, and prove you are passionate about what you do.
Add value to their lives and help them meet their goals. Know their interests, pain points, as well as challenges, and cater to their needs. Ensure they engage with your content by sharing interactive and useful posts. Make their lives easier by sharing helpful resources such as ultimate guides, comparison articles, reference guides, cheat sheets, product review articles, how-to videos, and so on.
You can also define your audience based on their geographical location, age, gender, profession, hobbies, or marital status. The most important thing to remember is to keep your business purpose and niche in mind.
After you identify your target audience, define your value proposition. What sort of value are you going to add to their lives? Why would they want to form relations with you? What is unique about you? and how will you keep them coming back to your content or posts?
Be creative, share high-quality and interesting content. The kind that grabs their attention and gets them to favor your website or blog over the competition.
TELL A STORY
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to command attention and retain it. It is the secret to boost engagement and get people to fall in love with your brand. So, tell a story. Who are you? What do you represent? What sort of impression do you want to create?
Add personality to your brand and be unique. Find your voice and use it to stand apart from the competition. Decide how you want people to see you. Do you want to look and sound formal and professional? Or you want to be seen as someone friendly and down-to-earth?
Add some personality to your posts for better interaction and engagement. Use informal language time and again. Be more casual and spontaneous. Share a joke now and then. This is how you get people excited about your brand and keep the conversation going.
Talk about your interests, passions, and goals. Mention where you desire to be in your career, how you intend to get there, as well as when you plan to reach specific goals. For example, if you are a fitness coach, talk about your experience. Why did you choose that particular field? Whether or not you’ve had challenges with your physical health and so on.
Talk about healthy eating and healthy living. Mention the dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle and share tips on how to make changes.
Help your followers set goals and achieve them. Motivate them to work towards reaching their aims by creating an effective strategy or plan to ensure that happens. For example, create a 30-day weight-loss challenge. Outline the important steps that they should take daily. For instance, day 1 can be about getting rid of unhealthy foods in the pantry. Day 2 can include a 20-minute run as well as stocking the pantry with healthy foods, and so on.
The most important thing to remember when creating your brand is to be consistent across social platforms. This will help you to communicate your message clearly and help your audience understand you better.
Authenticity is another equally important aspect of building and improving your brand. So, be true to yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone or something you are not. Create the right image and give an accurate impression of who you are. Identify your uniqueness and express yourself. Don’t hide your personality. Find out what’s unique about you and share it with the world. People will love you for amplifying your special character traits and celebrating your individuality.
Use Instagram Stories to tell a compelling story.
CREATE CAPTIVATING CONTENT
Build your online presence. Work on your content strategy to boost engagement and make your mark. Create captivating and highly interactive content. The kind that encourages more shares and likes. Share interesting news or fun videos. Post about the latest market trends or review new products, and share your opinion. Talk about your first impression about the new product, whether or not you’ve used it, the pros and cons of using it, and so on.
Take it a step further and help your audience decide. Especially if it’s something you’ve tested. Recommend the product or help your followers familiarize themselves with new software by sharing a how-to video and guiding them. You can write an article about a new product or upload videos.
Get people talking and reposting by sharing posts that add value to their professional or personal lives. Find out what sort of value you can bring and use that to pique their interest. Identify the best platforms to share your content on and be active. Use high-quality images and professional videos to attract attention. Choose images that represent your brand right and ones that are a true indication of your values, beliefs, as well as what you stand for.
Use your mobile phone to take pictures and editing software for edits and enhancements. You can use Photoshop or Canva.
Boost engagement by adding at least one question at the end of each post. This will encourage users to participate and share their views.
Be creative to retain attention. Use live video, run contests, post listicles, create podcasts, and interview influencers whenever possible. Share valuable insights from thought leaders in your field. Feature them on your YouTube videos or blog.
If getting an interview is difficult, you can share some of their content or quote them on your posts. Make sure you give credit where it’s due. For example, if you use tips from an influencer on a particular subject, mention that on your post and include their name.
Next, promote your content. Be discoverable and ensure you rank high on search engine results pages. Optimize your posts for SEO and use social media. Turn your content into different formats to appeal to a different audience. For example, write an eBook or create videos.
Use the best content marketing tools to increase traffic, grow your audience, convert visitors to customers, and meet your goals faster.
Some of the best tools are MailChimp, HubSpot Marketing Hub, and BuzzSumo.
Track your efforts and make necessary adjustments with Google Analytics or HotJar.
BE AN EXPERT
Become a thought-leader or an expert in your field. This shows that you are knowledgeable in your field and helps you to connect with other influencers. It is the key to building trust. So, give practical advice on different platforms. For example, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Stack Exchange, your blog, or YouTube channel. Be the go-to person for specific information. Let people know that they can easily and quickly find what they need on your site or channel.
Provide valuable content that will help make their lives easier. Ensure your blog or website becomes the place your target audience visits to solve certain problems or learn about new updates in your industry.
Use ultimate guides and how-to videos to command attention and encourage ‘Shares.’ You can also write an eBook and give it to your email subscribers for free. This is the secret to building your mailing list, growing your fanbase, and establishing yourself as an authority figure. Include valuable advice in your book or help your followers solve a certain problem.
Your eBook can be 50 pages long or 100 pages long. The length doesn’t matter. What matters is the information you provide. So, do enough research on the subject or topic at hand and give valuable advice that will keep readers interested in learning more.
Make it your goal to constantly improve and perfect your skills. Use MOOCs or massive open online courses to develop and advance your skills. MOOCs are free online courses available for anyone to enroll.
Gain access to a wide variety of courses. From Business and Leadership courses to Quantum computing. You can learn just about anything. The only thing that’s required is a computer, an internet connection, and your commitment.
Some of the best providers are edX, Coursera, Udacity, Khan Academy, and Udemy.
OWN A WEBSITE
The next thing is to create or own a personal website. This will help you to connect with your audience, increase traffic, and get more leads. Your website should be a true reflection of who you are and what you stand for. So, personalize your design and content. Inject some personality into it. Talk about your interests or hobbies here and there. Share fun videos of yourself or talk about an amusing experience you had.
Connect with your audience and respond to comments. The goal is to form a connection and keep them coming back to your site.
Create an attractive landing page. Include important and interesting information that grabs attention and keeps site visitors longer. Customize your headline and add an appealing description. You can include some of your best work, interesting videos, viral posts, and testimonials.
Elaborate on your work experience. Mention companies or people you’ve worked with. Share personal projects and so on. Use professional images to grab attention. Highlight your top skills and add links to your social accounts.
Use WordPress or Wix to design your website. If you prefer hiring a professional, choose from countless designers on Fiverr, Upwork, or PeoplePerHour.
You can also start a blog that is completely dedicated to helping people meet a certain goal. For example, if you are a finance expert, you can help people manage their finances wisely and meet their money goals. Be creative and take different angles. Share exciting content. Use catchy headlines for more clicks and conversions. For example, “How to save $1000 per month and still meet your daily expenses”, “10 ways to run a successful yearly budget”, or “6 ways to increase your earning potential.”
Create interesting and valuable content that converts visitors into loyal followers. The kind that encourages more likes and shares.
Ensure you rank high on searches by optimizing your website or blog for SEO. Use meta titles, meta descriptions, and keywords throughout your content. Research on the most popular phrases or words that people type in searches when looking for certain information.
Use KWFinder or Google Keyword Planner to find the most commonly used phrases and include them in your content.
Optimize your site for mobile and test your page speed to give users the best experience.
Add your site URL on your social profiles to boost traffic.
Guest blog on popular sites and be featured on influencer sites to prove credibility and generate more leads.