by Pavan Belagatti
What if I told you that we are all a brand of our own. Wait, what?
Quite confusing, isn’t it? But today, we will delve into the reason why each of us has a personal brand, and how we can build one that works to our advantage.
Still don’t get it? Okay. Have you ever thought why some people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Lewis Howes, Jay Shetty, Simon Sinek, or Pat Flynn, are so widely known for their incredible work? Are these folks known to the world because of any company they connected with? Or, is it just that they are doing things differently and on their own? Think.
All of them have built a brand for themselves: a personal brand, a strong, authentic one with good reach.
So what the heck is a personal brand?
“Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room – remember that.” —Jeff Bezos
No matter which industry you work in, to establish yourself in this heavily competitive world and prove your authenticity where everything looks the same and confusing, the only way is to stand out from the crowd. How do you do it? By building a strong personal brand. Knowing what your real passion is the initial step and, from there, it continues.
One of the pioneers in personal branding, Mr. Tom Peters says, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
Here are five tactics that work when building a substantial personal brand.
Have your an own website
Having a website is ensuring a public identity. It is like having an online resume that is public and can be easily accessed by anyone to see what one is capable of and their past, creative work.
Pictures. The website should have high-resolution personal images, a professional headshot or a picture of you speaking at an event or something that conveys your cool, accomplished persona to people.
Description. The ‘About me’ section should list all your skills, accomplishments, and links to platforms where your work has been featured. Towards the end, add a call-to-action that will encourage potential clients to get in touch with you.
Seth Godin, an American author and former dot com business executive, maintains a fashionable website. The same goes with Neil Patel, one of the world’s leading online marketer; he regularly updates his website with new posts and lots of activity. Tanvi Bhatt, a personal branding pioneer in India has a website that matches her personality. It tells you her story in a very noticeable, personalised manner. Avi Arya, a street car racer-turned-hotelier-turned-social media Influencer has a unique website that clearly showcases his personal brand. Bottomline: having a website is, for sure, the very first step towards building your personal brand.
Start producing a lot of content
Content is king and will always be. In the online world, the only thing that can help you shape and position your image in people’s mind is your content. If you observe carefully, most of the successful people you know are producing a lot of content in one or the other form. They are putting it out on the relevant channels and promoting it to reach millions of people in the audience.
Every social media site, be it Linkedin or Instagram, encourages people to create more and more content. Believe me, it is one trick that can get you more followers on Instagram and on any other social media site. If having a website is the first step to create an impactful personal brand, then creating a lot of content is a close second. Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the pioneers in this category. Over the years, he has consistently produced a wide variety of content, starting with his podcast, posts on Medium, videos on Youtube, where he has nearly two million subscribers, and other content on every popular social site you can think of. Googling him will throw you endless search results linking to his widely-consumed content, often published under the screen name, ‘GaryVee’.
Kim Garst, one of the world’s most retweeted people among digital marketers, keeps her content fresh, as she too believes that producing more content is the key to personal branding. The famous Indian YouTuber Sejal Kumar, who creates Fashion and Lifestyle videos on YouTube, is very active on Instagram. Her unique personality and vibrant content has given her a great number of followers, while building her brand among the female crowd in India.
Be active and consistent on social media sites
It is not enough to simply produce good content. Perhaps even more important is to promote it to the right people and through the right channels. Social media sites are a boon since they have millions of daily visits. Being active on such sites will help you connect with your target market easily and gain a good reach. However, being active doesn’t mean just being out there without doing anything. It is crucial that you prepare a proper plan and strategy to execute your content via the various social media channels.
A good storytelling approach is an advantage on social media. Publishing the posts during those times of the day when engagement is high is also important. Jay Shetty, widely known as the Urban Monk, is a vlogger and motivational speaker with millions of followers on his social profiles. He knows his game well, when it comes to producing and posting content on his social profiles. He has a unique quality of presenting rich content, mixing up the forms while sharing them consistently at specific, scheduled timings. Twitter celebrity, Ramesh Srivats is widely known for his humourous, punny one-liners across social media. He is very active on Twitter and produces enough content to keep his 4.27million followers engaged.
Connect with other influencers in your industry
Making friends with similar interests is a good thing when it comes to building a personal brand. It is a lot like doing competitor analysis; you will uncover the business secrets of others. It will give you insight into what others are up to, while allowing you to bounce ideas off of each other. This creates a win-win partnership that is mutually beneficial. Being an active member of the community will help you observe your market closely, enabling you to gauge and improve on your own efforts.
Join your industry through targeted-Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and other online communities that provide you the opportunity to connect with people just like you. Since I am a growth hacker, I am a part of so many growth hacking and digital marketing groups and communities online where I share content, interact with other people, and get feedback on my work. It has been helpful in building my personal brand, and is the singular trick that has got my work noticed, while furthering my online identity.
Guest blog on popular websites
One tactic that is mostly under-utilized, but can never be ignored when it comes to creating an authentic personal brand is guest blogging and sharing original content on popular publications or platforms. It leverages the advantage of an established community of readers.
Josh Steimle, an international speaker, writer, and entrepreneur, has built his legacy by guest writing articles for Forbes, Entrepreneur magazine, and many others. As a result, he has been featured on many other publications like TheNextWeb, Mashable, Inc., etc. The more you present your original work through other platforms, the better your chances of being noticed by readers. As the community takes notice of your work, they will begin to follow it, thereby building your personal brand.
All said and done, creating a personal brand takes time, effort, and a lot of patience. However, in the end, the payoff is worth it. I personally recommend everybody to invest in building a personal brand and reap the enormous benefits. An excellent personal brand will have various added advantages that will set your work apart.
Your personal brand is your product: nurture it and grow it steadily.
Pavan Belagatti is a writer, speaker, and marketing influencer.
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