Personal branding is about taking responsibility over how you present yourself. If you strive to position yourself as an expert or become an influencer within your niche, self branding can help increase your reputation as a leader. By showcasing unique character traits and having an active presence online, you can work towards building a personal brand that resonates with people all over the world. This article will guide you through the steps towards branding yourself with 10 personal branding tips.
- What is Personal Branding?
- Why is Personal Branding Important
- Branding Yourself: 10 Personal Branding Tips
- Be Authentic: Personal Branding Tips
- Blogging for Personal Branding: Personal Branding Tips
- Provide Value: Personal Branding Tips
- Step out of the spotlight: Personal Branding Tips
- Be consistent: Personal Branding Tips
- Network: Personal Branding Tips
- Become a Creator: Personal Branding Tips
- Be an Expert: Personal Branding Tips
- Amplify Yourself: Personal Branding Tips
- Be Social: Personal Branding Tips
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is the practice of creating a brand around a person rather than a business entity. Personal branding is used to help further people’s careers by positioning them as an expert within an industry. By developing a personal brand, a person can grow their social following which can help them secure better jobs, sell more products in their business, and increase better opportunities in their career.
Why is Personal Branding Important
Personal branding is important because it helps give a person more credibility. It’s never been more competitive to land a new job or earn a paycheque. With more people building personal brands, you need to put yourself out there to get noticed. Personal branding can let recruiters find experts like you with ease, especially if you’ve been blogging for personal branding. It can also help you land new opportunities like business deals or marketing partnerships that you wouldn’t otherwise have, especially if you’re a person of influence. If you’re trying to land a higher position at a new company, you can showcase key data such as the number of followers you have, how much traffic your website gets or other key metrics which can give you a competitive advantage over other candidates. Think of it almost like an online portfolio about yourself. Personal branding allows more people to get to know who you are and how you bring value.
Branding Yourself: 10 Personal Branding Tips
Be Authentic: Personal Branding Tips
When it comes to self branding, being authentic is essential. But what the heck does that mean? It means be yourself. Everyone’s got their own quirk. Maybe you randomly burst into song in the middle of a conversation. Or maybe you have a really different way of dressing yourself. There’s something about you that makes you an original. And if you’re serious about branding yourself, now’s the time to come to terms with your quirkiness. Truth is, that special trait is what will make you stand out on a planet of 7 billion. Celebrate your differences and let your true self show.
Personal Brand Examples: Gary Vaynerchuk
Who’s the most authentic person that comes to mind when you think of individual branding? Yeah, none other than Gary Vaynerchuk. I met him a few years ago at the Traffic and Conversion Conference in the hotel’s lobby and he’s about as real as it gets. The most noticeable thing about him is that he just doesn’t censor himself. He’s probably more likely to turn down a speaking gig that asks him to tone down the swearing than he is to actually tone it down. But that’s what we love about him. He talks to you the way you talk to your friends. He doesn’t walk around in an expensive suit reminding you that he’s more successful than you. Even though he is. He’s a down to earth kind of guy. I once messaged him on Instagram and he responded to me within 10 minutes. Who does that? Nobody.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s personal branding journey started on YouTube when he was promoting his online store Wine Library. Have you ever seen the videos? Here’s his first video. It basically looked like a home video from the 90s despite being from 2006. He just sat in front of a camera and drank wine. Why am I mentioning this? Because even Gary Vaynerchuk started building a personal brand in the most low budget way possible. So you can too.
Blogging for Personal Branding: Personal Branding Tips
Blogging for personal branding is one strategy used by many of the top influencers. Why does it work? Well today, you might be a nobody with no voice. But if you consistently create content within your niche for at least one to two years, eventually you’ll be building an audience around yourself. There’s two ways to approach blogging for personal branding. First, you can build your own blog. This personal branding strategy will require the most upfront work but will ultimately be the most rewarding. Or you can write guest posts on top blogs within your niche. This will allow you to build an audience faster but you don’t own any of the virtual properties.
Personal Brand Examples: Rachel Parcell
Rachel Parcell started building her personal brand with her blog Pink Peonies. On her blog, she writes about fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She’s been in the fashion blogging space for years and has built up a reputation as an influencer. As a result, she currently has amassed over 973,000 followers on Instagram alone. She decided to monetize her blog by creating an online store under her name Rachel Parcell. What does she sell? Fashion. And she models her own clothing line too. Her self branding has paid off. How can you get a similar result? Your online store has a blog section. Use it. Blogging for personal branding is a great way to build an audience around you while monetizing it through your store’s sales.
Provide Value: Personal Branding Tips
When people say provide value it usually sounds like fluff. Here’s what it means: Say you’re selling makeup products. You could either be the brand that solely runs ads. Or you could build the personal brand where you create makeup tutorial videos, write articles about common makeup questions, host a stream of makeup inspiration ideas for different seasons or events. While a customer could very well buy from a brand that solely runs ads, they’ll be more likely to buy from an ad run by an influencer who provides value. Why? Because that influencer helped them and taught them something new even before they were ready to buy. That brand is at top of mind.
Personal Brand Examples: Mimi Ikonn
Mimi Ikonn’s personal branding strategy is all about providing value. She rose to fame with her YouTube channel for her Luxy Hair brand. In her videos, she’d create hair tutorials that people can follow along with. She’s subtly show her hair extensions in her videos without making them the focus of it. Occasionally, she’d create videos about hair extensions but even then the focus centered on value based content like how to pick the right color and how to clip them in. It’s unsurprising that she’s currently built a following of 3.1 million subscribers. Now that’s how you build an effective personal brand.
Step out of the spotlight: Personal Branding Tips
I know it seems counterintuitive but being in the spotlight all the time can take a toll on your life. Plus, sometimes people need to miss you for a bit to realize how much they need you in your life. Think of Taylor Swift. Before she launched her latest album Reputation she hadn’t posted on social media for nearly a year. She completely stepped out of the spotlight as she started recognizing the toxic side of fame. When building a personal brand, you’ll realize that there is a downside to too much attention. It’s okay to step out of the spotlight every now and then to build yourself back up.
Personal Brand Examples: Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner being apart of the Kardashian clan is always going to be a public figure. Whether it’s her family’s reality show or the cover of a tabloid or the success of her Kylie Cosmetics brand, there’s no escape from the spotlight for her. However, she shocked everyone by keeping her pregnancy private. She avoided going out in public, never mentioned her pregnancy on social media. She took an important moment in her life and kept it out of the spotlight until she was ready. Once her daughter was born, she explained to her fans why it was important she kept it private.
Be consistent: Personal Branding Tips
Consistency is the secret sauce that winning personal brands have in common. Consistency isn’t only about posting on social media every day. It’s about unifying the brand look and messaging. Do all your social media posts look different or do they look the same? Some will tell you that you need to have variety with your content but truth is the more consistent you are the easier it is to grow a following. If your favorite pop singer suddenly created a jazz album you’d probably lose interest because you prefer the original music they created. Same with personal branding. Your audience will fall in love with the way you present content. If you change tunes, they’ll jump ship.
Personal Brand Examples: Manny Gutierrez
Manny Gutierrez’ personal branding is fairly consistent. He’s a beauty influencer on YouTube who creates makeup tutorials on his channel. If you check out his Instagram account, you’ll see that most pictures are of upclose makeup looks. Noticeably, most of the makeup is more dramatic with vibrant colors that have that extra pop. So makeup lovers who are looking for a more dramatic look would likely follow his Instagram account and subscribe to his YouTube channel to try out a similar style. He also has an online store called Manny Mua allowing him to better monetize his YouTube channel. You’ll notice that a couple of t-shirts and a pop socket has some vulgar language on it. That’s likely because he often swears on his YouTube videos which maintains the consistency of how he communicates even throughout his products.
Network: Personal Branding Tips
It’s hard to master branding yourself if you never put yourself out there. Start that blog, hit up that Meetup event, mingle with people at conferences, grab that cup of coffee with a stranger, post on social media every day. The more you interact with people, the larger your network becomes. While you may be tempted to stick to a niche focused network, the smartest thing to do is to expand into other categories. You never know when you’ll meet someone who offers a different perspective or who’s expertise is in an area that you’ll need to know more about down the road.
Personal Brand Examples: Doug the Pug
I know it can be a little weird to add an adorable pug to this list, but when you have 6.1 million fans on Facebook and 3.2 million fans on Instagram, it’s pretty safe to say you’re the King of Personal Branding or as Doug the Pug would say King of Pop Culture. Doug the Pug is one of the most networked dogs in the world. He’ll regularly attend dog events, media interviews, concerts and more. When his social media posts don’t include pictures of him surrounded by pizza, they often include photos of him with other influencers. Why is this effective? Because those influencers share the picture on their social media tagging him which helps boost his social following. And by growing his followers, he can sell more products on his Doug the Pug Store. So when you hang out with other influencers, take a quick photo and post it on social as it could help you strengthen your personal brand.
Become a Creator: Personal Branding Tips
Some build a personal brand by being controversial. This can sometimes backfire and result in a lot of negative publicity. The safer way to create a great personal brand is to become a creator. Whether you create your own online store, a unique product, or content, don’t underestimate how important creation is. The best influencers are creators and doers. So start that online store, create that YouTube channel and actually commit to posting each week or write guest articles on notable blogs. Hiding behind your computer and spending your weekends watching Netflix isn’t going to help with self branding.
Personal Brand Examples: Carli Bybel
Carli Bybel’s personal branding story started out on YouTube. She constantly creates beautiful makeup looks on her channel. To better monetize her influence, she also created a makeup kit which she often uses on her channel. While she doesn’t have her own beauty store, she does sell her product on the popular BH Cosmetics website. The product is so popular that customers are restricted from ordering more than four of it. Thus, showing how a personal brand can help drive stronger sales growth. Aside from creating YouTube videos and her own beauty product, she also created her own blog where she has covered fashion, beauty and hair. She’ll post pictures of herself modelling different looks with some written content in between.
Be an Expert: Personal Branding Tips
Branding yourself can be hard when you don’t have an area of expertise. Every influencer has his or her own niche. If you have an online store selling tools you might want to make sure you’re an expert in carpentry, furniture design or some sort of relevant niche. If you sell car parts, you should probably build up your expertise in the automotive industry so you can provide value. Another way to look at it is to build a brand around your own area of expertise. Say you worked at a hair salon for five years, you might build a personal brand where you share your expertise on hair issues while selling hair products.
Personal Brand Examples: Michelle Phan
Before Michelle Phan started self branding on YouTube, she was an art major at an arts school. She applied her degree to makeup artistry and quickly built up a loyal following on YouTube where she’d host makeup tutorials. Eventually, she stopped creating YouTube videos and focused on her brands. She cofounded and created two brands: Ipsy and EM Cosmetics. Considering her experience with makeup tutorials moving into creating makeup brands made sense for her career. Her personal brand helped elevate her business as in 2015 her business was valued at $500 million.
Amplify Yourself: Personal Branding Tips
Earlier in this article, we talked about being authentic. Amplifying yourself is the second step. In a crowded world, it can be hard to stand out. Amplifying yourself is where you take the essence of who you are and run wild with it. For example, say you’re a risk taker. If you want to build a personal brand around how you love taking risks, you might create content of you doing a bunch of daredevil activities. Kind of like how Nik Wallenda tightroped across Niagara Falls or Felix Baumgartner did a supersonic fall from the edge of space. You might not do something as extreme but you’d do more extreme activities that the average person wouldn’t do.
Personal Brand Examples: Simeon Panda
Simeon Panda is created a personal brand around his physical appearance. After all, it’s hard to be taken seriously as a fitness expert if you aren’t fit. He’s been featured on the cover of magazines for his impressive physique. It’s not just that he’s in great shape, his muscles are massive compared to the average person. He amplified his physical appearance to stand out in the fitness niche. On his online store, Simeon Panda, he sells online training content and fitness equipment. If he hadn’t amplified his physical appearance his online training videos wouldn’t be as compelling. However, those who’d love to have bigger muscles and stronger bodies may choose to buy products he sells to help get a similar body.
Be Social: Personal Branding Tips
Personal brands can’t be built without human interaction. Of course, many influencers eventually reach a point where they interact a little less with their fans. But if you’re just starting your self branding, you probably want to respond to messages from your followers. It’s just good for business. Take the time each day to interact with your followers on social media. Did someone tag you in a post? Respond to it. Was one of your articles shared on social media? Thank them. Does a customer have a question about your product? Answer them. People want fast responses. It’s important to humanize your personal brand.
Personal Brand Examples: Eric Bandholz
Eric Bandholz, founder of Beard Brand, actually engages with his followers on social media. While he doesn’t respond to DMs on Instagram, he does respond to public comments despite having over 26k followers. You’ll also occasionally find messages from him on his brand’s YouTube channel.
Building a personal brand can help elevate your business to new heights. By following a combination of the personal branding tips such as being authentic, consistent and social you help increase your chances of success in your career. I know it can be scary to put yourself out there but the reward is much greater than the risk. You can have the power to really make an impact in the world. Your legacy lies in your hands.
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