Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, you will always be faced with competition. In fact, you may even notice that with every round of competitor research you perform there always seems to be one or two new competitors you had not noticed before.
Competitors will try to take your potential clients or your prospective job position.
But with so much of the odds stacked against you, how is it possible to stand out and ensure clients and employees are continuously choosing you?
Personal branding is a very powerful arsenal many do not take advantage of. It is your key to creating an aurora of irresistibility around you.
What is Personal Branding?
Think of branding as a reputation.
Personal branding is your personal reputation made very public.
It is different from company branding but maintains the same principles.
When building a company brand you are creating a unique characteristic for your company and set your company apart from its competitors by clearly defining your unique (and superior) offering.
When establishing a personal brand, you are positioning yourself as an expert in your field. Your aim when building your personal brand is for your desired audience to favor your thoughts and opinions about a certain topic over those of your competitors.
Why is this important?
If you own a business, by establishing yourself as an authority figure in your field, you could very easily convert followers to clients.
A potential client will trust your service offering because of your demonstrated expertise. Once this trust is established a small nudge (if any at all) is all that is required to entice clients to sign up to your services.
If you are an employee, establishing yourself as an authority figure in your field will secure your employability, and keep your inbox bloated with job offers!
But what is the process of actually building your personal brand?
We have broken it down into a simple 4 step framework:
1. Identify Your Skillset
Narrow it down and try to be as specific as possible
Are you a web designer establishing yourself as an expert in website UX design?
Or do you want to be known as an overall expert in web design?
Perhaps you are a software developer.
Is there a particular coding language you want to establish yourself as an expert in?
It is much simpler to establish yourself as an expert when focusing on a singular facet within your industry; of course, there is nothing wrong with taking a general approach.
2. Identify your unique personality.
Your personal branding is, well, your personal branding! So aim to make it as unique to you as possible.
Your unique personality, or voice, should effectively reflect your passion for your chosen field.
Would you like to come across as quirky and humorous or more serious and corporate?
Study the videos, tweets, and posts created by successful experts that exhibit a similar personality you are aiming at.
Take notes on their method of video production and post design and replicate their strategies.
Just be sure to replicate only their strategies (video production style, Instagram post style etc) and always aim to be as unique as possible.
3. Connect with your audience
It is essential that you are active on as many social media platforms as possible in order to give your potential followers as many options of following you as possible.
These include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram YouTube and LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a very underutilized platform with ALOT of potential.
Create a solid profile that clearly demonstrates your expertise and experience in your chosen field.
Then, regularly create posts and build your following! If you upgrade to some of the paid LinkedIn subscriptions, you can increase your connection options and build your audience.
If you are comfortable with making videos of yourself, all of the above special media platforms will support either direct uploads or embedment.
Once your social media platforms are set up, it’s time to start engaging!.
4. Engage with your audience.
The primary motivation behind all of your engagement should always be to provide your audience with value.
You should, therefore, focus your efforts in areas where people are seeking answers to their questions.
- Responding to YouTube comments
Find competitor YouTube videos and aim to answer as much of the questions in the comments as possible. Not all YouTube comments receive a response. If you provide valuable responses on a regular basis you could very easily steal your competitor’s subscribers!
- Responding to Quora questions.
If your response to a question in Quora receives a high number of upvotes, it will be shown at the very top of the list and may even be featured in Google’s featured snippet. Just keep in mind that Quora answers are usually quite lengthily and in-depth
- Respond to Reddit questions.
Find a Sub-reddit related to your industry and build a reputation for being a helpful and knowledgeable member. Once this reputation is established you can then direct members to either your website or other social platforms.
Though personal branding does require a lot of time and effort, it is always a very valuable investment. Make sure you incorporate personal brand development in your marketing plan to elevate yourself above your competitors.