Have you ever been asked to build a personal brand?
If NO, then building a personal brand with a blog may intrigue you to think that what does a blog mean to a personal brand. A blog is a great platform to communicate, share, and express the views online and it helps businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs grow their online presence.
In this article, I’m going to express everything possible that might help you to start building your personal brand. In fact, I’ll dig a little deeper than that to explain that what a personal brand can do for you if you’re ready to understand it.
Once in a while, I come across people that are so talented, but they have no idea what to do with their talent and, more importantly, they don’t think about turning their talent into a full-time living.
That might start making sense for you now…
What does talent have to do with a Personal brand?
Now, it gets interesting…
Let’s cut the crap!
Your personal brand must reflect your PASSION and TALENT.
The personal branding is a way of reshaping your passion into a business.
In personal branding, your name turns to your brand name, your face becomes your logo, and your voice becomes the helpline for prospects and customers.
I guarantee you that you’ll fall in love with personal branding if you somehow manage to read this piece all the way to the end —or maybe, you stop right here—nevertheless, the personal branding changed me.
It changed my life.
It transformed me from a blogger to a freelance writer.
It taught me the greatest lesson of ‘DIVERSIFICATION’.
So, now, what I want is change others’ lives.
It looks impossible.
Believe me, it’s not.
Once I thought that I won’t quit BLOGGING no matter what.
Because I loved it.
I faced criticism being a blogger.
I knew it that it’s my PASSION.
I wasn’t ready to leave my PASSION on those people’s advice who don’t even care that I love it.
Personal branding is probably one of the greatest lessons of my life.
It’s my duty to pass that on to others and help them building their personal brands. Maybe, out of hundreds of thousands of people who would come across this piece in the next few years, one of them might be able to build a personal brand with the help of this article.
You made it that far, it means you’re looking to build your personal brand.
So, remember you need to do three things to take your personal brand off the ground:
1. Learn – Make it a way of life. Always be ready to learn something new. You never know what comes your way.
2. Adapt – Don’t be that frog of funnel who keeps on changing his body temperature rather than jumping out of it. The adaptability is quite a power in entrepreneurship.
3. Consistent – Being consistent shows your capacity to penetrate, understand, and implement the ideas. So, try to be consistent once you decide what to do with your business.
Once you know these things and you’re committed to keeping them along the way.
You’re pretty much ready to start your personal brand.
In order to start building it, you need to take these six steps:
1. Invent Yourself.
This could be the beginning of everything you dream of doing something big with your life. Invent yourself means to find what you want, what you’ve got, what you’re ready to provide.
Every personal brand develops around the PASSION and TALENT.
This gets far difficult for most of the people who don’t have a clear map of their talent identification or who aren’t sure what they like the most.
- Ask yourself:
- What are you good at?
- What do you do better than others?
- What makes you happier than anything else?
- What’s that activity in which you don’t struggle?
- What does make you different from others?
- What are/were you good at school?
Now there are a few more things than just having a passion or talent which are important to analyze in order to get success with your personal brand idea:
I. Value Proposition – It’s something your product/service makes an image of. It could be a long lasting benefit to the customers or an ever-growing brand value. If your personal brand is missing the value proposition, then try to explore more and fetch a better plan in order to execute I it well.
II. Trend and Buzz – Make sure that whatever you choose to offer under your personal band must not be an old-school approach that people have already neglected. You have to adopt something that is in trend or you foresee it as a next big thing.
III. Target Audience – Without a target audience, it becomes hilarious to jump in and start offering the product or service. Thus, the target audience’s existence is something else, the identification of target audience is another chapter of the same book.
Now, I admire a lot of people on this, who have helped me understanding the power of Personal branding.
For instance, Jeff Bullas, he is an amazing blogger, content marketing expert, and social media geek from Australia. His twitter profile tells a lot about his personal brand.
Larry G. Maguire does the same thing.
He also has a personal brand. Larry is an amazing content marketing specialist and a blogger.
It’s not about managing the social media profiles, in fact, the purpose is to take your FACE, VOICE, NAME, and WEBSITE as a Personal brand everywhere you hang out online.
Daniel Threlfall is an SEO expert and digital marketer. He adds a perfect example to the cause of understanding the personal brand.
Take a look at this screenshot from his homepage:
He has everything on his website to help anyone understand that what he does for a living. I liked the way he has used his picture on the website face.
It builds your identity and ultimately the personal brand.
Have you ever heard about brand’s voice?
The founding base begins with the identification of a passion. A personal brand reflects the PASSION, ENERGY, and the TALENT of an individual, which makes that person irresistibly important to do that job.
But it starts with the following things:
a) The Courage to get things started. Making a start is always the hardest thing to do. Once an entrepreneur has the courage to face the consequences, nothing can stop him/her from proceeding. Casey Neistat is a popular Filmmaker, YouTuber, and an Entrepreneur. He left his dishwasher job, maxed out his credit card to buy a camera, left his hometown to settle in the New York City, took the risk, and spent more than a decade in filming, then he became one of the most popular YouTubers in the world. He occasionally works with Nike, YouTube, Google, Twitter, and hundreds of other major brands. What I like about Casey is that he always shares life experiences and lessons, and thus, this makes his personal brand much more powerful. So, have some courage to make those bold decisions in life, otherwise, someone will hire you to take their decisions.
b) A Self-belief is how much do you believe in yourself. It requires the small chunks of achievements to build a bigger picture of motivation and belief. What self-believe does in an entrepreneur’s success, nothing can do. It’s a feeling that gives you a go. This is exactly you need before starting your personal brand because people around you might not agree with your personal brand, not to mention they try to put you down with taunting, bullying, and negativity — probably because they haven’t been able to do that or they didn’t believe in themselves, so what you need here is to develop some more belief in yourself because it’s YOU, it isn’t THEM who couldn’t do it or never tried again. You know that if you fail, you’ll try again, and keep on trying until you get it.
c) The Mission is the third most important ingredient to add on to the plate. The mission is your goal which defines your willpower, energy, and the level of commitment to the cause. The higher you aim, the better. Once you roll the ball in the right direction, you know it that it’s going to go towards the target.
Inventing yourself is an incredibly important step to make. It defines how, what, and why you succeed or failed in the game. So, better think twice before making a decision on your personal brand that what exactly you’re going to do in it.
2. Create a Voice.
The difference between the voice and the noise is that voice is clearer enough to be heard and understood, whereas noise does something different because people do expect otherwise.
Of course, you won’t be wanting your brand’s voice to be heard as a noise.
so, stand out of the crowd. Bring clarity in your MESSAGE.
Make your VOICE pleasant.
Ever wonder how to create a voice?
The best way to create a voice is by building an online presence. It’s far easier today than it used to be a decade ago. A voice is a reflection of your brand’s approach, capacity, and the power to engage and educate your audience through various means. The advent of internet and communication has drawn a line of clarity between the adopters and the neglecters. Which side you want to be on, it’s up to you — but, in order to define your voice, you must have an existence through these means:
Website – A personal site or blog to help people find you, get to know about you, and contact you. It could be a blog, personal website, or a business website. It’s like an online business card or portfolios that remain out there accessible and reachable even when you’re sleeping. A nicely designed professional website is a whole lot better than just a regular website to let people contact you. Because your website carries your image with it.
Email – Once you’re done with your professional or personal website, you must have your webmail-based professional email addresses (for instance: firstname.lastname@example.org). The professional person finds it a little unofficial when you use free email addresses such as GMAIL or Hotmail. It just doesn’t look trustworthy because if you claim to be a professional, then why would you avoid spending less than $100 to buy yourself a web hosting account in order to launch your personal site + for using webmails for communication.
Social Media – If the online presence is being discussed without the social media, then it’s a lack of approach and knowledge. The social media has become a powerful tool to communicate, meet, interact, and connect with loved ones, friends, and fans. The networks and platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope have rewritten the definition of communication and connectivity. So, a personal brand which aims to become a voice must be on the select social platforms to interact, engage, and meet the audience.
How to Develop a Voice?
It’s a good question.
In order to develop your voice —make sure that you have got something to say. Because it might be awkward to speak up without a great MESSAGE.
So, you better think before creating your voice over there.
You know what they say?
All you need is to be genuine, authentic, and sincere.
There are three ways to developing a voice:
- Publish Content: You must publish content regarding your expertise, ideas, and service. If you’re building a personal brand, you’d definitely be building around your PASSION or an ART, that is what you need here. The content publishing will help you generate the funnel of engagement with your audience targeting. Now there are a number of ways to get started with publishing content. You can use WordPress (self-hosted platforms) to launch your WordPress blog to start publishing content. On the other hand, you can use Free WordPress or Tumblr to get it done without buying a web hosting account.
- Engage the Audience: The audience engagement ultimately comes as a part of voice creation. How would you engage the audience without a voice in the first place? The point is, the audience engagement comes with the different platforms. From videos to audio content, pictures to infographics, there is a lot to think and select before wrapping up the audience engagement strategy. For instance, when a brand starts its digital marketing campaign, it idealizes its target audience, publishes content, goes for online advertising, creates a funnel, and ultimately provides everything possible to create a brand position. After doing all this, what does it develop in actual? It develops a specific voice over the different platforms and areas and uses that voice to attract the relevant audience and bring them home.
- Help your Followers: A brand’s voice doesn’t always get produced by online advertising and engaging through content marketing. The best engagement strategy would be helping the audience through possible means. For instance, a) Help them with your valuable content, b) Reply them via comments or emails, c) Communicate their problems in your content as well as write solutions for them.
The network is something that entrepreneurial experts consider as ‘net worth’. As far as personal branding is concerned, the network is no less important in this regard. In fact, it is one of the essential things to build in order get things going in the right direction.
Since we’re talking about building a personal brand with a blog which makes total sense to me and everyone from the blogosphere reading this article that public relations and networking are incredibly important for your blog promotions. Not only does it require to make relations, but it takes a lot more than that, for instance, a regular interaction with people on social media, replying to the comments, reading others’ blogs, commenting on others’ articles, connecting with them on social media, sharing others’ content are different networking strategies to adopt for a blogger.
Now, we’ll dig a little deeper in this.
There are different types of networking when it comes to blogging.
Peer-to-Peer networking: This networking is a kind of engagement with your fellow bloggers and friends who are in the same personal branding or blogging game that you’re in. It expands your network and you can trust them more than anyone in the industry. Maybe, they’re friends from high school who are relevant to your industry or from a different industry but pursuing the personal branding dream just like you.
Influencer networking: It’s a type of networking in which you try to reach out to the industry’s influencers by giving them respect and value. It has to be genuine because they have been out there for a long time and you can’t trick them with a fake applause. What you need to do is study their work, analyze their moves, learn from their experience, and share it with others, so that they find it real and genuine. The bloggers share top bloggers content as well as a link to them in their content. Not only does it get noticed, but it also develops relationships among them.
Professional networking: The professional networking is a type of networking especially in the digital marketing world in which you try to build relationships with other professionals in your field. It could be from the similar field as you’re in or they could be from relevant industry. For instance, if an SEO expert finds out about another SEO, he studies his article, finds it interesting, and then retweets it or links to it, this is how they will start interacting and noticing each other… (Yes, SEO and Bloggers find out when someone link to them, because WordPress open source programs tracks sort of backlinks in the form of trackbacks and pingbacks from the WordPress community, whereas SEOs also use tools like SEMrush or MOZ to find the sites linking to them).
Always remember a couple things about ‘networking — it must be based on original value, not just to get exposure, meaning if you’re not getting any response from a couple of bloggers or experts, that doesn’t mean you stop believing in networking and PR. Maybe, they don’t have the time or they’re busy at the moment.
Secondly, your networking shouldn’t revolve around online mediums.
There is no problem in making online connections, but don’t neglect the people in real life.
I always say that build connections online and offline.
When Marcus Sheridan attended a conference full of business experts and entrepreneurs in Washington DC, he, later on, expressed his experience of building offline relations at the conference as one of the best moves. Marcus is a popular content marketing expert and speaker.
Jeremy Porter said that every opportunity he had come across was the result of his relationship initiated by him. Jeremy believes that offline relationships are far more valuable than followers count and Klout score.
This article on hongkiat tries to explain the importance of social life in today’s glittery online and digital life. It explains that an offline realm exists out of our online connected and social media world.
As far as online networking is concerned, the more we value others, the more we get exposure.
An IBT article shares the same vision of building relationships online and offline. It totally makes sense that why we shouldn’t take our social media identity for granted.
Jaime Tardy wrote an article on maximizing the social network. It was published on Social Media Examiner. It reveals pretty much a very important lesson on expanding the social media impact on various social networks.
Use these 4 tools to increase social media interactions:
1. Triberr: It’s a fantastic social interaction platform. It works on the mutual relation building by sharing others content. The more you share, the greater chances of building relations you get. Triberr is extremely helpful social networking site to build your own community and finding the relevant experts.
2. Disqus: Disqus started off as a comment management system for websites and blogs. Later on, it turned out to be a full-fledged social following system. What it does is that it provides you a profile which enables you to comment on the blogs which are using Disqus commenting system. In fact, you can create or join groups on Disqus, follow others, and build your followership as well.
3. ViralContentBuzz: It does work pretty much similar to Triberr but has not been very efficient on the social interaction side. It solely works on the content sharing system based on the free and paid credits. When you share others’ content, you receive credits to use those for your content promotion.
4. Twitter Lists: The twitter list is a great way of managing relationships with Twitter influencers, followers, and peers. It allows you to manage multiple lists in your twitter account, where you can add people who you want to keep an eye on even if you’re not following them. A twitter list can be private or public.
When you’re out there trying to build your personal brand with your social media, make sure you don’t miss out the whole blog publishing thing because once you have quality content in hand, the social interaction becomes worthwhile.
A personal brand is a voice of yours. People will likely to remember your FACE and NAME more than anything.
Not so fast.
How would they remember you if you do nothing for them?
Imagine, you’re driving in the mountains…
And a road sign says STOP HERE. DON’T GO AHEAD!!!
You would preferably stop!!!
And, then you find another way because you know it’s dangerous out there and a wrong step could take you off the cliff… so, you better find another way around.
That road sign delivered an important and righteous MESSAGE to you…
It came handy, though…
Fortunately, you got the point and you survived.
You may feel like you owe a hug to that road sign or the forest department who made that possible to put that sign board out there.
The same thing happens when you GIVE something away in the form of right suggestion.
The value of DELIVERY is so immense that it can only be felt by the beneficiary.
You don’t want to become the person who GIVES and DELIVERS?
Adam Grant’s book GIVE AND TAKE explained the power of giving. He shared a number of world leaders, entrepreneurs, social scientists, politicians, and business development experts who preferred giving more than they were taking, and now the world remembers them as leaders and givers.
Adam Grant’s new book ‘Originals‘ is on the shelves now. I’d definitely check it out. After reading ‘Give and Take’, I might not be able to walk away without reading ‘Originals’ at some point in the future.
What can you deliver?
How the heck will you deliver to the audience?
Some of you might be like — “Okay, I get the point of Personal branding, now what to do with GIVING?”
My friend, the purpose of the step ‘DELIVER’ is to teach you that how your personal brand won’t get remembered, if it doesn’t provide value to others.
Customers remember the names of companies who help them solve their problems, not those who couldn’t help them and the customers have to leave them for any reason.
This happens all the time.
In order to understand the essence of DELIVERING the value, you must consider these simple strategies which can help you understand the power of delivering value to others:
- Identify Your Brand Mission: A brand mission defines what you’re up to. All this should happen at the beginning. Your personal brand must revolve around your passion and talent. If that doesn’t happen, either your passion would get vague at some point or you would stop loving your work. The brand mission defines how passionate you’re to solve a certain problem of the audience. Joe Pulizzi explained it extremely well on identifying the niche-based audience.
- Engage with the Audience: The audience engagement does something which other strategies don’t because you get to know your audience. It gives you a chance to get a closer look at what they’re suffering from and what need to be provided to them. Being a personal brand, once you know your audience, half the job seems to be done.
- Provide what they Need: This is the key to success here. If you have something that helps the audience, the best thing you can do is to deliver it to them. Because what you have at this point, could be very important for them. What you need to do is that, make your solution undeniable and extremely valuable.
That being said, the power of a blog is based on the opportunities that come with it.
For instance, there are a number of options that could hone the personal branding strategy when it comes to online presence:
Content Management System – The CMS like WordPress takes away all your pain of learning how to design a website or hiring any web developer to launch your website. The selection of the right CMS leads you to the right direction.
Blog – The blog is your online space where you can regularly publish your content. As far as persona brand is concerned, a blog that regularly publishes relevant and articulates the right solutions for a predefined audience gets so much exposure. I’m the prime example of building my personal brand with my blog.
Content Marketing – The content marketing is a process of marketing through a various forms of content that get published over a number of platforms to reach out to the target audience, help them understand different processes, and solve their issues. In content marketing, written, audio, video, and graphical forms of content are used. I don’t see someone building their personal brand without using content marketing in today’s world.
Social Media – Once you’re done with your site, blog, and content marketing plan for your personal brand, the next thing to consider on the go is social media management. Now, there are a number of social media platforms that are ready to be joined such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Vine, Periscope, Snapchat, but experts say that select lesser number of social media platforms to become authority, meaning, become authority on a few number of platforms, then move to others.
The purpose of ‘speaking’ is to open up.
Express your passion.
Unchain the possibilities.
One of the biggest reasons for using a blog for your personal brand is for speaking up that what you’re up to. Whatever you’ve got, share it with the potential audience and target customers. It could be really handy.
You got a voice.
You got a platform (blog).
You’ll realize the power of your blog years after the day you’ll actually start writing your blog (preferably company’s blog).
Henneke Duistermaat knows the secret of speaking.
She always told in her articles that she struggled with English grammar back in the school, but she overcame that problem by learning and practicing.
Why did she do that?
Because she had a point of view to share. She knew that she could do better. She realized that she got something to put forward in front of the audience.
Now she is a popular internet marketing guru and blogging expert.
Every entrepreneur preaches that don’t stop trying because they all kept on trying something they believed it.
I couldn’t agree more.
Lewis Howes has become a best-selling book author and entrepreneurship guru—He always tells his story that he was on her sister’s couch when he got a book that jolted his personality. Then he changed his life from a demoralized sportsperson to a successful entrepreneur.
There are a million examples out there about entrepreneurs who heard what their mind said to them and pursued what exactly they want to pursue.
Your personal brand reflects your personality and it should speak the exactly same way that you want to present yourself.
I want you to speak up.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Write Your Blog: There is no better platform than your personal blog. It could be something alongside your personal website, of course. Have you seen my personal site and blog? I bought Elegant Themes membership and used Divi theme that comes with a page builder. My site’s homepage and blog section have been designed via that page builder.
- Utilize Publishing Platform: I always mention to use other publishing platforms along with your blog. The platforms like LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, and Quora could become a vital source of meeting a newer audience who likes someone who speaks his mind.
- Communicate with People: There are a number of ways that help you gather, organize, and host people. It’s up to you that what you got to do to make people listen to you. Whether you organize a webinar, start a podcast, host an event, or set up a seminar, what needs to be done is you engage people somehow who are literally up for listening to you and you can comfortably share value with them.
The point is, I’m not limiting your personal brand’s voice to a blog. Of course, the blog is the most powerful and sustainable platform to reach out, develop, and engage the audience, however, you can host meetups & events, webinars, and mastermind groups in order to set up a group of people who wants to listen to you.
At least, it provides you a chance to speak up and share your personal brand’s value.
Resources to remember:
- Mailchimp (Email marketing service)
- Eventbrite (ticket management for events
- GoToWebinar (for hosting webinar)
- Tesla Themes (Best WordPress themes membership)
- Bluehost (Favorite Web hosting)
“Speak” describes, keeping no regrets, no secrets, and no worries.
“Speak” means, be yourself and put everything possible in your personal brand.
“Speak” should originate from your inner-world.
So, open your heart and speak up.
Your personal brand won’t matter whether you’ve started it with a blog or without a blog, if it doesn’t solve the audience’ problem, then it won’t matter to anyone.
This is why I thought to keep this step to discuss at the end.
You know, I want you to leave a number of things in your mind, but even if you forget everything that I said up there and remember the “Solve” phenomenon, then you might make a difference with that.
Because, when you solve a problem, it means others haven’t figured it out or they haven’t had a courage to do so, which either you have done or have decided to do.
If you’d ask me bluntly that how can you solve the problem?
I’ll say with the help of these three things:
- By Providing Resources: The resources of any kind make you able to figure out what to be done under the certain circumstances. It could be a research, software, data, public relations, networking, friendship, or any other thing that comes handy at the time of difficulty. Building your resources can get you out of the trouble.By Giving Actionable
- By Giving Actionable Advice: This seems very interesting. People give advice all the time. What makes actionable advice different is that it comes from the person who has done it or who has an experience of observing others who have done it. It could be more factual, statistical, or scientific data-based calculation. Your personal brand must know who to target so that you get to find the helpful facts and data to help solve the target audience’ problems.
- Tutorials and Examples: The complete guides and tutorials do the job. Once the problem has been identified and it looks pretty sure that people stumble upon such issues all the time, nothing would be wiser than creating a tutorial or a series of tutorials (in article or video form) to break down the process of solution for the certain audience.
Have you ever noticed why Fiverr became a successful freelancing platform?
Because you find real-life solutions on the go.
Because it doesn’t operate on a typical B2B or B2C model.
Because people create customize solutions that help customers in daily life.
Whether you ‘solve’ a specific problem of your audience on your blog or somewhere else. The solutions should be quick, handy, and acceptable for the audience.
Slideshare does this thing and it impressed me lately.
They send an occasional newsletter to the users telling them about the recent Slideshare presentations that were being posted on the network.
David Brier is a branding specialist who has been featured on various top-notch websites like New York Times, Forbes, INC, Adweek etc.
I like the way he uses his website’s sidebar to display his expertise and experience in particular. Not only does he tell the customers about this past work, but he is also showing his authority and credibility via his message.
It’s about utilizing the power of a personal blog or website.
You should tell clearly that what you DO!
What does your PERSONAL BRAND do to solve the problems?
Building a personal brand with a blog is something that I applied in my business model. I did this. I know many bloggers, social media experts, and entrepreneurs have done this.
The impact of the personal brand does appear when you start focusing on it.
Make sure you identify the VALUE and pass it on to others.
You must know that your Personal brand won’t start kicking in if you don’t IDENTIFY the problems and CREATE solutions for them.
Your personal brand might be a side hustle for you, but if you’re good at whatever you’re providing, then you got to give it more time and energy.
The concept of personal branding begins with what you LOVE to do and turning that PASSION into a full-time living.
Using a blog to boosting your business is another story.
[bctt tweet=”A blog does help if you’re ready to do wonders with your Personal brand.”]
What’s your opinion on Personal Branding?