How to Start Selling Your Personal Brand
Experts and influencers sell their personal brands every day, and most of us love to listen to them, follow their advice, and believe what they say, but when it comes to building and selling our personal brand, we chicken out.
Patrick Bet-David made a video on the life of an entrepreneur in 90 seconds and uploaded it on November 01, 2015. It went viral. By the time I’m writing this article, it has got 28 million views and 423,521 shares on Facebook alone.
I came to know about Patrick Bet-David from that video. I found him one of the fantastic speakers on Entrepreneurship. Now hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and startup owners know this man. He was successful before that video, but after going viral on Facebook, his popularity is through the roof.
Here are the few things you should expect to learn from this blog post:
- Building Your Personal Brand
- Positioning it
- Marketing it
- Selling it (finally)
3 Important Factors of Selling Your Personal Brand
Following are three factors that will play a vital role in selling your personal brand:
1. A Unique Voice
A unique voice means you have an attractive way of explaining things.
People listen to you to find out your opinion on things.
The experts with a unique voice always end up making some of the boring things even interesting enough to attract the audience.
Take Pat Flynn, for example, he started with a couple of niche sites, then made the Smart Passive Income blog, and then launched SPI Podcast which is extremely popular. Although he has an extremely successful SPI blog, he kind of found much more passion in podcasting.
He turned Smart Passive Income into a brand. His podcast listeners know about SPI blog and blog readers know about the Podcast.
The point here is, he kind of found excitement and fun in podcasting more than anything… (Pat, correct me if I’m wrong, you really love podcasting)
It seems like he found his ‘thing’ in podcasting and it’s working for him.
You can’t make your voice unique unless you’re extremely passionate about it.
In fact, it’ll be your passion that will help your personal brand stand out from the crowd and ultimately push you hard to be different and valuable for others.
If you want to sell your personal brand, you got to be unique and innovative in a sense that your brand catches everyone’s attention.
2. The Value Proposition
You never want to be same as your competitors.
One of the success secrets of personal branding is the value proposition (that they can offer).
The value proposition is a unique and innovative feature of a product or service that attracts the prospects and help them convert into the customers.
What a value proposition could be?
It could be:
A Story that appeals: When people start focusing on the certain story associated with the brand, they get closer to the brand if those stories appeal them.
The Value it brings: When a product is helping customers bag some value which others aren’t able to provide, it certainly gets eyeballs around.
The Price that is unbeatable: Whenever a new product comes into the market and priced lower than the competitors, it always gets attention. The value proposition is what they offer in the lesser price which their competitors don’t.
This reminds the strategy of Neil Patel, he is quite popular with spending money on creating highly valuable content and providing it free for the audience.
He literally does that. I haven’t seen someone else doing it.
This makes him unique and different.
Will you fend off your strategy after knowing that?
It’s not that easy.
This is his value proposition. It makes him different from the others.
3. Your Brand’s Story
Storytelling does have its perks. One of them is that it helps you build your brand.
Because people are interested in knowing that:
- How you started off
- What happened at the beginning
- Why you took this step
- Was it difficult to start out
- How they can succeeded
- What should they do to succeed
All these things captivate them for a second if they come across someone else’s brand story.
So, highlighting your brand story can take your brand off the ground.
Make sure you stick to the originality and honesty.
Lewis Howes is an author and podcaster. His book ‘The School of Greatness‘ did well because he had an interesting story which he told many times and his book revolves around that story of stepping up from the desperation and turning things around.
You often hear Lewis Howes telling his story of leaving his sister’s couch and reading a book, and then turning things around for him.
So, what it teaches us is that never underestimate the power of storytelling.
Of course, his career’s success doesn’t depend entirely on the story of spending time on his sister’s couch to becoming a successful author. However, the time he spent during that struggle and hustle he did for 3 years in interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs and learning he did during the process actually turned things around for him.
So, sticking to your passion and creating your life a story that mesmerizes the audience do have perks. At least, it develops a story that interests people.
5 Steps of Selling Your Personal Brand
Here are steps you need to take in order to get started with selling your personal brand:
#1: Finding Your Thing
Now this gets interesting.
Finding your thing is the core part. You can’t establish your personal brand to sell it if you don’t choose something you really like or good at.
It’s a passion-finding stunt.
The sooner you find, the better.
But the most important thing is finding the RIGHT thing.
Because if you don’t, you can’t offer it, meaning, you can’t sell it.
It seems like Mr. Khurram Shezad knows about this. I’m happy for him that he has almost reached there.
Take a look at his Facebook Note that he published:
You probably never read that but many of my readers already have.
I shared my story of TAKING ACTION at the age of 9. I revealed there how it all started.
Nobody told me to get into some kind of work, but I did, and fortunately, not only did I succeed in the first-ever business attempt, but it also sparked the idea of DOING SOMETHING using the available resources.
So, in order to step up with your personal brand, you have to continuously find your thing in order to proceed.
The day you would find it, will be the day you start thriving.
#2: Building a Brand
I was impressed with the John Hall‘s approach to personal branding.
“It is a vehicle to create opportunities not just for yourself, but also for others around you.” -John Hall
He told that while talking to Bryan Kramer in a podcast interview.
Another thing that caught my attention in that podcast interview was John’s emphasis on not just focusing on yourself, but on others, when it comes to building a personal brand, it’s a huge thing in that regard.
It rang a bell in my mind.
‘Give and Take‘ is the book I’m reading these days.
It’s all about GIVING more than you TAKE.
This book actually helped me a lot in developing my personal brand. In fact, the author Adam Grant shared a number of examples (of people) from different walks of life who were givers and they succeeded because of that.
After started reading that book, it made many of my doubts and fears off the hook.
I became a better version of myself.
As a blogger, the more you share, the easier it becomes to win.
In order to start selling something, you need to create it first.
With that said, when building a brand is the goal, it should be based on the THING we discussed at step #1.
The biggest hurdle in creating a brand is that what it would provide to the audience, which opens up a Pandora’s box of further questions such as:
- What to produce
- What to offer
- What to create
- Who to provide
- How to do it
In my previous article on personal branding, I deeply explained the process of building a personal brand.
Obviously, in order to sell it, you have to build it first.
The premise of selling a personal brand is building it on a unique value to offer.
This TGIM podcast reveals an amazing story of Mat Halfhill, who started his blog about sneaker reviews by following his passion for sneakers.
He named it ‘Nice Kicks‘…
The coolest part is that the TGIM podcast said that Mat found an empty space and he just filled it.
What this means is that he saw an opportunity that something this sort of should be done and probably no one did it yet (that he knows of)…
So, he built a business around his PASSION for sneakers.
Luqman Khan knows this.
He made his personal blog about personal development.
In fact, a popular blogger from Pakistan, Adeel Sami is kind of guru in personal branding.
He also focuses a lot on his personal blog. He covers social media, blogging, and SEO.
See, here comes the step #1 again. (FIND YOUR THING!!!)
Once you do find it, it will be a lot easier to build a brand around it.
#3: Delivering the Value
It’s not just about selling.
If you think you should only think about PRICE, PROFIT, and ROI, then hold on.
All this comes later on when you’re building your personal brand.
In fact, you would want to start selling as soon as possible.
Not so fast.
The delivery of value would be the key to success for your personal brand.
Because it’s a secret that attracts people towards you.
For instance, Being Guru was launched by Mr. Hisham Sarwar, who is a popular freelancing mentor, public speaker, and a blogger. He transformed his freelance career success into helping others.
Being Guru is the prime example of that.
He often comes online on YouTube and Facebook for live streaming and provides a ton of free value to the starters (who want to learn freelancing).
CNN did a feature story on how it is being in UAE in Ramadan.
It portrayed the message of love, peace, and humanity when Iftaar dinner was arranged for all, regardless of religion and country. It was a heart touching story to watch.
The message of DELIVERING THE VALUE was clearly seen in there.
If you want to sell your personal brand, meaning, you want to make money off of your personal brand, the thing you should do is GIVE before you ASK (for something).
I recently started Vlogging on YouTube.
People ask me, what’s the financial benefit of vlogging?
I reply back: NOTHING…
(Then, they get overwhelmed with it… And they smile to look down upon me (not everyone, of course)
Then, I explain it to them that I’m trying to build a platform. I try to help, entertain, and engage at the same time. I don’t have any kind of financial benefit at this time because I’m just starting out, it will, at least, take 5 years to earn something off of my vlogs. I don’t do it for money. I love creating that kind of video content, plus, it’s a great medium for being original and connect with a large number of audience.
#4: Creating Your Offers
The product creation part comes at the end of the funnel. Don’t ever start your communication with the prospects by offering a product to buy.
I’d rather choose to deliver the value first than even before thinking about selling something.
When you start delivering a ton of value to your audience and they start getting engaged with your newsletters and articles. This means it’s time to offer them a product that they can’t refuse.
This is a bit tricky thing. It won’t be wrong to say that the most critical decision to make while developing your personal brand would be this one. Obviously, your personal brand has to become your bread-and-butter, so somehow you would have to come with a product to sell that everyone in your tribes wants.
I have been following Salma Jafri for quite some time now.
I know she is very focused on delivery high-value content for free. Her YouTuber channel, articles, and guest posts are her major platforms to float value to everyone around.
I recently spotted her course offer on Twitter:
Darren Rowse does this too.
You’ll always find a ton of useful content on blogging & money making. Besides that, he also built a monetization funnel on Problogger, in which he offers e-books for various types of blogging audiences.
The point is, you have to take care of what to offer to your audience. The wrong offer could devastate the hard work you have done or maybe push the success a few miles away.
Problogger.net has a history of serving the audience and helping people out.
And, as far as I know, I have heard Darren talking so many times about multiple income streams.
#5: Testing the Results
Testing the results means analysis of your strategy.
Once you apply a plan to sell your personal brand.
You actually get closer to it.
Find your thing.
Build a brand.
Then deliver the value.
In the end, you float your product.
What happens next is the outcome of your sweaty work that you have done.
Confused about testing?
If you’re wondering about A/B testing, then let me clarify…
Yes, but this is slightly different.
I mean we kind of do A/B testing in this, but there might not be the same tools that are used for A/B testing of conversion rate analysis for landing pages and other tools.
This is even simple than that.
You have to figure out first that what you’re expecting to happen (such as downloads, sales, leads etc.)
Let’s not dig into the conversion rate and statistics tools here.
For instance, when I added a ‘Hire Me‘ page back in 2015 on the header of my blog.
I got a huge response.
In fact, I removed all the banner ads from my personal blog because I didn’t need it anymore.
The reason is, the response was overwhelming and I was getting so many leads about content writing tasks.
I had to take down the CTA button for a few months because I wasn’t able to handle the clients and they kept on coming. I literally kept that CTA off the header for the next 6 months.
As I said, you don’t need a fancy conversion rate analysis tool.
Your bank account or sales amount would tell you everything.
So, did I need any tool to test the conversion rate or my blog’s performance?
Your case could be different.
I explained in that article that how finding a NEED turned the course of my blogging.
I learned so much about creating articles from that experiment.
I shared the statistics and data in that case study, which makes that article even more interesting.
Are you Ready to Sell?
Once you think you’re, it means you’re.
Selling your personal brand is a process of stepping up, believing in yourself, honing the art you have, and finally offering it to the right audience.
Personal brand doesn’t succeed with multiple monetization strategies at the beginning.
Once you find out the right area to strike, then you’re good to go with it.
It’s true that once you have become an authority in something your personal brand known for, you can surely try out other things that interest you.
Leave out clutter.
Build your focus.
You will definitely be ready to sell your personal brand, once you find that THING in you.
Is that GRAPHIC DESIGNING?
Is it GLASS PAINTING?
Is that ONLINE COOKING?
Whatever it is, you can sell it.
Build your personal brand and start selling it.
Now you know how to build your personal brand. (See this, if you don’t know how to start it)
Tell me something…
Would you start selling your personal brand after reading this?
thank you very much… it was awesome read. very comprehensive and to the point. Brand is not only important and a gateway to express yourself the best way but it creates a harmonious relationship with your audience. people are interested in you and not in your product. you get laser focused with real feedback and questions and start knowing the true market demand, what your user is looking for and can help them by creating value and helping them by understanding your audience.
Thanks for reading this post and leaving your feedback. Obviously, the creation of value is more important than the creation of product. I emphasize a lot on personal branding and I tried to explain that without changing others’ lives, one can’t sell its personal brand.
Thank you for the mention brother.
I wasn’t expecting myself to be on the same page where people like Pat, Neil and Hisham Sarwar are mentioned. That somehow validates my strategy to take my personal brand out there and solve people’s problems.
The real value to provide is to solve people’s problem. What many of bloggers out there are trying to do is to educate the audience. Which usually ends up in audience losing interest. Educating comes later, solving people’s problem comes first.
I appreciate your effort the way you are solving problems and educating at the same time.
In the end I would emphasize on the point “Build your focus”. I’m a big preacher of building focus the first and foremost. In fact I wrote a blog post recently about it which can be found on my blog.
Keep up the good work! 🙂
You’re welcome, brother!
You’re doing a great job with your personal blog. A long time ago, a businessman who used to run an IT business told me that people don’t know the value of their own domain name. That phrase touched my heart and after a few days/weeks, I registered my domain and kept on renewing it. Although, I started personal site and blog after 6 years of that.
And you’re absolutely right about solving the problem. Do you know when I launched my first proper niche blog in 2013, I struggled with one thing?
It was the creation of PROBLEM SOLVING CONTENT. I kept on creating content that I thought was interesting rather than what people need to read. I learned the hard way.
So, thank you for being there and supporting my blog. I’d come back to yours and read the latest piece, for sure.
Hello, Hassaan bhai!
I am super flattered seeing my name in your post! Truly pleased and honored!!
The personal branding thing is all about sticking to just one core topic you so love.
That topic that you want to keep talking for hours.
That topic you dream of.
That topic if you do not think about it, you turn to be bored.
Being master in whatever brand one choose, it is only by sticking to just one topic.
The more you’re touched with that one topic, the more you learn and the more you are recognized by the world that you’re that person that loves that topic to talk, write and speak on.
This is the time you want to either be on top OR never got started. Because there’s no-thing called mediocre.
You’re not born to live in the middle.
Thank you once again, Hassaan bhai, for this kind act!!
See me often!
You’re welcome. I genuinely respect bloggers who understand the whole spectrum of blogging. BLOGGING isn’t just about publishing the content. It’s certainly more than that. I learned the art of social engagement from you and still learning, and I’m proud that I learn from other bloggers and fellows that I’m connected with.
As far as this article is concerned, I’m a huge believer of Personal branding. I provide content to a few blogs that I can’t name here, and this personal brand of mine actually made that happen, which is why, I’m a strong believer of it.
I believe that I could push many other people out there who have some kind of talent in them and they can understand the power of their personal brand, and I want them to make money off of it, and hence develop a career around it.
very nice and detailed piece written on the subject, keep up the good work hassaan, cheers
Thanks for reading my article.
I have read it again and I can say you are a superb writer, problem solver, helper, and much more.
It has helped me. One great thing that learned is to write to solve problems not to earn.
Thanks for sharing this…
Thank you, Fahad!
I’m glad you liked it and I’m hopeful that it will help you. Keep coming back here and keep sharing your views… By the way, I’ll be posting a new article very soon. Don’t hesitate to discuss things with me. And thanks for sharing this article on Facebook.
Your article was really nice and I can’t stop myself to share it on Facebook when I read it with full attention.
Thanks for sharing this valuable information to our vision. You have posted a trust worthy blog keep sharing.Nice article i was really impressed by seeing this article, it was very interesting and it is very useful for me.
Thank you so much for checking this out!
Very captivating and educating post. Thank You So Much to share your experince with us. Hasssan Khan bro you really doing well I Really like your efforts.
Thank you for reading this blog post and leaving your feedback here. I’m glad you liked it. The idea was to make people realize that they always have something in them that they can use to make money off of their talent and/or passion.
Thank you so much for sharing this article 🙂
It was very interesting and it is very useful for me.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. I’m glad to see your blog. All the best!