How often do you come across the advice of building a personal profile or brand on your LinkedIn feed? A powerful personal brand is the currency of 2021. The world we live in right now is super competitive.
Do you have an interesting portfolio as a freelancer? Well, hundreds of other freelancers have an equally great portfolio. The market is saturated. So how do you stand out as an individual?
By Following the complete guide to building your personal brand.
What Is A Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is the reputation you create for yourself in the online world. It is about marketing and pitching yourself virtually. It is about positioning yourself as an expert in your niche by providing value to your target audience. Think about it! Maybe you are a fan of some YouTubers or a business person.
Do you know them personally? So why are you a fan? It is because of the personal brand or image they have created on the internet. Probably, you follow them on different social channels where they either educate, entertain or inspire you. We hope the basic concept of a personal brand is clear to you now.
Why Should You Build A Personal Brand?
The list is endless. Here are some of the best reasons
- A compelling personal brand gets you noticed by your target opportunities, and you land opportunities that would otherwise be unachievable. As a freelancer, your personal brand can become a lead magnet that attracts your dream clients.
- When you have a compelling personal brand where you are vocal about all your ideas and thoughts, you create amazing networking opportunities. Like-minded people who resonate with your thoughts will connect with you.
- You can provide your services or sell your product at a premium price (higher than what your competitors charge). It is because you have already showcased your knowledge and abilities through your personal brand.
- You improve your chances of collaborating with other strong personal brands in your niche. You might get invited to podcasts, Instagram lives, etc. where you are asked to share your thoughts on a particular topic. It will further grow your personal brand.
- You will naturally have more customers when you launch a new product or a service in the market. Do you want to create your info product or provide consultation services? Create a personal brand first to generate that trust and credibility among your audience.
Building a Personal Brand Strategy In Nine Steps
Understand The “Big Why” Behind Your Personal Brand
Before starting anything in life, figure out the purpose behind it, or else you cannot stick to it. Don’t just go with the trend! Ask these questions to yourself. What are my goals for building a personal brand? What are the results I want to generate? Once you have these basics figured out, you can customize your brand-building strategy accordingly.
Create a framework for your personal brand. Your personal brand is all about projecting your values, beliefs, goals, etc. to the world. It should be as authentic as possible to your real personality. Do not try to create a fake persona for the online world. You will fail terribly!
Write down the answers to these questions:
- What are your key skill sets? (It could be hard skills like public speaking, writing, coaching, etc. or soft skills like communication, leadership, etc.)
- What are your passions and interests? (Your professional passion can be different from your individual passion, and you can speak about both in your personal brand)
- What are your core values or traits? ( Are you a hardcore creative person? Are you an extremely motivated person?
Once you have these answers, you need to channelize all of this to the world through your personal brand.
Define The Elements Of Your Personal Brand
Every brand (be it personal or a business) needs to have some key elements that define it.
The elements are:
- The vision: Do you want to help people deal with their personal challenges through your personal brand of a life coach? Do you want to solve problems for businesses through your personal brand as a consultant? Figure it out!
- The mission: Maybe you want at least 100 people per month to enrol in your workshop for self-improvement, or maybe you want to get on a consultation call with at least ten businesses per week. Your personal brand should help you achieve these goals.
- The brand message: For instance, if you are a freelance designer, your brand’s messaging could be “attractive visuals are key for any successful business.” Or suppose you are a freelance writer, your main branding message can be “all businesses should have a content strategy.
- The brand personality: Do you want to be perceived as someone serious and strong-headed? Or do you want to charm people with your humour and quirk? The decision is yours. But do not try to be someone entirely different from how you are in your real life. Be genuine!
Once you define these elements, you will no longer confuse your audience. Your entire personal branding strategy will reflect all of these elements (which are unique to you).
People will be able to distinguish you from the other personal brands they come across. All of this is what people often call “find your unique voice.”
Create An Irresistible Offer
The simple formula for this is
Discover what you are most passionate about + figure out what you are best at + identify what has most demand in the market
Your skill is your USP. Develop a product or a service based on that skill that you can pitch to sell with your personal branding strategy. For instance, if your skill is digital marketing, you can either develop digital marketing courses, ebooks, or offer brands to be their digital marketing strategist. Or you can do both.
Define Your Target Audience
Your personal brand is not meant for everyone. Define the people you want to target with your personal branding strategies.
- To find out who your target audience is, answer these questions:
- Who are the persons who will be ideally willing to pay you for your services or products?
- Who is the group of persons you are willing to help with your offer?
If you are an entrepreneur, it might be your prospective customers.
If you are a freelancer, it is your prospective clients.
If you are a job seeker, it is probably the HRs or CEOs of companies.
If you are a startup looking for funding, it is your investors.
But the process is not simple as it sounds. If you are a freelancer, not every business or website that needs content is your target audience. Suppose you want to charge $100 for every SEO-optimised blog of 3000 words. Not every client will have this budget, or even if they have, they might not be willing to pay it to you. So target specifically those high-ticket premium clients who have the budget and are willing to pay you your desired charges.
But How Do You Spot These Clients? Here Is A Simple Strategy:
Figure out what are the income goals, future aspirations, and professional dreams of your target client.
For instance, if you are charging $100 for a blog, a person with income goals of Rs 10 K per month cannot afford to hire you. Instead, target people who want to build 6 figure businesses.
If you are a consultant who wants to help businesses grow, you need to target people who have aspirations and dreams to grow their business. Entrepreneurs who are already satisfied with their business position and don’t have a growth mindset will not need your help.
Identify the pain points and challenges of your ideal client. Ask yourself if you can solve those challenges.
For instance, if you are a freelance video editor, maybe your ideal client is a brand that wants to launch video campaigns for their promotion. Or you tuber or Instagram influencer who needs someone to edit their videos.
Their pain points might be that their videos are not getting enough views due to poor editing. You can offer to solve that challenge if you have the relevant skills.
But this is not all!
Identify the people who will benefit from and engage with your personal branding strategies. For instance, if you are a brand strategist, other brand strategists can learn a lot from your ideas and thoughts (related to branding).
To build a successful personal profile/brand, you need to build an audience. Even if these people are not the ones who will not pay you, they create a massive platform for you to speak on. It will also help you show your credibility to your prospective client. Also, if you want to sell an ebook on branding in the future, you have your audience already!
Get Started With LinkedIn
Whether you are on any other platform or not, start building your personal brand on LinkedIn. Optimize your profile and start creating content on this platform (we have covered it in the next point)
Here is how you can optimize your profile in five steps:
- A professional profile picture: Wear a nice blazer or any formal outfit and shoot a headshot pic with a friendly smile. Keep the lighting natural. Optimise it for search.
- Customise headline: Don’t just go for generic terms like “freelancer” or “digital marketer.” Instead, give a glimpse of the results you provide. For instance, “I can help in ranking your website on search engines with creative and engaging content” or “I design an optimised digital marketing strategy for winning brands.”
- Pitch through your summary: Keep your profile summary crisp and engaging and flaunt your capabilities (in your field) without overdoing it. Talk about your offer and how it will help your clients or customers. Highlight your big wins, and don’t forget to add a CTA.
- Fill in the experience and recommendations section: Talk about all your previous job experiences and the key roles and responsibilities you had. Request recommendations from your past employers and clients.
- Fill in the “skills” section: Mention all the hard skills and soft skills you have in this section. Your best skills should be at the top.
Create A Content Strategy
This is the most crucial part of your personal branding. Make sure your content is unique to your experience. Don’t give people generic pieces of advice. They have enough of it! Instead, create content that adds value and people can apply to their real lives.
Nurture your audience with valuable free resources like:
- checklists and worksheets
- Posts and articles
- Writing on Quora, Medium, etc.
Be consistent in pushing out high-quality content in your niche. The content you create is a reflection of the worth of your personal brand. So do not create it for the sake of it. Create content that is worthy of being consumed.
Build A Visibility Strategy
To build an effective personal brand, you should be on people’s minds all the time. For this to be possible, you have to create a powerful and effective online presence strategy.
Here are some suggestions:
- Pitch to podcasts to interview you as their guest speaker
- Write guest blogs for popular online publications. For instance, Medium.
- Attend live events and conferences where you can share your thoughts and ideas.
Build A Sense Of Community
When you are trying to position yourself as a leader in a particular niche, you need to have a community that values you and believes in you.
Some of the ways for community building are:
- Join Facebook groups where you can have valuable conversations and engage with people interested in your niche.
- You can get on other platforms apart from LinkedIn like Instagram, Twitter, etc. where you can post valuable content, engage and solve problems of your audience.
- Host free live events, workshops, and seminars to give your community access to exclusive content.
Create A Website
Have a professional website where you can create blogs to prove your expertise. Frame a story on your about us page about your personal brand that people can connect to. Plug in all the free resources you create on your website. Have a marketing strategy as well.
Examples Of Five Personal Profile Builders Who’ve Made It To The Top
This man has created a personal brand so powerful that he could inspire an entire generation to chase “happiness” and “passion” rather than falling into the trap of the conventional systems of society. He pushes out so much content on almost all platforms and gives a message to all the people out there that if he could make it, everyone can.
He is a marketing expert who is all over Google. He has co-founded his agency, Neil Patel Digital, and has built multiple marketing software for brands. His in-depth blogs are a goldmine for anyone who is trying to learn digital marketing. All his posts are researched and backed with statistics and practical experience. He has placed CTA very intelligently on his website without any hard selling pitch.
This man has a personal brand that is strong and compelling that his single tweet affects the bitcoin market. His personal brand reflects his drive and passion for technology so persuasively. While he also faces criticism from several people, he also enjoys a massive fan following. He is probably one of the biggest examples of the “thought leadership” strategy of personal branding.
Jeff Bezos even now invests a lot of time engaging and sharing his opinions and knowledge with his followers. He constantly talks about his ideas on the internet and analyses statistics that create profit opportunities for people. He puts a lot of effort into satisfying the needs and solving the problems of his target audience. It makes his personal brand stand out so well.
This man’s thought-provoking ideas on business and marketing have made him an internet rage in the world of entrepreneurship. His blogs are hardly 200-300 words long,
and every blog talks about just one idea. Still, they are so value-packed that he has established himself as “the God of marketing.” His book “Purple Cow” sold over 150,000 copies in just the first two years. His personal branding strategy is proof of the statement “if you provide enough value, people will look up to you.”
This chapter is all you need to get started on your personal brand-building journey. Almost every personal branding strategy is covered here. Do not overthink it and start executing with a basic plan of action. You can improve your personal branding strategy along the way.
Disclaimer: Digitalz Pro Media & Technologies (P) Ltd. is a 360 Degree Marketing & Branding Company in Delhi NCR. If you want to take your brand to the next level, book your consultation now.