What Is Personal Branding? Here’s Why It’s So Important For Entrepreneurs
If you’re reading this, chances are that this question has flashed through your mind a couple of times. In a world where entrepreneurs are constantly vying for attention and recognition, personal branding has become an essential tool for standing out in a crowded marketplace. But what exactly does it entail? Is it just about having a polished online presence, or is there more to it?
In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the concept of personal branding and explore why it’s so crucial for entrepreneurs who want to make a lasting impact in their industry.
What is personal branding?
Here’s the thing: your personal brand exists whether you decide to create one for yourself or not. A personal brand is simply what people think or how they feel when they interact with you. The real question is: are you being portrayed in the best possible light? More importantly, how does their perception impact your business?
Successful personal or self branding involves being intentional and taking charge of how your audience perceives you. It’s crucial to note that personal branding isn’t about pretending to be someone you’re not. In fact, it’s the complete opposite – to build a successful personal brand, you’ll need to remain authentic, curating the expertise, experience, and aspects of your personality that you want the world to see.
Standing out in a crowd of superheroes: the power of personal branding
Peter Parker and his Spider-Man brand is perhaps one of the most intriguing brand case studies out there. Let’s face it: New York City already had its fair share of Marvel superheroes swinging from skyscrapers and leaving tons of destroyed public property in their wake when Peter joined their ranks.
So, what was different about a regular man in low-budget spandex who could shoot webs out of his wrist? It’s simple: a strong personal brand.
Peter Parker had a clear brand promise. He wanted to establish himself as an everyday superhero who not only saved helpless members of society but could also lend you a few cubes of sugar if you asked nicely. At the end of the day, his personal brand reflected a relatable, down-to-earth guy who just happened to have some superhuman powers. That, friends, is how the concept of the Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man was born.
You and Peter Parker have a lot in common. While you may not be able to shoot webs out of your wrists, you certainly need a strong personal brand to stand out from the crowd of superheroes – other entrepreneurs within your niche.
When prospective clients come across your profile, a few questions typically cross their minds:
- Is this someone I can trust and depend on?
- Can they help me solve my problems?
- Would I enjoy working with them?
A strong personal brand answers these questions in the affirmative, making it easier for prospects to envision themselves working with you. At the end of the day, there’ll be less hesitation as they choose you over your competitors.
How to build a personal brand
Building a strong personal brand isn’t just a matter of luck and chance. It requires a series of intentional actions – a personal brand strategy – that will help you create a unique and memorable image that resonates with your target audience.
Last year, the WBR team had a chat with Jason Butler about his personal brand journey and the lessons he learned from the process (read it here). Jumping off of that, we decided to create an actionable checklist that will help you take charge of your personal brand and transform it into a powerful tool for success.
- Get your brand assets together
- Make your profile and website SEO-friendly
- Create a foolproof content strategy
- Create a visibility strategy
- Build a close-knit community
1. Get your brand assets together
The first step to building a strong personal brand is curating your current brand assets and creating a foundation for your brand. What credentials do you already have? What are your core values and beliefs? Are there any specific industries or topics you’re passionate about? I personally recommend using a mind map to curate these details as it will help you ensure that you aren’t leaving anything out.
Once you’ve identified all your brand assets, it’s time to start piecing them together to form the key elements of your personal brand. Think about how you can intertwine your current skills, values, and passions to form your brand vision, mission, message, and personality.
At the end of this exercise, you should have a personal branding statement – a clear, concise definition of what your brand stands for and what you’re offering your audience.
2. Make your profile and website SEO-friendly
A personal website is an essential element when it comes to building your personal brand. It serves as an emblem of what you stand for and is often the first port of call for prospective clients. It goes without saying that your website should boldly display your value proposition, social proof, and a clear call-to-action. More importantly, it should be optimised for visibility and converting visitors into paying clients.
In addition to your website, it’s equally important to ensure that you can be easily found on various social media channels. Think about the keywords or phrases your target audience might search for in order to find you or someone like you. Select the most relevant ones and integrate them into your social media profiles.
P.S: For more tips on how to build an online brand, check out our blog post: Top Tips On How To Master LinkedIn Branding With Content That Gives Value.
3. Create a foolproof content strategy
Creating and distributing free, value-packed content for your audience is one of the most effective ways to build a personal brand and establish yourself as an authority within your industry. A great place to start is by utilising keyword research tools such as Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner and Answer The Public to identify relevant and engaging topics for your audience. You can also check out our top tips for optimising your content here. By investing the time and effort to provide quality content, you can establish yourself as a thought leader, build your personal brand, and attract a loyal following.
It’s critical to note that your strategy shouldn’t be limited to just written content – videos, podcasts, webinars, and slideshows are equally excellent opportunities to showcase your versatility and appeal to different demographics.
P.S: If you’re thinking about integrating videos into your content strategy, here’s a comprehensive guide to help your personal brand stand out on video.
4. Create a visibility strategy
In addition to creating content and establishing an online presence, you can take your personal branding a step further by getting exposure to other people’s audiences. What do you think might happen if a famous, more established brand highlighted you to their audience? Traffic, leads, and, of course, increased sales!
Think of ways you can get your name out there by leveraging other experts’ platforms. Public speaking events, guest blogging and podcasting are excellent opportunities worth considering.
5. Build a close-knit community
When it comes to personal branding, community is everything. Instead of trying to build and reach out to a large, undefined audience, focus your efforts on building and leading a niche community. You could start off small by creating a Facebook group or a live-event where people can come together and engage in meaningful conversations around a specific topic or niche.
In no time at all, you’ll have a close-knit community of people who recognise your brand and see you as an authority within your niche.
We hope you find this checklist helpful. If you’re ready to measure your personal branding and improve your creative presence, why not fill out our Brand + Content scorecard? You can also book a clarity call today if you’d like to find out more about how our team of experts can help you create quality content to boost your personal brand.