Personal Brand and How To Achieve It
What is your Personal Brand or Personal Branding? We’re going to look at Personal Brand and how you can achieve it. Plus how it will help to set you apart from your competition, utilising skills that are already available to you. Even with their best efforts, it would be very difficult for your competition to try and re-brand themselves to your unique set of skills and passions.
In short, your Personal Brand is about who you are, your passions and pleasures, interests and it’s this strong foundation that causes you stand out from the crowd. And it’s all about who you are, personally.
So, in order to look at your Personal Brand, consider a few aspects of your personality:
- What are my strengths?
- Where do my passions lie?
- How do I align my business goals?
Then, once you’ve looked deep inside who you are, you are in a better position to establish a brand. And that brand is you!
‘A brand is what others say about you when you aren’t in the room’ Jeff Bezos of Amazon
Grab a pen and paper and get scribbling. If you haven’t already got a list of these. You may have goals for your brand or business that might include: increasing awareness; generating leads; growing your network; finding public speaking engagements; perhaps getting more press awareness or even finding a social media influencer to endorse your company; or perhaps you want to start making money from your business or social media sites?
Tell Them A Story – Your Personal Brand
It’s far easier to remember a story about a historical event than it is to give times and dates about when it happened. And as someone who loves history, I can confirm this! I can tell you all about the ancient Greeks, Mesopotamia and their religions, what their gods were named, what they represented and how these have evolved down the centuries. But I can never recall the precise dates. In fact, I don’t feel an emotional connection to the dates, the names and events, however, are all stored in my memory banks.
This is the same for the information that people will take in from your LinkedIn account. People won’t necessarily remember the data that you present them with, unless it’s directly relevant, but they will remember your personality traits, your story and your preferences. Everyone loves a story about people, emotions, events, a hero, perhaps an obstacle that was overcome.
And a typical example of this are You Tubers who lose weight and share their story, tears and all! People find themselves gripped and needing to know what happens next. Now, these are orchestrated to capture your attention and are monetised, whether with merchandising, books on ‘how to’ or perhaps advertising. But whichever way you look at it, it’s the ‘real’ feel, the vulnerability of the person and ultimately, that audience ‘buy in’ that counts.
So, let’s begin to take that apart. I loosely touched on it earlier, to give you an idea about where this is going.
Who are YOU? What’s your passion, your loves?
Where are you from? In reality, what is your background, issues you have overcome to be where you are now? What conflicts have you had to resolve? Consider the pain points have you gone through.
Now, it might be that you are selling spanners into manufacturing and this all seems ridiculous overkill. But, for example, take LinkedIn accounts all selling the same product.
– Jon, he has no profile picture, not a lot on his about section and he is looking to increase his sales. But now Jon is now no different from Jack, Moira, Sophie and Brian. Except that Moira, in her profile has a picture of herself holding an award for innovative industry and her bio explains that she won it against all the odds. So ask yourself if you would you like to buy her spanners or Jon’s? And see that it’s not the award that swings it, it’s the fact that there is a story. In fact, you will find yourself wondering what Moira went through? Perhaps a single parent setting up on her own? Was she struggling against a tough industry that wouldn’t accept her? You want to know the story and you could go further into her account to see if you can find the answers.
Or put simply, she has now grasped and held your interest! Unfortunately for Jon, who is an industry specialist, who started his own company from nothing, before anyone else was doing it, is now forgotten. It takes a couple of seconds to look at a LinkedIn account and LinkedIn B2B experts will tell you that without the wow factor of that first visit, your account may never be looked at again by your potential customer. An account overlooked due to lack of detail and interesting content will let you down.
Recent Case of My Client
More recently, I took a critical eye at an account of a man who is trying to gain introductions into car manufacturing industry, he has no profile picture and nothing unusual about his account. In fact it was bland and I told him so. But he spoke passionately about his work, his journey to get to this point and his mission to keep himself updated in all the latest accreditation that belongs with this sector. Further, he told me about other people who are in the industry who do not care as much as him and don’t do the work correctly. And he went on to explain that he is often called into companies to recover what these people have damaged with lack of the right skills.
But his account didn’t speak to any of this. As LinkedIn marketers, we have the joy of being able to help people set their accounts from bland, to crazily interesting. Then once we created his story and set his LinkedIn account to reflect this, all he had to do was keep commenting on the target market posts. And before he knew it, his account was looked at with interest from the right people.
So how can you create your story?
• Make sure people have an understanding of who you are
• Tell them where you have come from
• What is it that makes you credible in your sector?
• How did you overcome obstacles to get here?
• Keep promotion of the product out of this
Remember, you are positioning yourself to be the resolution to the problems that your audience face.
Establish Who You Want to Target
Now we have you and your story, who is your target market? Make a nice long list of every possible type of customer. Where do they live? Who are they? What age range, gender, location, occupations, marital status? And make sure you list anything and everything that may be relevant. Next, try to assess what you think that they might have in common, hobbies, interests, lifestyle and profile them and their persona, get creative! Who needs your service? What are your costs and how can they benefit from this? Which objections might they have to taking your service at this price? Be fully prepared for these objections and have your resolution to this at the ready. And ask yourself, what is the value to your client? It may be of greater value to them, than the money you are asking for.
Content, Content and More Content
Steps to building content marketing:
Make your objective clear
Who is this piece aimed at?
What will it achieve?
Have a think about the result of this piece. Will help drive views of your website, profile, video, email subscription.
2. Your Target Audience
So, create content that resonates with your potential customer’s interests, concerns, problems and write it in a way that they can relate to.
3. Give Them The Story
And don’t forget to thread in your personality and branding. Because your story is as much part of this as every other piece you create. Without this personal branding, you are indistinct from every other competitor, no matter how good you are.
4. Consider Your Plan
This is the clever part, no one has time to do all this every day. Have a think about who you want to create your content? And if it is not you, make sure you explain clearly what it is you are trying to achieve and ensure your write threads in your personal branding. In fact, you can outsource effectively, just be sure to get it just right. And if you are doing it yourself, you can publish it on LinkedIn Publisher where you can schedule it to land on the hour and day that you know your target audience are listening.
5. Measure Success
This is the refining process where you ask yourself what worked? At this point LinkedIn Marketing experts would track your success over a period of time and see what drew in the subscriptions, sales, clicks or whatever else you are after. In fact, did you get some interested ‘likes’ from your relevant target customers?
Content creation plan
One of the things that you can use to help with content is called ‘evergreen content’ which is content (posts, short videos or articles) that can be scheduled in more than once and that won’t date. These won’t contain updated sales or offers. And they will be relevant to the business, as a whole and they can be reused.
In addition, make sure that you have holiday and seasonal related content. Such as Christmas, Easter, bank holidays, special days, St George’s day, cousin’s day, whatever it might be! Ensure that your content will be relevant.
Get some videos, memes, posts, articles, interviews, podcasts, long form, short form blogs, vlogs, press releases, summaries, opinion pieces, training videos and any other creative and interesting pieces that you may have and schedule them.
Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn
Now you have some content to go onto your social media page, such as LinkedIn. So, in this next part, we need to have a look at your social media’s home page, the page where your customer will land when they go looking for you. Because in the age of social media, this page acts like your website landing page. And you need to ask yourself some questions. Just as I did with my LinkedIn client about his page, when we discovered that he wasn’t selling himself on there and was disappearing into the ether behind all his other competitors, we had some questions to go through.
1. Does your page reflect your business and your personal branding? And have you changed your URL to show your name or your business name? In fact you will see that mine is
you’ll see I have edited it to remove the numbers.
2. Do you have the same personal branding across your website and social media outlets?
3. And have you been posting content regularly? In fact, are you engaging with other people on a regular basis?
4. Further, can you successfully track your content with some form of analytics to discover what works and then do more of it?
5. You can use Pareto’s 80/20 rule when posting and engaging. That is to say, spend 80% of time on non-promotional content, engaging with people, liking their posts, placing quality comments that will ensure your credibility. And 20% posting and promoting your products/brand.
In The End
Remember on LinkedIn there are 200 million users, you want to reach as many as possible. So make sure you include your photo, detailed ‘about’ section, in a fun, memorable way. Also, include your client endorsements, great testimonials, a strong banner, that can be changed regularly to reflect information and links to your site. As this will draw a number of people to your profile, who will stay to read about your brand and then ultimately connect. And this will drive traffic and sales.
Also remember to make quality comments and quality content. You are endorsing your name and brand every time you write something. So remember to ‘like’ posts that can be seen by your target audience. Because you want to sound credible and appear human, in such a way that draws custom to your profile and either over to your website or to picking up the phone to call you.
Some of this information will feel comfortably easy to get on and do this week, but there’s a lot to take in if you don’t feel confident in this area. But if you want any further tips, or would like someone to speak with about how to go about this, or in fact you want some help achieving this, call us.
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