Building a personal brand is not something that is ad hoc or something that happens over time. It requires a lot of resources, effort, and consistency. For small business owners and freelancers, it is important to build a personal brand for two simple reasons. One, it is an occupational hazard and not building a personal brand is like going to a job interview without a resume. And two, it is an opportunity for you to craft what you stand for. Social media is often the starting point for people who are building a personal brand.
It is a great starting point because 77% of people who have brand conversations on social media are open to brand-related advice. So, this is not something small business owners and freelancers can afford to forgo. In fact, big companies dedicate resources to ensure branding is always taken care of, but smaller companies and individuals too can afford not to compromise on their personal brand-building efforts. In case you are scratching your head and asking yourself how you can increase awareness of your personal brand, here is a checklist of a few things to keep in mind.
Establish a strong social media presence and improve organic searches
Creating a personal brand is all about marketing yourself. With multiple social media platforms available for free and for different purposes, start by building your social media presence based on the requirements of your personal brand. If you are a photographer, your Instagram page can act as your portfolio. If you are a content writer, your Twitter feed can act as a place to share blogs you have published. If you are selling items, then setting up sales on Facebook can help. Or if you have a website with your services you can share them in all your social media platforms.
Using online platforms to your advantage and sharing information that enhances your skills and experience is a nice way to attract some attention to your personal brand. Since everyone is doing this, adding a little bit of your personality in the process can go a long way. Make sure you stay consistent across all platforms and whenever you can personalize your online footprints. This will create a much-needed connection between you and the person engaging with your personal brand. 90% of customers trust recommendations, so use your Linkedin recommendation section to your advantage or add a recommendation section to your website. In the process of building your online footprints, you will move up in Google search and increase your organic visibility.
Share valuable content and generate engagement
Now that we have established the need to have a strong social media presence, the next step is to keep the audience engaged. Part of having a strong personal brand is having accessible content online. This means that your social media accounts need to be off private mode and be accessible to all. Along with making your information accessible to all, this helps people inform a brand image before engaging in your content. Make sure all that information you share is valuable and attracts your target audience. The next challenge is engagement. While organic engagement is possible, sometimes it can be a real challenge if you are not the ‘Oprah’ of your field.
So, reach out to people in your industry and propose cross-promotional deals, which include sharing and engaging in each others’ content. In fact, you can even contact people in supplementary industries who are willing to grow their clients by providing supplementary services. This can help improve your personal brand and increase ROI. When you do choose to contact these people, you can use the help of an online signature maker Remember to use all personal branding opportunities to your benefit. An email signature will ensure that all the people you reach out to have access to all your social media platforms and more, which is a great way to get through and build your brand.
Be patient with your audience and build an authentic brand
Chances are building a personal brand will be a challenging road. But do not be afraid of posting the wrong content or your post not getting viral engagement. Part of building a personal brand is creating authentic engagement. In order to build a personal brand with real engagement and enthusiastic advocates, you need to focus on organic growth. Be patient and share information that truly enhances your personal brand. Besides, whether you are a designer or a writer, practice makes perfect. So, the more information you share, the more details about your personal brand you divulge. Though there might not be a long list of people that actively engage at all times, the information is always out for public consumption.
Unless you are doing something extraordinarily different from the rest of your peers, stick to your plan and be patient. Do not shy away from sharing information because you are not getting desired engagement. Yes, do look into your sharing strategy if you consistently have poor results but never discourage yourself. Each time you think you fail is actually an opportunity to gather information and build on your personal brand. In other words, a personal learning curve. Consistency across all platforms can increase revenues by 23%. Authenticity will also help you become consistent. Long story short, have a rock-solid plan and patiently execute it.
In an age when branding is essential, it does not just restrict to products. Personal branding is becoming equally important. Whether your intention is to make a great sales pitch or to find a new job, personal branding can truly enhance your efforts. As our conversations are shifting to social media platforms, we are also increasingly engaging in the content shared by our social media peers. Use this to your advantage and become a pro at increasing the awareness of your personal brand.