Tuesday, November 17, 2015

5 Ways to Build a Personal Brand in 2016

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Today’s modern business differs from the traditional business of yesterday as building a personal brand is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can pursue—especially for a digital business.
Unless you are a Burger King or Nike, no one will immediately recognize or trust you. A personal brand, however, ultimately offers a unique way to build trust which can lead to customer loyalty and increased revenue.
We are seeing more businesses being built around personal brands than ever before. From Tim Ferris to Gary Vaynerchuck, and to YouTube influencers like Roman Atwood and Bethany Mota who are banking millions using their personal brands, and Jen Selter who is a fitness expert and MKBHD who is a tech and electronics expert.
The key is to identify your niche or area of expertise to become the go-to person in your industry. It doesn’t matter if you are healthcare marketing expert or a makeup aficionado, you need to build a recognizable personal brand to be able to get:
  • A better job
  • High-paying clients for your company
  • Recognition in your industry
brandThat’s right–I started off my list with “a better job” because even if you are work for someone else, you can focus on building a personal brand to get better opportunities.
Matthew Barby, an online marketing consultant who used to work at Wow Internet, could have ignored building a personal brand; instead he started blogging and created a personal brand that not only helped him get consulting clients, but also paved the way for better opportunities. He’s now the Global Head of Growth & SEO at HubSpot.
The most influential people understand that even if they are employed, they are running their own business of being a personal brand.

1. Identify and Determine Your Area of Expertise

Envision what you want to be known for, what words people should utter after they hear about you. Are you going to be “the wine guy” (Gary Vaynerchuk), the prankster (Roman Atwood), or be known as an e-commerce expert (Andrew Youderian). 
In a world where there are a flood of entrepreneurs, being a marketing expert is no longer enough. That is why it’s best to develop a specific niche to build a strong and relevant audience.

2. Pick a Platform and Double Down

There is no such thing as overnight success; you have to work your way for success. Gary Vaynerchuk, who runs a successful social digital shop, VaynerMedia, spent 15 years working in the background of his father’s wine business. He made over 1,000 YouTube videos from 2006 to 2011 before he became the brand himself.
So, if you want to build a personal brand, pick a platform and double down your efforts on it. It can be anything from blogging to making videos on YouTube, or even dominating a social media platform like Sue B. Zimmerman who became The Instagram Expert, Alex Pettit who is considered a Periscope influencer and the most loved person on that platform, or someone who is just an expert on emerging and latest technologies.

3. Join Emerging Platforms

Emerging platforms are super important for you to pay attention to and you should lookout for the next Snapchats, Meerkats, or Instagrams. During the first 6 to 18 months of a platform’s life is when you have the opportunity to become a disproportionate voice of that community or platform; these platforms start small and have a lot of affinity with early adopters.
Joining an emerging platform early really gives you the leverage to build a strong brand. Jérôme Jarre did that with Vine and is now the fourth most-followed individual on that platform; he scores millions of dollars of deals being a personal brand.

4. Offer Multiple Touch Points to Your Fans and Followers

Sticking to a single platform is not enough if you want to build a personal brand; you also have to be active on other social media platforms. When Jérôme Jarre became the most followed person on Vine, during the same month he became the first celebrity to join Snapchat, he has over 1 million followers on Twitter, and close to a million followers on YouTube.
If you are building a personal brand, you have to offer multiple touch points to your fans or followers because not all your fans will be on a single platform or prefer to connect with you on a single platform. fouseyTUBE, a famous YouTuber, uses Facebook and Twitter to stay connected with his audience even though he has a daily vlog channel; he also uses Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook to announce when he releases new videos.

5. Be Honest and Authentic

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As a personal brand, you have to build an honest and transparent brand. It doesn’t matter if you are a YouTuber or an author, speaker, or consultant like Kimanzi Constable. You have to be transparent and honest with your audience because at the end of the day, you want to build relationships with real people.
Imagine how hard it would be to build a brand around your “fake self” and then have to act fake for so long. It would get exhausting, and eventually you’d let your fans down–and that would make dent in your personal brand. Instead you need to be honest and authentic; real people connect and trust real people. It’s okay to be vulnerable and have failures–in the long run, your personal brand will end up becoming stronger.

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