Cofounder ofThe Market Vibe, a digital marketing agency that helps brands enter their next phase of growth.
Personal branding can have powerful benefits for businesses, as I described in the first part of my series.
Like other business matters, however, personal branding is most impactful when you implement the right approaches. In the years my wife and I have run our digital marketing agency, here are the seven personal branding tips we’ve found to be the most effective. Business leaders in any industry can use these tips.
There’s a lot of emphasis on collaborations these days.
In particular, influencer marketing is on the rise. A 2022 study by Market Research Future (MRFR) found that by 2025, influencer marketing is expected to have a valuation of $2.85 billion.
Many brands are rushing to secure collaborations on various social platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, but I advise slowing down a bit. Instead of jumping to work with the latest, most popular influencers, you and your team should build relationships with people who share your mission, values and purpose, thoroughly vetting them before opting to work with them.
Taking these steps will minimize the chances of you running into an unpleasant surprise down the line, such as an influencer’s damaging past actions reflecting negatively on your brand.
2. Show Up Consistently For Your Brand And Audience
Being consistent online is tough but worth it. The person who shows up online for their business every day is infinitely better off than the person who only shows up online for their business once a week.
Getting your business’s message out there often means you’ll have a higher likelihood of building a relationship with your audience—because, over time, they’ll develop an understanding of your business and what it stands for.
Most businesses simply don’t post enough content online. But the caveat here is that while regularly posting can lead to positive effects (thanks to the mere exposure effect), posting too much—like 30 Instagram stories and 20 tweets per day—can backfire. So use your best judgment to determine your company’s posting sweet spot.
As I mentioned in part one of this series, personal branding can help you not have to sell as much. People who have gained insight into your brand usually treat the sales call more like an introductory call to kick off a business relationship.
That’s why it’s essential to lead your personal branding efforts with service, not sales. Don’t throw in a bunch of calls to actions (CTAs) urging people to learn more or make a purchase. Don’t be another brand on people’s social media feeds that inundates them with sales pages.
Instead, treat your brand’s social media efforts as top-of-the-funnel ones, building awarenessabout your brand, its values and what it brings to the table with a strong bio and relevant content. When people see that your business offers great value, they’ll naturally be inclined to learn more and, at some point, make a purchase.
There’s a sweet spot between content that purely informs and content that purely entertains.
“Edutainment” content that mixes the personal and the educational gives your audience the best of both worlds—they won’t feel like they are mindlessly consuming media online, nor will they feel like they are being bombarded with facts and figures.
There are two ways you can approach producing edutainment content. The first way is to alternate between posting content that falls more under the educational side and content that falls more under the entertainment side. The second way is to blend the two concepts into the same piece of content; for instance, a video that gives entrepreneurship tips can have a rocking background track.
5. Lean Into Your Values, Mission And Purpose
Consider this Forrester finding reported by Marketing Divein January 2021: 51% of “Gen Z respondents aged 18 to 23 years will always research a company to ensure it aligns with their position on corporate social responsibility before making a purchase.”
People, especially young people, are becoming more and more aware of whom they’re buying products and services from. And with increasingly more options on the market, they can easily walk away from brands that don’t align with their values.
That’s why I urge you to center your values, mission and purpose in your personal branding efforts. Your target customers should know what values you abide by, what you want your brand to accomplish for them and why you do what you do. With this information, people have the opportunity to buy intoyour brand—and later, buy from your brand.
You’ll find that your values, mission and purpose are connected to your brand story.
Stories have drawn people in for thousands of years. Think about some of your favorite brands today; chances are, the stories about how they came to be will come to your mind. Show people how your brand started, the journey it took to get to where it is today and where it is headed in the future.
For example, my wife and I have told the story about how we started our digital marketing agency after she got laid off a month after starting a new, higher-paying job. People resonate with our brand story because it shows them that no matter how down they feel, they can pick themselves back up and turn a bad situation into a great one. So, think about the elements of your brand’s story that people might relate to, and highlight them in your personal branding content.
7. Have The Long-Term Goal Of Building A Community
In the first tip, I discussed the importance of building a professional network of like-minded collaborators via influencer marketing on social platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
You should also think in a more long-term manner, though. Look into opportunities to build communities, such as by starting LinkedIn and Facebook groups, creating a room in Clubhouse and even setting up in-person events in your city. The loyal community you build can help you retain existing customers (user groups on social media are an excellent approach for this!) andgain new customers thanks to word-of-mouth and referrals. By bringing together people who believe in your values, mission and purpose and who love your brand story, you’re setting the stage for continued success.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?